RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to frequently updated content, such as news headlines or blog postings. It is generally designed to be interpreted and displayed by a news reader application.
A news reader (also known as a feed aggregator) is an application designed to download and display RSS feeds. News readers can either be standalone applications (similar to Outlook Express) or, alternately, they can be web-based (like Hotmail or Yahoo!). They are commonly used to retrieve news headlines, articles or blog entries from various web sites into a central location, allowing users to scan through headlines, and saving the time of going to each site individually.
Job Bank is currently providing public access on a trial basis to allow users to create custom-made RSS feeds, of both public and Government of Canada job listings, based on location and specific job search criteria. For example, a user could create an RSS feed for the keyword "manager" in Halifax, and this would generate a precise URL for that particular search. When this URL is added to a news reader, new job postings will be displayed by the application as they are posted online.
First, you need to choose an RSS news reader. Doing a search for "RSS reader" on any major search engine will provide you with a selection of RSS readers you can use, of both the standalone and web-based variety.
Once you complete the RSS job search form and click "Submit", the page that follows will display the URL (found in the location bar of the browser window) of the RSS feed. This may or may not appear user-friendly; different browsers will treat RSS feeds in different ways. The important part is to copy-and-paste the URL that appears in the location bar into your news reader. The RSS feed will then start to display regular job search updates for you. Please consult the documentation for your particular news reader application if you cannot find where to paste the URL.
Unfortunately, due to the massive selection of news readers available, it is impossible for Job Bank or Service Canada to provide any end-user support for this feature. The intention is to provide this feature for people who prefer RSS news readers over traditional web browsing, and isn't an appropriate method for everyone. Chances are, if you're not already using a news reader, or are not familiar with RSS, then you will likely prefer to either search for jobs via Job Bank's Job Search interface, or you sign up for our e-mail based Job Alert service. The job postings provided through the RSS feed are the same as either option mentioned above.
However, if you have online accounts with major e-mail providers, then you likely have the ability to view RSS feeds in some capacity already. Most of them will also have well-documented help sections to assist you in adding RSS feeds into their online products, so that would be a good place to begin.
While creating the RSS feed for your search is pretty straight-forward, the parameters can get quite complex, and as they do, the URL returned can get to be quite long (particularly if there are many locations selected or a lot of keywords entered). Some news readers have a limit on the length of the URL (often 256 characters) so it's best to tailor your search criteria to avoid exceeding this limit.
Since RSS job search feeds are considered to be in a "public trial", we would like to hear your thoughts or opinions about this feature. You can reach us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org