One of the most effective elements on the Web is the use of search engines as the starting point for Internet-based research. By using these search engines in your job search, not only do you increase your power to research companies you are already aware of, you can also find companies (and jobs) that you did not know existed.
First, use the search engines as a research tool to gather more information about a potential employer you have already identified. My recommendation is to begin with Yahoo!, located at:
Yahoo is my first search engine choice because all the listings at their site are submitted and categorized (versus Web robot crawled). Therefore the search results are fewer and more select than the listings produced by search engines which use robots to scour every known crevice on the Web. Why is this better? Because it quickly cuts through the chaff to the key page(s) you are seeking. This is often where you will find the home page for the company you are seeking and any associated pages put up by suppliers or customers.
Start your search by searching for the company name. And click through to the listed site(s) for further information. Keep in mind that many companies also maintain an up-to-date listing of jobs at their site, so this provides you with an excellent tool for finding out about current opportunities. Many companies also have a college page to give further information about their entry level hiring.
After you have gleaned the information you are seeking at the company site, back up to Yahoo! to expand your search. First, click on the category line under which the company name appears (if available). This will expand out to a full listing of other companies in similar industries or touting a similar product line. Minimally, it will provide you with a great deal of competitive information. Maximally, it may direct you to other up-and-comers in the industry, a company you may not have been aware of otherwise.
Search engines can guide you to info on companies that few others are aware of. Both the good and the bad.
Next, use the Google search engine to broaden your search on the company name:
Google is one of the largest general keyword search engines and your search here will produce results for any and every hit on the company name, which will greatly expand the listings. You will find results that include any page anywhere on the Web that uses the search word (or words). The results can sometimes be rather daunting (for example, you probably do not want to search Google for "IBM"), but the results will generate sites that are both employer-sponsored and generic. You will often find a wealth of information about the company, as well as commentary (both good and bad) about their reputation, product line, position within the industry, stock price, etc. This commentary may be more than you wanted to know, but there can be numerous nuggets of information here that are available nowhere else.
Using this technique will deliver information to you about both target employers and new employers, further expanding the scope and quality of your job search.