Secrets of Google Search to Land Jobs Faster

Published: Apr 07, 2014 By Heather Krasna

Secrets of Google Search to Land Jobs Faster

By Heather Krasna

Most people think of Google, Bing and other search engines as general research tools, but they can also provide a competitive advantage in your job search if you know how to use them. Here are some well-known and little known Google search secrets to help accelerate your job search.

  1. Google yourself—and set up a Google alert. Many employers will do a search of your name in Google and/or LinkedIn to do a preliminary background check, even before deciding whether to contact you for an interview. If you have no social media or online presence, this can be significantly negative, especially in a field that requires knowledge of newer technology. If you have a negative presence—for example, posts only related to personal interests, or posts that reveal alcohol or drug use or other controversial issues, you can lose an interview opportunity. By contrast, if you deliberately post positive content, especially on sites with strong search engine optimization like LinkedIn, you can make a good impression and win an interview.

  2. Google the companies and industries you are most interested in and set up Google alerts and news feeds. Being informed of the newest information pertaining to your industry is another way to distinguish yourself in an interview. Google News is a good resource as well.

  3. Create a target list of your favorite companies by using Google “Related” searches. To do this, find the web address for one of your target companies, go to, and type the following into the search box: Related: most cases, this search will generate a list of other similar companies.

  4. Generate a list of similar, boutique/niche job boards by using the Google related search. Use the web address of a job board you use, and type into the search field: Related: to get a similar list of other job boards. For example, if you do a search such as Related: you will get a long list of nonprofit job boards.

  5. X-Ray search. Using this type of search, you can ask Google to do a search within a specific website. One of the most useful uses of X-Ray search is to search through LinkedIn to generate names and contact leads. To do this, type in the Google search box: site: and then follow with a list of additional search terms. In order to make this work, it’s worth knowing a bit of Boolean search. These search techniques allow you to get an exact phrase (by using quotation marks), to find a combination of phrases (using parentheses), and to exclude specific words (by using the minus sign “-“). To get names of people rather than a directory of people you can exclude directory results by typing in –dir. For example, to find the name of a recruiter at a certain company, you can search Google as follows: site: (recruiter OR “talent acquisition”) (“company name”) (pub OR in) (-dir).

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