We recently saw a job vacancy being advertised on one of our clients' websites. It caught our attention because even though it was a great role and one that the company really needed filled, it was hardly noticeable on the web. The company did not want to spend money on advertising on a job board, so the only way this job opportunity could be found was via the search engines.
We have been interviewing graduates for a number of trainee positions at Liberty over the last year and many of them have expressed their difficulty in finding a job advert that didn't have a horde of other candidates interested in the role. Just looking at reed.co.uk today, a search for marketing jobs in Cardiff displays vacancies that have had 50-100 applications already.
A search query to find rare jobs
Many people use search engines when looking for jobs, particularly when trying to find those that are relevant to their career and in their desired or current location. This is when we had the idea to create a customisable search query to assist job hunters in finding those vacancies that are hidden away:
[location1 OR location2 OR location3] [type1 OR type2 OR type3] [job OR jobs OR vacancy OR vacancies OR role OR roles OR career OR careers]
Simply copy and paste the above search query into Google and replace each instance of "location" with suitable locations and each "type" with the types of jobs you are interested in. If Google thinks a web page contains relevance to at least one of the locations, one of the job types and one of the words in the third set of brackets then it will appear in the results.
Here's an example for someone looking for jobs in and around Cardiff relating to search engine optimisation and online marketing:
[cardiff OR "south wales"] ["online marketing" OR "internet marketing" OR seo OR "search engine optimisation"] [job OR jobs OR vacancy OR vacancies OR role OR roles OR career OR careers]
For the above example, for a web page to appear in the results, it has to contain relevance to at least one of the two locations, at least one of the four job types and at least one of the following words: "job", "vacancy", "role", "career" or one of their plural forms. The words do not have to appear in that order - as long as they appear somewhere on the page, they will show up in the results. So in the above example, possible web pages that could show up include:
- cardiff + seo + jobs (e.g. "Cardiff SEO Jobs"),
- cardiff + "internet marketing" + vacancy (e.g. "Vacancy: Internet Marketing, Cardiff"),
- "south wales" + "online marketing" + role (e.g. "We have an online marketing role available. Based in South Wales, the company…"), and so on.
A few points to take into account
- The square brackets aren't necessary, as Google will show the same number of results whether or not they are there, but it makes it easier to keep track and make sense of each part of the query.
- If one of the locations or job types is longer than one word (e.g. "online marketing"), put quote marks around it, otherwise the query will not function properly and the words might be searched for separately rather than together.
- The search query is likely to bring up a lot of results, some of which might not be relevant, useful or current, but don't be afraid to dig deep and scan through numerous pages of results. Page 1 of the results might contain the most relevant results according to Google, but you might find something more suitable a few pages on.
- Other ways to reduce the number of results are to take out some of the location or job type criteria, which will also narrow it down more specifically, and to select "pages from the UK" below the search bar, which will also eliminate international jobs that might match closely to your location (e.g. South Wales, UK and New South Wales, Australia).
- It may look complicated but it's really a way to simplify the search process. Referring to the above example, it would save the user implementing individual searches for "seo jobs cardiff", "seo vacancies cardiff", "seo careers cardiff" and so on, as all of these and more would be covered in just the one search query.
This is completely customisable, so don't be afraid to experiment. We have only included a few examples of synonyms of jobs and have not taken into account words and expressions that might differ depending on one's career type (e.g. internships and apprenticeships). If you lose track of what you've done, just start over with the original search query and add, delete and amend as appropriate.
We hope that it helps in your job search. At the very least, you might find a new job board or recruitment agency site to keep an eye on or to send your CV to. However you could also find a job advertised on a website that very few people have noticed and applied for, like the one we found on our client's website.
Best of luck with your job search!