Job hunting hacks are all the rage with job seekers for a reason. These tricks save you valuable time so that you can get your dream job – or at least bring you a little closer to loading up your travel budget so you can get your Snapchat game in order.
The most important thing to know about job hunting hacks is that they’re always changing. You need to stay on top of what’s hot for hacks in 2018, not last year or the year before that.
Keep reading for the top seven job hunting hacks of 2018 you might be missing out on.
1. Beat the Bots By Copying Keywords
Many hiring managers use bots (simple computer programs that look for keywords) when they’re scanning through hundreds of candidates for a job posting. It makes their work a lot easier, but it can lead to perfectly good job applications getting passed over by accident.
As a modern job seeker, you need to know how to beat the bot system if you’re going to get noticed. The easiest way to get around bots is by simply copying the keywords in the job posting and using them strategically in your resume and cover letter.
Keywords are words that are descriptive and specific to the job posting. They’re easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. Here are a few tips on how to find the keywords for entry level job postings:
The actual job title or previous work experience, such as “sales representative”, “administrative assistant” and “cashier”
Demonstrative tasks, such as “managing” and “supervising”
Technical words and equipment, such as “POS system” or “CMS system”
Certificates and education requirements, such as “Serving It Right” and “Bachelors”
Bots are especially common when it comes to big brand name employers and high profile recruitment firms. If you’re applying for a company that probably uses bots to sort candidates, make sure you’re using this job hunting hack!
2. Be Choosy With Your Job Hunt
Okay, you could totally send out hundreds of identical resumes and cover letters to as many hiring managers as humanly possible. But let’s be honest – this cookie cutter job hunting technique just doesn’t cut it in 2018.
One of the best ways to save time as a modern job seeker is by being choosy with your job hunt. Try to limit your job hunt by focusing on applying for the jobs that are a good fit for you, your qualifications and work experiences.
Instead of mindlessly applying for any job, invest a solid amount of time into a small number of job postings. Customize each resume and cover letter by tailoring each resume and cover letter to the job posting.
Another helpful tip is to organize your job applications in a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet so you don’t accidentally apply for the same job twice.
3. Get Inspired By Cover Letter Examples
Whether you’re a student looking for a summer job or a job seeker searching for a full-time permanent position, you need to write a great cover letter to stand out as a candidate nowadays.
Cover letters sell you as a person, which is really important. At the end of the day, hiring managers do want to hire real people, not what’s just on your resume.
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out these three cover letter examples that you can use to base your next cover letter on:
Hiring managers always look up candidates up online on their social media accounts and LinkedIn profiles before they get serious about hiring you. You need to search for yourself online first to see what employers will see, and then clean up the web results as soon as possible.
Remember, privacy settings on social media aren’t foolproof. Hiring managers find new ways to search for people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat every day, no matter how many filters and fake names you might have.
Play it safe by keeping your personal brand, LinkedIn profile and social media accounts professional and up to date.
5. Interview Your Job References
When you’re trying to figure out how to choose a good job reference, don’t be shy. You need to make sure that your job references sell your best features to hiring managers.
Hiring managers call job references after you ace your interview to make absolutely sure that you’re a great hire. It’s one of the last things they do to check you out before they bite the bullet and bring you onto their team.
You definitely don’t want to make hiring managers hesitate by providing job references that seem unsure about you (or worse, don’t remember you at all). Check in with your job references regularly to make sure they’re well versed with what you want them to say about you.
6. Sell Anecdotes (Not Skillsets)
Using old school job hunting terminology like “skillsets” or “proficiencies” in your cover letter or job interview is a one-way ticket to Snore City in 2018.
Instead of giving the hiring manager an excuse to take a nap (or pass on your resume entirely), share anecdotes and stories about your best accomplishments from past jobs or volunteer opportunities.
7. Don’t Be Desperate
Look, it’s tough out there. Sometimes a well-timed follow-up email or phone call can really make a difference. But don’t hassle hiring managers by calling or emailing them on the regular.
Wait two weeks after you send in your cover letter and resume before you send them a polite email to follow-up to inquire about the status of your job application. If you don’t hear back after another week, feel free to give them a call (as long as they haven’t requested no phone calls).