How to Respond to a Job Posting on Craigslist

by Irene A. Blake

Job posting descriptions on Craigslist are similar to job ads in newspaper classifieds in that employers dictate the method you use to respond. One perk of using Craigslist is that the site features a quick response tool if email is the preferred method. As with any job inquiry, the key to getting an employer to respond back is to follow the instructions carefully and include a cover letter and resume that attract attention and interest.

Step 1

Find the employer's preferred response method, such as a company application, Web page or email. Read the job description and response instructions completely so you understand the types of information to include and not include in your response.

Step 2

Access the appropriate response tool. To access an online form, paste the website address into a new browser tab. To access email, click the “Reply to this Post” button and select a method. For example, you might select a webmail service provider such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Live Mail or AOL to open a blank email automatically with prefilled “Sender” or “To” and “Subject” fields in your online account, if applicable or. Or you can copy the email address and use it in a blank message through an alternative email service.

Step 3

Follow the employer’s instructions to supply information or respond with a cover letter and resume only. For example, if you’re responding via online form, answer questions via fields and drop-down menus and paste your cover letter and resume as text into provided fields. Alternatively, attach them via a file attachment tool. If you're responding by email, insert a cover letter and resume in the email message field.

Step 4

Tailor your response to emphasize strengths -- knowledge, personality traits, skills and experiences -- that best match the responsibilities and qualifications outlined in the job posting. Additionally, respond with a concise list of three or four responsibilities from the posting and examples from your work history that show you’re the right fit for the job.

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  • Include your Craiglist ID number if you are responding by e-mail.
  • Respond to a posting as quickly as possible unless the job description says you can’t apply until a specific date. Craigslist postings often get a high volume of responses on the first day and you can quickly lose out to competition.


  • Don’t respond with attachments unless the posting tells your to. An employer might not accept your response because of incompatible file formats and virus risks.
  • Craigslist is a popular website for scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals. Use caution when responding to ads and avoid responding to postings that make promises that sound too good to be true, such as high pay with little work. Do not respond to offers that request your Social Security number or a copy of your driver’s license. If a company uses an anonymous Craigslist email address, research the company online and through the Better Business Bureau to confirm that it’s legitimate.

Photo Credits

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