Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Monday, November 2, 2009

A More Efficient Form of

There's little doubt that is a great way of identifying job leads. Nonetheless it's results can be improved upon in some ways and I'll describe one in this posting.

Suppose you live in the Niagara Peninsula. Then you would be interested in job advertisements posted on for the Hamilton, Niagara and St Catharines areas. Now you could simply arrange to be kept informed about these areas as individual job alerts. However, the likelihood is that you would receive duplicate advertisements. For the purposes of this article--to keep it simple--let's assume that you want to see all advertisements. This would have the advantage that you would avoid missing opportunities.

I am going to describe how to set up a Yahoo 'Pipe' to get just one feed for the three areas, without duplicate ads. If you just want to know how to use the pipe then just cut to the chase scene (below).

This is the complete diagram for my pipe at The three boxes on the left represent feeds from, one each for Hamilton, Niagara and St Catharines respectively. To obtain the URLs I visited the corresponding pages at, then copied and pasted the URLs from the RSS feed buttons.

The three feeds are merged in the Union widget, then sorted on job titles. Then the Unique widget discards duplicate ads based on the guid in the merged feed.

The Chase Scene

Most people stay clear of feeds. Do you? No problem! Here's how to receive bunches of ads as email.

  1. In a separate browser tab or window open Yahoo! Alerts.
  2. Select 'Feed/Blog.'
  3. Copy this URL into the edit box at 'A':
  4. Select how often you want to receive alerts and indicate your email address.
  5. Save your alert.
Good hunting!


lifeaccordingtoagirl said...

Hi Ben,

I have found that Google Alerts work well (although I have never tried Yahoo alerts). Additionally, I have all of my alerts sent to my Google Reader. It makes life a lot easier.

On Indeed you can also create RSS feeds and email job alerts.


Bill Bell said...

Hi Christine,

Thanks for visiting; thanks very much for your comments.

Yes (he said wistfully) the simple truth is that, like you I suspect, I much prefer using Google Reader to getting any news, even news about jobs, as email. My problem as a career developer though is that a lot of our clients resist using news readers. Consequently we need to think through ways of giving them streams of jobs via email.

I'm glad you wrote because I'm still thinking about this problem.