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How to Use Google Alerts and Saved Search Features to Find a Freelance Job

Finding a freelance job is one of the most time consuming process. There are distractions, diversions and sooner or later, you will find yourself no longer doing what you’re suppose to do. But as experience taught me, there is a better way of finding the best fit job while investing very minimal time. In job search, it’s a good practice to be minimalistic. Thanks to the internet and the powerful searching features that makes job hunting more efficient these days.

The key to making job search quick and easy is to make sure you know what kind of job you want. You have to be able to identify keywords that you can associate with your skills or expertise. For example, as podcast editor, I can make use of the search terms, audio editing jobs, Adobe Audition jobs, podcast editing and so on. The next step is to automate these searches so you can receive notifications every time these keywords come out from blogs, news, job posts, etc.

You can setup your Google reader or any desktop reader tools for a more organized system of keeping track of the keywords you are monitoring or you can make use of your email, whichever is more convenient for you.

Here are a couple of things I use in my personal job search:

1. Google Alerts

As a Gmail user, Google alerts provide an easy way to monitor your keywords without the need to setup an extra account or download additional software. Google alerts can help you make sure that you get informed when your keywords come out. This ensures that if a job opportunity becomes available, you are able to have a first crack at sending your proposal. And it’s been true for most of my experience that the early bird catches the worm. Here’s a 2 minute tutorial to get you started.

2. Elance and oDesk Save search feature

Elance and oDesk are two of my favorite freelance sites. And I believe these are great hunting grounds for starters. So to help you get on faster with job searching here’s some simple procedures for you to follow to use the saved search feature and syndicate it using your feed reader.

How to use oDesk saved Search

Source: oDesk KB

3. Twitter hashtag and keyword search

There are so many keywords and hashtags that’s related to job search. In a Career Enlightenment article, the author enumerated the 50 most popular job search hashtags in the Twittersphere. But do you really need to have that much? The answer is NO! What you need is to stick to 4-5 keywords that can best describe your skill and can be best backed up by your experience and training. The more precise the keywords you use, the better you can identify and confidently answer if that job is for you ( or not). And more importantly, the lesser time you will have to sift through the results.

hashtag jobs

Broad search

 

Take for example the above hashtag #jobs. The problem with this is that it’s too broad and may bring up a ton of “JOBS” but definitely will not all fit the kind of work you do. Now consider this next hashtag examples. #WebDesigner #job Clearly, if you are a web designer, these job opportunities will be very close if not a perfect search result to what you are trying to find. Remember, #hashtags are not case sensitive, so whether you type #WordPress or #wordpress, you can still get the same results.

specific hashtag jobs

Do you have other simple ways of making job search less time consuming?

About the Author:

Full time freelancer, photographer, video editor, podcast manager, father to four gorgeous kids, and all around husband. My mission: spread the good news of online freelance jobs to help preserve families from the devastating effects of a father or mother working abroad and leaving their children behind.