How RSS Feeds Can Help Your Job Search
Finding work is difficult—especially for freelance workers. You revise and send out your resume almost every day, you visit the same old job sites, and you conduct the same searches in the hope that someone, somewhere, is willing to make an offer to you a gig in your field of expertise.
Even when you have a job, you’re always looking for the next opportunity. But you can make searching simpler and more effective by using an RSS client.
What is RSS, and How Can It Help Your Job Search?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and most websites use it to provide a feed of the latest stories. You can view MakeUseOf’s feed here. You’ll find that it contains the latest article titles, dates, brief summaries, and a link to the main article on the main website.
While MakeUseOf only provides short stubs, some other sites provide the full text of the article. Many job sites provide full-text articles, and any subreddit can also output an RSS feed. Even search results can be displayed this way.
What this means for you is that instead of wasting time on your daily routine of visiting job boards, checking subreddits, and running searches, you can just click one button, and all this information will come to you.
Years ago, RSS used to be a big thing on the internet, and even Google used to have its own special RSS client. These days, there are very few RSS clients that are actively maintained, and in our opinion, the best of them is QuiteRSS—thanks to its efficient and easy-to-use filtering system.
As you can see, most of what your RSS client pulls from the internet will be garbage. It will be completely unrelated to your field, or the desperate virtual cry of other freelancers asking for work in the apathetic absence of the internet. You want to silence those desperate pleas, and QuiteRSS will help you do just that. QuiteRSS is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD.
Almost every website has an RSS feed. Go to the site where you usually check jobs, and there may be an RSS icon in the social media section. That failed, add / eat after the base URL. If that doesn’t work, try /rss o /rss.xml.
In the event that none of these addresses yield a valid RSS feed, right click on the homepage of the website, then click See Origin of age. Use Ctrl+F to search terms, “feed”, “rss”, “atom”, or “xml”. Some handy RSS feed links for job seekers in the freelance writing field are: Writejobs, Freelance Writing Jobs, and ProBlogger.
Reddit is also a fantastic job resource for freelancers and job seekers in every field. You probably already know subreddits such as r/forhire, r/hireawriterand r/ProgrammingJobs. You can create an RSS feed of any subreddit by adding .rss to the URL. For example, the RSS feed for r/forhire can be accessed at https://www.reddit.com/r/forhire.rss.
If you haven’t gone places to look for work yet, read our guide to unique and niche job boards to help find the perfect place to work.
Think about the work-related searches you do regularly. These will likely include the lines of “programmer wanted”, “hiring writers”, or “looking for artists”. You use these terms because they are what companies are most likely to put on their sites when looking for new recruits.
There are dozens of variations for every search you do, and typing them into a search engine can tire both fingers and soul—you could be spending that time building a more strong resume.
Bing is the only major search engine that will render your search results as an RSS feed. Just type a query into Bing, hit search, then when the results page appears, copy the URL from the URL bar and paste it into QuiteRSS. This will work as a feed in the application.
After installing QuiteRSS, you will be greeted with news from the QuiteRSS feed. These articles are irrelevant to your job search, and you can safely ignore them.
To add your own feed to QuiteRSS, click the big, green one + icon at the top left of the screen, and a new window will appear, prompting you to create a new feed. Paste the URL into the box, and click Next. You’ll be asked to choose a display name for the feed and to confirm its location. Once you’ve done this, click finish.
Repeat the process for all of your RSS feeds, and when you’re done, click the orange refresh button near the left of the top bar.
Under Categories, click Not yet read, and your QuiteRSS window will immediately fill up with work-related articles. Clicking on one will open the QuiteRSS browser in the lower half of the screen, allowing you to read the original article.
Keep Unwanted Articles in Your Job Feed
You will immediately notice that your screen contains hundreds of posts that you don’t want to read. They will come from other, more desperate job seekers, shouting “Hire Me!”; for jobs outside your field; or plain old spam.
You can use the powerful QuiteRSS filters to keep the dirt to a minimum. Identify common words in posts you don’t want to see. This may include “for hire” or “hire me”. If you’re a writer, you’ll want to exclude terms related to programming, cleaning, security, or the like.
Click on the menu button at the top left of the screen, then select Thingsfollowed by News Filters. In the next window, click on New Filters. You will be asked to create a name for the filter and the conditions to which it will apply.
Once you’re satisfied, view the feeds to apply the filter to. Articles that match the specified criteria will be marked as readand will not appear in the main RSS feed.
Using an RSS client like QuiteRSS to help you find jobs saves time and effort. Use that saved time to work more effectively at the job you have and take care of your resume. Maybe you can even learn a new skill.