How to Find Unadvertised (Developer) Jobs

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According to estimates, about 70% of job openings never get posted on job boards. Is this true, or just another myth? Based on my experience running, a job board for tech roles that offer relocation, I think this statement is true. There’s, definitely, a hidden job market — but, thankfully, you can easily access it with boolean operators.

Companies typically advertise just a few of their jobs — the hottest or hardest-to-fill positions. You can use Google and Boolean search operators to find job opportunities not advertised or publicised on job boards. Keep reading as I explain how to find unadvertised jobs.


How to find developer jobs that are unadvertised 

First, understand the tools recruiters are using. When hiring, most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to capture resumes for their job openings.

An ATS is a sort of CRM for recruiters. Recruiters also create landing pages for open roles with this ATS tool. That’s why there are specific websites with the ATS brand name but a particular subdomain—such as or, where “apply” and “boards” are subdomains, and the company name is a page—that features jobs.

Popular ATS systems that have subdomains with jobs include:

Many job ads are duplicated on the websites of applicant tracking systems. Also, the ATS could feature job opportunities not advertised or publicised, at least actively. Moreover, this content is googleable, and that's when Boolean search operators come in very handy.

Let me show you.


site: (frontend OR front end OR front-end) AND react AND london

Here's a screenshot of the results that emerged when I typed this Boolean query into the Google search box:

On the first page alone, I managed to find seven relevant vacancies:

Works pretty well, right? Here’s a step-by-step approach. 


Learn About Effective Developer Job Search Strategies →


How to find hidden jobs with Google Search, step-by-step

Using Google Search and our boolean formula, you will be able to access a hidden job market for software engineers. Follow these steps to uncover all the roles you might be missing out on:


Step 1: Choose your ATS

In the Google search box, type site: followed by the web address of any ATS mentioned in this blog post. Example: site: 


Step 2: Add the role/position keywords that are of your liking

Add search terms (relevant tech keywords) to find what you're looking for. For example, it could be: developer, engineer, or programmer.


Step 3: Add in where you’ll be working from

You can add locations or other details (e.g., a city where you want to work, or descriptive terms such as visa sponsorship, relocation, remote) to help filter out what you're not searching for. 


Step 4: Use Boolean operators to narrow down your hidden job search

Use Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT to connect and define the relationship between your search terms. For instance, “Python AND Flask” will produce results (job openings) that contain both keywords, while “Java OR Scala” will retrieve results that have either keyword. OR is best used for synonyms (e.g., developer OR engineer). NOT restricts specific things appearing in your search and can be used to exclude vacancies with unwanted keywords (e.g., react NOT React Native). 


Step 5: Scan through your string and add parentheses

Now that you’ve written your whole string, go back to it and use parentheses () to group similar or related terms together.



site: (developer OR engineer) AND python AND (berlin OR munich OR amsterdam OR london OR paris OR tallinn OR zurich) AND (relocation OR visa sponsorship OR visa support)

This Boolean search string works well for finding Python jobs that offer relocation to popular European cities. Note how many jobs were posted recently. Here are some of the relevant vacancies from the search results page:

You can easily adjust this query string to suit your skills and location preferences. Just remember that AND will narrow your search and limit results. The more specific you are, the fewer results Google will retrieve. Also, be aware that boolean searches are not case-sensitive.

One more example:

(site: OR site: OR site: (developer OR engineer) AND (java OR golang OR go) AND remote

In this case, I mentioned several ATS at the same time and changed my location preferences from specific cities to “remote.” Here are the results generated:

Pro tip: To see the most recent job opening, filter search results by date in the “Tools” tab, located next to the search box.

This approach to your job search can be time-consuming, and you will find some jobs that are not quite what you are looking for or are no longer active. Unadvertised developer jobs might not be meticulously tracked down by HR recruiters, or not offer what you need.

For example, you’ll notice soon enough that many roles in the locations you were seeking to settle down in, like Amsterdam or London, require you to manage your work permits and visas all by yourself.


How to find hidden jobs with relocation packages

The best way to find a hidden job that can help you relocate is to match with a company that offers relocation services in exchange for your top talent. is a niche job board for techies that features companies that are willing to help you relocate. The companies we list are curated and interested in making international hires. 

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