Item #8: Craigslist Alerts (http://www.craigslist.com)

At last, all is right with the world.  While perhaps I’m being a tad obsessive-compulsive, I’ve been wondering for 20 years now (or thereabouts) why Craigslist hasn’t added the ridiculously simple functionality of an “alert system” that would allow people to automatically be notified by e-mail when a certain type of job or for-sale item was posted.  Every other search site on the planet has this feature, after all, and it would cost next to nothing to implement.  In fact, in light of this glaring deficiency, I’ve watched numerous third-party sites spring up over the years allowing people to program these kinds of alerts on Craigslist — but each of them was quickly forced to shut down, it appears, presumably due to legal pressure from Craig or his minions.

Lo and behold, however, during a quick search on Craigslist last week I spotted two links I’d never seen before, both innocuously sitting right under the Craigslist search box.  One is titled “set alert” and allows you to program the site to send you any matching new leads each day, as described above, and the other is called “save search” and lets you avoid having to retype various searches — saving time and adding convenience.

What shocks me most is that almost nobody (including Craigslist) seems to have announced or talked much about this new functionality.  Upon conducting a Google search, I could only find a lone article here mentioning this new feature and suggesting that it might have been added somewhere around last February.  So whenever they first introduced this new feature, it was done with hardly any pomp and circumstance. And while I realize this development may not seem like that big of a deal, to some, what I love about it is that a job hunter can now truly go on “full autopilot” and set up daily alerts on Indeed, Simplyhired, LinkedIn, and Craigslist to stay apprised of the latest opportunities — without the hassle of having to search each of these sites manually, every day.

So if you’re actively on the prowl for a new role, I’d encourage you to visit Craigslist and set up your own alert on the system as soon as you get the chance.  As I’ve mentioned via this blog in the past, Craigslist doesn’t allow it’s job postings to be picked up by “aggregator” sites like Indeed and Simplyhired — so you’ll typically find a fresh pool of listings on the site you won’t typically see elsewhere, including positions up to the executive level.

One final tip to keep in mind? Unlike most conventional websites, you can’t use standard “Boolean Syntax” on Craigslist.  The site follows its own separate conventions in terms of how searches are structured, which you can read about here.  If you master these few simple rules, however, you can set up highly flexible searches — e.g. (manager | director) AND (finance | accounting) — that will hunt for an extremely wide range of relevant job titles that might fit you, versus having to hunt and peck for each title, one at a time.