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Automate Craigslist for Fast Job-Posting Alerts

Despite the craziness of Craigslist, it’s still a marvelous place to find up-to-the-minute job postings. In fact, if you were to walk into a business and ask the hiring manager about the first place he would post an ad for a new job, without much thought he’d likely say, “Oh, I’ll just drop it on Craigslist to get some résumés in the door.”

Craigslist is a great resource for part-time jobs, temp jobs, and entry-level jobs. Typically, jobs posted on Craigslist are filled at a fast pace and can be a real solution for someone not interested in spending (or not in a position to spend) a lot of time on strategy or networking.

Although you should spend time researching a company before applying for a job, listings on Craigslist don’t always allow for that. You want to apply when you can and as soon as you can, before someone else snatches the job right from under you.

Follow these steps to guarantee you’re the first person to know about any new job postings in your area of interest without camping out on Craigslist all day:

  1. Visit Craigslist and go to the Jobs section you’re interested in.

  2. Type in all the necessary filters in the search field so you see specific jobs that interest you.

    For example, if you’re an educator, click on the Education link in the Jobs section and filter with the keyword “ESL.” The results should be a list of jobs you could do pretty well at.

  3. Copy the URL from the search result that you want instant updates from. Find the URL in the address bar of your browser.

    It will look something like this: http://nh.Craigslist.org/search/sss?query=training+wheels+%28newfields|newmarket|Epping|stratham|greenland|hampton|seacoast|exeter%29&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=

  4. Open a new browser tab or window, head to the IFTTT website, and set up a free account.

    IFTTT is a free website that lets you build logical statements that connect several different actions online. For instance, you can build a recipe that sends you an e-mail every time you are tagged in a Facebook photo. You’ll soon receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your e-mail address.

  5. Find the recipe called Craigslist Search and paste in the URL you copied from Craigslist.

The faster you respond to a Craigslist posting, the more likely it is that someone will read your résumé. So if you think you’ll respond better by getting an alert via text message, Gmail, or chat, feel free to use any of the 900+ recipes for Craigslist on IFTTT.

As you find job opportunities on Craigslist, remember to jot down the names of the companies. You need these names later when you search out people on LinkedIn to talk to.

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