While most jobs are now found through network connections, including executive recruiters, most people doing a job search do use online searches for open positions and their company research before job interviews. Since Google is by far the preferred search engine, here are a few tips for making your Google job search results more accurate and useful. Most of these tips will work equally well with other search engines (#4 is Google-specific).
Note: Since use of quotation marks affects searches, phrases of interest are bolded, instead of in quotation marks. If you see quotations marks, you are meant to type them in as part of the example.
- By adding quotation marks around a group of search terms, you tell Google to search for those words together and in order, instead of searching each word separately. This helps you produce a more accurate result.
- You can add the phrase near me to any job search to have it focus on your geographical location.
- If you place the word or in all caps between two words, even within quotation marks, the search will recognize that you are looking for two possible sets of words. So, if you type “Ottawa OR Montreal Director of Marketing jobs”, Google will search for “Ottawa Director of Marketing jobs” and “Montreal Director of Marketing jobs”. This also works for more than two choices, as long as the capitalized or is between words, you can search any number of possible terms. You can also use the word and in all caps the same way.
- Focus your job search on recent additions to the web by using filters to search for both your search terms and the age of the posting. This means you can search for job postings from the last week, or even today. Look under your search bar and click on Settings, then Advanced Search, and use the drop-down menu to indicate the time range you prefer in the last update
- Plan to do multiple searches. Vary your search terms to find hidden results, such as searching an acronym first, then searching the whole words. This helps you find results that might otherwise go overlooked.
- If you get results you don’t want, use a hyphen with no space next to the word you don’t want to appear in your result. This excludes all results that include that term. If you’re looking for hospital administrator jobs but you don’t want those that include a requirement for an accounting degree, search “hospital administrator job” -accounting
- If you’re unsure of a word, or if there are too many possible synonyms that could be swapped in your search string, leave out the word in question and use an asterisk for the missing word. This often adds too many unwanted results, but it can also give you an idea of what search terms might work best for more focused results in your next search. Another use for an asterisk is to place it at the end of a partial word to indicate that you want to search all words that begin with that base. If you wanted to search for hospital management jobs, you could search for ”Hospital Manag* jobs OR positions” and Google will include Manager, Management, Managerial, and more in the search.
- When you know you’re seeking a job with a specific company, you can ask Google to search a particular site or sites by using a colon and the domain name with no spaces. Use a hyphen with no space in front of the colon to indicate sites you want to exclude from the search. For instance, if you are looking for a VP of Sales job outside your current organization and your current employer is Canadian Tire, you’d search by using “VP of Sales position OR job” -site:canadiantire.ca and if you want that same job but you are only interested in working for Canadian Tire, you would search with the term “VP of Sales position OR job” site:canadiantire.ca
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