Recently, I’ve been looking for opportunities to volunteer near my home or virtually. There are dozens of great websites to find volunteer jobs, but I often find myself forgetting to go visit one website or another.

Enter the RSS feed.

RSS graphic

The RSS (RDF Site Summary) feed allows anyone with an e-mail account to subscribe to a website’s updates, new blog posts, and yes, even job postings. Once you subscribe to an RSS feed for a particular website, you are notified either by e-mail or news feed on your e-mail homepage. You can unsubscribe at any time, too.

But no longer will you have to bookmark every site you love, or try to remember to visit each individual website daily. RSS feeds eliminate the need to do so.

Job hunters: this is the awesome part. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds for job sites, internship sites, and volunteering sites. Websites like Monster and SimplyHired are job posting giants. You may also want to research other job boards that are industry specific, such as IT or medical job boards. If you’re into internships and volunteering, Idealist is the way to go. Don’t forget to sign up for Craigslist RSS feeds, but be prepared for an overload of updates daily.

RSS feeds are great resources for job hunters. Using feeds saves time and energy when looking for new opportunities. I definitely recommend looking into how RSS feeds can help your job search, or more generally to help you keep up to date with your favorite blogs or websites.

Here are a few resources on using RSS feeds:

ehow.com’s how-to

lifehacker’s explanation

Try it for yourself!

Social media is a great outlet for the workplace. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (or The Big Three) instantly connect businesses with clients and vice versa. There’s no denying the power of interacting with clients and customers to find out what people really want.

Social media is also a great tool to promote teamwork between coworkers. Many companies encourage employees to friend each other on Facebook or Retweet each others’ Tweets. In many cases, employees are friends outside of the workplace, finding solstice at Happy Hour or building friendships on the bowling team. There are a lot of cases where employees have no problem sharing their social media outlets with others they work with.

But what happens when your boss adds you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you ignore the requests and pray your boss forgets about it? Or do you confront your supervisor head-on? This is a tricky situation that must be handled with care.

“What are you doing?”
“I’m firing you! I’ve seen your idiot boss Tweet!”

With this situation, honesty is the way to go. If you are uncomfortable sharing your personal life with your boss or other coworkers, tell them! Don’t dodge their questions; it will only create an awkward working environment. Explain to whomever it is that you have a policy of keeping work friends and your social life separate. In most cases, the other party will understand and move on.

someecards.com - Let's remember to never admit we've blocked each other on Facebook.

Social media is a great way to connect with people you work with, but it’s not for everyone. I personally have no problem sharing my personal life with people I work with…but to each his own!

How do you feel about friending your coworkers or boss?

I’d like to share an awesome blog with you; the content is directly related to my last post. I just subscribed to new posts, and you should too!

Here’s a link to Terribly Write‘s latest post:

I could hardly conceal my glee.

Enjoy!

Since I just finished reading Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White, I feel inspired to talk about grammar and usage. I have read portions of this book before, but I decided it was time for me to read it cover to cover (OK, it’s only 85 pages, but shh).

Elements of Style: Read it!

Many social media users ignore the importance of good writing skills when posting updates. When users have extremely poor grammar, bad spelling, or missing punctuation, it often reflects poorly on their writing skills. I know, I know. Social media is supposed to be fun! Why worry about spelling or usage? Well here’s why.

Using proper English skills, whether your sentence is short or long, is always important. First and foremost, using these skills shows your grasp on the English language. Knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” shows a lot about your writing skills. Even the most intelligent people can be perceived as unintelligent if they constantly have errors in their writing. Avoid this misconception by using correct grammar in social media updates!

If you’re one of the many people searching for a job, you should know that employers have a way of finding your social media accounts (whether you want them to or not!) Many employers regard writing skills as the most important skill set for a job. Don’t be lazy; show prospective employers that you are intelligent and can write a solid sentence.

It’s easy to fall into a bad habit of abbreviating words such as “u,” “urs,” or “def.” Unless you have character limits (such as the 140 character limit on Twitter), it’s definitely a better idea to spell everything out. Keeping up with proper usage and spelling on social media sites keeps your mind sharp for those times when you have to write a well written statement, such as an e-mail to a boss.

Those are three important reasons, among many other reasons, why proper English is important when writing for social media. Everything from long-winded blog posts to the tiniest of Tweets should sound professional on some level.

While no one is perfect, it is still important to consider grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage when writing for social media. Your friends, your future boss, and your brain will thank you in the end.

I will leave you with a few examples of bad writing I saw on social media sites today:

I think these tweets speak for themselves.

…Now back to the Emmys. Go Modern Family!