META: Get hired fast and find your dream job with our top 20 job search hacks to find work! Great resume advice and job application tips!

Job hunting is always stressful, regardless of how old or experienced you are. These job search hacks will help you find a job without losing your mind. Here are our top 20 job search hacks to find work! They include:

  • LinkedIn
  • Resume
  • Job Application
  • Interview

LinkedIn Hacks

Creative Headlines

Did you know you could edit your LinkedIn headline? By default, your headline will be your current or most recent job title, but you can change it to say whatever you want? Indicate your job status in a creative way, such as “World-Class Coder for Hire.”

Put Yourself on The Market

Change your preferences in LinkedIn to mark you as “looking for work,” so recruiters will see you in their searches.

The Complete History

Fill out your job history on your LinkedIn profile as much as possible. Many modern candidate-application-systems let you link your application to your LinkedIn profile, which automatically fills out the “work experience” section of the application. Now you don’t have to fill in the same information on hundreds of job applications!

Custom URL

You can customize your LinkedIn URL, so it’s easier to remember and to give to people. If possible, use your name as the URL, but if your name is too common, you may have to get more creative. Add your job title, or suffix (like Ph.D. or MD), or something else relevant to your job search.

Stay on the Radar

While you’re hunting for a job, you can stay on the front page of LinkedIn by updating your status on a regular basis. You don’t have to post every day, but at least a few times a week you should post interesting articles, share a bit of expertise, or discuss industry news.

Resume Hacks

Brand Yourself for the Job You Want

In the introduction are of your resume, where you list your job title and/or a summary, refer to yourself using the title of the job you’re applying for. That way, your resume won’t be filtered out for missing the job title as a keyword.

Stay Organized

You should apply for each job with a resume and cover letter that you have customized for that job posting. Keep track of which resume and letter go with each company by setting up folders on your computer or tablet. Save all communications and other information from each company in their folder.

More Keywords

It’s unfortunate that so many great resumes are filtered out by computers, but you can avoid that by making sure your resume has all the necessary keywords. You should use a customized resume and cover letter for each job you apply for, and copy and paste keywords from the job ad into both.

Don’t try to trick the system by hiding the keywords, making the text white, or anything like that. Just find a way to mention them naturally, either in a bulleted list of job qualifications, or peppered within the cover letter.

Speaking of Cover Letters…

Even if the job you’re applying for doesn’t require a cover letter, if they give you the option to submit one, you should do it. The cover letter is your chance to differentiate yourself from the competition. Use it to explain what you’d bring to the team and why you’re the best choice.

Job Application Hacks

Un-blinded Job Ads

Have you ever seen a “blind” job ad? These are ads posted by recruiters that don’t mention the name of the company you would be working for. These ads make it difficult to tailor your resume and cover letter for the position because you don’t know anything about who you’re trying to work with.

To “un-blind” these job ads, just use Google! Find any unique phrases in the ad, things that clearly aren’t copy-and-pasted from other sources, and copy and paste them into Google. Usually, you can find these phrases in the paragraphs talking about the company or role. Pasting these phrases into Google might point you to the company’s website!

Play Coy on Salary

Most job-hunting experts agree that you should never provide your current salary to a recruiter or hiring manager because they’ll likely use it to low-ball you on your job offer. However, hiring managers almost always demand to know your current salary! How do you get around this?

If the job application calls for your current salary, enter in your target salary instead. If you’re asked on the phone or in person, you can demur by saying, “I’m looking for something in the $Target Salary range, is this job in that range?”

Determine Your Target Salary

If you’re not sure what your target salary should be, you can use websites like Glassdoor and Indeed to find out what the market salary is for your current or prospective job title. Try to search in your exact geographic location, as salary rates vary greatly depending on which city you’re living in.

Resume Upload

Most online job applications give you the option of uploading your resume. Theoretically, doing so will pre-fill a lot of the fields in the application, specifically the work history and personal information. This feature doesn’t always work, but it saves a lot of time and is worth trying on every application.

More and more systems can link to your Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn profile to pull information. Only use this option if you’re ok with HR or the hiring manager seeing your profile.

Interview Hacks

Make a Cheat Sheet

Take a little bit of time to write down everything you’ve accomplished in your last few jobs. Any major projects, big sales victories, professional awards, or other notable accomplishments you think might be relevant to a hiring manager should be listed in an easy-to-read format.

After applying for a particular job, take a few minutes to write down the basic details about the company and the position. Do this for every job you apply to. Keep both cheat sheets handy in case of an impromptu phone interview. Before an in-person interview, review both sheets, but don’t try to recite the answers from memory.

Tell a Story

Prepare a few interview-appropriate anecdotes and stories you can use during the interview. These types of answers are much more memorable than the boring responses the interviewer will get from most candidates.

Asking About Money

You’ve probably heard some conflicting advice about asking about money in a job interview. Generally, for entry-level jobs, you’ll want to hold off until you’ve received a job offer to start talking about salary.

For anything higher-level, you should absolutely bring up money by the second interview. When you receive the job offer, you shouldn’t be surprised. If the interviewer doesn’t offer that information on their own, you can ask, “Can we sync up on compensation? I want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

Once you get beyond entry-level, job interviews work both ways—the company is interviewing you, but you’re also interviewing them. Don’t wait until you’ve had three interviews to find out the salary range is way below what you’re looking for.

Stay Calm

Interviews are always nerve-wracking, but you should try to stay calm. Remember, you’re just there to learn about the job and what kind of person they’re looking for, and they’re trying to determine if you’re the correct fit.

Instead of fidgeting nervously or going over future answers in your head, pay attention when the hiring manager talks. They’ll often tell you exactly what it is they’re looking for, just not in so many words. Listen to what their needs are, and then you can use your past experiences to explain how you can solve their needs.

Send a “Thank You” Note

This advice may seem outdated, but hiring managers really appreciate it. A day or so after your interview, email each person you spoke to at the interview thanking them for their time. If you can recall something specific they mentioned to you, bring it up! People love to know that they were being heard and remembered.

Other Hacks

The Right Kind of Fairs

Instead of wasting your time at job fairs, where companies see hundreds of potential candidates, try attending trade fairs, if they exist in your field. These types of conventions are a great way to make contacts in your field and learn about the companies you could potentially work for.

Stay Busy

If you’re unemployed while looking for a job, find something to fill the time that will look good on your resume. Volunteer work, training classes, any sort of professional development, and freelancing are some examples.

If you have gaps in your job history during which you weren’t doing anything to help your job search, practice how you’ll answer questions about it. If you were out of work for more than six months, employers would want to know why. Honesty is great, but the hiring manager doesn’t want to hear that you spend the whole time watching Netflix in your underwear.

We hope our top 20 job search hacks help you find your next job!