When it comes to cracking the hidden job market (where openings aren’t advertised), knowledge is king. That’s why Google Alerts should be part of your job-search toolkit.
What are Google Alerts?
They’re free emails Google automatically sends you whenever the search engine finds information relevant to topics you’ve told it to look for — including articles, news stories, press releases and the like.
You can use Google Alerts to monitor news about any company, nonprofit, product, person or industry relevant to your job search.
Why Google Alerts Help Job Hunters
That kind of “insider information” can give you a big advantage over your competition. You’ll learn about expansions (which means jobs to fill), business opportunities and key personnel changes long before the general public takes notice.
Think of Google Alerts as your personal electronic job search assistant who works 24/7.
Here are six ways to put Google Alerts to good use:
1. Monitor employers you’re interested in. You can use Google Alerts to get the inside scoop on what’s happening at places where you’d like to work. Then, if you decide to apply to them, you can casually drop into your cover letter, resumé or interview the news you’ve picked up.
For example, if you got a Google Alert with a story saying the company plans to expand into China and you speak fluent Mandarin, you’d mention this skill and strengthen your candidacy for a job.
Bad news can sometimes be as useful to you as good news. For instance, a Google Alert revealing that a company is facing a product liability suit might be a signal that the firm will be gearing up to hire more people for its PR or legal teams.
2. Research employers by location. You can use Google Alerts to track breaking news about employers of interest in a specific geographic area, which can be handy whether you’ll be job-searching where you live or where you plan to move.
For example, if you work in the insurance industry and hope to move to Sarasota, Fla., you might do a Google Alert for Sarasota insurance companies. You might also try search terms like “signed new lease” or “expansion” to stay up-to-date on companies in growth mode.
Ways 3-6 and the complete Forbes article