Put Google to Work for Your Job Search

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Google can find job opportunities with specific employers. It can also help you find additional employers who might be good places for you to work.

Google searches and indexes millions of web pages every day, but it doesn't index the whole web every day. So, doing your search every day can show you very different results.

Speak Google's Language

Google is very smart when you know how to help it understand what you want. Here are some tips on speaking the language called Google.

To search on a phrase -

Often your query will include a phrase, like a job title. When that happens, enclose those words inside a set of quotation marks like these job titles:

"medical assistant"
or
"guest services representative"

Without the quotation marks around the words in a phrase, Google will think that you want results with the words scattered anywhere on the pages it finds.

To request pages containing more than one term -

To require Google to find more than one term or phrase on a webpage, add the word AND, in all capitals, in front of each additional term.

So, assume we want to find a job as a medical assistant. To find medical assistant jobs, use this query:

"medical assistant" AND job

Then, Google's search results will include pages that have the phrase "medical assistant" plus the word "job" on them.

If we wanted those medical assistant jobs to be in New York City, we could combine our query terms like this:

"medical assistant" AND job AND "New York City"

To have Google eliminate pages which contain a specific term -

Perhaps our search results contain many part-time jobs, and we're interested only in full-time jobs. So how do we eliminate those part-time jobs? We put a minus in front of the phrase "part-time" like this:

"medical assistant" AND job AND"New York City" -"part-time"

Or, if you want New York City but not the island of Manhattan
"medical assistant" AND job AND"New York City" -Manhattan

As usual with Google and punctuation, don't put a space between the minus sign and the term to be excluded.

To have Google choose pages which contain one term or another term -

Sometimes a job title or skill or location can be described using more than one term, and you want to see all the pages that might contain any of those terms. Or perhaps you are considering two different jobs, and you want to see every page that contains one job or the other job.

For example, the job title "medical assistant" may be spelled completely or abbreviated as "medical asst" on a webpage. Or, possibly you are considering jobs as a "medical assistant" and as a "medical coder" which are completely different jobs.

Use Google's "OR" function -- all caps, again -- and clearly show Google which terms you want by putting your "OR" statements inside a set of parenthesis. Your search query would look like this:

("medical assistant" OR "medical asst") AND job AND "New York City"
or
("medical assistant" OR "medical coder") AND job AND "New York City"
or
("medical assistant" OR "medical asst" OR "medical coder") AND job AND "New York City"

You can combine several terms, as in the last example above, before Google gets confused.

To have Google help you find target employers -

It's smart to have a list of employers where you might want to work, and Google can help you with that too. Start with an employer you know you want to work for. For example, assume you want a medical assistant job at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston.

To have Google search one specific website -

If you want Google to search an employer's website (or your favorite job board), add the word "site" followed by a colon and the site's domain name, with no space between the word "site:" and the search term!

To search for jobs only at MGH, first we need to find the domain name for the hospital.

So, we do a search on the hospital's whole name, like this:

("Massachusetts General Hospital" OR mgh) AND Boston

When we look at the search results, we see that the hospital's domain name is MassGeneral.org.

Now we can tell Google to look only on the MGH website by doing this search:

site:massgeneral.org AND "medical assistant" AND job

Again, no space between "site:" and "massgeneral.org".

To have Google find similar websites -

If, as in our example, MGH was one of your target employers, Google can help you quickly find similar employers, too. Simply type in this query:

related:massgeneral.org

Type in "related:" followed by the domain name of the site you want Google to use as an example of the websites you want it to find. Again, no space between "related:" and "massgeneral.org."

Now you can apply the site: search to those sites, too, to find even more jobs.

For more help fine-tuning Google searches, check out the options on Google's Advanced Search page. Google can be much more useful than we think -- when we take the time to learn its language.
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