Finding a job on Craigslist is not as difficult and painstaking as some may believe. It’s definitely doable, considering the site is full of jobs from all fields and industries.
This article will make your Craigslist job search a lot easier by providing you with the pros and cons of using Craigslist, what to watch out for, the rules to follow, and a list of success tips.
Why Should I Use Craigslist to Find a Job?
Craigslist has become the go-to place when it comes to selling your stuff or buying the occasional smartphone for cheap. Although Craigslist does these things exceptionally well – the site is so much more than an online garage sale.
It’s a quick and easy online job board that has become one of the leading places for people to check out when they are in need of employment. I’ve seen friends find jobs ranging from upper management positions to plumbing gigs – whatever your skill set, you’re bound to find a position suiting your needs.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should use Craigslist to find your next job:
Jobs are updated more frequently – New positions are added every day – meaning you’ll have access to more jobs and have a greater possibility of getting hired.
Up-to-date search results – When you search for jobs, you will be shown the most up-to-date search results, meaning you won’t have to sort through a bunch of inactive or outdated listings. Instead, the most recent job postings will appear at the top – saving you time and energy from having to plow through a bunch of irrelevant search results.
Small businesses and start-ups love it – Small businesses and start-ups use Craigslist for recruitment purposes rather than other online job boards because with Craigslist they don’t have to pay premium monthly fees. Using Craigslist will provide you with access to jobs you won’t find anywhere else.
Faster application process – Other online job boards are full of time wasting activities. You have to sign up, fill out your profile, and go through a long and dull application process. With Craigslist, all you have to do is send your resume and cover letter. It’s quick and easy.
Popularity – The site is the 12th most visited website in the US – meaning employers and businesses are posting a lot of positions here.
Why Should I Avoid Using Craigslist to Find a Job?
Like with any website or service, Craigslist is exposed to a wide variety of negative issues.
Everyone is using it – This is both a good and bad thing. Small businesses love using the site because it’s very quick and easy to find candidates. Unfortunately, the quick and easy nature also attracts a lot of scammers. You’ll find the job boards are full of get-rich-quick scams, identity theft scams, and multilevel marketing positions.
Posting your resume under the services offered section is just asking for spam– Scammers plow through the resumes under the services offered section and will use your email to send you scam jobs or invitations to join other job sites.
Scammers love using the site – Craigslist doesn’t monitor postings or require any verification of information – meaning there’s a high possibility you may apply to a job and get a call back, only to find out it’s an MLM opportunity or a commissioned based door to door sales job (they won’t tell you this on the phone, instead they’ll call you in for an interview and try to lure you in).
Higher risk of identity theft – A lot of scammers post false jobs with the goal of getting your personal information. They’re praying on unsuspecting job seekers to send in resumes with their contact information.
Lots of applicants – Keep in mind the jobs posted on Craigslist receive a lot of applicants in a very short period of time – meaning if you’re planning on finding a job through the site, you have to be fast and quick.
Now that you’re caught up with the pros and cons of using Craigslist, below is a comprehensive list of what you should watch out for during your job seeking process.
What to Watch Out for…
Jobs with very few details – Real employers will post positions with details outlining the job description, qualifications, skills required, compensation, and duties. Scammer jobs, on the other hand, offer very little details because their goal is to appeal to a broader audience.
Below is an image of what a real job posting looks like (notice the level of detail and information provided):
Below is an image of what appears to be a multi-level marketing position, 100% commission based sales job, or a scam.
No unique email – When applying for a position, you want to check the reply email. Scammers often use Craigslist generated emails such as email@example.com, whereas credible and legit employers will often use real company emails such as firstname.lastname@example.org (take this point with a grain of salt, sometimes real employers will use the Craigslist generated email as well because they want to remain anonymous).
Jobs titles with “No Skills Required” – These ads are usually not jobs, and instead are fake listings that are created with the goal of getting contact information from as many people as possible for scam related purposes.
Beware of titles that include the following: all caps, stock images, dollar signs, “call today”, “no experience necessary”, “hiring all new graduates”, “make money fast”, “be your own boss”, “achieve financial freedom” – These are usually scams, multilevel marketing positions, or 100% commission based door to door sales jobs.
Read the compensation policy carefully – Real employers will either post the compensation or they will tell you to send in your salary expectations alongside your resume and cover letter. Scam jobs on the other hand or employers looking merely for free work will include “compensation to be decided after trial period”, “competitive”, “fast track”, “unlimited” etc. You want to avoid these jobs because there’s a high possibility you won’t get paid for your work.
6 Rules to Follow when using Craigslist for your Job Search
Finding a job on Craigslist is different from other online job boards. There are certain rules you need to follow to increase the chances of getting a callback.
Apply fast – The faster you apply to a position, the better. Employers are bombarded with a large amount of applicants and usually make decisions quite quickly. A good rule of thumb is to apply within the first 24 hours of the posted date.
Double check the description before applying – Many employers will ask you to include a specific word in your subject line or respond to a particular email. Make sure to reread the description before applying to the position – you don’t want to miss out on a position because you failed to follow instructions.
Do not give out your personal information – Only include your email and your phone number as contact information on your resume.
Create a new email account – You don’t want your primary email stolen or overwhelmed with spam.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – If you’re reading a job description and it makes huge promises about money, it’s probably a MLM opportunity. Trust your instincts.
Check the posting date – Avoid applying to positions that are more than 2 weeks old. They have most likely been filled and the employer simply forgot to remove the listing.
Now that you’re familiar with what to do and what to avoid – you want to keep in mind the following success tips during your job seeking process.
Tips for Success
I’ve had friends land jobs from IT specialists and bookkeepers to management consultants and sales executives. The jobs are out there, the key to finding a job through Craigslist like with anything is to remain determined and persistent.
Follow the tips below and you’ll be ahead of the competition:
Target your search by specific keyword – Craigslist has a great search feature; you can search the site using specific keywords related to your skill set. For instance, if you’re experienced in HTML or WordPress – use those keywords to find jobs with those exact qualifications.
Filter your search results according to your needs – Use the side panel to narrow your search results by part-time, full-time, contracting, or telecommuting.
Apply for positions where you meet 60-80% of the requirements – Don’t shy away if you don’t meet all the requirements. Most employers will hire you if you meet at least the majority of the qualifications.
Differentiate yourself by writing an appealing and eye-catching email – Majority of applicants are lazy and they only submit a resume. You can separate yourself from the competition by writing a brief introduction that explains why you’re the perfect fit for the position (focus on what you can do for the employer).
Apply to 5-10 jobs a day – Craigslist is a numbers game, the more resumes you send, the greater your odds of getting a callback. A good rule of thumb is to expect one callback for every 20 applications you send out.
Check the gigs section– The gigs section is separate from the jobs sections – although the gigs section is meant for one time jobs, sometimes employers will mistakenly post full-time positions here.
Do I Recommend Using Craigslist?
Despite the negative things you may hear about Craigslist, it’s still a great tool to use to find a job. The thing to remember is there is a lot of shady stuff out there, so keep in mind the red flags and things to avoid and you should have a much easier time finding real jobs through the service.
I’ve had countless friends and colleagues land jobs by using the service so there’s no reason why you can’t as well. Small businesses and startups are posting positions daily, it’s just a matter of time before you land your next job.
The key is to be persistent! In today’s competitive job environment, you cannot afford to pass up Craigslist as a tool to land your next job.