Job search is always challenging, but there are hacks to increase your chances of getting your dream job. A user asked the forum, “What’s the best job search hack?” Here are the top responses.
APPLY ON THE COMPANY WEBSITE
“Apply on the company website rather than the job board such as Indeed, etc.”
GET TO KNOW THE HIRING MANAGER
“Personally know the hiring manager.”
FOCUS ON KEYWORDS
“Copy the job description into your resume, modify it in your own words, but keep all the major keywords.”
DOUBLE-CHECK THE OFFICIAL COMPANY WEBSITES
“Double-check the job advertisement against the official website if possible. I had a cousin call in a favor for a reference for his friend applying for an internship at my company. I checked, and the actual internship window had closed a month prior.
The friend had been checking on a third-party website, but they would have known better if they
had researched the official job advertisement link.”
COVER LETTER IS ALL ABOUT THE COMPANY
“Curriculum Vitae, CV is all about you, while a cover letter concerns the company (i.e., how you meet their values). Employers love an ego rub and showing you did your research on them.
Lastly, search for jobs in the salary bracket above what you are currently earning (roughly $10k higher). You may be surprised at the number of job descriptions in those higher-paying roles that describe what you already do, so apply for those.
Bonus: if you need to be qualified for those, consider what you need to learn to land those roles and search for jobs to help you bridge that gap. These steps have helped me increase my salary by $30k in 5 years through 3 job changes.”
“Apply online, not in person like my Boomer parents forced me to do. I have not received one callback.”
SKIP A FEW DAY-OLD JOB LISTING
“If a job listing is over a few days old, skip it. There are many job seekers, and hiring managers will quickly fill up with who they want to bring into an interview.”
MENTION IF YOU DISCONTINUED YOUR DEGREE
“If you have gone to college but did not finish or are still going to college, make sure you put that on there. For example, Bachelor of Science, Northwestern (Graduation 2025, 4.0 GPA), Major in Information Technology with an emphasis on Network Engineering.”
DON’T TALK ABOUT SALARY FIRST
“Never talk about salary first. Always respond to a salary inquiry, asking, ‘What is the desired range for this role?’ Fortunately, I’m at the level in my career where my first two questions to a recruiter or hiring manager are, ‘What is the allotted range for this position?’ and ‘Does this position require 100% onsite attendance?'”
SEND ONE OUTSTANDING APPLICATION
“Do one outstanding application for a company instead of 10 for 100 companies. Write just positive and motivated words. Try to be different and exciting, even if you are not. People like stories. You may have a unique account about why you work in the area you work.”
KEEP RECORD OF EVERY JOB YOU APPLIED
“Applying only to companies putting out help-wanted advertisements is a surefire way to get lost in the crowd. Go ahead and apply to help-wanted advertisements, but
- Keep a record of every job you applied to or thought about using, along with the date and all the job details.
- Wait until 4-6 months after you saw that help-wanted advertisement, and send the company another resume, even if they are not advertising for open positions.
Sometimes, you might have almost been a finalist in the hiring process and not know it, but the person they ultimately hired didn’t work out. The position is open again (or will be available again soon) or there may be more job opportunities at the company that popped up (or will be popping up next week) for which you would be fit.
They’re not thinking of you, or there may be a new person in Human Resources looking at the resumes, and you’ll get a different result if you send another resume. Companies are always looking for talent.
Currently, of the four accounts I have at my (one-employee) company, I got two of them from writing back after they turned me down the first time, one that laid off half their workforce and then re-hired me when I asked, ‘pretty please’ for them to reconsider their decision, and one that I just applied to because I saw that they were looking for somebody with my qualifications on a help-wanted advertisement that was four months old.”
“Use LinkedIn to see who’s hiring, but apply directly on the company website. Nobody wants to deal with a third party.”
MAKE A SPREADSHEET
“Make a spreadsheet with a row for each job, name of the person, address, etc., and also a couple of sentences of why you’d be the best for the job, pulling out specific keywords from the description.
Then, do a mail merge with your cover letter and insert those sentences. Make sure to read through for possible merging errors. Boom, you’ve got a bunch of customized cover letters for each job.”
LEVERAGE CHAT GPT
“We live in the future. Chat GPT is the answer. It asks for a few facts and writes amazing cover letters. Need it tweaked, I ask chatbot to do it again, less formal or with more emphasis on my past job experiences, and it spits it out like magic.”
LEARN THE INDUSTRY TERMS
“Have your skills aligned in a realistic way to what you want to achieve. Once you are in a position, learn the industry terms for the skills you are learning and the technology you use. These will help you broaden your scope to other industries using those skills. I’ve not been working long, but it’s already saved my bacon once not to go extremely hard and specialize in one specific area, so there’s that.
Most of all, keeping your head up when the job isn’t doing well or if you’re between jobs is essential.
DON’T SEARCH ALL DAY
“Don’t search all day, every day. I made that mistake when I moved to be with my wife and needed a new job. After one year of scraping every site every day for hours and hours, submitting over 100 applications, and getting only two interviews and no offers, I started having suicidal ideations.
When I had another bout of unemployment a few years later, I took the advice of a friend. Take 4 hours to search and apply on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Keep the rest of the time to yourself to maintain your sanity.”
USE TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES
“Temporary employment agencies. Some places are desperate, and some cool companies don’t have active recruiting departments. Bypass the agency if you like the company or are a good fit.
It’s how I got my first job at MySpace in the middle of its peak, a great paying government think tank job, and my current technology job that I’ve been working remotely for over ten years.”
“Networking. It’s good for everything you could need for jobs.”
TURN ON AUTOMATIC NOTIFICATIONS
Everyone should always have automatic notifications for jobs that pay at least slightly more than their current position. Still, when setting those notifications up, they should not be too picky with the job sector.
I get about four emails a week that each take seconds to scan. One is for government jobs, one overseas, one is for all the WFH (Work From Home) jobs in my country, and one is for local jobs that pay more than my current job. I kept them super broad because you would be surprised by what you can find in a tangential field to your recent work.
Lastly, if you have a specialized skill, I have had success writing to a company on one of their job apps saying, ‘I noticed your company doesn’t have X specialist; I would also be interested in doing this role.’ It took six months, but they made the role for me.”
USE THE VOICE MEMO APP
“Use the voice memo app on your phone to record the interview. Other interviewers will ask similar questions, which helps you be more objective in critiquing how you did so you can improve.”
LEVERAGE EXISTING CONNECTIONS
“Leverage existing connections: reach out to your existing network, including friends, family, former colleagues, classmates, and mentors. Tell them about your job search and ask if they have relevant contacts or opportunities. Personal referrals can often be a powerful way to get your foot in the door.”
12 Fast Food Chains Where You Can Still Eat Cheap
Fast food can be a quick and affordable meal option, but knowing where to go to get the most bang for your buck is essential. Read here.
16 Things That Are Legal in the U.S. but Are Actually Pretty Messed Up
In the United States, there are a number of things that are legal but should not be. These things can range from harmful practices to others. Read here.
13 Inventions That Were Supposed to Change the World… But Didn’t
Though there are both good and bad inventions, it’s fascinating to learn about those that once promised to revolutionize the world, but are now forgotten. Read more.
15 Costco Products That Are a Total Rip-Off
Costco is known for its great deals on bulk items, but only some things at the warehouse club are a good value. Read more.
Did You Know? These 18 Everyday Sayings Are Actually False
Language is a powerful tool, but it can also be misleading. Overused sayings and clichés are often taken for granted as truths. Read more.
This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.