Using Google Search in your job search

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Job boards can only get you so far in a job search, sometimes you need to bring out the big guns… search engine manipulation.

Now, we know this isn’t hacking but to us, it certainly seems a little bit illegal at times. Search engineers can be manipulated in a number of ways to retrieve varied results in a more efficient way (as long as you know the shortcuts).

In this article we will share four of those shortcuts, offering examples of how to use them to better aid your job search. You might have come across a few before, but if not, don’t worry about committing them to memory just yet, save this article and refer back to it whenever you need to.

The four shortcuts we will cover are:

  • Exact Search
  • Site Search
  • Document Return
  • Date Specific

Each requires a different phrase but once used, your results will be far more specific than before. Let’s start with the exact search.

Exact Search

The exact search method uses quotations around your text to retrieve an exact match on the web page or title.

The phrase is telling the search engine to find everything inside the quotations.

“Frontend Job Developer Job in Berlin” = 701 results

The results will bring up recruitment agencies, job boards as well as career pages from organisations directly.

Site Search

Site searching allows you to search a word and/or phrase on a specific website to bring up more accurate results.

You add your searching term or phrase with quotations alongside the phrase site: followed by the website

“Data Engineer” Berlin site:https://stackoverflow.com/jobs = 1,660 results

What this search is saying to the engine is, that we want results only that show the exact phrase “data engineer” but also include Berlin on the page, but only bring us results from https://stackoverflow.com/jobs

This is really useful to help search through websites quickly in your job search and help uncover companies you might have missed.

Document Return

If you wish to try and retrieve job descriptions directly, you can use the document return method. Using the phrase filetype: followed by PDF or Doc accompanied by your searching terms will bring up documents containing only those phrases (this is good when used in conjunction with date specific which we will cover next).

filetype:pdf “frontend developer” New York = 3,780 results

The downside to this method is that the above search, although brings up nearly 4,000 matches, a lot of them are for developers directly and not the companies, to try and combat this, add phrases used uniquely in job descriptions.

filetype:pdf “frontend developer” Requirements New York = 3,620 results

This searching method is brilliant to get books for free as well, but don’t tell the authors!

Date Specific

The final searching method is date specific. When using this searching method, you return results after a specific date. Use the after: search followed by the year.

This will help bring up more relevant job postings is searching on documents or on a specific site.

after: June 2021 “Senior php developer job” London = 1,960 results

Combining these searching methods together could help you pull together results across the internet that you might have missed in your initial search, especially if you just sat on a job board. Save this article for whenever you wish to return to it and feel free to share it with your network if someone could learn something from us.

Good luck in your job search!

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Eden Whitcomb

Eden Whitcomb

Bringing simplicity to the chaos of recruitment, one educational post at a time.