Job Hunting Hacks & CV Secrets – The Stuff You Need To Know!


7 min read

Is landing a new gig on your priority list?

If so, your head is probably filled with questions. What should I put on my CV that will actually help me land an interview? Will my CV be thrown out if it’s over two pages? Should I apply for that job even though I’m not quite qualified? And where do I even start with LinkedIn?!

Don’t worry – with the right strategy and tons of stamina, you can narrow your focus, create a winning CV and land that interview.

It might seem overwhelming now, but trust us, once you do find that dream job, this whole thing will have been worth it.

Read on for tips and tricks to help you land your dream job.


Job Hunting Hacks

Know your strengths

Are you searching for the right roles? Unless you know your strengths and skill sets, you can’t begin to narrow down the thousands of jobs out there.

Write down a list of your strengths and talents, keep it next to you while you job hunt, and use it to pressure test every job description you’re considering.

Hint: Go to Hodie app to find out your strengths.

Research your dream employers

In an ideal world, who would be your dream employer? List your top 10 companies and look at any opportunities they might have.

If you’re not sure, look for the top employers in your industry. Even if they don’t have any immediate job opening, make sure you follow them to stay up to date so you’re ready to jump as soon as something suitable comes up.

Don’t be afraid to go for it

Ever seen a job description and got really excited, only to start reading the requirements and realise you’re not qualified? Should you apply anyway?

The answer is, if you believe you can do the job and you’re a good match, you should absolutely give it a go.

Just make sure you’re realistic when it comes to the difference between almost qualified and nowhere near. Chances are you’ll need to go the extra mile in the job application to prove you’re worth an interview even though you don’t meet their requirements on paper.

In our humble opinion, sometimes it pays big to play big.

Make your LinkedIn profile shine

Not sure if it’s worth investing time in LinkedIn? Here are a few facts:

Despite these truths, most people aren’t using the professional network to its fullest.

That means there’s an opportunity to make your LinkedIn profile stand out! The key is to make it appropriate, high quality and recent. Your LinkedIn profile should emphasise the skills and professional experience that would best qualify you to work for your dream company.

Listing at least five relevant skills will increase your chances of being discovered and approached for a role by more than 31 times.

Set up alerts on LinkedIn

Most people running job searches on LinkedIn just plug in a few keywords and locations. But the search features on LinkedIn are far more advanced, letting you save searches and set up alerts for relevant jobs. Try the advanced search features to achieve more precise results.


CV Secrets

There’s no way around it: if you want to stand out from the pack and land your dream job, you need a stellar CV. Use these tried-and-tested tricks:

Include keywords

Did you know that when you apply for a job online, generally your CV will be screened via an automated search process? But 75% of CVs are rejected before they reach the hiring manager. They don’t even get past the applicant tracking system (ATS).

The ATS collects, sorts, scans, and ranks the CVs it receives for open positions, rejecting the “least qualified” candidates based on the content and format of this one document. It even eliminates resumes that don’t match the job description due to lack of keywords.

To beat the bots, you need to optimise your CV. Scan the job description to note the most frequently used keywords, then add them to your CV and cover letter to help it reach human hands.

Don’t put everything on there

Were you a lifeguard or a dishie in your summer holidays? That’s great, but probably not relevant to your future career.

Think of your CV not as a list of life’s achievements, but a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for that job.

For each CV you send, highlight only the accomplishments, qualifications and skills that are truly relevant to the job you’re applying for – even if that means you don’t include all of your experience. In other words, tailor your CV for your audience. Less can definitely be more.

No relevant experience? Don’t panic!

Don’t worry if you don’t have any work experience that perfectly fits the job description. Focus your CV on your transferable skills and strengths, and add some academic projects that highlight your attributes.

Have you been a volunteer, worked part-time, set up your own website, or blogged? Don’t be afraid to Include these in your CV, provided you explain how they helped you to apply or learn relevant skills.

Make it on point and powerful

Recruiters see hundreds of job applications every week, so you want to make it easy for them to identify you as a fitting candidate for the next stage. Use bullet points and formatting to make your CV easy to skim to find your relevant experience and skills.

Give ‘em metrics

Use facts, figures, and numbers to quantify your achievements wherever possible. By what percentage did you exceed your targets? How many people were impacted by your project? What geographies were you responsible for? By quantifying your claims, you’re giving the hiring manager a real picture of your accomplishments.
For example: ‘Working as a sales consultant, I achieved the highest number of sales within the business for two consecutive months, exceeding my target by 28%. As a result, I was awarded employee of the month’.

Keep it simple
Make your CV easy on the eye with simple fonts and formatting. Use a font size between 10 and 12, and a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial or Century Gothic. Don’t be afraid to leave space on the page to break up the text.
Stuck with the layout? Search for CV templates online for ideas and examples. Canva has plenty!

Go rogue

We know we just told you to keep it simple, but for some roles it’s more than appropriate to get creative. Stand out by submitting a video CV alongside your written CV, or build a website to showcase your portfolio.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re still ticking the recruiter’s boxes with a relevant, easy to read CV.

Proofread, proofread, proofread!

It should go without saying, but you’d be amazed how many CVs get thrown out because of typos and errors.

Don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone — ask family or friends to take a look at it for you. It never hurts to get a second opinion on your CV’s content while you’re there.

It’s a numbers game, so stick with it

Searching for a new job, or your first job, can take time. It will take patience, grit and stamina to keep going even when it seems all you’re getting is silence. Keep reminding yourself that this happens to everyone, and the reward will always be worth it in the long run.

Get more job hunting tips and tricks on Hodie. Download today!