Google Alerts: The secret to finding jobs before anyone else

 In Job Searching, Student and Graduate Tips

Most of us use Google on a day-to-day basis, but did you know that you could utilise its ‘Alerts’ function to discover the type of jobs that you’ve been looking for? It’s a tool that isn’t that widely used, though it holds great potential for jobseekers when combined with more specialist job search engines.

In basic terms, this secretative piece of kit can scour the web for new mentions of job vacancies and make sure that you’re the first to know about them. All you need to do is set up your search terms and let the search engine do the hard work. The results will even be delivered directly to your inbox, making it super easy to get all the insider information that you need!

So, how do you get started?

Well, the brilliant news is that it’s really simple, and you could be up and running in a matter of minutes. Firstly, go to http://www.google.com/alerts and choose your search query.

Let’s say that you’re looking for PR jobs in London, so in this case, you might use the keywords ‘PR’, ‘job’ and ‘London’ in the box. Separate the words with the plus sign (+), so the filter knows that you’re only looking for results that contain all of your search terms, and not just ‘PR’, for example.

Next, it’s just a case of choosing your settings. Go for ‘everything’ so your results include all content out on the web, then specify how often you want the results to be sent to you. In most cases, once a day will be the best option. Enter your email address, then everything is ready to go.

Of course, it’s probably the case that it’s not just PR jobs in London that you’re interested in. Repeat the process for all the opportunities that you’d consider, as well as keyword variations (eg. ‘public relations’) so you’ll get a variety of choices delivered to your inbox.

Though its main value for jobseekers is the ability to find out about new positions before everyone else, Google Alerts has another use that’s worth tapping into.

When you’re looking for work, it’s vitally important that you’re aware of your online image, and know exactly what employers will find when they search for you via Google. If you really want to get ahead of the crowd, set up a Google Alert for your name, and keep a close eye on the results. If the searches paint you in a less than positive light, it’s time to do some firefighting to make sure that you aren’t giving a bad impression!

All things considered, Google Alerts is a fabulous tool that you should definitely include in your kit when you’re searching for employment. It takes just a short amount of time to get everything set up, and then it’s just a case of keeping your eye on the ball and taking action when the right opportunities crop up. With this approach, you could be on your way to employment a lot quicker than you imagined!

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