Job boards are an essential component to the job seeker’s toolkit. Top job boards like Indeed, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster allow job seekers to view new, high-quality job postings and apply for free. Most popular job board websites also offer special features, like the ability to save variations of your resume for later use or a running count of how many people have applied to each job.
Craigslist is a different type of job board. Because it offers an array of functions and a different range of job opportunities compared to the typical job board, many job seekers are unsure of how they should use Craigslist for their job search. Here’s a roundup of what you need to know and where you should use caution during your Craigslist job search.
A Different Type of Job Board
What makes Craigslist different than other job boards? To start, the website is not used primarily as a job searching tool. It offers sections for housing, items for sale, personals, jobs, and more. With no spotlight on the job search, Craigslist doesn’t offer special job searching features. It simply offers a list of jobs by category.
Craigslist also offers a different experience to the job poster. It is significantly cheaper to post a job on Craigslist than the vast majority of other job boards. For example, it costs between $25-75 for a 30-day job posting on Craigslist while most other job boards cost $100 or more for the same type of post. What does this mean for job seekers? The quality of jobs posted on Craigslist tends to be lower than those posted on pricier job boards. However, it is also the first place many frugal companies start when looking to fill a position since it costs them less.
For the job seeker, a big difference between Craigslist and other job boards lies in the application process. For example, while Indeed has an integrated applicant tracking system that lets the applicant apply for each job, Craigslist redirects you to the company career page or instructs the applicant to submit an application via email.
Vetting Jobs is Part of the Craigslist Job Search
Since the quality of jobs posted on Craigslist is lower than those posted on other job board sites, job seekers should properly vet each job. Just as there are many top job opportunities posted on Craigslist, there are also many low-quality, dishonest, and even fraudulent jobs posted.
For example, if a job posting requiring no college education also promises a work from home schedule, part-time hours, and $5,000 per month, it is not a legitimate job. All jobs you apply for should sound realistic and come from reliable companies.
Quick Tips for Job Searching on Craigslist
- Do a quick Google search or visit the company page before applying to a job to make sure each company is legitimate and worth your time.
- Save any email addresses given in the job posting as a way to follow up a week or two later.
- Keep your eyes open for multiples. Jobs often get posted more than once, so save yourself some time and avoid applying to the same job twice.
- View the “compensation” box on every job posting before applying. There is usually some room for negotiation later on, but if the listed compensation is nowhere near what you deserve, move on to the next job.
- Look for blue links. When you’ve already clicked on a Craigslist classified link (even a week ago), it turns purple. This makes it easy to do a quick Craigslist glance everyday. No blue links yet? You’re all caught up.
- You can also hide results that you are not interested in by clicking the X beside the link.
- Take advantage of filtering options. For example, search by title only or by jobs posted today. You can even search by distance in miles from your zip code or find a job in your neighborhood of choice by browsing in map view.
Craigslist can be a useful resource for the savvy job seeker as long as you know how to navigate the unusual job board. If you’re willing to be picky and sift through some lower-quality job postings, Craigslist is full of opportunities for job seekers in every field.