Google has many tools that can make it easy to find and target the jobs and information you need to run ahead of the pack at the companies you want to pursue. Used wisely, some of these tools can help you find job postings, company news, contact information and many other valuable pieces of information that can help you set yourself above the crowd.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Do an X-Ray! Google allows you to use it’s search engine not only to search the entire internet, but also to do a search on a specific site alone. This is usually referred to as an “X-Ray” search. In your search string in the Google search box, you can simply specify the site you want to search, using a format like:
You can then add whatever additional search terms you may want to add. For example, say you don’t have many connections on LinkedIn yourself, so you don’t get many results when you do a search within LinkedIn’s own search tool. Perhaps you are looking for a company contact in your job search… like an Engineering Manager at Seagate Corp. in the Minneapolis area. You could enter:
site:www.linkedin.com “Greater Minneapolis” “Engineering Manager” Seagate
Among many directory pages and others, you will also find the public profiles on LinkedIn of anyone that has “Engineering Manager” and “Seagate” in their profile that’s registered in the “Greater Minneapolis-St Paul” area. With more sophisticated parameters you can eliminate the non-profile results, however, this can get you started.
You can also do an X-Ray search of specific companies you may be interested in pursuing, to find information on their sites that you are seeking… more on that next.
Set up Alerts! Google Alerts are an excellent way to be made aware of new information that gets posted, as it occurs. Perhaps you are a Programmer that specializes in Java development and one of your target companies is United Health Group (UHG) in the Minneapolis area. You can set up Alerts to notify you of any news that gets published about UHG, and Alerts to let you know as soon as a relevant new position is posted on their site.
For news, you can simply set up an Alert searching “United Health”, and anything posted anywhere with that string will trigger a notification to you.
For jobs, you can set up an Alert using an X-Ray search of their site’s career pages. As an example, if you are looking for Java related position that they post on their own site for Minnesota locations you can set up an Alert string like:
site:careers.unitedhealthgroup.com minnesota java
Most companies post positions on their own site before they are posted on any external job boards, and many times they don’t post a position on external job boards at all. The notification you will get of the new posting will make you aware of it before most everyone else!
You can set up as many Alerts as you’d like, for as many companies as you’d like, and with as many variations of search words as you’d like… be creative! You can also choose whether to have them emailed to you (as they happen, or once per day), or have them sent to Google Reader…
Consolidate your information!
Google Reader is an excellent way to keep track of all this information, and more. Google Reader allows you to keep track of new postings on sites you’re interested in following… like this blog! (Click on the “Subscribe to…” “Posts” icon in the right column of this page) It’s also a great place to direct all of your Google Alerts so that you can read and follow up on them all from one central place. Google Reader receives and posts information as soon as it’s found by Google and keeps you up to date without filling up your email box.
Efficiently finding information from your target company sites, setting up automatic notifications, and reading all the relevant updates easily in one place makes Google an extremely powerful online resource for your job search that most job seekers don’t use. Be ahead of them all by taking advantage of the power available to you!
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