How to Find Legitimate Jobs on Craigslist

Craigslist can be a scary place to job search, especially for those who are just entering the workforce or who are returning after an extended period of unemployment. However, just as it can be scary, it can also be a great way to find local businesses looking for valuable additions to their companies. Here are some tips and tricks to finding legitimate jobs on craigslist.

Check for grammar and typos

More often than not, companies that are posting real jobs to Craigslist are looking for employees of a certain caliber—and those employees aren’t going to apply to jobs that have various typos or grammatical errors. When searching for positions in your area, make sure to double check the posting for these types of mistakes.

Likewise, though poor English is sometimes a factor in working for local companies who are run by owners with another first language, it can also be a big red flag for scams.

Check for user posts about certain job listings or companies

Sometimes other users on craigslist will make posts about companies that are posting scams on the same page in which the job posting can be found.

Most postings will provide a company name, so be sure to do a Craigslist search of the company before sending over any personal information such as phone numbers or addresses. A simple Google search of that company can also help weed out false or illegitimate job postings.

Be very careful of hospitality postings

While there are very legitimate job postings in the food service and hospitality pages, there can also be a great deal of postings that will lead to shady schemes that will get you in over your head.

Real postings will almost always include a venue or company name, so if the posting doesn’t have information such as the name of the bar, restaurant or hotel, steer clear.

Check the date

Positions that offer a decent, competitive salary or great benefits like they claim to in their post will receive a large amount of responses very quickly—meaning that the post won’t last long. If you happen to come across a posting that’s months old, be wary.

A simple explanation could be that the poster never got around to deleting the listing, but it should raise some red flags—especially if you see a company post the same listing every day or even several times a day.

Trust your instincts and protect your information

Some people will attest to creating an entirely different email address before applying to jobs on Craigslist, and I don’t blame them. Sometimes sending an email to a Craigslist posting means that someone now has your email address and you’re not entirely sure of their intentions.

If you’ve got a funny feeling about a job posting, it’s perfectly acceptable to past it up and move on to the next one. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

On that same token, think twice before sending your resume to postings on Craigslist. Remember that companies who claim to be big up-and-coming businesses will have an online presence that extends beyond a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page. If they don’t even have a basic webpage for their company, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re not telling the entire truth. Your resume has a lot of information that people can use; your name, email address, past schools and jobs. Do your due diligence before sending anything to anyone.

Some interesting and very legitimate positions are posted to Craigslist every day, but there are also some dangerous opportunities for false listings to gain and use your information. If you do decide to send a resume to a company you’ve found on Craigslist, remember to get any agreements made in writing and meet business owners or individuals in a public setting. 

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