Googling for the Efficient Job Hunter

Searching for a job has evolved beyond circling ads in the “Help Wanted” section of the morning paper; even driving around town looking for “Now Hiring” signs is an anachronism in these gas-conscious techno-communicative times. Era-savvy job hunters know the benefits of searching the internet for available positions, but how does one wade through the bottomless pond of work from home scams and “adults only” positions to find a few relevant results?

The Wonder of Search Operators

Making use of the instantaneous spread of knowledge is key to keeping up with the twenty-first century job market as it spirals into unprecedented territory. As fast as job openings are posted, so too must the unemployed be in answering the call; the law of supply and demand becomes painfully apparent here. Google offers a variety of tools (AKA search operators) to help the web-wary searcher tailor his or her potential employment list, and even the ability to stream those results instantly as they’re being posted from the employer end. Here’s a step by step example using Google and Craigslist to return a more concise list than exclusive use of either service (note: brackets are used to denote exact search field entries and do not need to be included in the search):

1. Visit http://google.com to begin a search.

2. Typing [organic farm jobs] alone will yield an entire internet’s worth of results, including articles, anecdotes, advertisements, and other unrelated content; to narrow it down, focus the search to a specific site, such as Craigslist.

3. Follow the keywords “organic farm jobs” with “site:*.craigslist.org.” Substitute the desired region for the asterisk (ex: “site:boston.craigslist.org”), or leave it as a wildcard to search the entirety of Craigslist. The resulting search phrase should read [“organic farm jobs” site:*.craigslist.org].

4. Click “Search” to view the results, or watch them appear instantly depending on Google’s settings.

4. On the left side of the resulting page, click “Show more search tools.”

5. Limit the search to time-sensitive results, such as those from the past week, month, or a custom range. Setting the results to “Latest” will make the search a live feed of results, updating itself instantly when a new page is created within the criteria. This is especially helpful when set to a home page or sent to a mobile device so as never to miss an opportunity.

Getting to know the source site’s method of listing its jobs helps to form relevant search keywords. In the case of Craigslist, the use of poignant key phrases such as “Telecommuting is ok,” helps freelance contractors find relevant online jobs without searching each Craigslist region page by page. The “gigs” section of Craigslist can be searched using the keyword phrase “-no pay” to exclude results for volunteer jobs. Simply searching for “$13” helps to show only those results that list that particular pay rate (but beware, as not all posts list wages).

Google has compiled a useful list of its different search operators, with additional information available on Google’s Wikipedia page.  Other search engines offer similar services if Google is not preferred; the key is to research so as to fully understand how to best utilize the available tools.

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2 Comments

  1. Joe
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    This is amazing! I didn’t know Google could do these things!

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