Laptop on a desk. Job seeker learning to use Google Drive.
18 Nov, 2015
Why You Should Use Google Drive for Your Job Search: 6 Ideas
Brie Weiler Reynolds
Senior Career Specialist
Google Drive is a useful, free tool that job seekers can use to create resumes, keep job search records, and more. But do you ever use Google Drive as part of your job search tool belt? You might be surprised at some of the ways using Google Drive for your job search will be beneficial.
What is Google Drive?
Do you have a Google, YouTube, or Gmail account? If so, you already have access to a powerful and free tool for your job search—Google Drive. Google Drive defines itself as a “file storage and synchronization service,” but what that means for us regular people is that you can create, edit, and store numerous documents, spreadsheets, presentations, slideshows, and much more in the cloud, through Google, and be able to access those things from wherever you happen to be at the moment.
When I first started using Google Drive, I found it helpful to think of it as the Microsoft Office of the Internet. Microsoft Office has programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and it’s what most people use to create documents like resumes, cover letters, job search task tracking sheets, and interview presentations.
But because Drive is inherently interactive and shareable, it becomes a much more powerful tool for your job search tool belt.
Here are six ideas to use Google Drive for your job search:
1. Build your resume on Google Docs, and save it as a PDF.
Google Docs is the Word-equivalent of Google Drive and can be used to create your resume. Once you’ve got the perfect resume created, you can download it as a Word document or PDF, and you can share it with anyone, either with or without editing privileges.
2. Share your resume with friends to get feedback.
The ease of sharing a Google Doc means you can get real-time feedback about your resume from friends and networking contacts. They can leave comments and markups on the document, or you can both view the same document at the same time while you chat on the phone, which makes incorporating their edits and suggestions incredibly easy.
3. Use Google Sheets to track your job search progress.
I’m a big fan of tracking the progress you make throughout your job search. Which companies you’re researching, which jobs you’re applying to, and which people you’ve networked or interviewed with—those are all key data points to track. And Google Sheets, the equivalent of Microsoft Excel, makes it easy to update your progress wherever you have access to the Internet. Whether you’re job searching from your smartphone, the library, your home office, or the coffee shop, you won’t have to wait to update your Excel spreadsheet when you get back to your computer.
4. Create slideshow presentations to showcase your work.
If you’re in a field where job search portfolios or work samples are an important part of the job search, Google Slides is a helpful tool. Much like PowerPoint, Google Slides lets you create visually appealing slideshows that highlight your skills, experience, and work samples. And like everything on Google Drive, it’s easily downloadable as a PowerPoint or PDF. You can also publish your slideshow to the web, so if you have your own website or blog, embedding your portfolio slideshow is easy. And every time you update your slides, the embedded slideshow automatically updates, so everything stays current.
5. Use folders to keep track of each job application and interview.
In addition to the Google Sheet you use to compile all your job search activities, creating a folder for each and every company you interact with is a great way to keep things straight. Google’s folder options allow you to group things like your cover letter, resume, work samples, and references into one place, so you can easily access whatever you’ve submitted to that company. And because every resume and cover letter you send is unique to the particular job and company (right??), folders help you keep everything straight so you’re not submitting the wrong documents to the wrong company.
6. Learn how Google Drive works to add a skill to your resume!
Google Drive isn’t just a personal document collaboration tool—a lot of businesses are using it, too. Learning how to use Google Drive gives you a great skill to add to your resume. And if you’re interested in remote companies with distributed teams, it’s likely they use document collaboration tools like Google Drive, so you better know your way around it.
The thing I like most about Google Drive for job searching is that it gives you access to all your job search documents and info wherever you are. As long as you’ve got a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with you, you’re connected. On a work trip? Visiting family over the holidays? On the bus commuting home? It’s frustrating to wait until you get home to follow up, especially if you’re not the most patient person (like me).
If you need to send a resume quickly, or remember exactly what you said in a cover letter because you’ve just been offered an interview, Google Drive is right there. And in a job search, the ability to act quickly can increase your chances at scoring an interview or landing a job.
Why You Should Use Google Drive for Your Job Search: 6 Ideas - FlexJobs