Discover Hidden Job Opportunities with Boolean Search
Want to discover hidden opportunities? Use Google and Boolean search strings! It’s a quick way to find open roles that aren’t listed on popular job portals liked LinkedIn or Indeed.
For many people, job hunting starts and ends with scrolling through job listings on platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn. But here's the thing - not all job openings can be found on these portals!
Certain job opportunities may be hidden within company career sites because they were never posted or scraped by sites like Indeed. But with a few Google search tricks, you can uncover them.
Whether you're a newcomer to the job market or seeking to change paths, mastering the fundamentals of Boolean search can greatly enhance your chances of discovering the right opportunities for you.
In this article, I'll guide you through the world of Boolean search and show you how to use them on Google. Don't worry about it being a little technical, because I'll provide step-by-step instructions to help you enhance your job search experience.
Understanding Boolean Search
Boolean search enables job seekers to create more precise search queries by combining keywords with operators, namely AND, OR, and NOT.
These operators help to refine search results, making them more relevant to your needs and preferences.
Using AND narrows your search by combining terms. For instance, if you are looking for a role that involves both “marketing” and “management,” you would type:
Marketing AND Management
This gives you results that include both terms, making sure to filter out listings that only have one of the keywords.
OR broadens your search to include results that have one of the specified terms. If you are open to roles in either “sales” or “marketing,” you could type:
Sales OR Marketing
This will provide results that include either “sales” or “marketing,” maximizing the range of job listings you receive.
NOT exclude certain words from your search. For example, if you are looking for marketing jobs but not interested in “sales,” you can type:
Marketing NOT Sales
This will remove any results that have the word “sales” associated with “marketing.”
Imagine you are looking for an entry-level marketing role, but you are not interested in sales. Your Boolean search string could look like this:
"Entry Level" AND Marketing NOT Sales
This search will yield listings specifically for sites that will have Entry Level and Marketing keywords in them, without the word ‘sales’.
This is a simple way of how the search operators work on Google, so let’s build the list of job titles and companies.
Building Your Target Job Titles and Companies List
Creating a well-organized list of job titles and companies is essential to formulating a successful Boolean search, especially when you're aiming to find a job via Google.
Start by brainstorming the various job titles that align with your skills, experience, and career goals. If you’re a marketing enthusiast, your list might include titles like “Marketing Coordinator,” “Content Creator,” or “SEO Specialist.”
Steps to Create a Comprehensive List:
Identify Core Competencies: List down the skills and experiences you possess. If you’re a recent graduate with a degree in computer science, consider titles like “Junior Developer” or “Entry-level Programmer.”
Research Industry Terminology: Explore industry-related websites, forums, and job boards to identify the common titles used in your field. For example, a “Graphic Designer” might also be listed as “Visual Designer” or “Design Specialist.”
Include Varied Seniority Levels: Depending on your experience, consider including entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level titles in your list to widen your search scope.
List Target Companies: Identify companies you aspire to work for, considering factors like company culture, values, and growth opportunities. Research companies in your desired industry or location and add them to your list.
Example of a Job Titles and Companies List:
Job Titles: Junior Developer, Programmer, Developer, Software Engineer
Companies: Google, Microsoft, Oracle
Once you have your list of job titles and companies you want to target, it's important for you to understand how the URL will come into play and how the site: operator can become your new best friend during these searches.
Leveraging URL in Your Search
The URL can help in focusing your search on specific sites or excluding certain sites from your results, thus offering a more tailored search outcome.
Site-Specific Searches: Use the “site:” operator followed by the website’s URL to focus your search on specific websites. For example, if you want to find marketing jobs listed on a company’s site, you could type site:companywebsite.com Marketing.
Excluding Websites: If you wish to exclude job listings from a specific site, use the “-site:” operator. For example, -site:linkedin.com will exclude all results from LinkedIn.
URL Keywords: Sometimes, URLs contain keywords that can help in refining your search. For instance, using inurl:careers will yield pages where the URL contains the word ‘careers,’ which is common in job listing pages.
To search for Content Writer roles specifically on Indeed, type this into Google:
site:indeed.com/jobs "Content Writer"
Instead of using "site:indeed.com," try using "site:indeed.com/jobs" when searching for posted roles on Indeed. As Indeed is showing all jobs under /jobs. This will help you narrow down the search results. Of course, feel free to use any other domain in this example. Just make sure you know how their URL is created.
And if you're looking for content writing opportunities in Boston, you can check out the Indeed website and add the keyword Boston into your search string.
Note: You can remove intitle: operator if you need to get more results.
site:indeed.com/jobs intitle:"Content Writer" Boston
If you run this search string in Google, you'll find a similar position just like the one below. You can see how they're showing their location: Boston, MA.
To be more specific with your search, just go ahead and use "Boston, MA" in your search string. This will give you more accurate results.
site:indeed.com/jobs intitle:"Content Writer" "Boston, MA"
Sure, you can definitely search on Indeed and find the same results. But sometimes, having a complex string with more keywords makes it easier to find more job roles quickly.
site:indeed.com/jobs (intitle:"Content Writer" OR intitle:"SEO Specialist" OR intitle:"Technical Writer") "Boston, MA"
How to Target Specific Companies
When you come across a job posting, let’s say from Microsoft, and you visit their career website and click on any role you like, you’ll notice that the job URL looks something like this:
Now, let's break it down into three parts.
The first part is the one we're interested in for our search string: https://jobs.careers.microsoft.com/global/en/job/
Since many of those roles are under this URL, you'll be targeting it. But sometimes you can just use https://jobs.careers.microsoft.com/global/ or even https://jobs.careers.microsoft.com/ in your search string. We are using the last URL in our examples to get more results.
The second part, which is a number like 1631083, represents the unique identifier for that specific role. We can ignore it for our purposes.
Lastly, we have the third part, which in this case is "Principal-Software-Engineer." This is the part we can target using the "inurl:" operator.
Let me show you how it works.
This will help you find all the roles on the Microsoft career site indexed by Google.
Target specific roles, let’s say all roles with Technical Support Engineer title.
site:jobs.careers.microsoft.com "Technical Support Engineer"
You can even target jobs with specific keywords that are in the Title or URL of the page by using one of these methods:
For Page Title site:jobs.careers.microsoft.com/global/en/job/ intitle:manager
For keyword in URL site:jobs.careers.microsoft.com/global/en/job/ inurl:manager
By incorporating this technique, even those new to Boolean Search methods can strategically navigate through Google’s limitations and utilize URLs to pinpoint the most relevant job listings, leading to a more effective and efficient job search.
Navigating Google’s Limitations
When diving into the world of job searching via Google, being aware of its limitations is crucial, especially for those new to Boolean search.
Google, although it's powerful and broad, has some limitations that can affect the accuracy of your search results.
Special Characters: Google usually ignores special characters. This means that if you are trying to narrow down your search using characters like $, #, or @, Google will likely not include them in the search.
Word Limitations: Google limits the number of words in a query. Crafting concise, focused, and clear search strings is essential to avoid omitting crucial terms from your search. Google limits queries to 32 words!
Keyword Specificity: Due to Google’s expansive nature, using vague or general terms might yield extensive and irrelevant results. Therefore, it’s essential to be as specific as possible with your keywords.
You should also know that there's actually this thing called Filter Bubble that can have an impact on your search results. So, if you're looking for a job outside the country, this article “Filter Bubble: How It Affects Your Search?” can help you get more results!
Strategies to Overcome Google’s Limitations:
Use Quotation Marks: When you are searching for an exact phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For instance, “Content Writer” will yield results specifically for content writer positions.
Be Specific with Keywords: Use specific job titles, skills, and locations. Instead of using ‘marketing,’ use ‘digital marketing manager.’
Refine Your Search: Continuously refine your search based on the results you are getting. Remove irrelevant results by using the NOT operator, and keep narrowing down your search until you get the most suitable listings.
Practice Makes Perfect
For beginners in Boolean search, the process can appear complex at first. However, leveraging Google's search capabilities can become natural with regular practice and experimentation.
By mastering Google's limitations and strategically incorporating URLs, job seekers can tap into a world of opportunities that align with their career goals, even without prior experience in Boolean search.
Discover endless possibilities for your career!
Discovering Hidden Opportunities with Boolean Search
You're probably familiar with popular job search websites like Indeed and LinkedIn, but did you know there are other niche websites that might be a better fit for your career goals?
The thing is, targeting each one individually takes up a lot of time and may not be very effective. Let me show you a simple way to target multiple sites with just a few search strings.
Here are the steps you need to follow: