Google Alerts is a great free service that will save you a huge amount of time when conducting your due diligence and research as you embark on a job search.
To begin, go to www.google.com/alerts. There, you can enter certain buzzwords or criteria to receive a list of links by email of all news related to that term. The alerts can be sent to your Inbox at a predetermined frequency, and can be country specific and language specific.
For instance, if you want to follow a company, let’s say Apple, you would type that name into the box and then set the options you prefer. You can select to specifically follow news, blogs, web, video, books, or discussions, or use the default “Automatic” setting to let Google find the best of them all.
The Google Alerts FAQ page recommends these further tips for choosing your search terms:
Use quotes around a group of words if you are looking for them together.
For example: [“Sales manager”].
Use a minus sign (-) in front of words that you want to exclude.
For example: [paris -ontario].
Use the site: operator to limit your search to specific sites.
For example: [Cisco site:financialpost.com].
I use Google Arts for research within specific areas related to my field, e.g., resume writing, job search, job trends, and similar terms. I then receive separate emails, one for each keyword, and can click on those hyperlinks.
Aside from learning about companies you want to work for, and other important news about your industry, you can use your links from Google Alerts to further your credibility and thought leadership with your online network.
You can add a comment to the online article that demonstrates your expertise in the topic. Next, or alternatively, you can share the link with your own networks. When I do this, I always add my own comment with a compelling question or statement that incites engagement and conversation.
These tasks only take a moment, but can do wonders to strengthen your personal brand as an expert in a particular field.
Once set up, Google Alerts eliminates a lot of research time, serving all your results to you on a plate. This creates more time and energy for other valuable job search strategies.