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Is your online job search a repetitive and tiring chore? There’s an easier way that is both automatic and capable of aggregating results from multiple job sites. In this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how with the help of RSS and Indeed.com.
All about RSS
First off, you need to know about this icon.
You might have noticed it on various websites, particularly blogs or sites that are updated often. It’s a link to an RSS feed, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. Paste this link into an RSS reader, and any updates to the feed are automatically sent to it. This means that you don’t have to spend every day visiting a dozen different websites to do your job search. Just use your RSS reader to aggregate feeds.
I’ll be using Google Reader to demo in this video, but if you don’t care for Google, there’s a multitude of RSS readers out there to choose from. Further instructions and a list of other RSS readers can be found after the jump.
In order to subscribe to a feed, all you’ve got to do is right click the RSS icon and select “Copy Link.”
In Google Reader, click on the “Add Subscription” button at the top. Paste the link in the box and click “Add.”
The feed will appear in your subscriptions list on the lower left. When you select the feed, all updates will in appear in the main reading screen.
Where to find the feeds
There’s a ton of job search sites out there, and depending on the field you’re seeking work in, the merits of one or another job site is going to vary wildly. For a general search, however, you almost can’t go wrong using Indeed.com, which aggregates job listings from a multitude of job sites. This means you can see results from Monster, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, and even corporate sites with a single search.
Start off by defining the search. Let’s say we want to find a graphic design job in San Francisco. As it gives you more options, click on “Advanced Job Search.”
We could do a search for “graphic designer,” but the job titles in this field can vary wildly. It could be “graphic artist,” “production artist,” or “graphics specialist.” Based on looking at quite a few job descriptions in this field myself, I know that the one word that is going to be in there, no matter what, is “graphic.”
If I wanted to get more specific, I could try “Photoshop” or “web design” but let’s start with a wide search and then narrow things down later. We want to search for jobs in San Francisco, but so we keep the search wide, let’s change the location drop down menu to “within 100 miles of.”
Now on the search results screen if you scroll down a bit, you can see the link for “RSS Job Feed” in the lower right.
Copy that link into your RSS reader, and any new results will show up as they come in. As you spend time looking at the results, you may need to refine the search to see jobs that more closely match your needs.
Indeed.com isn’t comprehensive – some sites like Craig’s List aren’t included in the search. Craig’s List does offer an RSS link at the bottom of each job category, however. Just scroll to the bottom and you’ll find the link on the orange box.
If you’re looking to work for a particular company, you might luck out and find that company offers an RSS feed for job openings. A lot of large corporations, unfortunately, use non-standard methods of listing open positions – this means no RSS. Thankfully, it’s these large corporations that tend to use sites like Monster or Careerbuilder to post jobs, so you’re still likely to catch them through Indeed. Your mileage may vary.
Just keep in mind that this is just a starting point in your online job search. You’ll need to keep reading job descriptions and adjusting your search criteria accordingly. You’ll also need to keep digging for other sources that may not be aggregated by Indeed.
Google Reader – My personal choice, and one of the more popular web-based options available. If you’ve got a Google account, you’re already familiar with Gmail’s text-based interface, which Google Reader is based on.
NetVibes – Another web-based reader, and one that’s far more visually oriented than Google’s offering.
There’s also several application based readers such as NetNewsWire (Mac only) & FeedDemon (Windows only). A full list of RSS readers can be found on Wikipedia, while Lifehacker has a list of picks selected by their readers.