Use Google Alerts to monitor your online presence

Next time you apply for a job, the hiring manager is going to Google your
name and see what she finds. Do you know what people say about you? About
things you’ve written? You should.

Google Alerts is a fantastic little tool that I don’t hear people talk about
enough. Google Alerts lets you enter a Google search once, and Google will
update you whenever the Googlebot finds new matches for your search, often
within only an hour or two of the page’s publication.

The most obvious Alert search is your name, as a phrase in double quotes, but
that’s just the start. Here are some more ideas:

  • Your name (“Andy Lester”)
  • Your nick (“petdance”)
  • Your email address (“andy@theworkinggeek.com”)
  • Your company’s name
  • Resumes related to your job market in your area of expertise (I have an alert for “resume Perl Chicago” (but without the quotes)
  • Titles from blog postings you’ve made
  • Links to specific blog postings you’ve made using the link: syntax

Keep an eye on the results. It’s not vanity, it’s understanding your personal
brand.

For more of my suggestions of how to improve your working life in 2010, see the January 2010 issue of PragPub magazine. It’s a free download in three different electronic formats: PDF, ePub and mobi.

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One Response to “Use Google Alerts to monitor your online presence”

  1. Sabrina Says:

    Cool post Andy! Since employers and other prospects are “Googling” our names to see what they find, it’s in our best interest to constantly monitor our online presence. Google alerts is a great tool to see what comes up. Another great tool to make a great impression, is the Vizibility.com SearchMe button/link that returns the results you want others to see first.

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