Although widely used on blogs, many people are still unfamiliar with RSS and its usefulness. There are a number of ways you can use RSS to empower your job hunting efforts.
What is RSS?
May 1st 2008 is RSS Awareness Day, a moment set aside to get more people familiar with this simple and simplifying technology.
According to the official RSS Awareness Day website, “RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format used to deliver information from websites and pages that get updated regularly. An RSS document (which is called a feed) contains either a summary or the full content from a website.”
For an example, see the JobMob RSS Feed.
The above definition is particularly true for blogs but RSS can also be used to deliver pieces of information such as personalized search results and job listings like in The Ultimate RSS Feed Collection for the Israeli Job Seeker.
Your job listing funnel
Although there are more and more job boards proposing RSS feeds, the listings are often very general and can waste a lot of your time scanning for appealing opportunities.
There's a better way.
Most RSS feeds are freely available and there are many tools that take feeds and let you filter out only the bits that you care about. For example, The Ultimate RSS Feed Collection for the Israeli Job Seeker contains a feed that was created by using the popular Yahoo! Pipes tool to pull the job opportunities from a more general feed covering many topics. (A future article will explain how that was done.)
You can use RSS tools to “mash” together multiple feeds and create one super-feed that only contains your job listings. You could then have the total result emailed to you instead of being subscribed for individual emails per feed.
Ultra-handy RSS blending tools
- 10 Tools to Combine, Mix, Blend Multiple RSS Feeds
- Mix & Mash: 21 RSS Mashup Tools For Your Website
- Favorite RSS Resources and Tools
- The Ultimate RSS Toolbox – 120+ RSS Resources
Your inbox vacuum cleaner
How often do you spend an hour or more sifting through all your job-related email without feeling that you made any progress?
In See How Easily You Can Beat Job Search Email Overload, I recommended that-
“Ideally, your inbox would only contain email sent to you directly from other people, the kind of email you most want to receive when job hunting. Use RSS for a kind of second, lower-priority inbox that catches information you care about but that can wait for when you have a spare moment.”
To follow RSS feeds, you need an RSS reader. There are many choices just like with email. You can download software for your computer such as Mozilla's Thunderbird or you can read feeds online via websites such as Google Reader.
Use the best RSS readers
To get started, here are some recommendations and reviews from around the blogosphere:
- The Best 10 RSS Readers for Windows, Mac and Linux
- The Best RSS Reader
- The BEST RSS Reader showdown
- Why Every College Job Searcher Needs RSS
- How to Use RSS in Your Job Search
If you're already using an RSS reader, which one did you choose and why?