How to use Google Alerts in your Job Search

Mary Lavin / July 7, 2016


Google Alerts in your Job Search

The internet is flooded with content. In fact, nearly 30 million pages of information, and indeed misinformation, are added to the web on a daily basis. With so much content it can be difficult to break through the noise to the key topics and information that are most important to you. Using Google Alerts in your Job Search can set you aside from all other candidates in your industry, delivering the latest job opportunities direct to your inbox.

Google Alerts is a free online tool that can help you sort through the noise and stay up to date on what key topics and search terms that are most important to you. Through this powerful tool, you can receive updates for the top search results for the specific search term you ask Google to monitor. Once you have set up your Google Alert keywords, all published online content will be scanned with matching results emailed to you.

Businesses can use Google Alerts to track competitor activity, potential new customers, trademarks, copyrighted material, amongst other things.  But, Google Alerts is also proving to be a powerful tool for the jobseeker on the market seeking a new opportunity.

Google Alerts in your Job Search


Implementing a “Google Alert Strategy” as a jobseeker

This tool is invaluable when sourcing new employment and seeking out new career opportunities across all sectors. By setting up Google Alerts you can target prospective companies’ / recruitment agencies you would like to work for and monitor their online presence. If they post a vacant position in your sector, you are likely to be one of the first to know giving you a competitive advantage over all other potential candidates.

This strategy can be used alongside other methods of job sourcing, however, the greatest advantage to using the “Google Alert Strategy” –  It sets up in minutes and Google will do the sourcing for you! All you have to do now, sit back and wait for the latest job opportunities to be delivered to your inbox.


Getting Started in 5 simple steps!

  1. Log on to Google Alerts, here you will see a search bar appear on the home page, type in your chosen keyword/ topic.
  2. Next insert your email address in the space provided, all search results will be redirected to this email account.
  3. To customise your search settings, click the drop-down arrow next to the “Show Options” button. This allows you to edit the following: how often you receive updates, the source, language preference, region and how many results you receive.
  4.  Once you are happy with your customised search settings, simply click “Create Alert” and wait for your results to be delivered.
  5.  All you have to do now is tailor your CV to each job vacancy and apply

Google Alerts in your Job Search - Search bar

Google Alert Results Information

Now you have been provided with this valuable information from your Google Alerts, it’s time to put it to good use.

  • Don’t let your unread emails build up, set aside 15 minutes a day to catch up on your emails and read the latest developments in your sector. This is guaranteed to impress at your next interview.
  • Follow-up: Use your Google Alert results as a starting point to research an industry or influencer, increase your search results by conducting your own follow-up research.
  • Build connections by acknowledging achievements of companies or influencers online, LinkedIn and Twitter are useful ways of connecting with professionals online.


Advantages of using Google Alerts for Job Search


Research Industries/ Sector’s

Looking to gain insight on a specific industry/sector? Set your Google Alert keyword as the industry/ sector, e.g. Accounting and Finance. Google will update you with the latest trends and top search results for this keyword.


Monitor & Optimise your Personal Brand

Think you’re the only one that does background checks on future employers? Think again! The 21st century is a social media driven world with the majority of people having an online profile of some form. Whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the list is endless and what better way for employers to get to know the real you.

According to PR Newswire in 2016 – “Sixty percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 52 percent last year).

Avoid missing job opportunities by regularly screening your online presence, set up a Google Alert using your name as the keyword.

Track People of Interest

Networking is a fantastic way to learn about upcoming job vacancies and what better way than LinkedIn. However, Google Alerts can be just as effective if used correctly for building your network. Track industry influencers through Google Alerts and be the first to know of the latest developments in your industry.


Google Alert Tips

  • Create multiple searches – separate keywords with the word “OR”. Try to keep as minimal as possible.
  • Searching people – Insert name between quotation mark, e.g. “John Doe”
  • Choosing keywords – Be as precise as possible when choosing keywords, this will filter out unwanted information giving you better results.

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