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How to use targeted RSS feeds to automatic job alerts

Ace Contributor
Gregory John G Member Since: Mar 27, 2018
1 of 19

I like to respond to new and highly interesting job postings as soon as possible.

The below method describes in detail how to automate job notifications for very specific categories of job search queries.  I use a combination of the following, which I'll show you how to do in this article.  This is a courtesy to fellow freelancers, and I may not be able to respond to your questions.

I take no responsibility for any of the results you may encounter, so use this method at your own risk.

1) Create very specific job queries using Boolean connectors
2) Test these out and then copy the RSS feed
3) Paste the RSS feed you just created into a Newsfeed application
4) Test out the news feed on your iPhone or Android and set up synch and notifications

The following demonstration is not meant to answer all your questions, and I do not have the time to respond to any technical problems you might encounter.   If you follow these instructions exactly, it 'should' work for you.

1) Create very specific job queries using Boolean connectors:

Suppose I want to search for jobs having either Python, or Code Guru, or Javascript in the title?
The Boolean code that I've found works best for multiple words and phrases is this:
For some reason, Upwork's editor is inserting sad emoticons where I use a colon : and right (
titleSmiley Sad(Python OR ('Code Guru') OR Javascript))

It probably deserves a separate article to explain how best to construct Boolean searches.


NOTE: There is a 40 character rule if you attempt to your search in the standard box.

So, just enter Python for now by clicking on the Advanced Search:


The Advance Search hyperlink opens up this form and is where I entered Python (due to the 40 character limitation).  You have other valuable options here that you can use, such as All of these words, Any of these words, etc.  However, to obtain best results, I want to use my own Boolean search string:


Notice that I pasted (over-wrote) the search box:
It originally had this due to the 40-character limitation in the above shown form:


I entered the desired Boolean search string in the topmost search box circled in red and hit the ENTER button on my keyboard to lock-in the new Boolean phrase I want.  This over-wrote what was originally in the box from the above shown form.

titleSmiley Sad(Python OR ('Code Guru') OR Javascript))




At this point, you can see the results and if they match your desired expectations.  If not, just play around with the Boolean syntax until you get it right.



I then clicked on the green Filters button (circled in red) to expand my options.  You can now fine-tune your query based on the boxes and options, while keeping your new and improved Boolean search phrase.


Next, I click on the Save search button.  It defaults to the text in the search box, but you should give it a logical name.  For example, I'll call this search "Upwork - Coding"


This is not user-friendly but is the default name the system provides:



Give your RSS search feed a short - logical name:



2) Test these out and then copy the RSS feed

First, click on the FIND WORK tab at the top of the page:
You will now see your new Saved Search listed as "Upwork - Coding" or whatever you named your search.
Notice that you have two options
A) Click on the name "Upwork - Coding" (This enables you to delete the custom search as described below)
B) Click on the green < symbol with three dots (This is how we will get our RSS feed link)
(B only appears if you move your mouse over the area)



If you click on the name 'Upwork - Coding', you can examine the results again one last time.  Now, click on the 3 green dots and a box will open up (I have drawn a red box around it, so you can see the 3 green dots and the resulting drop-down box when you click on the 3 green dots

Ignore the RSS option for now.  You can also use the "Remove topic' option to delete your custom query.  The delete option is very valuable because you can experiment with several custom queries, and then delete those variations that don't work as well to keep your Saved Searches panel cleaner.



3) Paste the RSS feed you just created into a Newsfeed application
Go back to the Saved Searches by clicking at the top of your page 'FIND WORK'
Hover your cursor over your desired Saved Search (In my case it's 'Upwork - Coding'

Do not click on the Saved Search Title for 'Upwork - Coding' in this example, but on the > symbol shown




This will open the following window, which has the green RSS radio wave symbol in the smaller inner red circle I've drawn.  You want to right-click on the RSS option that pops up and select "Copy Link Location".

It's difficult to show this with a normal screen capture, so I took a photo with my iPhone:  Here's what you want to do:




You can copy this to notepad or a text document.  You will need to use this link in your RSS Newsfeed application.


Here's what my RSS link looks like:

There are several RSS Newsfeed applications that are free.  I was using "rss to email' from
This enabled me to send Upwork searches to my Gmail on a regular basis.
Today, I prefer the Newsify iPhone application.


This is the 'Dark' theme.  As you can see, it has all my customized Upwork searches using the special Boolean query syntax.  I can easily see unread job opportunities.




If you prefer a lighter theme, that's easily done in settings:



Here, I selected Sepia as a Theme and it's also very easy to read.  You an also set up daytime or nighttime themes to automatically switch over.




You see that I have 8 Tableau jobs listed.  When, I click on 'Upwork - Tableau' I see headlines of each job, and I can modify the view a few ways.  I like the list view:




I'm seeing advertisements because I am using the free version. The adverts don't bother me enough to pay for a subscription, but I might out of appreciation to the developers.


When I click on the most recent Tableau job, here's what I see.  It provides me a direct link, and also remembers my Upwork ID and log-in.




Let's add a new RSS feed, based on the 'Upwork - Coding' example we just created:

You'll recall that we saved the RSS link after right-clicking on the saving the link as I described above.  I just send all the links in a text file to my iPhone by using an email or WhatsApp.

Then, I insert them one-by-one into Newsify using this method:
Click on the large + symbol at the top right of the Newsify screen, under my 56% battery icon:



Ignore (if you choose) all the links that pop-up - they are just suggested RSS feeds by Newsify.

You will use the Search or enter an ad(dress) field at the top to paste the RSS link you saved for your custom search:




Assuming you saved the RSS link correctly, once you paste it into the top search field, it will automatically populate the title as 'All jobs |'


Congratulations!  You made it this far?  Wonderful!  Unfortunately, Newsify will name ALL your new RSS links 'All jobs |' so you will want to change the name to whatever seems logical to you:




Here, I'm renaming this link from "All jobs |' to 'Upwork - Coding'



Now, when I go back to the main screen in Newsify, I find my new custom Upwork RSS search at the bottom, circled in red.



I can click on the Edit link at the top-left of my Newsify screen and then drag and drop to re-order this new RSS feed to put it in alphabetical order.  You see I have 29 new jobs to bid on that met my criteria:



4) Test out the news feed on your iPhone or Android and set up synch and notifications

You'll want to play around with the Synch Settings in the Newsify application (shown immediately below), as well as the Newsify application in the iPhone Notification Settings (shown at bottom):

Do not use my settings, as I have since adjusted them to something that works best for my own purposes.




While most settings are within the Newsify application, the Allow Notifications are within the iPhone settings for Notifications:



I hope you found this useful.  By creating highly targeted job search queries and receiving them automatically, with alerts, as soon as they appear on Upwork, you can be one of the earlier candidates to send the potential client a proposal.

The rest is up to you!

Good luck - Greg G.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 19

Gregory John G wrote:

 it's CRITICAL that you get in FAST to bid on suitable projects. 


Considering that clients do **NOT** see proposals in the order they were received, and take on average 3 days to hire, this whole mammoth post is based on a faulty premise: That getting in first will win you more jobs.


Obviously applying when the job is still fresh is a good idea as the client may have their shortlist already if you get there too late, but there is no "Make sure you're top of the list" thing going on, because you can be last to apply and be at the top of the list the client sees or first to apply and hidden at the bottom or even in an "unlikely to be suitable" folder.


Ace Contributor
Gregory John G Member Since: Mar 27, 2018
3 of 19
I can’t speak for your experience and you are entitled to your opinion.

I did a correlation analysis between my interviews and the number of pre-existing proposals.

There was a strong negative correlation. In other words, statistically, the more proposals already submitted, the less likely it was to get an interview.

I don’t have time to watch Upwork for suitable jobs, so I automated the process as I describe in this thorough post.

You can keep using whatever method works for you.

Obviously, I devoted a lot of thought in automating this process, so you can imagine how much effort I saved the people who want to use RSS feeds effectively but don’t know where to start. I just handed them a roadmap.

Best wishes to you.

PS: In fact, I just received new suitable jobs as I was responding:

Ace Contributor
Peter K Member Since: Nov 23, 2016
4 of 19

This is an old thread but for me at least, something was said here that I was not aware of and is critically important. I think the quoting may get messed up because of the age of the post - not my fault Smiley Happy 


Petra said: 

"Considering that clients do **NOT** see proposals in the order they were received,'


Can you please explain this in detail. And, any tips on on how we can get further up that list?

Thank you. 


Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
5 of 19

Hi Peter, 


Clients have an option to sort proposals when they view them in the list. Sorting them Newest or Oldest First are options that are present there. Best Match is the default sorting option.

~ Valeria
Ace Contributor
Peter K Member Since: Nov 23, 2016
6 of 19



Thanks. While I post the occaisonal job as a clent as well, I never noticed that. I hope that the best match does not use the same algorithm as the one that proposes freelancers to clients. That one is not good!

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 19

If "odds" have anything to do with the likelihood that you will or will not secure a client relationship, you are in the wrong line of work.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
8 of 19
Gregory, your methodology may work well for you, but its applicability may be limited for freelancers who don’t charge anywhere near $525 an hour.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Gregory John G Member Since: Mar 27, 2018
9 of 19
When I first started applying for jobs on Upwork, I was taking much lower paying jobs. I still do if I think it will open doors.

Most of my work comes from former associates and their professional network, so I don’t need Upwork, as it provides about 5% of my work.

I’ve made $15 an hour on some jobs I did to win more business.

Sometimes, I’ve earned $2,500 an hour on a fixed price quote to a hospital from outside of Upwork.

This method was helpful for lower priced projects as well as higher ones.

I much prefer milestone projects, where my client only pays if they are completely satisfied with each step toward success.

I got started in marketing in my early twenties as a graphic designer (PageMaker, Illustrator, Photoshop) and writer before migrating into data science.

Frankly, I found writing and graphic design are more demanding because it’s harder to re-purpose your creative work.

Data science, on the other hand, enables me to leverage prior work in new ways much more easily.

I also earn more than my days as a graphic designer or corporate writer.

Creative work was more fun, and I have my best brochures, newsletters, and videos archived for the creative pride.

I don’t save predictive models out of similar pride.
Ace Contributor
Gregory John G Member Since: Mar 27, 2018
10 of 19
Thank you for your response. By ‘odds’ I mean ‘probability’.

There are many factors that impact the likelihood of obtaining a client meeting and offer.

One factor I have found to be of importance is the speed at which I submit a proposal.

The method I describe makes it possible to craft several highly targeted saved job searches and trigger RSS alerts that are displayed on Newsify on my iPhone.

Data science is my focus, and ‘odds’ or ‘probability’ is ideally suited to my line of work.

Treating people with respect is a practice we all benefit from, and it doesn’t require statistics to figure that out.