Not Just Used Furniture: Using Craig’s List for Job Searching

August 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Dude, I’ve so got to find a different job! I wonder if Craig’s List would be a good source.

A couple of months ago, Cindy sent me job lead she found while perusing ads on Craig’s List. I was intrigued as I hadn’t really thought about using Craig’s List to look for jobs. My impressions about Craig’s List were limited to sensational murder stories and people who had gotten some good deals on used furniture – not finding a job. I used some external channels to verify the job posting and it was legitimate so I applied (I didn’t get it).

This week I was reading a story online about a guy who parlayed writing online book reviews into a major business before Google and Amazon pulled the plug on it. He advertised for writers on Craig’s List. For a lark I checked out the want ads on Craig’s List. There were a ton! Now my antenna was pricking. Are these positions legit? Will I become embroiled in some kind of scam if I email these postings? My instinct is to trust but verify, like I did with the earlier job posting. I interrupted Cindy’s crabbing schedule to see what she had to say about Craig’s List for job searching.

Cindy told me she had been using Craig’s List for the last several years as one of the tools in her arsenal for job searching. Because the postings are free, many companies are turning to it to post job openings. She cautioned that searchers should use common sense – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Job seekers should only be spending about 5 to 10% of their time internet searching Cindy said. Their time is better spent out there networking in person!

Cindy agreed about independent verification and further offered that if she couldn’t identify the company or a specific person with contact information within 30 to 60 seconds, she didn’t spend any more time on the posting. Sometimes she will send a message through the ad seeking more information on the opportunity, but again, keep safety in mind and don’t send too much personal information on those requests. The main point is that you want to know what company is receiving your application so you can customize your cover letter and resume but also to ensure its an organization that aligns with your values!

Cindy said that you need to be able to follow up on applications and resumes that you have submitted. If you don’t know who to network with and just submit your information through Craig’s List, you have no way of knowing where your resume just landed. Here are a few tips from Cindy:

  • Look for company names or website domain names in email addresses or in the job post itself.
  • Take a few minutes to search the company and visit their website.
  • See if they have the job posted on their site and if so, use that as your primary portal for applying. Sometimes there are slightly different application requirements (one may ask for salary requirements and one may not for example).
  • When crafting your resume, you should no longer include personal information such as your street or mailing address (city and state are fine) or especially your social security number!
  • Do include your phone number and email address as most employers are going to call and/or email you.  (While we’re on the topic, use your name in your email, not “hotmama2012” and don’t make callers endure your favorite Little Wayne song while they wait for you to answer your phone.  Make sure your voice mail has a message with your name so those job leads know they’ve reached the right person!)

After you apply through Craig’s List, you should still make sure you follow up with the person to ensure they received your information. Try to identify people in your network who might have connections with the company to help you find out more about the position. Bottom line is that Craig’s List can be an excellent tool if used wisely. Use common sense and verify the information you find on the site. Follow up on your application and utilize your network.

I’ll be checking out this tool now armed with Cindy’s good advice! Have you ever used Craig’s List for job searching? What was your experience?

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