When I worked in the music industry as an assistant to the VP, and they all knew I was leaving to go to lawschool, it was my job to put the job posting up and screen the initial responses.
Of course I put in "formatting requirements" for the cover letter (something like, "Please enclose your cover letter and resume combined into one PDF or Microsoft Word document, with the resume first, and page numbers added bottom center of each page.") just to see if they could follow directions and do basic word processing functions.
#1. The number of people who bothered to apply without meeting those basic requests, my god. HUNDREDS.
#2. The number of resumes that came in with some career counselor writing the cover letter extolling the virtues of the candidate they were applying on behalf of. Um, if they are not mui awesome enough to apply THEMSELVES, circular file. Gracias, adios.
(I also promptly threw out the phone number of any candidate whose mother called to apply for them at the restaurant I once worked at. Jesus Christ APPLY FOR YOUR OWN JOBS, PEOPLE.)
#3. The number of people I called whose family members/roommates were completely unable to answer the phone coherently and who refused to take a message. I am not talking language barriers here, because who knows if someone takes care of their sweet old abuela, but just flat out obnoxious phone.
If you have family members or roommates who answer the phone like barbarians, scream your name violently when trying to locate you on the premises, or the background noises indicate that perhaps cockfighting goes on in your living room at 2:30pm on a Thursday, please indicate that you prefer to be contacted by email.
Meup-I always thought the phone message problem was strange too, but a friend who worked personnel and hiring for many years clued me in on the real story. When you call, and they claim not to know the person, or aren't sure if they live there or not, then the people are avoidinjg bill collectors, or have someone not very nice trying to find them. You know that's the real situation when you mention where you're calling from and why, and suddenly 'they just walked in' and they toss them the phone. And the more persistent an applicant is about calling you constantly about their job prospects, then the less likely they are to actually get the job. And I totally hated people who obviously had someone else do their application, and didn't even know their own job history or put down the wrong information, and maintained it was the right info. One person actually claimed he or she had two full time jobs, at the same time, and in very different locations-they never did figure out why I was confused about that, and how impossible that was. Plus, the ones who put down bad references, or someone who admitted they barely knew the person confused me too.