Here are some job searching tactics to use in today’s 2012 job hunting:
If you write a generic, all-purpose general resume and cover letter, it won't get read by the hiring manager at all. To boot, shot-gunning hundreds of companies with that all-purpose résumés addressed, "to whom it may concern" will not land you a new job or even an interview.
It's very important to customize all of your application materials—not just the cover letter—for each position you apply for. So you need to hire a professional writer for this. Fill employment gaps and discuss that dynamic resume with her and how to make it shine. It's not unusual to have gaps or holes in your work history, most everyone does. You don't have to go to extreme lengths to hide periods of unemployment. But it’s easier to simply change the structure of your resume to focus on skills on a profile section near the top and abilities rather than the typical old-fashioned chronological resume with objective statement.
Streamline your story, as well.
Hiring managers don't have a lot of time to devote to you resume and cover letter. Get rid of the irrelevant information, such as the clubs you belonged to in college (years ago). Instead, focus and quantify how you've contributed to bottom-line success of your previous employers.
Network constantly is most important.
Word of mouth is still a very powerful method of marketing your career. Take full advantage of online resources such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to meet new contacts and to spread the word about yourself. And then take your connections out for coffee or lunch to keep in touch and talk about your job searching and career changes. When you want to meet a key person to your job search, find out whether anyone in your network (ideally in LinkedIn.com) can provide an introduction for you, and be sure to thank that person for his or her efforts.
The other piece of advice is to work hard. Set yourself goals as to the number of people you will talk to daily, or the number of resumes you will get into the proper hands daily. Looking for work is a full-time job of it's own.