It’s a tough job market out there, but it might be easier than you think to find a job using Craigslist. I’ve recently resigned my position at Mt. Bethel to head out on my own, but before I left I helped the church find a replacement for me. I posted the job on Craigslist and we eventually found a few excellent candidates. We’re very happy to have found Cliff, who starts in a few days.
However, the road to get there was quite interesting. I posted a few paragraphs on Craigslist about what we were looking for and closed with:
If you are interested, please send us your resume along with links to live samples of your work and links to any public social media profiles you have (Twitter, etc), if any.
Of the 74 applications that came in, only 5 included the info I was looking for! Five! I was completely blown away. In a tough job market, aren’t people supposed to be trying harder? I guess not.
Beyond that, we had a wide variety of applications:
- 28 companies that could “help us out”, despite the listing clearly stating that this was a “full-time, on site” position. I consider those to be spam.
- 27 that were ok. I put them in the “eeh” folder. They were at least semi-qualified, but most didn’t even include the three basic items I asked for. It was obvious that most of them were copy/paste submissions.
- Many were full of typos. One guy was proud of his “Pearl” experience. Aside from the fact that we don’t use it at all at the church, it’s spelled “Perl”. Oops.
- One Twitter profile’s avatar was a photo of the applicant smoking in front of a shelf full of various kinds of alcohol. While our denomination (Methodist) doesn’t strictly prohibit smoking or drinking, it sure looks unprofessional.
- I had a surprising number of submissions from people that had no social media profiles. That’s certainly their prerogative, but the job description clearly asked for it. One guy was an “expert”, but said that he didn’t actually use any of the popular social networking services. Another had “never been asked for that information by any employer”. While we weren’t looking for a super-social user, some experience was certainly required; we have about eight Twitter accounts, a variety of Facebook groups/pages, and two blogs to manage. I’d hate to have to train someone from step one with that stuff.
- 15 that weren’t even worth responding to.
- I had a guy send me a blank e-mail with his resume attached. Really? He’s probably the guy on Facebook that complains about the tough market, and how he sends out 50 resumes/day and gets no response. Shocking.
- One guy a sent an email that included a link to his site and nothing else — no other text, no resume, nothing.
- 4 others eventually worked their way to up having an interview. One of them failed to include all three items I asked for, but they had written a clearly personal message to me about the job, and in our back-and-forth emailing he sent me the information.
It’s really very simple. Of those that included the three things I was looking for and a simple, personal note, all of them were contacted for further discussion. In fact, of the five people that sent me the three (simple) things I asked for, three came in for interviews! Wouldn’t you love a 60% chance of being interviewed for a job you’re interested in? The other two were ruled out after emailing with them a bit, but at least they got a pretty close look.
Bottom line: I was amazed at the laziness of most job applicants on Craigslist. So many of them spend so much time just cutting and pasting as many as they can that they never get anywhere. For someone that saw this job opening, it would only take about 90 seconds to:
- Create a new e-mail
- Attach your resume
- Tell us why you want the job
- Post links to your social accounts and previous work you’ve done
That’s it! Do those few things and you’re almost guaranteed to at least start a dialog with the company. Is it really so hard? Fortunately for you, it’s apparently too hard for most folks which really opens the door for your chances.
Good luck out there!