What the Heck is RSS?! (Actually, It’s the Ultimate Career Tool)

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By J.T. O’Donnell

I recently did an informal poll while speaking to a bunch of professionals. Their ages ranged from early 20′s to late 60′s. I asked how many of them knew what an RSS feed was. Less than 1/2 raised their hands. I then asked those who claimed they knew what it was if they subscribed to any. Most of the hands dropped. I get it. I was one of those people too! It wasn’t until I got hooked on blogging and the power of creating a customized career news source that I started following RSS feeds. So, I’ve decided to unlock the mystery and share how anyone can use RSS feeds to power-up their professional knowledge and advance their careers.

To start, you need to know why this is vital to your career…

I wrote a post a while back about the popular business author, Malcom Gladwell’s theory, The 10,000 Hour Rule. It basically proves people who do well professionally (i.e. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs) rack up thousands of hours of information, experience and knowledge on a certain subject that puts them ahead of the curve, and eventually, at the top of their field. Makes sense, right? It’s a fact I think we can all agree upon – we need experience and knowledge to be viewed as a valuable resource (a.k.a. good employee). And yet, far too many job seekers (and even people who are currently employed) fail to recognize that today’s changing economy is forcing us all to focus more on educating ourselves to ensure we have the knowledge that keeps us employable both now and in the future. (As we say here at CAREEREALISM, “Because EVERY Job is Temporary!’)

So, what can we do about it?

Well, one of the smartest things we can do is create an information resource that keeps us up-to-date on all the latest news related to job search, our professions, and the work world in general. We need to educate ourselves on a daily basis so that we can build our expertise and be seen as the ‘go-to’ person in our field to ensure we remain attractive to employers. In short, we need to find and follow the RSS feeds of the best websites/blogs (we’re talking quality over quantity here) who can help us stay in-the-know.

Creating an RSS homepage full of valuable career content is easy…just watch this!

To show you how easy it is to create the ultimate career tool, I created this quick video which walks you through the process of developing a customized page of RSS feeds you can glance at each time you log on to the internet. In just 5 minutes, you’ll be an RSS pro!

VIDEO: RSS Feeds – How to Create the Ultimate Career Tool

Now, it’s time to go find the best sources for YOU!

For those of you who are looking for good feeds to follow, I suggest in the video you check out these:

CAREEREALISM.com’s APPROVED Experts – All the experts who contribute to our site are proven career professionals with excellent blogs. You can check them out here and find direct links to their blogs.

The Work Buzz – Careerbuilder.com’s excellent career blog is a must-follow on your feed and recently created a great list of blogs to follow for your job search and career development.

Alltop.com – It’s a magazine rack of blogs where you can search on any topic and find a comprehensive list of blogs on the subject to follow.

That’s it! You are officially an RSS news feed user!

You can now say with confidence that you not only know how what an RSS feed is but that you use them to advance your career. And, if you found this information helpful, please consider subscribing to our feed so you can continue to get our cutting-edge career information and resources as soon as we post them.

PS – For those of you who already know how to leverage RSS feeds and have the ultimate career tool homepage working for you, I’d be grateful if you’d please help our fellow readers by sharing links to your favorite feeds below. Let us know who’s worth following!

CAREEREALISM

This career advice site provides daily personal branding tips and job search advice from approved career experts and businesses to over 600,000 visitors each month.

13 comments

  1. This is such a helpful post/tutorial!!! I set up my Google Reader a month or two ago but have been SO overwhelmed by the hundreds of bold “unread” posts. Using iGoogle seems like a great way to streamline. I'm treating it as a best-of my RSS feed. Thanks for the advice!

  2. This is such a helpful post/tutorial!!! I set up my Google Reader a month or two ago but have been SO overwhelmed by the hundreds of bold “unread” posts. Using iGoogle seems like a great way to streamline. I'm treating it as a best-of my RSS feed. Thanks for the advice!

  3. Great post! I was one of those people who had never used RSS – and didn't know why I would want to. Now I LOVE iGoogle and couldn't work without it. Great video and a resource you'll definitely want to explore!

  4. Great post! I was one of those people who had never used RSS – and didn't know why I would want to. Now I LOVE iGoogle and couldn't work without it. Great video and a resource you'll definitely want to explore!

    • It's a .wmv file so it only opens in Windows Media Player. You may find if you clear your cache in your computer, it will prompt you to download the video file so you can open/watch it.

      Hope that helps!

      JT

  5. Thank you for your article. Currently, I am pursuing a new career path after 8+ years in restaurant operations. As you can imagine, this is an interesting experience considering all of the social media resources now at our fingertips:) I have a question that will probably come off as a little ignorant- how does RSS differ from the other media resources such as blogs?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi Meredith – no question is ignorant in the social media world! Think of blogs as 'newspaper columns.' They come out on regular basis and you find them in the same location every time. In this case, a blog will have a unique web address, a URL, which you visit to read the column. Now, if you'd like the column sent to your 'doorstep', a.k.a. your inbox in your e-mail, most blogs offer that option somewhere near the RSS feed button. OR, you can simply follow the instructions in the video above and add the RSS feed to a custom homepage for yourself. This process will then post the titles of all new content on the blog so you can scan them and then click on the ones you want to read.

      I hope that helps. I promise, social media is like learning to ride bike, it's awkward in the beginning, but in no time you are riding like a pro.

      JT

  6. This was EXTREMELY helpful! Thank you “demystifying” RSS and walking us through the process of setting up our homepage AND sharing tips on how to find the information we want to access! I am now a CAREEREALISM fan for life! This was FANTASTIC!

  7. Thank you for demystifying RSS feeds for job seekers (and really- anyone!) . The video was informative and easy to follow. Great job! (Just Tweeted about it.)

    Marci Reynolds
    J2B Marketing

  8. My favorite blogs these days for people interested in iPhone programming and web design are:

    Jeff LaMarche's Blog (author of Beginning iPhone Development): http://iphonedevelopment.blogspot.com/feeds/pos
    Cocoa With Love (good Cocoa-iPhone blog): http://cocoawithlove.com/feeds/posts/default
    Dzone RSS Feed (general programming articles, usually a few interesting ones per day): http://feeds.dzone.com/dzone/frontpage
    A List Apart (web design): http://www.alistapart.com/site/rss
    Web Designer Depot (web deisng): http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/feed/

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