How to Search

The way you structure a online search influences the results you get. In other words, where you search, what terms you input, and how you narrow the results mean you may find too many listings or none that fit your search. Make a plan before you start.

What do I want to find, exactly?

Before you get online, know what you want to find. What kind of work, where, how recently an ad has been listed, and other questions matter so you get true results. You are making a keyword list.

How do I stay organized with a job log?

  • Keep a record — a log to keep notes of when and how you found it. Record the terms you used (Example: searched Customer Service Representative, Service Tech, and Customer Assistance on 5/20/2020 in limited to new postings in last 7 days. Pick a log from these:

Job Log Template 1 
Job Log Template 2
Job Log Template 3

  • Keep a copy of the job ad. It may be removed from the internet when you return to see it again, so save a copy and not just the website link.
  • Set up alerts so the job listing system will email you when new jobs are posted that match your criteria. An alert in Google and others in specific websites can save you time.
  • Create a notebook or electronic file. Include your record of search terms and places, your activity log, copies of the job ad, and add other documents as you develop your resume, cover letter, and communications.

What if I am searching for information about a company?

What steps should i take to be safe online?

Watch for signs of unsafe listings. Some signs are tricky, such as an ad that urges you to act immediately. Other signs are clearer. For example, if an ad asks you to send money, provide your social security number or credit card information, do not do it! If an ad does not tell you the name of the company, stop. Be a detective and look for the same ad in other places.

  • We suggest using the Department of Labor job list as the DOL verifies that the listing company is legitimate before they will allow the posting to be shown.
  • With any job ad, go to the website for the company that is hiring and make an application there.
  • Companies such as Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Craigslist, and others want you to apply through them. Go to the company website instead. Why? You will reduce your chances of your information being hacked or exposed when you send to the the final recipient rather than through a gathering site such as the ones listed.
  • Always logout of a website and out of the computer once you are finished. Do not leave traces of your information on the site.
  • Many HR experts recommend that you do not put your street address on proposals (resumes) — just have your name with city, state, and zip code. You can provide all information later in the hiring process.

Keep the above information handy while searching online. You can download it here.

How do I spot an unsafe job listing?