You have your resume ready (if not, check out our class)

You have your LinkedIn profile ready (check out our class)

You’ve got your social media secured and cleaned up

Now, where the heck do you FIND the job you want?

Welcome to your new temp job: Job Detective.

As we talked about earlier, job searching used to be a “simple” matter of finding and opening you’re a good fit for and applying to it.





First, let’s talk about public job openings.

There are 3 general places you’ll find public job openings: Job boards, websites, and search engines.


Job Boards

Job boards, sometimes called job aggregators, are the place that most people go to start their job search. It should be yours as well because there is a wealth of jobs that need to be filled there. However, it is vitally important you don’t make it your only source for job leads!


Because the vast majority of jobs that get filled do NOT come from posted openings. (more on that later)

There are multiple boards to consider, but we’re going to focus on the major ones.

  • LinkedIn Jobs. Yes, LinkedIn is more than a professional social network, it’s a place that recruiters and HR staff go to post jobs and find candidates. Your profile on LinkedIn doubles as your resume, so it should contain everything necessary to convey what you’ve accomplished. The reason we rank it #1 is that you’re already there! Sometimes you can even apply with just your profile.
  • Indeed – The current reigning champion as far as job sites go. You have the ability to set up custom alerts to let you know when jobs that match your criteria become available.
  • Glassdoor – The great thing about Glassdoor beyond the job feature is that you can see what others think about working at the company. These reviews give you valuable insights into the inner workings of an organization (and help you decide if you want to work there)
  • ZipRecruiter – An up-and-coming resource because it’s business-friendly.
  • LinkUp and SimplyHired – Two lesser-known resources for jobs with up-to-date listings.
  • Monster and CareerBuilder – Once the top dogs, but now they’re second tier. Never hurts to check them out though.
  • Facebook Jobs – Check out the pages of company’s you’re researching or just browse what is in your area.

Specialized Sites:

Other resources to consider:

  • Alumni job boards – These are not usually accessible to the general public, however, if you’re an alumnus of a college or university their career services office might have job posts that you can access.
  • CraigsList – Much like a traditional ‘want ads’ section of a newspaper.
  • Recruiting Staffing Agency sites. For more technical and staff positions, your local staffing agency is a good place to visit. is an exceptional resource for technical jobs in this category.
  • State and local job agencies. Leave no stone unturned!

Company Websites


Job posts often cost money, so companies will often only post on their websites. Even though they’re public, they can also be considered hidden jobs because unless you look you might never find them.

If you’re looking for a job in a specific geographic area, start by listing the employers that you might want to work with and visit their websites. Often they will have a link directly on their main page for open positions, frequently this is also placed on the ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ menu. Dig a little deeper to find their HR subpage if you have to.

If you’re uncertain what employers might be a good fit, visit the local business journals and chambers of commerce to find out what businesses are in the area you’re looking at. At a state-wide level, there are often ‘Best Places to Work’ rankings that might direct you to companies that are not only hiring but also great places to work.

Search Engines

Let’s be honest, we might say search engines but we mostly mean Google. You can use DuckDuckGo, Bing, or other alternatives though.

Searching for jobs on Google is an often-overlooked resource for seekers. The drawback is that unlike job boards you can’t apply with an already uploaded resume, you have to click through to the actual job posting and apply directly on the company’s site. This is sometimes the case with job boards though, so don’t let this extra step get you down.

But what and how do you search on Google? On job boards, the search criteria are often spelled out for you. (pick a city, region, and level of job, etc). Google takes a little extra effort, but don’t worry it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

Boolean Search

To get the most out of Google you’re going to have to do what is commonly called a Boolean search. It’s the backbone of all search results on the Internet, even if you don’t see it.

So what is it?

In simplest terms Boolean logic allows you to search for specific words using terms that the search engine can understand (called ‘operators’)

You can combine or exclude based with the operators AND, NOT, OR

  • Michigan AND Engineer Jobs
  • Jobs Detroit NOT Grand Rapids
  • Jobs Denver OR Boulder

You can also use quotation marks to find an exact Phrase:

  • “Senior Vice President of Marketing”
  • “Mechanical Engineer”

“IT Manager” will return results for that list ‘IT Manager’ and without them, it will search for both ‘it’ and ‘manager’, so results would be for any jobs that say manager in the post. You will not get results for Information Technology Manager though- that would be “Information Technology Manager”.

You can us parenthesis to combine modifiers

  • “Agricultural Manager” AND (Dallas NOT Fort Worth)
  • Florida Medical Job AND (Jacksonville OR Orlando)



LinkedIn and Google both apply Boolean logic a little differently, so be certain to check out the rules for each before you start

LinkedIn Rules

Google Rules


Job Research & Keywords

As you search, you will discover one thing very quickly: there are A LOT of jobs out there.

Each job you find, however, is more than just a potential new position. It’s a goldmine of KEYWORDS.

Keywords are phrases and words that hiring managers and job posters use to identify potential candidates. So each job post you come across, even if it’s not a good fit, should be read to find out what common phrases come up.

For example, if you see the phrase ‘cross-functional’ appearing multiple times in numerous posts then it’s an industry keyword. If there is a product or platform you have used that shows up multiple times, it’s a professional keyword.

Why should you care? Because when internal and external recruiters search for candidates or review your resume/profile they might be looking for these keywords. Make certain to include them.

Example: A recruiter is looking for someone with experience in SalesForce and Customer Experience. If you have both of those keywords in your profile, the recruiter has a far better chance of finding you than not. Additionally, if you apply for a position that lists both those keywords, the Applicant Tracking System will probably put you to the top of the list if those keywords are present.

You can also use these keywords in your online searches.

What about the so-called ‘Hidden’ jobs?

You may have or read about how not all jobs that are open are posted publicly.

This is true.

There are many reasons for why an employer might not want to broadcast an opening. This bottom line is that the only way to find them is to connect with people who know about them.

That’s right- the best and only way to find ‘hidden’ jobs is to NETWORK.

By some estimates over 80% of jobs are found through networking, not through applications to a position.

Why is that? Because hiring someone is a risky and expensive proposition from a viewpoint of the employer and people who come from referred from a trusted source have a higher rate of return on the investment.

So get ready to go beyond applying for jobs and PROACTIVELY start making professional connections that will build your network. That is the secret to hidden jobs- they are available to trusted colleagues, not the public.

Your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and search strategy are all tools in your career marketing campaign. Networking is the next tool you need to add. The good news is that all the work you’ve done so far builds the foundation you need to truly succeed in the networking game.


Putting it all together (crafting a strategy)

So, now that you know what it takes to find a job online you might be asking yourself:

Where do I go next?

  • The simplest answer is to get to work. Take these final tips with you as you get started, they’ll help you along the way:
  • The more effort you apply to the search, the more likely you’ll find results.
  • Keep adjusting until you find a way that works for you, just don’t quit.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection- it’s a reality of the job market. Nobody likes it but it’s not personal.
  • Instead of looking for your ‘dream job’ look instead for the dream IN the job – focus on how you do your best work and look for ways to do that.
  • Network, network, network – you’ll find this easier the more people you have working with you.
  • Lead with an offer, not an ask. To get help, start by giving help.

So what if you get stuck?

Merrfeld wants to help you! Visit our page to learn more about some of the services we offer- we help people every day find out how to navigate the tricky waters of the job market. Reach out to us directly via email or schedule a consultation via phone.

Best of luck to you on your career journey!

The Merrfeld Team