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Is Craigslist a Good Place to Find a Job?

Is Craigslist a Good Place to Find a Job? By CareerCast.com

If you're looking for a job, you've probably gone on Craigslist. After all, everyone else has, since the site has so many job openings at any given time. But is it a good place to find a job? Do people actually find steady full-time or part-time work?

Most experts say that Craigslist is a great source for job hunters and offers lots of legitimate job opportunities. At the same time, through, the things that make the site so popular for job seekers can also make it harder to find the right job. Here are some of them:

The site is free.

It's free for employers to post on Craigslist, and it's free for you to browse it, so it makes sense to review the listings to see what's out there. But because it's free, everyone is using it, so real job offers from legitimate companies get mixed in with get-rich-quick, multilevel marketing and identity theft scams.

The site shows new jobs every day.

Since so many people post on Craigslist, your search results are always up-to-date, and you rarely see posts older than one day. But this can be a negative, too. Since postings are presented in reverse chronological order, if you stay off the site for even a few days, you might miss the perfect job because it was posted a day too early.

You can also post your resume or place an ad under "Services Offered."

If you're not finding any interesting jobs, you can always let employers find you by posting an ad under "Resumes" or "Services Offered." While it's less effective than the traditional approach, it can occasionally result in a viable lead.

There are two caveats to this approach, though. First, ads only stay up for seven days, so you'll need to repost frequently. Second, job hunters who post immediately find themselves getting spam or scam e-mails, e-mails from recruiters offering jobs that may or may not interest you, or invitations to join other job sites.

So there’s definitely a downside to using Craigslist in your job search, but it shouldn't keep you from using it. In fact, knowing about these pitfalls can help you refine your job search strategy so you can find the job you're looking for.

Here are three things you can do to make your Craigslist search more fruitful, and to distinguish yourself from fellow job seekers and find the right job that much sooner

1. Refine your search by keyword.

If you search for jobs in one or two categories, you'll have to sift through many jobs that you don't want or aren't qualified for. Conversely, the right job might be in a category you normally don't look in. Keywords solve both problems.

Whether you do a general search or a category-specific one, keywords can narrow the list of job openings to the ones you want. You can search by job title, industry, full-time versus part-time, and whether telecommuting is allowed. If you have a specific requirement for your ideal job, a keyword will get you closer to finding that job.

2. The more details in the ad, the better.

In general, legitimate job opportunities offer lots of details about the job responsibilities and qualifications, and they occasionally offer information about compensation and the company itself.

This level of detail can help you figure out if the job is right for you or not. But it also serves another purpose - it helps you separate the wheat from the chaff. Employers that add a lot of detail know exactly what they need from a worker. It doesn't mean that all brief ads are fake. It simply means that, at best, the job might not be what you want, and at worst, it's a scam that's not worth pursuing.

3. Follow the employer's instructions.

If the ad tells you to send a resume, a sample of your work, and your salary requirements, do it. If it asks for your pet's medical history, do it. If it tells you to put "Cleveland Rocks" in the subject header, definitely do that.

Some requests might seem silly, but they're made for a reason. Companies are as vulnerable to spam e-mails as you are, and following employer instructions exactly assures them that your e-mail isn't one of them. Plus, it shows that you read the post and understand the job, and that you can follow instructions and nothing attracts employers like someone who understands and follows instructions. Just be very weary though of any job ad that asks for any personal financial information up front, such as your social security number or bank information. It could be a scam. If it’s a legitimate company, they will only ask you for such information after an interview and/or if you’re a serious candidate for the job.

Sometimes it feels like you'd have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack than a good job on Craigslist. But once you understand the benefits and pitfalls of the site, the right jobs will come your way.


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