Well, first you obsess about ho awesome the job is and how perfect a fit you are for it. This involves telling your friends and family about it or maybe, if you're like me, sitting in silent despair because you know how this goes. Next, you apply for said job.
This requires looking at your resume and making sure it highlights all the work experience and education you have so that your potential employers know that you are perfect for the job. You'll probably meticulously, edit your already well-edited resume to make absolutely sure that it is perfect and paints the best picture of you. Don't forget to pick out your best sample writing. Those clips that were on the front page or that essay that received an "A," you know the one.
Now, it's time for the cover letter. At this point, you take the time and effort to write an original cover letter that acts not only as a brief description of your recent academic history, but also as a more in depth (than your resume) explanation of your key work history so your potential employer knows that you have the right experience and attitude for the job.
That's just the first draft. There will be at least two more. But when you get to that final draft, what do you do? Nothing, you sit on it and obsess. Is it good enough? Does it say enough? Does it say too little? Too much? The usual questions. Then you ask a friend to read it, for an outside opinion.
They read it and give you some decent critiques. You know they are decent critiques, you wouldn't ask your friend to look at the cover letter if you didn't trust them. But you decide to wait a little longer, just to give it some space. You're obsessing and you know it. Finally, you pluck up enough courage to send off the cover letter (you didn't make any changes your friend suggested because, let's be honest, it was fine the way it was), resume, and your best writing samples.
Off they go and then you wait. And wait. And wait... Well, we all know how this ends, right?
Just a random thought...