I get this question regularly from graduates, and here is my best advice.
1. Cover letter – Make it bespoke.
It’s no secret businesses often get 100’s of applications for one role. This is especially so when it’s a competitive industry such as media. Everyone has a different filter to get 100 CVs down to 6. My filter was the cover letter. If that didn’t grab my attention, rightly or wrongly, the CV didn’t even get a look-in. Make sure you address the person by their name, the exact position you are applying for, and the name of the business at minimum. Without these 3, I know I’m the recipient of a copy/paste job. If you can’t be arsed to address the person/business correctly, why should they bother to call you back….they’ll move on to the next application.
2. Be more sniper.
Don’t expect to get individual replies when you adopt a scatter-gun approach. Be more sniper. Spend time identifying your Top 5 or 10 targets and write your cover letter & CV to ensure it fits the business & the role like a glove.