What on earth is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's a really easy way to get instant alerts straight to your desktop, and doesn't require access to your email account.

Why is it a good idea for me?

We now provide access to your job alerts via RSS as well as the traditional email format. Whereas email alerts are sent at most once per day, RSS feeds are constantly updated throughout the day - you'll find out about new jobs within minutes of them being advertised.

Fantastic! How do I get it?

If you're able to install software yourself and there's not an IT department stopping you, then it's really simple! Select a "news reader" from our recommended software list and install one of them following their instructions. If you're using the Firefox browser, you've already got an RSS reader built in!

What's a news reader?

It's the software that allows websites that you've selected to send you information straight to your PC as soon as the information's available. Traditionally the information was news, therefore "news" reader.

OK, I've installed a news reader what next?

If you've already got email alerts set up, go to your job alerts page and click on the XML logo next to the relevant job alert (if you don't have any alerts yet, you can set one up on that page too). Then cut the URL (that's the internet address at the top of your browser) and paste it into your news reader. See the help in your news reader if you're not sure how to do that.

If you don't want emails as well (and you probably wouldn't) then remember to set your email alert frequency to never. It won't affect your brand new RSS feed.

XML?

XML is a computer language used to describe all different sorts of data. Wherever you see the XML logo, it usually represents an RSS feed. Don't worry, you don't need to know anything about XML to use the RSS feed.

All sounds a bit finicky?

A wee bit, but if you've got the Firefox browser it's all built in and more straightforward. Other browsers will no doubt follow soon. And anyway it's not much effort for such a superior service.

And if you do have an IT department getting in the way?

Tricky. You can ask them nicely to install a newsreader for you, or if they're a bit jobsworth you can use 3rd party websites that provide the same sort of service but once removed. See our recommended list.

OK. Anything else I should know?

Yes. Remember these alerts are instant and could be embarrassing if they pop up on the screen as you're showing the boss your latest work. If that's a worry make sure your news reader software will allow you to "hide" alerts until you're ready to view them.

 
Recommended RSS News Readers

If you can install software on your computer, we recommend the following news readers:

Windows
  - FeedDemon
  - NewzCrawler
  - More from Google

Macintosh
  - NewsFire
  - NetNewsWire
  - More from Google

If you can't install software, the following web sites allow you to view RSS feeds online:

  - My Yahoo
  - Bloglines
  - More from Google