Online Job Search Techniques

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There're many ways to conduct online job search. However, many job seekers only think of posting resumes and searching opportunities on big job sites like,, and etc. There's nothing wrong with it, but according to a survey conducted by, of all hires in 2002, only 3.6% come from, 1.5% come, and 0.5% come from Morever, many companies only advertise their job openings on their own company websites and some other speciality websites. Wouldn't it be nice if you can use search engines to find these opportunities that are ignored by other job seekers?

Before we go any further of how to conduct online job search, I would like to talk a little bit about Boolean Logic. If you are a math or a computer student, you may have already known it. Actually, it's very powerful, yet simple to use in search engines. The following are some of the most popular Boolean operators, modifiers and field search commands.

  • AND: Collects documents that include all terms.

    Google default operator.

    Example: job AND nursing

  • OR: Collects documents that include at least one of the terms.

    Example: nurse OR rn

  • NOT Collects documents that include the term that precedes it but not the

    term that follows it.

    AltaVista: AND NOT; Google: - (e. g. –submit); All The Web: ANDNOT

    Example: manager AND NOT sales

  • NEAR Collects documents with both terms that are within close proximity to

    each other (usually 10 terms or less).

    AltaVista ONLY. Useful for finding contacts within a specific location.

    Example: manager NEAR marketing

  • Quotation Marks “” Specify an exact phrase

    Example: “SAS programmer”

  • Parenthesis () Define a search subset

    Not used in Google

    Example: (iowa OR ia) AND (manager OR director)

  • Wildcard Symbol * Matches any type and number of characters.

    AltaVista ONLY.

    Example: manag*

  • url: Look for keywords in the document URL.

    Google: inurl

    Example: url:position AND ibm

  • title: Look for keywords in the document title.

    Google: intitle

    Example: title:position AND merk

  • link: Look for pages linked to a particular URL.


  • host: Scans a specific computer or host of a URL.

    Example: host:mit. edu

  • domain: Looks for pages within a specific domain like .com, .org, . edu.

    Example: AND nurse

  • like: Looks for pages related in content

    AltaVista: like:

    Google: related:


  • filetype: Looks for pages with a specific file type attached or documented

    Example: filetype:xls OR filetype:pdf

  • Now, let's say you're a pharmacist and is looking for a new job in boston area. So you can go to and conduct online job search using the following string:

    url:job AND pharmacist AND contact AND position AND boston

    If you use, you don't need to type in AND since it's default operator in Google. So you can just use:

    inurl:job pharmacist contact position boston

    Now look at some more complicated online job search examples:

    (url:(job* OR opening* OR position* OR employ*) OR title:(job* OR opening* OR position* OR employ*)) AND send AND benefits AND opening AND EOE AND contact AND “SAS programmer" AND boston

    ("resumes@" OR “jobs@" OR “careers@" OR “hr@" OR “human resources") AND (apply OR “send us" OR “send your" OR submit OR “fax us" OR “fax your") AND ("organic chemist" OR medicinal chemist") AND (synthesis OR synthesize)

    Now you see the power of online job search? Try different key word combinations and use them in different search engines. Some links you find might be junk links, but keep trying, as long as you pick up right key word combination, you should be able to find many job opportunities that are buried in deep deep web and are ignored by other job seekers.

    Happy searching.

    Yulin Peng is a recruiting researcher and the founder of The website provides employment guide to job seekers and recruiting research services to recruiters.


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