How to Find and Apply for Jobs on Craigslist

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Craigslist is a very popular site for classified ads with plenty of job listings. However, employers can post jobs anonymously, so you don't know who is doing the hiring. That's one of the reasons that Craigslist is as well known for scams as it is for legitimate job listings. It can be very hard to tell which jobs are real and which are scams. You can find good jobs on Craigslist, but you do need to be careful. Review these tips for finding and applying for jobs, and for how to avoid scams.

How to Find Jobs

The easiest way to find jobs on Craigslist is to go to the city or state site where you are interested in looking for jobs. You'll see a directory of sites on the right side of the original Craigslist page, or you can go directly to the list of Craigslist - Cities. Not all cities have a dedicated site, so if you don't see your city, use the state site. Once you've reached the location you want, either click on the type of job or click on "Jobs" to run a keyword search.

How to Apply for a Job

It is very easy to apply for a job on Craigslist. Click on your preferred location from the Craigslist main page and then click on the jobs tab. You will see a keyword search box and a list of job categories to filter listings. You can input skills you would like to use, certifications, the software you know or specific job titles in the search box to narrow your listings. You can search by either keyword, job category or both.

Email Application Options

Once you identify a listing of interest, you can apply by clicking on the Reply button above the listing. You can then select an email option to apply. Options include Use Default Email which opens a new email message in your email client with the "To" and "Subject" lines filled in. There will be a link to the job posting included, as well. Another option is to Reply Using Webmail. Click on one of the options to send a message from your webmail account:

  • Gmail
  • Yahoo Mail
  • Hotmail or Live Mail
  • AOL Mail

Or you can send an email message from scratch. Select Copy and paste into your email: and past the email address listed (for example; into the "To" section of your email program. Be sure to fill in the "Subject" of the message.

Sending a Cover Letter and Resume

You can use your email message as a cover letter and attach your resume to the message unless given other instructions like applying online at the employer site.

How to Post a Resume

You might also consider posting your resume on Craigslist since employers (and others) can search through resumes to identify candidates. However, it's also important to be cautious to avoid getting scammed. Don't include any identifying contact information other than an email, preferably not your main account. Consider setting up a separate account to use just for job searching.

Here's what you will need to do to post your resume. Click on your preferred location from the main page, on the upper left-hand side of the page click on the link to post to classifieds; select the posting option resume/job wanted.

On the next screen, you will need to list a preferred title and location and then paste a copy of your resume. When you click on continue, you will be notified that you will receive an email instructing you how to review and publish your posting.

Watch Out for Scams

There are legitimate jobs on Craigslist. However, job seekers need to exercise extreme caution when utilizing the site to apply for jobs. Avoid any jobs which seem too good to be true. You should also be very cautious about following up on ads which do not include the name of a valid employer. With these job postings, inquire about the company name before arranging any meeting.

Never meet with an employer at a private residence or questionable location out of public view. Legitimate employers will generally be willing to meet with you at their well-marked corporate location. Ask for a business phone number.

In some cases, a legitimate employer may not have an office in your location but will be willing to meet with you at a public library, Starbucks or other public location. Be very cautious in those cases as well and consider bringing a friend along with you until you feel totally safe. It is often a good idea for candidates to ask about arranging a phone or Skype interview as a possible first interview.