How to Get Freelance and Telecommuting Jobs on Craigslist

What is Craigslist?

Craigslist, which was started as a hobby for San Franciscan Craig Newmark almost two decades ago has become one of the most popular community classified site in the world with over twenty billion page views each month. More than fifty million people in the U.S. alone use Craigslist. Craigslist.org is a gigantic online website of local classified ads. There are Craigslist websites specifically designed for over 550 U.S. cities and metro areas, as well as over 50 countries. Although there are different categories that Craigslist users can post in, the jobs category receives thousands of posts each month from employers who are hiring. Job seekers can find both long term and temporary positions and respond to the employer's ad by sending in their resume or following other instructions in the posting. For job seekers, Craigslist is completely free. Users will find a lot of jobs on Craigslist.org that small, mid-sized and even larger employers don't post anywhere else.

Getting Your Craigslist Job

To be the most effective in your job-hunting tasks, you must look at yourself from the perspective of your potential employer. Many employers are simply swamped with applications when they post an ad on Craigslist, so making yourself stand out from among the hundreds of others looking for a job is not as simple as you think. You must put your best efforts into your applications or they may be rejected without you ever having been considered for the job. When applying on Craigslist you will be allowed to upload a cover letter ? which is the perfect opportunity for you to get your foot in the door. While many applicants attach their resume to the response to the potential employer, many employers confess that they rarely look at the resume ? only the cover letter. Here's a sample of an excellent cover letter for the accounting job that we were looking at earlier.

Sample Cover Letter for Craigslist Job

Dear Potential Employer,

I just saw your posting for an Assistant Accountant on Craigslist Lexington, and I must admit ? I'm salivating. This sounds like the perfect fit for me as I have had six years experience working in the accounting department of a local bank. Let me give you three quick reasons that you should consider me for the position today:

  • Strong Work Ethic. Any business is only as strong as its employees. I am an employee who has missed only three days of work over the past decade due to illness. I am dedicated and hard-working; a go-getter who let's nothing stand in my way of getting the job done!
  • Skills. I have the skills that you are looking for; not only am I precise with Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable, but I can handle the data entry work and other administrative skills that you mention in your ad.
  • Availability. I can begin immediately and fill the need you have with very little training. I've been working with numbers in an office setting for my entire career (please see my resume) so assimilating into your team should not be a problem.

I welcome an interview at your leisure. You can reach me at (859)555-5555 anytime, or via email to [email protected]

Regards,
Jane Doe

Additional Pointers for Your Craigslist Job Application/Cover Letter/Resume

  • Be clear and concise; there's no need to write your entire life's history. The employer has limited time to review the applications he receives. Make yours devoid of all the "blah blah blah" that many other applicants will be throwing out there.
  • Write your cover letter as an email so that the employer does not have to load it as an attachment.
  • Put the title of the job advertisement in the subject of your email. Many employers post multiple jobs at once ? so this helps them to keep track of who applies for what.
  • Be honest and open about your past employment history. Be proud of your accomplishments but don't boast about them.
  • Important Cautions about Craigslist

    Anytime that there is a "good" thing out there ? there will be people who use it to take advantage of others. The very nature of Craigslist makes it susceptible to scams (because it's free). Before discussing Craigslist.org further, it is very important for all job seekers to be aware of the possibility of fraudulent posts that may be a guise for something other than a job opportunity. The folks at Craigslist.org put a lot of effort into fighting scam artists who frequent their site ? but when you realize the enormity of Craigslist as a whole, then you likely realize the probability of at least some scams being posted and remaining posted. Craigslist is quick to remove any post that it feels might be disingenuous and visitors to the site have the option to flag a post for removal if they suspect that it is fraudulent. But the smart job seeker will still use caution when responding to job posts.

    Tips for Avoiding Scams for Job Seekers

    These tips will help you avoid being scammed on Craigslist by those who would do you financial harm.

    • Avoid job offers from someone who lives in another country unless they can legitimize their offering.
    • Never pay money to make money. That's the cardinal rule when it comes to looking for work online. If an employer is interested in hiring you, why would you ever have to pay them for the privilege? If you're asked to pay for anything ? from a background check to a drug screen, always be weary of doing so. As a general rule, don't.
    • Under no circumstances should you give out your financial information, including your bank account number, social security number, PayPal information, etc., to anyone who is advertising a job (or anything else for that matter).
    • Check out the company on the Better Business Bureau's website, www.bbb.org. If the company has been at the center of any scams, chances are that the BBB will know about it. The Better Business Bureau's national website is a jumping off point for their state and regional offices.
    • Notify the Federal Trade Commission's toll free hot line at 1-877-FTCHELP if you feel like you have been the victim of fraud or scams. Canadian users can contact 1-888-495-8501.
    • Notify Craigslist.org via email to [email protected] if you suspect a posting to be part of a scam. Be certain to include the job I.D. number in your message.