Even at the best of times, starting a focused job search is a complicated process that includes research, deadlines, preparation and follow-up.

Luckily, Google offers many services and applications that help you manage the job search project and plan your next action steps.

Start fresh, eliminate the distractions of your existing Google profile and create an account dedicated to your project.

Gmail

The first task is to pick a professional sounding  name for your email address.

Gmail has been around for a long time, so getting an address that incorporates your name is going to be difficult.

Before complicating the process, consider the following tips:

  • Do not bury your name behind another word.
  • Put your last or first name at the forefront.
  • Make it recognizable, memorable and easily searchable.
  • Avoid additions to the address that gives away your birth year. It is not professional and will lead to age discrimination.

Acceptable formats:

  • Adding a middle name or initial to the address.
  • Add relevant keywords to the end of your name in the address
  • Use anything that describes your field of work, including such words as writing, engineering or marketing.

Do not corrupt the inbox with avoidable spam or expose your address on websites that will fill your account with junk mail.

Think of the address as a lifelong professional account that serves as a depository of your professional information, including your resumes, notes, ideas and business contacts. Properly maintained, this will always be your starting point for future career changes.

Even after the account has served its purpose, you might use a filter to forward important emails to your personal inbox.

Google Reader

While Reader unifies news and blog feeds into one location, it can do the same for job postings. Use reader to subscribe to RSS feeds from specific companies or from career mega sites like Monster.com.

Advantages of using Google Reader:

  • Searches are more efficient when you remove the need to review multiple sites for new job postings.
  • Listing the files by dates and marking posts you have already read, eliminates the need to review older posts.
  • Reader allows users to share feeds with people who have similar interests.
  • It avoids cluttering up your existing Reader account with distracting posts from blogs or news sites..

Other possible uses:

  • Subscribe to relevant feeds like industry blogs, career blogs or feeds from companies you want to work for.
  • Search all the feeds for specific keywords.
  • Add industry or career podcasts.

Google Maps

There is no need to repeat searches or direction requests when you process everything through Google maps. You can generate maps and attach them to documents, emails, contacts and appointments on your Google account. Therefore, driving to your second interview is as easy as pulling up your last appointment with the potential employer.

Google Alerts

Google alerts can automate the process of searching for the same keywords every day.

Tips for Keyword Alerts:

  • Create a vanity search alert, to be aware of how your name is appearing on the internet. This knowledge allows you to diffuse, explain or eliminate posts on the internet that might embarrass you.
  • Use specific search strings to find recently posted job ads on the internet.

Google Contacts

Import relevant industry contacts into your Gmail account, including your references or recruiters. You can cross-reference your contact list with LinkedIn, and update any changes to their information.

You might even create an email distribution list for specific groups to update them on your job search, ask for possible leads or announce a new position.

Google Calendar

Create a new calendar dedicated to your job search. Limit this calendar to your firm appointments which includes interviews and submission deadlines.

Then create a secondary calendar to list reminders. These reminders include 1 to 2 week follow-ups to completed interviews and  application submissions..

Furthermore, attach pertinent documents such as the original postings, resumes and cover letters to appointments and reminders. To avoid any conflicts between your personal and professional appointments you should sync your various calendars into one. You can then toggle each calendar on or off as your organize your week.

Google Documents

The strongest reason for a  separate profile is to consolidate all of your career documents.

In particular, documents can be added to a hierarchy of folders:

  • Create a primary folder that contains your original resume and cover letter. These templates will be edited to fit different job applications.
  • Then make  general folders which are divided by industry.
  • Create sub-folders by specific job postings and place the post, resume and cover letters in that folder.
  • Afterwards you can share specific folders with other Google users so they can assist you in proof reading your applications.

The key to any career change is the ability to maximize your time and attention. Haphazard searches and disorganized documents will limit the quantity and quality of your applications. Consequently, a consolidation of your work and connections in the cloud will give you complete control over your job search project.

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