If you didn't apply to college back then, then you might want to read about how the application process is. It's hard. It requires a lot of time and dedication. It's a labor of love. You know you have one chance, and you can't screw it.
Applying for a software engineering job is the same thing. I'm sure in certain Big-Name companies it's even more difficult to get accepted than in Ivy League universities, but in my experience, people don't think about it that way.
The resume is only a tiny part of the application, but is where everyone devotes all their energy. Whenever we are in a hiring hunt at my company, I get dozen of resumes to read. They are all the same. They are mostly filled with bullets and acronyms I don't understand. After the third page, I'm blind and tired. I don't read them anymore.
Resumes are the perfect guide to conduct an interview, but they stopped working a long time ago for selecting good candidates, and I'm not the only one who feels like that. I bet it's even worse for big companies who get hundreds of resumes a day.
(One time I got an applicant for a mobile developer position who used to power charge Blackberries at IBM. His resume said he worked for IBM in their "mobile department". He also mentioned a lot of experience with mobile devices. Of course, he didn't know anything about development at all.)
You also need to send your resume when applying for college, but it goes along with a couple of essays where you have to shine and prove the board your value. That's your cover letter. That's where you have to put your heart on.
Do you know how many covers letter I get? Less than 1 for every 10 resumes or so, and many of them are filled with canned bullshit that applies to any company out there. How can you possibly want me to give you a job when you couldn't spend 10 minutes to craft something genuine for me? What does that say about you?
A lot has been written about this, but for some reason people still don't get it.
If you are looking for a job, sit down and write a few hundred words that a human can read. Connect with the company, with their culture, with their products. If you don't know anything about them, why are you applying in the first place?
This is the era of the Internet. Be original, create a web page, show off your work, send me your GitHub page, let me read your blog. That's what I need to see, not a 3-page dump of every book you've read and every company you have worked for.
We'll get to the resume later. We'll talk about it. But only if you make it to the interview.