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Guide to Using Google for Your Job Search

By Susan P. Joyce

Google is clearly the dominant search engine in use today and one of the most important tools for you to use in your job search. While no search engine, not even Google, covers 100% of the content of the Web, Google is very powerful and flexible, even providing tools to help you keep track of what's happening online.

Google continues to add new tools and services as well as increasing the number of websites included in their database ("index") of Web content for all of us to use. Here are some ways that you can leverage Google's contents and tools.

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11 Ways to Use Google for Your Job Search

We cannot cover all of the tools Google offers, but we'll cover the ones we think are the most useful to job seekers:

  1. Google Search Ground Rules -
    Understand 5 basic ground rules of Google Search.
  2. Google-izing your job search -
    How to structure your queries so Google finds what you want.
  3. Finding Jobs Using Google -
    Figuring out how to find the right jobs using Google.
  4. Setting Up Google Alerts -
    Set up Google Alerts and let Google keep you informed about the topics that are most important to you.
  5. Using Google Alerts for your Job Search
    5 ways to leverage Google Alerts to help you in your job search.
  6. 50 Google Searches to Avoid Layoffs and Weak Employers
    Put Google to work scouring the news for information about your employer (if you have a job) or potential employers (if you are job hunting).
  7. Google Alerts to Monitor Your Reputation
    Reputation management with Google Alerts as your first line of defense.
  8. Defensive Googling
    Helps you manage your reputation.
  9. Finding the Jobs on Employer Websites
    If they postings are there, Google can help you find them when they seem to be well-hidden.
  10. Finding Hidden Jobs on Dot-Jobs Websites
    Leveraging the little-known top level domain, dot-jobs (.jobs) where many jobs are listed.
  11. Google-Plus
    Google Plus is Google's social network, and it is an excellent place to tell Google everything you want it to show recruiters and employers about you.

Be Find-Able

In addition to finding job postings, understanding how Google (and search) works can make it easier for employers to find you. Read Job-Hunt's Guide to Personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for details on how to be find-able.

Protect Your Online Reputation

In the era of Google and social networks, knowing what recruiters will find about you in a search is important.  And, so is knowing how to fix problems you may find (your problems or those of someone else with the same name). Read Job-Hunt's Guide to Online Reputation Management for more tips.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management since 2012, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and onGoogle+.