My brother-in-law just bought a car for my nephew off of Craigslist. I know NOTHING about Craigslist. The little I do know had negative connotations attached to it, so I decided to do some research to find out more.
While opinions differ, many believe that Craigslist can be a good place to look for jobs, as long as the job seeker takes the appropriate precautions.
Craigslist can be thought of as the biggest electronic classified site in the world. Designed to be easily searchable and typically free, it is the perfect place to advertise everything from lost pets to open positions. The simple search functions which allow users to browse local listings through clearly marked categories, makes finding a job or other service or item easy. Understanding how to make Craigslist work for a job seeker is another matter entirely.
First, realize that in most cases, potential employers can place ads for free. While there are some options that require a payment (ranging between $25.00 and $75.00), most options are free of charge. This means almost every company can advertise on Craigslist without breaking their budget. While this can be positive, it can also lead to potential scams. Understanding that not every post is legitimate and learning how to recognize a scam helps job seekers stays safe. The best way to protect yourself is to regularly review their posted information regarding scams and fraudulent advertisements and by using caution when posting a resume.
It is equally important to protect your identity. Never post full contact information. Instead, rely on a simple cell phone number or an email address. This way, job seekers can carefully evaluate open positions and offers without risking identity theft.
Next, users must understand how Craigslist works. It can be somewhat daunting to narrow down the massive database to jobs that are appealing, appropriate and located in the correct geographical area. Craigslist utilizes lists and drop down menu’s to help users drill down to the information they are looking for. By spending the time to review options and select appropriate choices, it is possible to find job postings that will work.
Craigslist can be an excellent resource for job seekers. It can be especially helpful for those looking for employment in smaller companies. Understanding not only how Craigslist works but also how to protect your identity and information is all that is needed in order to be successful with this service. Be smart about it, research and know the service before you use it.
A word of warning: when using Craigslist, or any service, if the job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Proceed with caution.