Simplifying Your Job Search

8 - Yogi BerraSometimes you know more than you know you knew. It’s my best attempt at making up a Yogi Berra quote. Does that make sense to you? It will in a moment.

I’ve been hanging out with Chandlee Bryan quite a bit lately. Chandlee Bryan is a career coach and certified resume writer. She runs a great Meetup group for NYC job seekers where she gathers those seeking some or better employment to discuss how to achieve their goals. I had the opportunity to join the group for a Meetup last week.

I spoke to Chandlee about how I manage to search Craigslist every day for certain keywords with minimal effort. It’s something I’ve done for three years running now. Craigslist doesn’t have email notifications, it also doesn’t have fancy ways to save your searches. What Craigslist has is RSS feeds for everything. At the end of this post, you’ll have set yourself up daily notifications of new jobs in your area on Craigslist based on the keywords of your choice.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a file format on the web that allows you to check for new content (blog posts, podcast episodes, news articles, etc.) without going to the actual website. Most web browsers can read these files in one form or another, and there are many applications and web sites that can read these files easily. I suggest using Google Reader. For more on Google Reader, here’s a link to a video that explains it in English: Google Reader in Plain English.

If you’re a hairdresser in Anchorage, AK, you might check craigslist every day for new listing of people hiring hairdressers. If you look at the site every day, it’ll look something like this:


You could bookmark that page and visit it every day in order to be quick responding to a posting, but that takes time and effort on your part. I want this to be easier for you. Right-click the “RSS” button in the bottom right of the page when you’re looking at a Craigslist search and select “Copy Link” or something similar that your web browser will say in the menu that pops up.

Feed My InboxSo now we have the RSS file location for your search for hairdresser posting in Anchorage, AK copied. The next step is to head over to Feed My Inbox.

Feed My Inbox is a service that checks RSS feeds and emails them you daily when there is something new in the feed. This way, you don’t have to worry about RSS feeds or checking websites daily. Instead, you’ll receive email notifications you can check first thing in the morning. I recommend putting searches together for the “all jobs” and “all gigs” sections of Craigslist. This trick also works if you’re really looking for that specific IKEA Blergstaad end table.

The best part about using a combination of RSS feeds and Feed My Inbox is that the only cost to you is time. Craigslist provides the RSS feeds free of charge and Feed My Inbox is a free service from the great people at Brightwurks. This method is how I got my job at the now defunct New York Sun newspaper and how I’ve found a few pieces of audio gear I had been lusting after.

Are there other ways that you have simplified your job search? Let me know in the comments.