Orville Pierson’s Blog

For Career Success, Feed Yourself

We live in an Information Age. Gathering the best and most relevant information is central to the success of most undertakings, and career management is no exception. Whether you are in active job search, or comfortable in your current employment, access to the right information is essential to future career success.

The problem is usually finding a way to easily locate the right amount of the right information. Employed managers and professionals have limited time. They need to be selective. And they cannot afford the time to go hunting for career-related information every day.

Unemployed job hunters may have more time, but they also have larger information needs, since they’re pursuing a target list of about 40 organizations.

RSS feeds are an excellent solution to this dilemma. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is not a particularly new technology, but it’s increasingly important in the world of career management and job search.

Basically, it’s a way that web sites let you know when they’ve been updated, like LinkedIn’s mini-feeds. When a website tells you about their feed or asks you to subscribe, they are typically talking about RSS.

It’s likely that your web browser or e-mail client can already do RSS for you. Recent versions of Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer all have RSS and web-based services like Bloglines and Google Reader allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds and access them from any web browser on any computer.

Job Search Engines like Indeed and SimplyHired do what Google does, but only for job listings. They search the Internet for relevant results, and then allow you to search those results to find what you’re looking for. You can search by company name, job title, location, or any other keyword. You can then subscribe to an RSS feed for the search, so that when new jobs are found that match your criteria, you’ll be notified.

You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of any search that you perform through Google Blog Search. Most blogs have RSS feeds. Whether you’re looking for career advice, specific jobs, or researching a company, subscribing to RSS feeds is a great way to get quality information fed to your desktop as it’s published.

When that information is relevant to your job search, it’s a great time-saver and can speed your progress toward a new job. You want up-to-date information on every organization on your target list. RSS feeds automate some of that. After you find a great new job, you just might want to leave some of those feeds turned on.

One more thing. Whether you’re good at all this Internet stuff or not, please remember that virtually all job search experts agree that the majority of job hunters still find jobs through real time conversations, mostly with people they already know. The Internet offers useful tools. Use them. But make sure that you spend most of your time talking to people.

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