Thursday, February 18, 2010

Baby Boomers Find Jobs on Craigslist

I came across a recent blog entry on that mentioned that baby boomers might not know how to use the internet to find a job. This assertion runs contrary to my experience, where job sites like Monster might be the only web sites some boomers go to to find work.  

Particularly, this blog stated that boomers might not be familiar with Craigslist as a place to find legitimate work. People may know of Craigslist as a place where people "hook up" or as a place where you can find "free stuff" in your neighborhood. But perhaps the site's reputation as a job market is underrated.

I know you can find a job on Craigslist, and a good one at that, with benefits.  Several years ago, I answered an ad on Craigslist for an editor for a newsletter in the telecom industry and subsequently got the job. As any time you are answering a blind ad, you have to do your homework to make sure the listing isn't a scam. The dangers of Craigslist are the same as any classified ad. After you've sent your resume, and the organization has answered, you have to get names, numbers, website addresses etc. and check out your prospective employer. It just makes good sense to do this anyway.

Here's how the site works for job seekers. In the middle of the Craigslist website is a category called Jobs and next to that listing are Cities and States. This is a snapshot of the opening page of the New York City Craigslist website. If you live somewhere else, click on it, and you'll see your local Craigslist website.

Under the jobs listing, available jobs are categorized by industry, much as they are in a local newspaper. If you are in human resources or marketing, there is a category for you. If you don't fit into any category, you can search the site for jobs that mention your keywords.  The search box is on the left of the site.
After you find the job category you are interested in, just click on the category and a list of jobs will come up on your screen. Clicking on the individual entries will give you details of the jobs offered. Sometimes you'll be given an email address to respond to. Other times you'll be asked to send your resume and an email to a Craigslist address. Here are some sample job offerings under writing/editing on Wednesday Feb 17, 2010.

While most of the writing positions are part time or internships, you can blame that on the economy. The internship with the Huffington Post, a well respected blog site, looks like a good one. The first ad, looking for a financial and regulatory writer, seeks someone with ten years of experience. That seems like a good ad for a boomer writer with that specialized experience to answer.

While boomers need to use any web site available to find themselves a job, there's no excuse for not using old fashioned networking, calling old contacts,going to industry meetings. These are tried and true ways to find jobs. However, these days networking is enhanced by social networking sites. says:
"Baby boomers need to use Facebook and Twitter as venues for finding openings.  Not only by networking with other users, but following prospective employers.   Last week Southwest Airlines posted on Facebook that they are looking for a Director of Technology.  That sounds like a pretty good job with the most successful domestic airline."
More on these options in a later post.

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