Using RSS to Post Jobs: EPA’s Case
November 4, 2013
Why Post Jobs?
• Very popular link on home page
– Top 10 click (others include search
and contact us)
• Job listings page on our website
is popular: 500-700 views/day
• On Facebook, people asked for
Why Not Post Jobs?
• Resource intensive to maintain: fast-changing
• Especially challenging to create and maintain
• High visibility if we miss something, including:
– Not posting all jobs
– Leaving a job up that’s closed
– Missing some detail on a particular listing
RSS is a plain text file best created automatically
One file, so the same information everywhere
Fire and forget: once set up, zero maintenance
Easy to add new channels, edit existing ones
Each channel is independent of others
We use OPM’s RSS feed from USAJOBS.gov
Same Info, Different Channels
Job Listings Page
Careers home page
EPA Sends to Three Channels
• EPA website
– Careers home page: http://epa.gov/careers
– Page specifically for job listings:
– RSS URL also listed directly
• Twitter: @EPAjobs: http://twitter.com/EPAjobs
– 4500 followers
• Email subscription via GovDelivery signup box on EPA
– 52,000 subscribers (3rd most popular EPA topic)
How to Start
• Get the OPM job search RSS feed
• Decide where you want to send job listings:
Email (find a system that can autosend based on RSS)
How to Finish
• Research each potential channel
– Is it possible to send an RSS feed an auto-post?
– How do you actually do it? Research before deciding to use
– Any intermediate sites needed (e.g., Twitterfeed to send to
– Any restrictions in TOS prevent autoposting?
• Implement and check every once in a while
– List all channels on your website
– Link to your website from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, listserves
– Share website URL in email signature block, paper materials,
Getting the RSS Feed
1. Advanced search on USAjobs.gov:
Setting up Your Search
• EPA uses nothing in the top section
• Location: we leave blank to include all jobs,
but this could be relevant to your office
Agency Search Options
• Agency search: choose top-level agency or branch, then
• For several organizations:
– Choose one of the last two options
– Then choose agency
• Must click “add” after each choice to include it.
Select Other Options
• Occupational series: leave blank to include all
• Applicant eligibility: leave “no” checked to
include jobs open to non-feds
• Sort results: choose “date”
• Other settings as you choose
• Click “Search Jobs”
Getting the RSS Feed
On the search results page, click the link on the left to “RSS Feed of This
Search” and copy the URL of the page that comes up.
Note: the URL will work as long as it’s used, but will vanish after 3 years
of not being used
Autoposting to Website
• Decide what you want to do on the site
– Dedicated page just for job listings?
– Pages that also serve other purposes?
– Multiple pages?
• EPA’s choice:
– dedicated page: http://epa.gov/careers/openings.html
– careers site home page: http://epa.gov/careers
• How? Work with coder
Autoposting to Email
• Decide what you want to do in email:
– Dedicated listserve?
– Send to a listserve that has other purposes
– Send to multiple lists?
• EPA’s choice: Dedicated listserve
• How? Work with listserve provider
– EPA uses GovDelivery: http://govdelivery.com
Autoposting to Twitter
• Decide what you want to do in Twitter:
– Dedicated account?
– Send to an account that has other purposes
– Send to multiple accounts?
• EPA’s choice: Dedicated account: @EPAjobs
• How? EPA uses Twitterfeed: http://twitterfeed.com
– For each Twitter account: log in, then go to
1. Create an account.
2. When the dashboard appears, click “create
new feed” in the upper right corner
3. Choose a feed name. This isn’t public; it appears only in
your Twitterfeed dashboard.
4. Paste the URL from USAJOBS into “RSS feed URL”
5. Click “test RSS feed” to be sure it’s correct. Note the
message about “GUID,” which you’ll use further down.
6. Scroll down, click “advanced settings” in the lower left
Update frequency: every 30 minutes
Post up to: 5 new updates at a time
Post content: title & description
Post link: check it and choose bit.ly, which will turn all .gov URLs into
Optional: click “bitly settings,” then create a bit.ly account to be able to track
We don’t use Twitterfeed with LinkedIn or Facebook, so we skip those
8. Post sorting: GUID and check “feed is sorted”
9. Skip prefix, suffix, and keyword filter unless you have a specific need
10. You’ve now set up the feed. Click “continue to step 2” to choose where
to publish it.
11.Click “Twitter” under “available services”
12. In another window in the same browser, you should’ve
logged into the target Twitter account. Click the big blue
“Authenticate Twitter” button.
13.Twitter will ask you to give Twitterfeed
access. Click “authorize app.”
show your Twitter
account in the
first box. Delete
anything in the
and click “Create
15. On the available services page, you’ll see the Twitter account
listed. Click “All done” in the lower left corner.
• You’re all set, as shown on the confirmation
• Jeffrey Levy, EPA
• OPM Help
– RSS feed questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Building a jobs
– APIs: https://data.usajobs.gov
– Dan Thibodeau, USAJOBS Deputy Program Manager
• (202) 606-1563