Thursday, February 23, 2012

Automate your job search

Imagine having the job openings delivered to your in-box.

Well, it isn’t quite that simple. But here are some good strategies for casting your net wider.

Three involve Twitter, which I’ve discussed previously in my blog. This link gives you a few more strategies and people to follow.

One is Google Alerts. Good idea! It’s something that I’ve used for different purposes, and it works. You will get some false positives, but if you can refine keywords you’ll keep these to a minimum. I do recommend that you play around with keywords, and refine several times through trial and error—see what you get, and tweak accordingly.

For instance, I have a Google Alert set for programs that resemble NUstep. This is a Niagara University program that allows high school students to take some of their required NU courses (and courses likely to be accepted at other universities) while they are still in high school. But what to call it? “NUstep” is Niagara University’s brand name. I’ve found by reading the returns I get through Google Alerts that both “dual enrollment” and “concurrent enrollment” are the phrases I need to have delivered to my in-box once a day.

To get to Google Alerts, go to your Google homepage. Select “More” from the set of menu items at the top of your page in a black bar. Then select “even more” from that menu. Scroll down; Google Alerts should appear on the bottom left side of your page (you’ll have to do a bit of scrolling; it’s under “specialized search.” Be mindful that Google keeps fooling around with the interface; that may change over time!)

Keep in mind, too, that these are supplemental strategies—not primary ones. In other words, you still need to keep doing your own legwork rather than sitting back and letting your computer do it for you!

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