***Check out my previous Craigslist posts: Buying on Craigslist and Selling on Craigslist.
Whether looking for part time work or full time work, a little extra spending money or a 6-figure salary, a great place to start is Craigslist. As I mentioned in this post, I have found numerous jobs and gigs on Craigslist, as well as a great, full-time job that I had for three years — right up until I moved from Atlanta to NYC. Yeah, like I’ve said before, I’m a big cheerleader of the Craigslist.
So, armed with my (acquired) skills, I hope to win you over to Craigslist as well (drink the Craigslist Kool-Aid!) and equip you with the necessary knowledge to take this plunge.
And what would an informational post be from me without some sweet list makin’?!
Tips for Finding a Job through Craigslist:
1. Step away from the Internet. Before you even think about navigating your browser in the direction of Craigslist.com, make sure your resume is ready to go! Sure, you may (and probably should) tweak it a bit here and there in order to highlight specific skills sets as you apply for different companies and positions, but first you need at least a general resume that is updated with all the pertinent contact info.
2. You still shouldn’t use the Internet. Yet. Do you have a general cover letter (in a document that can be attached) AND a list of references? No? Well get on that, too. Only after these three components are in place (resume, cover letter, and references) are you ready to use the ol’ interwebz.
(Depending on what kind of business you are in, you may also need links to your work — especially if you are in the performing arts, interior and graphic design, or rocket ship building… Especially rocket ship building.)
3. Look at you — you did your homework! Now go on over to Craigslist.com, select your city (or the biggest one closest to where you’re looking), click on el Jobs Link, and select your field. As a performing artist and a teaching artist, I often have to look under numerous categories to find work: education, hospitality, part time, and the elusive etc. category. Also, because of the nature of what I do, I also look to the Gigs section, specifically under “talent” and “creative.” Depending on what you do, as well as how you think a potential future boss (or whoever posted the listing) would categorize a particular job, you may need to explore various categories to get some real options. I used to only ever look under “creative gigs” and “talent gigs” for dance teaching jobs, but rarely found anything. I randomly decided to try the “education jobs” category. Ta da! That was the answer the whole time, and once I discovered this, I never found a shortage of teaching opportunities to pursue.
4. As with buying and selling on Craigslist, job hunting is unfortunately ridden with scams and not-so-good people. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is (just like your mama said). If a posting is worded in such a way to make you think that English is not a language that the poster is familiar with or the usage is awkward, step away (this is another telltale sign of a scam). And like I mentioned before, the second you get a bad feeling about something, skip it, move on to the next thing. There will always be other postings, and sketchy people are not the kind of people you want to be involved with.
5. Don’t necessarily rule out postings that don’t give you lengthy descriptions, salary info, or a link to their website. Sometimes postings are as brief as “Seeking ________ for growing company. Wanting (fill in a few key qualities here). Must have M-F, 9-5 availability. Please respond to above e-mail with resume and cover letter” — just that, and maybe no mention of anything as basic as the company’s name. Companies have their reasons and often don’t disclose this until after they screen you, via your resume. If they are interested, that’s when you’ll get all that pertinent info — and if you don’t get it, ask for it. And then if you still don’t get it, that’s another telltale sign that it might be time to walk away.
6. Once you find a legit posting for a job you’re definitely interested in (or you think you will be once you get a few specifics), then send them an e-mail with your attached cover letter, resume, references, and whatever else they request. I also recommend copying and pasting your cover letter into the body of the e-mail. And above all, take this e-mail seriously. To some, Craigslist may seem casual, perhaps because of the nature of some of the other (free) services it provides. However, the companies that actually post on this site pay a fee, so there is at least some investment on their part, therefore you should invest a little as well, in the form of your time and consideration.
7. You got a follow-up e-mail? Yay! Don’t. Drop. The. Ball. It’s up to you to keep the momentum going, that is, if you are interested in the potential job. If they ask for your availability, reply A.S.A.P. The people who are doing the hiring are looking for the quickest responses; they are most assuredly not wanting to drag out the process.
8. If you’re lucky enough to be able to schedule an interview, get as many details as possible (if they’re not provided to you). In addition to the address of the interview location, request a phone number to call in the event that you are running late. And don’t just GPS or print out directions to the address; look at the street view of your destination (you can do this through Google street view). You should be sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that the address is actually going to take you somewhere that is a legit business or venue. For example, if 11 Main St. looks like the address of an abandoned warehouse and the job you’re applying for is working at a mall kiosk, then yeah… that’s not so good. Be smart.
9. The interview part: I can’t help you here, but best of luck, break legs, stuff like that!
How about y’all? Have you tried your hand at the Craigslist job search? Are you currently in a job that you found via Craigslist? Do you have any Craigslist-job-hunting horror stories? (Dare I ask?!)