Dear Penny: Am I a Jerk if I Include My Credit Score on Tinder?

Dear Penny,

I’m a newly single 41-year-old guy who recently set up a Tinder account. I work from home and most of my friends are married. I’d still like to meet someone organically, but a dating app seems more realistic for me right now.

I’ve worked hard to get an 829 credit score. I’m a homeowner with a good career. In the past year, I’ve paid off all my debt other than my mortgage. I’m an average-looking guy looking to stand out. I’ve seen a few women post their credit scores and I’ve heard that high credit makes you more attractive in dating. But it seems kind of tacky to me.

I’ve asked a few female friends whether I should include my credit score on my profile, but they’re split. What do you think, Penny? Will this make me sound like a jerk?

-Creditworthy Catch

Dear Catch,

I can’t say whether you’re boyfriend material based on your letter. But your 829 credit score is certainly swoon-worthy considering that just 21% of consumers have a credit score of 800 or higher.

Still, think back to when you got your mortgage. Your lender probably considered a bunch of factors beyond your credit score before approving you. Dating really isn’t any different. Proving that you’re a catch to the right person will require more than just a credit score.

I don’t honestly think the words “829 credit score” are going to make or break your dating life. You’re writing your Tinder bio, not tattooing your credit score on your forehead. If you find that your profile isn’t working for you, you can easily change it.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether including your credit score in your dating profile is obnoxious. I think some people find it off-putting whenever someone quantifies their accomplishments too much on a dating profile. Saying you eat healthy and work out daily is fine. But unless you’re seeking to meet a competitive bodybuilder, posting your bodyfat percentage would probably be seen as arrogant.

That said, posting credit scores on dating profiles seems to be getting more common, at least according to my very unscientific poll of about a half-dozen friends who are also on the apps.

So I don’t think you’d reach a level of cringeworthiness that’s going to have women screenshotting your profile in horror.

Think of your dating profile as a tool you’re using to market yourself to other singles. Who is your target audience? What message are you aiming for? Does including your credit score help you deliver that message?

If your message is that you care a great deal about credit scores and you’re seeking another member of the 800-plus club, by all means include your credit score. Meet for drinks. Talk about who got the lowest refi rate as you watch the sunset.

If you’re trying to tell Tinder that you’re a rich guy, go ahead and include your credit score too. But if that’s your messaging, don’t complain about how superficial dating is. Expect that some people will be less interested in you than they are in your wallet.

Have A Money Question?

Senior editor Robin Hartill is a certified
financial planner and the voice of Dear Penny.

Write Dear Penny

Have a tough money question?
Dear Penny wants to help! Write Dear Penny
for Practical money advice.

Dear Penny Circle Form

I think your goals are a little more nuanced, though. As you said, you’re an average-looking guy who wants to stand out. It sounds like you’re also looking for someone who, like you, has their life together.

And it sounds like you have plenty of qualities that other people would find attractive. You’re successful, but you’re also self-aware. You get that including this information may make some people uncomfortable. More importantly, it makes you uncomfortable. So if it makes you self-conscious, why include it?

I don’t think the advice you need from me is about love and money. It’s about writing. Here are the words my first editor drilled into me: Show, don’t tell.

By that I mean, show the world you’re financially solid without telling them your credit score and salary. Say what you do for a living and why you love it. Drop it in there that you own your home and that you’re mostly debt-free if you wish.

You’re probably not looking for someone to compare weekly credit-monitoring reports with. So make sure to mention something you’re excited about, like traveling or pursuing a hobby, that you can hopefully do with the right person.

Should you choose to include your credit score, make sure it’s just a small detail. Keep in mind that statistically speaking, more than 4 out of 5 people swiping on your profile won’t be in your league, credit-wise. Plenty of people are in great financial shape, yet haven’t hit that 800 mark.

Others have less-than-perfect credit because they’ve encountered tough times, or because they’re human beings who have made mistakes. That doesn’t mean they’re not dating material.

Ultimately, I think a little humblebragging will probably go further than boasting outright about your credit score. Modesty can be an attractive trait, even on dating apps.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

29 Road Trip Tips for a Fun and Frugal Vacation

Cruising down the open road is a great way to get away from it all.

Planning a road trip can be a cost-effective way to travel too — that is, if you do it right.

The costs you’ll encounter on a road trip tend to sneak up on you, unlike the upfront sticker shock of a plane ticket. But no worries — there’s a lot you can do to save money on a road trip.

29 Cost-Saving Road Trip Tips

1. Consider Road Tripping With a Friend or Two

Traveling solo has its benefits, like not putting up with someone else’s music for hours on end. But taking a road trip with others means you’ll have someone to split the costs of expenses like gas and lodging.

You can literally cut your costs in half by road tripping with a friend. It’ll also make the long distance driving more bearable. Just make sure it’s someone you can tolerate being cooped up with for a long period of time.

Also, discuss expectations for the road trip ahead of time so you’re both on the same page. You don’t want to wait until you’re on the road to discover that your travel companion prefers staying in nice hotels and visiting museums in each city rather than camping and going on hikes. Those are two very different types of trips with two very different budgets.

2. Do Your Own Car Maintenance

Before you hit the road, make sure your car is in tip-top shape for the journey ahead — and back. Getting a tune-up from a trusted mechanic is great, but if you’re able to do the labor yourself, you can save some cash.

Don’t forget to check the condition of your spare tire and make sure you have the tools you’ll need to change a flat tire. Watch online auto repair videos before your trip for pointers on how to change a tire or do your own oil change.

3. Have a Roadside Emergency Kit

Even if you’re a super cautious driver, you can’t predict what might happen while on the road. Your emergency kit should include the following items:

  • Jumper cables or a car battery charger
  • Flares or reflective cones
  • A cell phone charger
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • A basic tool kit
  • A first aid kit
  • A blanket
  • Water and snacks

It’s also not a bad idea to make sure you have your car’s owner’s manual on hand.

4. Make Sure You Have a Roadside Assistance Service

If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere or you get into an accident, your emergency kit will only take you so far. That’s why it’s beneficial to have a roadside rescue service.

Before you sign up for a new membership service, like AAA, check to see if you currently have roadside assistance through a service like OnStar or your car insurance. If you’re traveling via rental car, the rental car company may offer roadside assistance service as an add-on.

Three sisters sit in the back seat while staring at a road map.

5. Have a Plan Mapped Out

You don’t have to have everything planned out to the minute — after all, you want to be able to make a spontaneous detour when you see a billboard for a quirky roadside attraction. (Those unexpected stops can be the best part of road trips.)

However, it’s good to plan ahead so you have a general idea of where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. That way you can budget for the trip and give yourself time to save up to cover the costs.

The main expenses you’ll encounter will include:

  • Gas
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Entertainment/activities

You’ll also want to put money aside for parking, tolls, souvenirs and other miscellaneous things that will come up.

Since plans may shift while you’re on the road, you should make sure you know the cancellation policies for hotels, Airbnbs or campsites you reserved ahead of time — or tickets you booked.

6. Choose a Destination You Can Get to On a Tank of Gas

The closer your destination, the less money you’ll spend on your road trip. If you’re just itching to get away and aren’t after a cross country journey, select a destination within a day’s drive and hit the road.

7. Save Money on Gas

Fuel will be a significant chunk of your road trip expenses. Some tips to save money on gas include:

  • Using price comparison apps like GasBuddy.
  • Signing up for rewards programs at gas stations and grocery stores.
  • Using a fuel rewards credit card.
  • Choosing regular-grade gas rather than the premium option.
  • Opting to fill up in small towns instead of at gas stations right off the highway or in big cities.
  • Making sure your tire pressure is where it needs to be and go have a good seal on your gas cap.
  • Keeping your speed steady as opposed to accelerating or decelerating often.

8. Use Cruise Control

Staying at a steady speed increases fuel efficiency. Plus, using cruise control can help you avoid getting any speeding tickets.

A couple use their navigation system on their phone while driving.

9. Take Full Advantage of Your Navigation System

Your navigation system doesn’t just tell you how to get to your final destination. You can use it to alert you to tolls (or help you avoid them) and to find alternate routes to bypass so you’re not idling in rush hour traffic.

10. Download Maps

Cell service can be spotty on road trips, so if you’re relying on Google Maps or another navigation app like Waze, it’s a great idea to download the map to your destination so you can still get around while you’re offline. is another option that lets you download maps. Of course, you could also use a paper map — but how many people carry them around these days?

11. Have All Your Key Documents

Make sure you have all your important documents with you, including your license, passport (if driving across country borders), registration, proof of insurance and roadside assistance information. Also, make sure everything is up-to-date and is easy to access in the car.

This may sound like an obvious travel tip and not necessarily something that’ll save you money. However, you’ll avoid a pricey traffic ticket if you get pulled over only to realize your license has expired or you didn’t renew your registration.

12. Entertain the Kids with Free Road Trip Apps

You don’t need to invest in a portable DVD player or buy a bunch of new toys to keep the little ones entertained during a long road trip. These 11 free apps for kids are a great solution to keep them distracted.

13. Download Audiobooks and Podcasts

After a while, you’ll want to switch things up from listening to the same songs on your phone or whatever’s playing on local radio.

There are many options to score free or cheap audiobooks — including your local library. If you’re signing up for a new platform, however, make sure to take advantage of free trials. Just don’t forget to cancel your trial later if you don’t want to be charged.

And if you want to check out a personal finance podcast while you’re on the road, we’ve got a few recommendations.

A father jokingly touches his son's cheek as they pack their vehicle for a road trip.

14. Pack Effectively for Your Entire Trip

You can’t bring your whole closet with you, but make sure you’re bringing all the essentials so you don’t end up needing to buy clothes or gear on the road.

For example, if you’re travelling to a cooler climate, make sure you pack a decent jacket. If you’re going somewhere rainy, bring an umbrella. If you’re heading to the coast, remember to take a bathing suit. And while you may be able to rewear the same jeans or hoodie for multiple days before washing, packing extra underwear is a must.

15. Bring Your Own Snacks

Convenience store snacks add up quick. Avoid this expense by bringing your own goodies with you.

You can purchase your favorite snacks in bulk to save money and separate them into individual resealable bags. Make sure to include some healthier options, so you’ve not surviving off cheese puffs and chips the entire time. If you bring a cooler, you can take snacks like grapes and carrot sticks.

16. Bring Your Own Drinks

There’s no reason to spend $2 for a bottle of water at a gas station. Bring bottled water — or filtered water bottles or your favorite drink of choice — so you stay hydrated for less.

Powdered drink packets, instant coffee and tea bags also come in handy during road trips. Many restaurants don’t charge for a mug of hot water, or you could travel with an electric tea kettle.


17. Make Your Own Meals

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean every meal has to come from a restaurant. You’ll cut down on your expenses significantly if you get food from the grocery store and fix some of your meals.

There’s more you can cook over a campfire than just hot dogs and s’mores. Some campsites and parks have access to grills. If you’re staying in a motel, you might have a microwave and mini fridge. Or your digs may include a small kitchenette or full kitchen if you’re staying in a nice hotel or someone’s home.

18. Save on Restaurant Meals

Just like when you’re at home, there are going to be times on your vacation when you just don’t feel like cooking. Here are a few strategies to keep costs low when dining out:

  • Go during breakfast or lunch instead of dinner.
  • Take advantage of happy hours or other specials.
  • Order appetizers rather than entrees.
  • Use coupons or search for deals on Groupon.
  • Get your order to go so you’re not subjected to the wait staff’s attempts to upsell you.
  • Sign up for the restaurant’s app or loyalty program to get special offers and discounts.

19. Avoid ATM Fees

It’s smart to have some cash on hand during road trips in case you go any places that only accept cash or tack on a fee to use a debit or credit card. Make sure you have enough cash before you leave town (and don’t forget a couple rolls of quarters for tolls or doing laundry).

You can avoid ATM fees if your bank is part of an ATM-network, like MoneyPass or Allpoint, where you can use other institutions’ ATMs without a surcharge. You’ll also want to notify your bank that you’ll be travelling so they won’t freeze your account due to suspicious activity.

Another way to get around ATM fees is to get cash back when making purchases at stores with your debit card.

20. Don’t Overpay for Parking

Parking downtown in a major city can get pricey. Cut costs on parking by:

  • Using a parking app like BestParking or SpotHero.
  • Leaving your vehicle at a park-and-ride for free and taking public transportation to get to the city center.
  • Comparing the price of parking with the cost for a ride share.
  • Setting an alarm on your phone so you don’t end up parking past your allotted time and paying more.
A family camps in the woods.

21. Go Camping

You’ll save money by sleeping under the stars rather than staying at a four-star hotel — especially if you’ve got camping gear or can borrow some from a friend.

If you can find a campsite that doesn’t charge fees, that’s even better.

You’ll keep your camping stay below budget by checking for discounts, timing your trip to avoid the busy season and skipping the on-site camp store.

22. Buy a National Parks Pass

If you plan to camp at or visit a few national parks throughout your road trip, you can save money with a national parks pass. It costs $80 but you’ll avoid paying entrance fees at multiple parks and it’s good for the whole year.

An senior pass is only $20 for the year or $80 for lifetime access. There are also free passes for military members, veterans, people with disabilities and volunteers.

You can also save money at national parks by going during free days throughout the year or visiting parks that charge no admission.

23. Couch Surf

Skip lodging costs altogether by crashing on a friend or family member’s couch. If you don’t know anyone you can stay with, you can connect with people on the Couchsurfing app.

24. Get Free Lodging Through WWOOF

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or WWOOF, is an exchange program where you volunteer to work on farms in exchange for free room and board. If you don’t mind engaging in a little manual labor during your road trip, you can cut costs on lodging.

An RV rides along the road at sunset in the desert.

25. Join an RV Club

Enjoy deals on campgrounds, fuel and more when you join an RV club. If you’re taking a recreational vehicle on a road trip, check out this article which compares several national RV clubs.

26. Don’t Overspend at Hotels

While you’ll spend more at hotels than camping or couch surfing, you can still find ways to stay for less. Save money by:

  • Comparing costs on sites like Kayak, Travelocity or
  • Downloading the HotelTonight app for last-minute deals.
  • Join a hotel chain’s loyalty program.
  • Taking advantage of your credit cards rewards points.
  • Staying at a hotel outside the city center for cheaper rates.

27. Engage in Free Fun

Keep your trip entertainment expenses low by finding free things to do throughout your trip rather than getting sucked into expensive tourist traps.

Hiking and biking are good options if you want to keep active (and you’ve got a bike rack for your vehicle). If you have kids, hit up a playground or set up a picnic in the park.

Local newspapers are a great source for discovering free happenings in the places you stop.

28. Skip the Guided Tours

Save money when exploring a new city by fashioning your own tour rather than paying to have a tour guide show you around. Do a little research before you go to create a list of places you want to see. You could also crowdsource recommendations via social media or download a walking tour app like GPSmyCity.

29. Make Your Own Souvenirs

It’s nice to grab a few mementos to remember your trip. They don’t have to all come from pricey gift shops though.

Photos make the perfect free souvenirs. You can create your own digital album or photo slideshow — or you can have your pictures printed out later.

You can also save items like guidebooks, ticket stubs or restaurant to-go menus so you can make a scrapbook. If you’re buying souvenirs from a gift shop, you might want to opt for something like postcards or bumper stickers rather than a snowglobe or sweatshirt if you’re trying to keep costs low.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Work at Home Gaming Customer Support Jobs with Modsquad

Work at Home Mom Revolution - Work at Home Jobs for Moms

Modsquad is hiring work at home gaming customer support in the U.S. These home-based roles are independent contractor positions. Work at home gaming customer support personnel must be willing to commit for a minimum of 90 days. From the company: “If you want the chance to work gigs on the coolest of client projects…then ModSquad is the […]

The post Work at Home Gaming Customer Support Jobs with Modsquad appeared first on Work at Home Mom Revolution.

What is Uber Pass and Is It Right for You?

What happened to those sweet Uber deals where the price of getting from here to there beat every other mode of transportation except walking? The pandemic, that’s what happened.

Tales of fares that are at least double of what was being paid last year are all over social media and in news publications. Someone even told the New York Times that his Uber fare from Midtown Manhattan to John F. Kennedy airport was as much as his flight to San Francisco. And he produced the $250 receipt to prove it.

Could an Uber Pass have helped? Possibly. Let’s explore the benefits of membership.

What is Uber Pass and How it Can Help You Save on Rides

The Uber Ride Pass subscription service first emerged in 2018 in select cities. Now, you can subscribe to Uber Pass in more than 200 cities nationwide.

The ride-share company expanded the program last year during the pandemic, though it closed the program in California due to the ongoing battle with the state, which was trying to require Uber to label its drivers as employees, not contractors.

Uber Pass is a monthly subscription that costs $24.99. For me here in Cincinnati, that’s about the cost of a 20-minute Uber ride, give or take. Uber calculates your price based on time of day and distance of a trip, plus any booking fees and surge pricing depending on location (New York City is way more expensive than Cincinnati, for example) and demand.

Assessing the Benefits of Uber Pass

What do you get for $24.99 a month to make Uber Pass worth the cost? Here are four things to consider:

1. Uber Pass Includes Members-Only Discounted Rides

In general, you will save 10% on Economy rides and 15% on Premium rides. Economy includes UberX, UberXL, Uber Green and Uber Comfort rides while Premium includes only Uber Black, Premier and SUV  rides.

To recoup your $24.99 monthly fee from this benefit alone, you would need a monthly Uber ride expense of about $250. Spend a cent more, and it’ll have already paid for itself.

But discounted rides are not the only perk of Uber Ride Pass.

2. Uber Pass Protects You Against Surge Pricing

Surge pricing is a frustrating concept for riders: When there are more customers requesting rides than there are drivers to give them, Uber charges riders more because the company offers more to drivers to go to surge areas (like a popular bar right after it closes on a holiday).

This — increased demand and fewer drivers — is happening on a larger scale now. While surge pricing is typically limited to popular destinations, often at open and close, riders are seeing it more and more due to the nationwide shortage of Uber drivers.

Uber Ride Pass protects you from this surge pricing. It’s quite a clever strategy from Uber: Uber ups the prices of its rides, then asks you to pay more for its monthly service that protects you against those rising prices. Either way, Uber wins.

That said, if you Uber frequently, you may win too.

3. Uber Pass Makes Grocery Delivery More Affordable

The global pandemic dramatically increased the number of families who rely on grocery delivery from apps like Instacart. Uber was a little late to the game, introducing grocery delivery in limited markets in July 2020 through its partnership with Cornershop.

If you live in an area with this service, Uber Ride Pass may make even more sense, as the $24.99 monthly subscription gets you free delivery on all grocery orders at eligible stores. And a reminder that a good client and person tips even when the delivery is free.

4. Uber Pass is Linked With Uber Eats

Many fully vaccinated people are returning to their pre-pandemic habits, but whether you were a homebody before COVID-19 or you are still not sure about returning to the outside world, food delivery via Uber Eats is a great solution.

But as someone who has placed a lot of Uber Eats orders (… and Door Dash orders … and Grubhub orders …), I can attest to how much more expensive it is to have your food delivered than to just go pick it up. (And a reminder that you absolutely should tip your food delivery drivers, no matter which app you choose!)

Luckily, Uber Pass gets you free delivery fees on all eligible restaurant orders. In fact, with select restaurants, Uber has brokered a deal to save Uber Ride Pass members 5% on their orders.

Should I Get Uber Pass?

A subscription to Uber Pass gets you a lot of perks, but for most average Uber users, it may not be worth the monthly fee.

However, if you don’t have a car and depend on Uber for regular errands, like groceries (whether buying in person or having delivered), doctor’s appointments and nights out on the town, it could be a worthy investment.

Take a look at your account history in the Uber app. If your usage dipped during the pandemic, analyze your 2019 usage. Were you averaging $250 more a month? If so, you should consider an Uber Ride Pass subscription. If not, it probably makes sense to try to save money some other way, like carpooling or public transportation.

Pro Tip

You can save money on Uber rides by using UberPool, where you ride to a shared destination or on a similar route with strangers. Remember to mask up.

If you sign up for Uber Pass and determine it’s not worth the $24.99, Uber lets you cancel anytime; you won’t be locked into a contract.

How Do I Get Uber Pass?

Getting Uber Pass is easy. Just open the Uber app on your phone, click the menu button in the upper left and click on Uber Pass to get started. The rideshare company will automatically charge the credit card you have on file in the Uber app for rides.

Often, Uber will be running some kind of promotion for the Ride Pass. For example, Uber is currently offering me one week free. But because I use Uber maybe once every other month, I think I’ll pass.


Uber Pass vs. Uber Rewards

You may have heard of Uber Rewards, a loyalty program that comes with its own perks, but it’s important to note that this is different from Uber Pass.

Unlike Uber Pass, Uber Rewards is free to join. Open the Uber app to get started; you’ll find the Uber Rewards link right above Uber Pass.

There are four levels of Uber Rewards. You level up by taking more and longer rides.

For every dollar you spend on UberPool, Express Pool or Uber Eats, you’ll earn one point; for every dollar you spend on UberX, UberXL, Uber Green, Uber WAV/Assist, Uber Comfort, Uber Connect, Uber Pet and Uber Select, you’ll earn two points. And for every dollar you spend on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, you’ll earn three points.

Uber Rewards Levels

  • Blue: From 0 to 499 points, you are considered a Blue member. There are no real perks at this level.
  • Gold: From 500 to 2,499 points, you are considered a Gold member. You’ll get priority support and flexible cancellations.
  • Platinum: From 2,500 to 7,499 points, you are considered a Platinum member. You’ll get all the perks of Gold, plus favorite route point boost (earn 10 reward points for every dollar when you take a specific route, like your commute to the grocery each week) and priority airport pickups.
  • Diamond: At 7,500 points, you will top out as a Diamond member. You’ll get all the perks of Platinum, plus premium support, highly rated drivers, premium rides point boost and double points on Uber Eats. Uber also promises complimentary upgrades as available.

Why Did Uber Get So Expensive?

Though unemployment has fallen from the perilous 14.8% at the start of the pandemic (the largest recorded in U.S. history), businesses across the globe and across industries are still facing worker shortages.

Last year, people were stuck at home, wondering if Carole Baskin fed her husband to a tiger. But this year,  fully vaccinated individuals are returning to their ways of life, ready for a good meal, a strong drink and a safe ride home.

Research firm Rakuten Intelligence recently reported that the cost of an Uber ride skyrocketed by 37% year-over-year in April 2021. May was even worse at a 40% increase.

The only problem? The continued employee shortage means companies are not ready to meet the demand, from fast food chains to amusement parks to ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft.

This has created quite the surprise for Uber customers who, before the pandemic, likely grew accustomed to fast pickups and low fares. Now, customers everywhere are facing longer wait times and higher prices for an Uber ride.

For city dwellers who Uber frequently, this can become unmanageable. The same goes for folks who use Uber to get them safely home from parties or bars.

Timothy Moore is a managing editor for WDW Magazine and a freelance writer and editor covering topics on personal finance, travel, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 with publications like The Penny Hoarder,, Ladders, WDW Magazine, Glassdoor, Aol and The News Wheel.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

How to Get a Job with No Experience

Applying for jobs is hard work, especially if the positions you want don’t match your experience. Even if they are entry level jobs.

Fortunately, job postings don’t tell the whole story when it comes to landing a job that you know that you can do. The career path might not be totally clear, but you still want to jump on it.

There are a lot of ways to successfully apply for your dream job even if your resume doesn’t exactly match a job listing. And even if you are applying for a job with no experience no one is going to ding you for that, though you’ll need to go up-and-beyond to land the job. Or at least muster your confidence and sharpen your communication skills.

6 Tips for Landing the Job

We spoke to several career experts to bring you their top tips for job seekers struggling to find work with little-to-no experience and without being a college graduate. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Change How You Look at Postings

The first bit of advice we heard over and over was that job seekers should change the way they look at job postings no matter their work experience. Does this mean using different sites or methods of exploring job opportunities to get your foot in the door or even snag that assistant position?

Not exactly. According to career coach Kyle Elliott, it’s more of a change in mindset and attitude.

“Know that the job posting is a wish list,” says Elliot. “You do not have to have all of the qualifications listed in the job posting. Instead, focus on the experience, knowledge, and skills you do have that align with the job posting.”

In addition to highlighting the skills you have on your cover letter and resume, Elliot also suggests avoiding the time-old mistake he often sees as a career coach. You can still get a job with no experience but you don’t need to continually point out your lack of experience. After all, you are trying to get a job with no experience.

“Consider instead how you can strategically market your non-work experience on your resume. If you’ve started a side hustle, launched a business, or pursued relevant extracurricular activities, you may wish to include them in your career marketing collateral,” says Elliott.

2. Speak Their Language

While keeping things positive is important when it comes to job application success, you’ll also want to get in the habit of mirroring a company’s language on your application.

Are they looking for a team player with a good worth ethic? Talk about that employee of the month award or that you had zero sick days last year.

“Speak the language of your target company,” says Elliott. “Use the job posting as a recipe card to write your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other career documents.”

For example, he says, if you’re targeting a customer success role and previously worked in restaurant service, focus on how you successfully dealt with customers. Explain how you were routinely able to persuade customers to order an appetizer and A dessert to make more money for both you and the restaurant.

Practice translating the story of your previous job experience into something relatable your prospective employer can appreciate. This is even more impressive if you are going after an entry level job.

“While an experience or accomplishment may seem unrelated on the surface, nearly every story can be translated,” says Elliott about the effort to get a job.

3. Work Backwards to Show How You Fit

To expand on this last point, “working backwards” is a great strategy for writing a resume or application for a specific job, especially if it’s one you feel underqualified for. It’s important that you show the ways you will make up for this be it work ethic, education or attitude.

“Your role as a job seeker is to connect the dots between your experience and the target role,” says Elliott. “This makes the hiring manager’s job easier when they’re reviewing your job history.”

Be sure you’re capitalizing on experiences that match what your employer is looking for, but also remember to leave off anything that’s irrelevant. This will weaken your application and torpedo your chances for job interviews.

For example, if you spent a summer picking berries and this doesn’t have a strong tie to the job posting, this might be one of those things you cut. However, if you can show how you gained soft skills  — communication with colleagues and maybe customers  — then you make your experiences more relevant.

The same could be said for volunteer work which brings in no money but plenty of on-the-job education including problem solving skills, plus time management and team building experiences.

By selectively including experiences in your efforts to get a job, you’re not only flaunting your skills as a qualified employee, but also conveying your understanding of the role. Companies want to know they’re hiring someone who understands what they need, which is what you prove by using their posting as a blueprint for your application.

4. Highlight Motivation on Cover Letter

Another great way to get an employer siked about your application is by highlighting your motivation.

If you love the work a company is doing or their mission aligns with your values and goals, you should include this in your application.

“Convey a deeper understanding of the company and more particularly, the industry or sector it’s operating within to show your personal motivation to move into the industry,” suggests networking expert and author J. Kelly Hoey.

This is more than saying something generic about your interest, says Hoey.

“Tell the story of why you’re committed to entering the industry, as your ‘why’ reveals that you’re more than yet another applicant grasping for any job opening.”

5. Remember: Quality Over Quantity

The Internet makes it easy to get caught in the race of applying to as many jobs as you possibly can. You can copy-and-paste a slightly tweaked cover letter and resume dozens of times for dozens of postings in the span of an hour.

But somewhere in the rush, you may find the quality of your applications start to slide, or even that you’re inadvertently applying to jobs you really don’t want. This also hinders success on No. 2. How can you tailor your application when you’re in a hurry?

This is where it helps to keep a simple “quality over quantity” mantra in mind. “Focus on quality over quantity when applying to roles,” says Elliott. “Rather than applying to all of the open roles at a company, select a few key roles that you are well qualified for.”

Not only will being selective help you come off as a more serious candidate to employers, but it will also ensure you’re able to bring your A-game to every application.

6. Grow Your Network

The time spent searching for your next job might feel long and unproductive. But keep this in mind as you hunt for jobs and wait for the job offers to roll in: As you apply for jobs and get job interviews, you are growing a professional network. Recruiters, Hiring managers, and prospective co-workers that you talk with about the jobs are now a part of your network.

“Have patience and make it part of your job application routine to stay in contact with every person who helps you along the way,” says Hoey. “By doing so, you’ll have mentors to turn to when you land the job, plus you’ll stay top of mind with those closest to the job market you’re seeking to enter.”

You never know when new opportunities will present themselves. Go the extra mile to have positive interactions with everyone you encounter on your job search.

Contributor Larissa Runkle specializes in finance, real estate and lifestyle topics. She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder.  

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar