Searching for a job can be an exhausting process of research, resume and interview preparation, and employer follow-up. But for the tech-savvy job seeker, Google offers a bevy of services to help manage your job search and plan your strategy. Your first step is to eliminate all of those distractions on your current Google profile by wiping the slate clean and creating an account for the solitary purpose of finding a job. Unlike your personal account, your new Gmail address should have a professional sounding name. These typically include some variation on your name that’s memorable without being cute.
Make your last name the focus of your address by placing it at the front and not buried behind, or within, other words. Remember, the more searchable your name, the easier you will be to find on the Internet. You may also want to add your middle name or initial, relevant career keywords, or terms that are descriptive of your expertise. The one thing to avoid is anything that suggests your age. This is generally not considered professional and may lead to age discrimination. Finally, think of this account only as a way to communicate on a professional level and as a repository for information such as resumes, business contacts, and other important notes.
Google Reader can not only aggregate all of your favorite blogs and news feeds into one place, but also act as a collection bin for job postings. Using Reader to subscribe to company RSS feeds and career sites can quickly net you a large backlog of potential job opportunities. Reader also allows for feed sharing so your passive search can expand even further if you are friends with other job searchers. Plus, you can also subscribe to career blogs and podcasts to keep you up-to-date on the best search behaviors and goings on in the world of job placement.
Google Maps makes it easy to keep track of all the locations you need to know when traveling to interviews. The app allows you to generate maps then attach them to emails, appointments, and other documents that tie in directly with your Google account. So, if you are called in for subsequent interviews with an employer you can simply pull up prior appointments with that company to find explicit driving directions.
Using Google Contacts, you can import all of the industry contacts you’ve collected over the years right into your new Gmail account. These contacts can include professional references, recruiters, or mentors. By syncing your account with LinkedIn, you automatically update all of your contact’s vital information so that you always know how to reach them.
With the Google Calendar tool, you generate a calendar especially created for your job search. Keep only appointments such as interviews or deadlines and reminders for follow-ups to submitted applications and completed interviews. You can also attach documents, such as original job postings and resumes to those reminders to keep track of each individual candidacy.
One of the most powerful uses of your new profile is the consolidation of all of your job search-related documents into a single folder. For example, you can create a root folder that contains your original resume and cover letter, which can be used as templates for any of your future job applications. You can then create folders for each industry or field in which you apply for jobs. Sub folders can then be created for specific job postings in which you can save your job-specific resume and cover letters. You can then share folders with others who may help you proofread your documents and give tips on your organization and presentation.