Friday, February 13, 2009

Listening to Your Industry

When you are out of work, your industry keeps moving. From the tools to tactics to leaders and influencers, the working world never stands still. As part of our personal branding series, we are going to look at a few free ways to stay on top of your industry so when you get back in the workplace, you are in the know and can act like you never missed a beat.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to get updates via email on any keyword phrase that you want to stay on top of. Every second of every day Google is searching the Internet for new websites, pages, articles, blogs, videos, etc and when they come across something new that hits your keyword phrase they will email you so you can check it out. With Google Alerts you have the option of receiving the following types of content:

  • News
  • Web
  • Blog
  • Video
  • Groups
  • Comprehensive (all of the above)
The key thing to remember with Google Alerts is that the more specific your search term the more relevant results you will get. If your topic is popular, you can choose to receive updates once a week, daily or as it happens. I suggest going daily as not to flood your inbox with different articles and web pages.

LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows for people to connect with each other via past professional relationships. Within this service are groups. These groups can range from Orlando Restaurant Group to Youth Marketers to Sales Professionals. Joining these groups allows you to network and listen to what is going on in their businesses. Discussions on marketing, hiring, trends, etc are discussed and is a great place to learn and soak in some information.

Another area on LinkedIn that is great for industry education is the answers section. Here people can ask questions and industry pros answer them, comment and discuss how to best approach the situation. From here you can chime in, sit back and listen or ask your own questions.

AllTop Work
From their website, AllTop's purpose is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. What they did was create a homebase for all the hot topics in a number of industries. From the homepage click on work and you can explore all the best sites and stories from banking, consulting, branding, customer service and so much more. This is a new favorite site of mine and a great way to see what is happening now!

I hope these sites give you an edge to stay on the pulse of your industry. Just because you are out of work doesn't mean the learning should stop. Aquiring skills, education and industry knowledge could be the thing that seperates you from the crowd.

Stay tuned as we continue our personal branding series next week with a look at Blogging 101 and Reputation Managment. Happy Valentine's Day Orlando and best of luck in looking for a job.

-Greg Rollett


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