A Recruiter’s Guide to RSS Feeds and Using Google Reader

RSS IconA lot of Recruiters I meet are not sure what RSS means.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. You will find it on any website where there is regularly updated content – like news sites and blogs.

If you regularly check out more than one or two news sites and blogs during the day then using an RSS reader might be a big time saver for you. The most common RSS Reader used is Google Reader. A tool like Google Reader allows you to bring in feeds from all your favourite new sources and blogs to one location. This means that you will only have one place to check for new posts and articles while you enjoy your morning coffee.

You can find Google Reader by visiting google.com/reader. If you already have a Google account, then you already have Google Reader without even knowing it.

Add some subscriptions

To subscribe to this blog, simply type the web address into the subscribe box on the top left of the page. You can do this for all your favourite blogs.

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You should also add subscriptions to any blogs and news sites that you regularly check for new updates. This will ensure that you don’t waste time or miss anything important.

For example, the BBC segments their news into a number of different news feeds. You can get just the things that matter to you delivered to your reader.

You might also want to subscribe to any news feeds your company might have on its website, or blogs written by your company’s employees. You could do the same for your competitors too.

It is also possible to get alerts brought to your Google Reader every time a new webpage is indexed by Google that matches your chosen search criteria. You could use this if you’ve found a particularly good Boolean string for identifying candidates or you could use it to listen to what is being said about you or our company. Use Google Alerts to set this up.

When working in a recruitment business, I have used RSS to keep up to date with job feeds on the company websites and even niche job boards – great for marketing!

Manage your subscriptions using Folders

You can organise your feeds into folders, in much the same way that you probably use folders on your computer.

You might choose to have a folder for work feeds and a folder for personal feeds, keeping the news about your favourite sports teams separate from the latest recruitment updates.

You could go further and make some folders like this:

Google Reader Folders

Reading Posts

Latest posts from the blogs and websites you subscribe are automatically added to your Google Reader when they’re published.

The number of unread posts is shown in brackets next to the folder name (as in the picture above).

Log in to your Google Reader account. Click on the folder you want to read. Make sure it is set to Expanded view so you see the full post.

Google Reader expanded view

Just scroll down through the posts in the folder to read all posts. You can use the ‘J’ and ‘K’ keys on your keyboard to hop up and down between posts.

As you scroll the posts will automatically be marked as read and the number of unread posts listed next to the folder name will decrease.

Just click on the post’s title to visit a post and add a comment or share it via Social Media.

Sharing Posts from within Google Reader

It is easy to share posts that you think your network will like to your Google+ profile directly from within Google Reader. There is a button below every post.

If you haven’t set up a Google+ profile yet, I would recommend doing so. It will make you much more discoverable via Google search and more people are using it then you might realise. If you do, don’t forget to look me up.

If you want to share to another social network like Twitter, then you can either click through to the article where it is hosted on the author’s website and share as you normally would. Alternatively, you could set up a rule using ifttt.com. Ifttt is a handy tool that allows you to create rules for many social sites. For example, you tell ifttt to share a link on Twitter every time you “star” a post within Google Reader.

Do you already use Google Reader? What is your experience?

About TheSourceress

Katharine Robinson has written 98 post(s) for this blog.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.