Basics of Google Job Searches - dummies

Basics of Google Job Searches

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

Google tries to help you find what you’re looking for on the job front, but sometimes it helps too much by offering too many options.

How to help Google find the right job opportunities

When you type your search terms (keywords) into the Google search bar, the search engine busts its digital chops to deliver your target data, but you have to help. The following functions illustrate:

  • Ignoring your (bad) spelling and capitalization. Fortunately for many of us, spelling doesn’t count much in your search. Google corrects your spelling mistakes and asks you either “Did you mean . . .” or “Showing results for . . ..” Capitalization (or lack of it) usually doesn’t matter.

  • Presuming and — not or. When you type two or more words into its search bar, Google assumes that you want to find pages containing all those words, regardless of how connected or separated they are on a page. In essence, Google thinks you intend to use and between your search terms. In Google’s mind, your instruction looks like this:

    accountant (and) bookkeeper.

    When you’re actually searching for either an accountant or a bookkeeper job, inform Google of your intent by connecting the words with the conjunction or in capital letters. Your instruction then looks like this:

    accountant OR bookkeeper.

    Be sure to capitalize the word OR in this situation. If you don’t, Google sees or as one of the keywords you want it to find.

  • Ignoring meaningless words. Google passes over some of the words in your queries that it considers unimportant. Google ignores words like the, in, of, and for. You need not use such function words and prepositions.

  • Trying to read your mind. Google may be creative in the different versions of the words it finds for you. If you type “administrative assistant jobs,” it may return pages containing “admin assistant jobs” as well as “administrative assistant jobs” because it thinks you probably want those pages as well.

Verbatim stops all that help in Google job searches

If you want to turn off all of Google’s help (such as correcting spelling and ignoring some words), you can ask it to search exactly on the keywords you’ve typed into its search bar.

Google calls this feature Verbatim. Find it by clicking the All Results option in the Search Tools menu above the results on your Google search results page.