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I’ve had a couple requests from clients lately to explain how RSS feeds can be used with careers sites, so I thought I’d briefly run through that and provide a few examples of sites HODES has created incorporating them.

First, what is RSS: Really Simple Syndication, often symbolized by this icon. RSS are web-fed formats used to publish frequently updated digital information, typically used in news updates, podcasts, and blog entries. In fact, die-hard fans of this blog can subscribe to my RSS here. (I’m joking, I know it’ll never happen, but just in case you’d really like to, it’s available.) Why is RSS important? It provides realtime updates as they are published, so you have up-to-date, relevant content that you subscribe to and is accessed by an RSS Reader available via download from various providers.

How does RSS stack up against traditional web / email? In several ways it is better. Consider getting news updates, or in a jobseeker’s case, updates to job opportunities from careers sites or job boards. With the web, you must actively search for and refresh your searches periodically to receive the most up-to-date and relevant content or jobs. With RSS, it is automatically delivered to you as it is updated. In the case of email, issues around privacy (being added to unwanted lists) and spam filtering are always concerns. With RSS, it is 100% opt-in, feeds can easily be deleted if irrelevant or unwanted, and are 100% deliverable to the end user.

Building RSS into a careers site isn’t as simple as just programming it in. You must have content – good content, and you must commit to a regular schedule of updates, something that should be clearly outlined to subscribers on when to expect these updates. It is always encouraged to provide additional content than just updates to job postings, too. Recruiter blogs, news and events, a regular e-newsletter, etc., are some good items to also consider.

Here are some examples of clients that utilize RSS on their careers sites:

Lowe’s
Discover
Wellpoint

Enjoy.

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