There are some very simple techniques you can apply using Google to make your job search easier and more efficient. Effective use of Google search tools can provide you with invaluable intelligence on companies you are considering, help you find job postings, and locate potential contacts within your target companies.
One really valuable and easy tool to make use of is the Google “Alerts” feature. You can set up an alert on virtually anything you want: company names, job titles, or functional topics. Google will send an alert email to your inbox when it finds new results matching your search. If you are an executive or professional with some public visibility, you might set up an alert on your name or your company’s name, to keep tabs on what is being said about you. In all of your alerts, you’ll want to be fairly narrow in your focus to avoid huge quantities of results, many of which may not be particularly relevant.
A Google search tool that I really like is one that allows you to search a specific site rather than the entire Internet. This is particularly useful when you’d like to find someone on LinkedIn, and may allow you to see things that the LinkedIn search engine would not show you. To do a site-specific search of LinkedIn, structure your search string beginning like this:
Follow that with the terms you would like to search on, such as:
site:www.linkedin.com Microsoft “Sales Executive” “Seattle”
site:www.linkedin.com “Duke Energy” “Engineering Director” “Atlanta”
site:www.linkedin.com IBM “Software Development” “Los Angeles”
Your search will bring up numerous potential contacts. Of course, with a little experimentation, you’ll be able to refine your searches to make more of the results returned directly relevant to your needs. You can also use this technique on corporate websites, professional association sites, job boards, and other websites to find contacts, gather industry information, or identify job listings–use your imagination! For example:
yielded 83 engineering positions.
This kind of search is commonly referred to as an “X-ray” search for good reason. It allows you to quickly and easily find information that might otherwise be very difficult to find.