The process of setting up an alert is very intuitive. Simply go to www.google.com/alerts and type in your search query, choose the type of results you wish to receive, frequency of updates, and the way the messages are to be delivered — and presto, you’re all set. You should also consider using some of the following operators to narrow down your search results and save yourself time weeding through irrelevant information.
“ ” — Use the quotation marks to search for the exact phrase, rather than individual words.
Sample query: “Jack Welch”
Outcome: You will receive results only on people named Jack Welch. That means you won’t be notified every time the word “Jack” or “Welch” is mentioned on the Internet.
OR — This comes in handy when you are in the “either/or” situation.
Sample query: software engineer job in New York OR San Francisco
Outcome: Information on software engineer positions in both cities.
Note that OR has to be capitalized, otherwise Google will consider it part of a search phrase rather than a search operator.
– — The minus sign is used to eliminate unwanted search results.
Sample query: Project Manager –online
Outcome: No “Online Project Manager” postings.
* — Use an asterisk if you want Google to “fill in the blank” in your search phrase.
Sample query: “Chief * Officer”
Outcome: Everything you need to know about Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and so on.
~ — The tilde sign brings up synonyms.
Sample query: ~software engineer jobs
Outcome: You’ll be notified not only about software engineer positions but any other similar opportunities in engineering.
site: — Use this notation to receive results from a particular site.
Sample query: IBM site:businessinsider.com
Outcome: Google will notify you every time the company is mentioned on the Business Insider website.
Feel free to combine multiple search operators to refine your queries and make the most out of Google Alerts.
Do you need more help with your job search? Using a Professional Job Search Service can help you to rise above the pack!