Manually monitoring one element of your career strategy online can quickly become an impossible task, given the sheer amount of content shared every day. Whether it’s what’s being published about you or what your favourite brand’s up to, there’s just not enough hours in the day!
Luckily, it’s possible to get all the news you need for a successful career strategy to come to you, using Google Alerts (requires a Google account).
Google Alerts allows you to create permanent searches that will monitor and report on your chosen criteria for as long as you want, either by email or as an RSS feed.
For example, you can search for a particular word or phrase, for news from a specific website or brand, or even content in a certain location.
Basic alerts are easy to set up and only take a couple of minutes – even more sophisticated alerts can be achieved relatively easily.
1. Monitor and optimise your personal brand
One way to monitor and maintain a solid personal brand online is to set up alerts for your name and anything else you’re responsible for online.
If, for any reason, something appears that you feel will negatively affect your career advancement, then you can take action.
Similarly, if there’s something published which you feel would be of benefit to your personal brand, then you can take advantage and promote it yourself.
2. Receive alerts regarding new vacancies at your favourite brands
Using alerts to monitor and receive notifications about a favoured brand means that you’ll be one of the first to know about any openings that become available.
When time is of the essence, as it usually is for a popular brand’s vacancies, being the first to respond can put you one step ahead of the game.
You can narrow your search to only those positions within certain brands that you’re interested in, ensuring that your alerts are specific and only include relevant updates.
Be sure to include all variations of the role you’re monitoring, it would be a great shame to miss out on a vacancy purely because of a slightly different use of terminology that the employer has chosen, e.g. ‘Digital marketing’ as well as ‘Online Marketing’.
3. Find jobs nearby
Unless you’re willing to commute, relocate or if the position advertised is remote, you’ll probably want to limit the search for your next role to a specific location or proximity.
Google alerts allows you to add a search that will narrow the results down to a specific locale. This type of search is particularly useful if you rely on public transport or even if you would prefer to walk or ride a bike to work!
You can always forget about this filter and include “remote” or “telecommute” to your search to receive alerts for roles that can be carried out from anywhere!
4. Engage with influencers
Gaining influence through interacting with others in your field helps you to build your own influence and also enables you to stay up to date with the latest industry news and events.
New avenues can present themselves if you make the effort to engage with industry experts. Writing guest blog articles or attending networking events can even result in job offers as a result of targeting the right people at the right time.
5. Stay up to date with the latest news in your field
The ability to display expert knowledge in your field, and talk competently about it in an interview or general discussion, is a very effective tool for career progression and influence.
One of the elements that separates top talent from other applicants is their expertise, both in how they achieve and maintain it and also what they do with it (articles, advice, etc.), on and offline.
6. Research for your interview
One common question and expectation in an interview is that an applicant will have a good grasp of what it is the employer does.
This isn’t limited to what type of business they are, but also their activity online, values and purpose, and even the type of content they publish online, through their blog, website and social media accounts.
If you’re monitoring all these things through Google Alerts, then you’ll be fully aware of everything they do, from the latest social update to a new manager being appointed (as long as they publish this type of news).
Displaying that you’ve taken the time to research the brand, you’ll get a big tick in a box during the interview and be one step closer to a position within the company.
Google Alerts resources: