While we’ve never stated it outright, one of our commitments at Career Horizons has always been to keep our clients — and newsletter readers — abreast of the latest and best technologies for enhancing career success, while stopping short of evangelizing every single flashy new website or hyped-up tool that hits the market. As a result, our hope is that all of you out there who DON’T pay attention to this stuff on a regular basis (and why in blazes would you?) can fully trust our endorsement of various technologies and add them to your career and job hunting toolbox at the appropriate time.

Along these lines, while we’re not quite ready to throw our reputation behind certain hot commodities such as Twitter and video resumes, we do want to pay homage this month to the humble “e-mail alert” feature that many sites now offer as standard practice. For those who may not currently be using such alerts, they simply allow you to have the results of various web-based keyword searches delivered to you on a regular basis via e-mail. This passive delivery method offers a tremendous number of advantages for professionals in transition, ranging from the time savings of not having to retype various searches over and over again to the benefit of exposing yourself, automatically, each day, to a steady stream of news and information that might help unearth potential job leads.

And while the “alerts” technology we’re talking about is now pretty universal, and by no means limited to any one particular site, here is a small sampling of the alerts that we find to be most beneficial to the average cross-section of job hunters…

Indeed & SimplyHired Alerts: After figuring out which keyword searches generate the best job lead results for you on these two leading employment sites, you have the option to save your search as an automatic e-mail alert where new results matching your criteria will be delivered to you each day. We highly recommend you follow this suggestion, since setting up these automated searches will not only help you establish a streamlined routine for following up on leads, but will also prevent you from needing to retype your criteria each time. We’d also recommend that serious job seekers set up an additional alert on each of these two sites based on various corporate/industry keywords relevant to their goals, creating exposure to some fresh, relevant target companies on a regular basis, as well!

Craigslistwatch Alerts: Next to the two sites mentioned above, Craigslist is the third most useful job lead website for most professionals, since many employers are finding that the dirt-cheap pricing and high volume of traffic on Craigslist make it a worthwhile option even for sourcing senior-level and executive talent! What most people don’t realize, however, is there is a third-party website (several, actually) that allows you to set up an automated daily alert on Craigslist — since the site itself doesn’t offer this functionality. Check out www.craigslistwatch.com and in a few clicks, you’ll be all set!

Google Alerts: Lastly, one of the most popular and useful alerts many professionals should create for themselves is to program Google’s built-in alert tool with the names of any target companies, executive contact names, or subject matter areas that the job hunter might benefit from tracking on a daily or weekly basis. This step will ensure that any breaking news item or website related to these fields will be delivered right to your e-mail inbox, where you can learn from this information and act on it immediately to give yourself a competitive advantage.

One other nice thing about setting up these kinds of alerts is that you can program them, in most cases, to the frequency that makes the most sense given your current situation. So if you’re a job hunter, you’ll probably want to check your “crabpots” every day and see what new job leads or information have been posted. If you’re already working full-time, on the other hand, you can set the frequency to longer intervals to keep at least a periodic pulse on developments relevant to your career goals.