Want My Craigslist Job?


In this frustrating era of no jobs, Craigslist provides a workable outlet for gainful employment–at least for temporary jobs. I know of many fresh out of schools and older folks, too, who create and/or respond to ads in this forum.  As am ad-placer, I offer the following guide to help you snare one, based on my own experience.


First off, you or your resume must zing in all the write places.

Nothing annoys employers more than potential employees who ignore stated qualifications, either due to lack of attention to detail or because they feel they can tailor a position to their needs.

Considering I’m one who hires responders to my Craigslist ads, I thought I’d offer a 4-point tutorial on how a person can maximize his or her chances to be hired. 

Am I just ‘being nice’?  No, I’m hoping to save everyone valuable time and energy, allowing the real talent (my future employees) to rise above the competition.

So, here’s the 4-Point Tutorial to nail My Craigslist Ad:

1.   Read my ad, thoroughly, and note the skills I require.  If I offer a technical job, then don’t act like you can do it, just because you took courses at the local computer school.  As a blog writer, I once I put an ad in Craigslist for a person skilled in WordPress.  A woman answered it, claiming expertise.  She came to my home and proceeded to try to learn the in’s and out’s of a program with which she was totally unfamiliar.  What was her rationale?  Because she considered herself a teckie, she thought she’d learn quickly.  What really happened?  She muddled my blog so badly that she reloaded the same text 4 times and then couldn’t correct it. I ended up fixing it.

Now, I point-blank question responders on aspects I need (“How long have you been using WordPress?” or “Do you have a WordPress site?”)…anything to show me they have, in fact, familiarity with the program.

2.   If I specify “no telecommunicating,” please honor that. Don’t assume you can persuade me to do otherwise. I don’t want you as tutor via phone or Skype and though it may be more convenient for you, it isn’t for me (I don’t process information verbally, as well, so I need to see tutorial work done before me.  Then I walk through the same steps, with the tutor’s guidance.)

In my recent ad, I stated I wanted someone to come to me and then got legions of folks applying who wanted to communicate across vast distances. That’s a quick turn-off, for I now knew:  They hadn’t read my ad, or they assumed they could convince me theirs was the better way. Both instances demonstrate lack of respect for my wishes.

3.   When I specify a certain dollar amount, don’t say:  “We can negotiate.”  No, we can’t…I’ve told you the amount I’m willing to pay.  Don’t assume you can fatten up your paycheck by impressing me with your credentials. If I ask for a specified list of not-too-difficult items (Gravatar, RSS feed, change of top banner format, etc.), I don’t need to know how you can redesign my entire website, putting in all the fancy bells and whistles.  I’ve worked on my site quite some time, have decent readership numbers, and don’t need you now to reinvent the wheel.

If we go forward to other heights, that’ll be wonderful, but I’ll be the judge of how far we go.

4.   Avoid oversell:  If I’m hiring you to tutor me on my blogsite, regarding the afore-mentioned simple skills, why would you ever think to include areas of expertise I’ll never need?  One young man named all types of computer skills in his resume (and that was appropriate) but then added the fact he had a law degree.

This same young man offered he’d start immediately and would ‘throw in all sorts of things you’d normally pay thousands for, in the realm of search engine optimization.’

Well, his promises set my nerves a-jangle.  Frankly, he was just too hungry and he worried me.

Now, here’s my Craigslist ad (I filled this position in Asheville from 35 applicants but now need another tutor in Warwick, RI.) My first hire’s resume didn’t include any of the above Fatal Flaws.

Craigslist ad:  WordPress Facilitator…Warwick, RI area…Someone to tutor me at my home on aspects of WordPress for my blog site. $20.00 per hour. Work entails simple SEO suggestions, connection to social networking sites, banner alterations, photo loading, Gravatar, RSS feed.

The woman I hired was savvy enough to comment on the qualities of my blogsite (she’d taken the time to read); she met all the criteria; she wasn’t in the first crush answering the ad but in the second wave, a couple of days later; and frankly, that might be noteworthy for you who apply.

You see, I was deluged by the first batch for the sheer volume of applicants. All the more reason you’ve got to ramp up your game… if you want to be successful.


 Now, want to learn a little about the man whose name is synonymous (or eponymous) with Craigslist, click here… I just wonder why he didn’t keep the taped glasses…more nerdy, still.

And if you fit my ad, please respond to it…this Rhode Island one, that is.  After all, now I’ve told you how to be successful at it (my two long-term hires from Craigslist were most productive and we worked well together, so the weeding-out process worked for both of us!)

Now, tell us:  Have you hired from Craigslist and what’s your experience with it? Or–are you now considering doing this?  Look in the Services section of the website (click link in beginning of this post)  for an idea of what you might hire.


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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