The Internet is one of mankind's greatest achievements. But since it's grown to an unmanageable size, using it to hunt for jobs is incredibly daunting for any job seeker. A quick Google search for "jobs in PR" will give you 700,000 results in well under a second! Where do you even start?
A search operator is essentially a set word, phrase or symbol that helps users increase the effectiveness of their search. Below are useful operators for job hunters:
-- Site: This operator specifies a keyword or phrase that must appear at least once on the page. You can also use it to search for particular words or phrases on a chosen website. For instance, "royal family site: http://www.bbc.co.uk."
-- Minus sign: Use a minus sign to remove particular phrases or websites from your search. If you keep getting generic job sites in your results, use the minus sign search operator as follows: "PR jobs -http://www.randomjobsite.com." This will eliminate any results from, or containing, that particular URL.
-- Inurl: This operator specifies that a particular keyword or phrase has to be found in the URL for it to appear in search results. So if you want to work for a digital company, you could try "digital agency inurl:careers."
-- Asterisk: The asterisk is known as the Google wildcard and comes in handy if you're not entirely sure what type of job you want. For example, to look for a wide range of entry level jobs in many sectors, search for "entry level * jobs." Google will fill in the gap for you.
Here's a full list of search operators.
If you're trying to limit your search to a specific area, go to https://local.google.com and type the location where you want to search into the bar on the left.
Once you've done that, type in the kind of business you're looking for (e.g. "restaurant" or "school"). Google will then populate the map with the names, addresses and websites of all local results. Pretty handy, eh?
If you know what company you'd like to work for but aren't sure whether they have jobs available, how do you give them your resume without sending it to a generic email address?
Just use a simple Google search with the company name and position of the person you'd ideally hand your resume to. For example, you could search for "Coca Cola U.K. recruitment manager." More often than not, the first results will include either their company profile (saves you having to trawl through their website) or a LinkedIn profile. Both can be used to get in touch about possible vacancies.
This technique is simple (and pretty obvious), yet it is woefully underused by hopeful job hunters. It really helps to avoid the middleman.
Another of Google's handy tools for those who want to be one step ahead of their fellow applicants is Google Alerts.
Enter a specific term you're interested in, such as "PR careers in London," and set a couple of self-explanatory preferences. Whenever that phrase appears on the Internet and matches your set preferences, you'll be sent an email -- and there's no limit to the number of alerts that can be set up. It's that simple (and useful)!
(Josh Hansen is a contributor to Brazen Careerist. He writes for Workfish, a U.K. recruitment agency that helps people find their dream jobs in PR, communications, social media and events. Follow Workfish on Twitter to keep up with the latest jobs. Brazen Careerist is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. This isn't your parents' career-advice column. Be Brazen.)