While there certainly are a great number of highly effective job search resources online, most job seekers miss the value of the most commonly used site on the internet:
There are so many ways that Google can be used creatively for your search and few people use it to it’s potential. You can find jobs, companies, people, and so much more information that can be invaluable to you and put you ahead of the competition.
Check some of them out…
Search for job postings
Sure, there are great sites out there to find job postings… Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired, LinkUp and so many others… however, what many people don’t realize, is that the greatest consolidator of them all is Google itself! Many, many people do realize it, and as a result there are more searches for job listings done on Google each month than all the other job boards combined. A search for something like:
Accounting jobs in Minneapolis
will return results from most of the other job boards, from direct company sites themselves, from recruiters, and from virtually every other source you can think of. Give it a try to see what other jobs you may have been missing!
While Google is invaluable for searching the entire web, few people know that it can be used to search just an individual site too. Through an “X-Ray” search, you can find all the relevant information you’re looking for on any individual website by using site: as a search operator.
site:linkedin.com “greater minneapolis” “general mills” “finance manager” –profiles
…will bring people profiles of people that are Finance Managers that currently, or previously worked at General Mills in the Minneapolis area. Results include profiles whether they are in your network or not! If you don’t have a lot of connections in LinkedIn and don’t get a great number of results from your LinkedIn profiles, this is an invaluable help when you’re looking for a contact in one of your target companies.
You can also use it to search for relevant jobs on company sites that may not have search capabilities of their own. For example…
site:careers.unitedhealthgroup.com java minnesota
…will deliver job postings from United Health Group’s careers site that include Java programming language in any of their Minnesota locations.
Get creative! You can use the site: operator to dig into any individual website to gain valuable information for your search.
Did you get a referral or found a name online of someone you’d like to connect to, but have no contact information and don’t know how to reach them? Google can be a great resource there as well! Google their name, and company domain, and it’s a good chance you’ll find information somewhere online that includes their email address and possibly their direct phone number as well. If trying to contact a Bob Smith at Honeywell, you might try…
“Bob Smith” “honeywell.com”
Since it’s easy to deduce that their email address is very likely to be the same domain as the company website, including the website domain will likely produce the results your looking for. It doesn’t find what you’re looking for every time, however, my own experience finds an address more than half the time. Often, I find a direct phone number in the same way.
When preparing for an interview or networking meeting, learning what you can about a company is very helpful in fostering good discussion and generating intelligent questions. Everyone knows to look through their website, however, for most companies, a great deal of additional information can be found online as well. News stories, finance information, chatter from employees, customers, vendors and other sources too. Go above and beyond most other candidates and be informed!
When you meet contacts or have an interview, it can foster great conversation if you know something about the person you will meet. Google them! You may find great information from their LinkedIn profile, their Facebook page, blogs they’ve written, comments they’ve made on other sites, or any number of other resources. Did you go to the same school? Are you involved in the same hobbies? Do you both have interest in the same kind of music? These are all things that can foster rapport when brought up subtly in conversation.
Seem intrusive to you? Consider that over 80% of recruiters and hiring managers report that they will Google candidates before deciding to make a job offer. They know about you. Level the playing field!
There are so many ways Google can be used creatively for your job search. Take advantage of the valuable information easily available to you! Google your way to your next job!