The internet is vast, we all know that. The stats referring to the amount of data uploaded daily, hourly, by the minute and, indeed, per second are difficult to believe.
The sheer amount of data available is a game changer in how we live and learn, but tapping into its power is sometimes difficult and overwhelming.
Staying up to date on particular topics can be very time consuming if you’re carrying out manual searches on a regular basis, such as job searches or monitoring brands you’d like to work for.
Monitoring and optimising your personal brand online is also fast becoming a full time role in itself.
The ability to have tools like those below do the hard work for you enables you to concentrate on furthering your career.
Luckily, there are several online tools and techniques that can be employed (pardon the pun) to bring relevant data to you, saving you time and hassle.
Queryfeed allows you to run a search on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for a specific term or terms.
Many businesses now share position openings on social media and encourage their employees to do the same, tapping into brand advocacy. By searching these platforms for a particular company or role you can often get a head start on those only browsing job boards.
The Twitter search functionality in particular allows for a high degree of detail. The parameters allowed include:
|to:twitterapi||sent to the user @twitterapi|
|place:opentable:2||about the place with OpenTable ID 2|
|place:247f43d441defc03||about the place with Twitter ID 247f43d441defc03|
|superhero since:2011-05-09||containing “superhero” and sent since date “2011-05-09” (year-month-day).|
|twitterapi until:2011-05-09||containing “twitterapi” and sent before the date “2011-05-09”.|
|movie -scary 🙂||containing “movie”, but not “scary”, and with a positive attitude.|
|flight 🙁||containing “flight” and with a negative attitude.|
|traffic ?||containing “traffic” and asking a question.|
|hilarious filter:links||containing “hilarious” and with a URL.|
|news source:tweet_button||containing “news” and entered via the Tweet Button|
The above functionality can be utilised to search for specific roles shared after certain dates and within a certain radius of where you live – pretty neat eh?! Multiple search terms can be used to enable you to get results from a number of brands or positions, allowing you to cast a wider job search ‘net’ over the web.
The results from your search are returned as an RSS feed. You may be acquainted with these feeds, as they’re used on the vast majority of websites to allow people to stay up to date with the content shared.
Using a feed reader such as Feedly or Flipboard you can collect a number of RSS feeds and monitor them all in one place, cutting down the time required to check you’re up to date on what your targeted brands are up to.
Google Alerts have been around for some time, yet still remain under-utilised by many.
You’ll need a Gmail account, which is easy and quick to set up, in order to receive the ‘alerts’ that contain updates from your chosen keywords, brands or job openings.
Once you have a Gmail account you can set up your first alert(s). Similar to the social search above, but for the entire internet, Google Alerts can be used in a number of ways to give you the best chances of landing your dream role.
This Google Alerts article details several ways to monitor the internet for differing reasons and aims. Using this strategy will mean you’ll be the first to know when your desired employers are updating their sites or social profiles regarding recruiting.
The output of the searches can be delivered via a daily or weekly email, an email ‘as it happens’ or via an RSS feed that can be collected and viewed in apps such as Flipboard and Feedly.
Flipboard is a very visual way to collect and monitor RSS feeds from a variety of sources, as well as its own channels and ‘magazines’ that can be followed.
From collecting specific brand’s feeds to subscribing to topics regarding career tips or best practices for interviewing, you’ll be able to create a hub from which to launch your job search attack on the world!
Some great topics and magazines to follow include:
- Job Interviews
- LinkedIn for Job Search
- Career Job Search
- Conducting Your Job Search
- Job Search Tips
- Job Hunting Know-How
If you choose to receive your Google Alerts above as an RSS feed, then this can be added to Flipboard. This will enable you to view your web searches all in one place.
Flipboard also have a handy app, allowing you to get the latest updates wherever you are.
Feedly is very similar in concept to Flipboard, but with a different user interface. Adding your feeds from various sites, Queryfeed and Google Alerts into Feedly means that all of your updates will be in one place.
Feedly allows you to view a collection of RSS feeds in one content ‘stream’, making the consumption of the latest updates quick and easy. Once read, updates can be marked as such so that you can avoid reading the same updates more than once.
Feedly also has a mobile app to enhance your job search.
Collecting a vast number of RSS feeds to use in apps like those above is great and, once you’ve gathered them all, very useful. But what if you want to then move your feeds to another app?
Luckily it’s easy to combine a large number of feeds into one, easy to manage ‘mashup’. A mashup will be one URL, but contain the feeds from a large number of sources. This one URL is all you’ll need to paste into apps in order to view the updates from the many source websites or social networks you’ve gathered RSS feeds from.
The setup is very straight forward, you simply go to any one of the many sites that combines feeds for you (a couple of these are listed below) and paste in all of the feeds that you wish to combine. The site will then create one mashup feed for you.
Social networks (particularly Twitter & LinkedIn)
Ignoring the obvious could be the difference between hearing about your dream role and someone else getting it. As well as using clever tools like the above to monitor social networks, keeping an eye on specific ones is beneficial.
Searches aren’t flawless and some updates may slip through the net. Manually scanning LinkedIn and Twitter for updates from your targeted brands shouldn’t be overlooked.
More brands than ever are utilising social recruitment and this process can, and usually does, start long before a vacancy is even published. Take time to follow and engage with those brands of interest to give yourself a head start and knowledge of the company in advance.
As well as following the corporate account, check to see if any of the business leaders have their own Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile and connect with them on an individual level.
Reddit is quite often the first place anything new on the internet is reported. From the latest news to viral videos and images, Reddit communities run into the 100,000’s of members, all scouring the internet and reporting back into various ‘subreddits’.
Subreddits contain specific categories of updates, from funny images to the latest movie news. Amongst them are a number of job related subreddits that, although small in temrs of members, do get updated with vacancies. These include: