Craigslist Built a Brand

First of all, Craigslist is defined as an online community with many entities.  It is composed of internship, housing, erotic services, personals, services, community, gags, pets, for sale/barter/wanted, resumes, jobs and various other forum categories.  Originally, however, Craigslist served the San Francisco Bay area with the sole purpose of posting notices of social interests for software and Internet developers.  Eventually, as the word of mouth spread, Craigslist became what it is today- a multi-million dollar enterprise. 

In the early months of 1995, Craig Newmark founded Craigslist.  Between 1999 and 2007, the company experienced the majority of its growth and success.  Instead of listing in only one city in 1995, Craigslist took on nine more U.S. cities in 1999 and 2000.  Four more cities were added between 2001 and 2002, and fourteen additional cities in 2003.  By the time September 2007 rolled around, Craigslist had dramatically changed; it had then reached out to 450 cities in 50 countries.  Just like a logarithm in a math equation, Craigslist was exponentially growing.  Despite the continual expansion of the website, Craigslist still operates on a staff of 24 people at its headquarters in San Francisco’s Sunset District.   

Many people wonder how a classified ad website such as Craigslist generates money.  Craigslist’s CEO, Jim Buckmaster, told the UBS in December of 2006 that they have little interest in increasing their profit; their main focus and goal is to help subscribers and guests find jobs, housing, vehicles and dates.  In addition to this, the website claims that the majority of their revenue will go to charities.  To answer the question on how Craigslist makes money, it is mainly dependent on paid job ads in selective cities within the United States.  They charge $25 an ad for job listings in Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Boston, San Diego, New York, and Los Angeles.  For job listings in San Francisco, Craigslist charges $75.  Additionally, in November 2008, they issued a $5 fee for erotic services. 

So, just how popular is Craigslist?  For starters, the Craigslist website experiences over nine billion page views per month.  Because of this, it has been put as the 47th most popular site in the world and 9th most popular site in the United States.   Not only is it ranked as one of the most well-liked sites on the Internet in general, it is the number one leading classified service on the web.  There are over thirty million new classified ads and two million new job listings each month!  The financial and ownership information on Craigslist is widely unknown because the site’s executives keep it disclosed.  It is estimated, however, that in 2004, Craigslist’s revenue reached $10 million, $25 million in 2006 and possibly $150 million in 2007.  It has also been said that Craig Newmark owns the largest share of Craigslist but Jim Buckmaster owns the next biggest slice with eBay following last at around 25%.   

There are only a few things that can be attributed to Craigslist’s immense success, according to Craig Newmark.  He says that his site gives everyday people a voice and a sense of trust within the Craigslist community.  He believes that people will feel most comfortable when buying or selling a product or service on a website that allows for posting in an individual’s city.  Also, Craigslist is run on honest values and standards, wonderful customer service, and above all, simplicity.  Its plain format and simplistic design allow for a comfortable, inviting atmosphere for customers and visitors alike.  Also, Craigslist’s non-commercial nature entices people to post on the site, as well.  When Craig Newmark announced on his blog that eBay had purchased 25% of the company in August of 2004, many customers were afraid that it would eventually turn into an eBay-esque site.  However, to this day, Craigslist remains non-commercial (including no banner ads) to accommodate their customers.     

Despite all of the success and triumph that Craigslist has endured, there have been glitches, problems, criticisms, and lawsuits.  In 2002, Craigslist was sued because it put a disclaimer on ‘men seeking men,’ ‘erotic services,’ ‘casual encounters,’ and ‘rant and raves.’  Craigslist wanted to ensure that people under 18 did not have access to these sometimes explicit, adult-only pages.  However, there was not a disclaimer on ‘women seeking men,’ ‘men seeking women,’ or ‘women seeking women.’  This caused uproar with many customers and now, today, a disclaimer is put on every category in the personals section as well as other odds and ends categories.   

In February 2006, Craigslist was sued by Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for supposedly allowing their users to post discriminatory housing ads in Chicago.  In September 2006, many websites alleged that Craigslist’s ‘Casual Encounters’ categories had been compromised by fraudulent ads to obtain personal information on people.  One of the most alarming scandalous situations came in September 2007 when a woman from Minneapolis pled guilty to running an underage prostitution business through Craigslist.  A Michigan woman was caught using Craigslist to hire a killer to murder a romantic rival in February 2008.  In April of this same year, a couple was convicted of placing an ad on Craigslist that invited the public to take items for a man’s home in Oregon in order to cover up their own burglary of his home.  Also in April, eBay sued Craigslist in order to “safeguard its four-year financial investment.”  They claimed that in January of that year, Craigslist execs diluted eBay’s economic potential by more than 10%.  Craigslist filed a countersuit on eBay in May 2008 that claimed eBay had damaged and caused possible harm to their “fair competition.”  In May 2008, a Vancouver, British Columbia couple attempted to sell their week-old baby on Craigslist but the duo claim that it was just a joke.  They are still being investigated. 

Aside from all of this negative public scrutiny, Craigslist has maintained its popularity and number one spot for online classified advertising.  In order to create a more safe site, they announced in November 2008 that they will be filtering ads for prostitution by mandating that for those who post an ‘erotic service’ ad, they will need to provide a valid phone number and credit card number.  Also, a Craigslist ad can be flagged and removed if a Craigslist representative or even a fellow customer finds the ad inappropriate or against company guidelines. 

The Full-Time Job Search Starts Junior Year – Five Key Strategies to Prepare

In a tough economy, competition will be fierce for entry-level positions. For college sophomores and juniors, there is no time to wait: many employers begin the recruiting process for full-time positions 18 months in advance of graduation-with the recruiting process for internships as a “test run for full-time employment.” According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers converted over 50% of interns to full-time employment in 2008-an increase of 15% from 2001. In the face of such tight timelines, you must know what you want and prepare for your search early. Here are five strategies to make it happen:

1. Know Yourself, Know Your Interests
Many companies invest a great deal of time and money into the on-campus recruiting process; opportunities at these organizations can be highly visible-and very popular among students. That being said, be sure to evaluate positions carefully, and take into consideration your interests, skills, and desired work environments. If you need help identifying your strengths and interests, talk to your Career Services offices or a private practitioner-they can help you explore opportunities that “fit.”

2. Choose Your Area of Expertise
One common myth in the internship search is that you should demonstrate active involvement in many organizations-the more, the better. While many employers are impressed by campus activities, aim for depth: it is better to be in a leadership role with demonstrated results at one organization, than to have belonged to seven organizations for “only a semester.”

Participate in activities of interest to you–and remember that you don’t have to be “President” of every organization to which you belong. At the end of the day, a majority of employers are looking for team players who can follow directions as well as they can lead.

3. Prepare for the Application Process Early
A majority of U.S. colleges and universities offer students assistance with applying for jobs and internships through a dedicated office of Career Services staff. These professionals generally have strong skills and expertise in helping students develop resumes and cover letters, and can also help you with interviewing. These services are generally included as part of your tuition; at most schools, you can schedule a time to meet individually with a counselor with less than two weeks notice. That being said, the work of Career Services professionals is very cyclical-and frequently counselors are in high demand prior to application deadlines. Schedule an “off-season” appointment with a counselor during summer or winter break and prepare for deadlines in advance.

4. Make Connections
At some campuses, the competition to apply for on-campus interviews can be stiff–especially for positions in the sought after fields of investment banking or consulting. Frequently, employers receive over 100 applications for each position advertised on one campus-and that’s not taking into consideration other schools that are listing the position!

Get a head start in the recruiting process by developing strong working relationships with university administrators, employers, and alumni starting in your sophomore year. Schedule appointments with advisors, ask alumni in fields of interest for informational interviews, and educate yourself on companies and potential opportunities well in advance of application deadlines. This way, you’ll be well prepared to apply for the positions when it’s your turn-and you’ll be able to demonstrate that you have completed requisite coursework and participated in activities that strengthen your understanding of the industry/sector in which you hope to work.

5. Have a Contingency Plan

Employers generally recruit on-campus when they can safely anticipate three things:

  1. They are able to project a need for new hires well in advance of their start dates,
  2. They are able to identify specific positions and job functions for these hires, and
  3. They have an approved budget to hire a specific number of students to meet these goals.

Due to changing market conditions, company mergers and acquisitions, and a change in strategic plans-employers may alter their plans to recruit on-campus. It is possible that you may not find-or be selected for-your dream job through on-campus recruiting. Expand your options by exploring and applying for positions outside of your school. Again, your career services office-or another career professional-can help you make this happen.

By following these five strategies, you’ll increase your chances of career success-regardless of whether you land your dream internship through on-campus recruiting or not!

Advertising Marketing Jobs – How to Succeed in Advertising Marketing

Gone are the days where products could simply be sold by launching them in the market – those were the days of monopoly where the customers had nothing to choose from. After globalization swept the world and as economies freed up, customers had a lot more to choose from and this gave rise to competition in the market. Advertising soon became an important part of the marketing strategies employed by companies. And when this became adverting marketing, people having and/or craving for jobs started looking for resources that would help them achieve success in the same. Here are 6 steps to follow if you really want to achieve success in adverting and marketing.

1. Motivation: Ask anyone who today is, at the top of the corporate ladder and they will tell you that the first and foremost pre-requisite to getting at the top is motivation. For some money is the motivation, for some – the work itself and for some really patriotic people, it is the idea of contributing to a larger goal that motivates them. Initially money might be the only motivating factor but as you continue your ascend, money becomes a secondary priority.

Motivation in advertising and marketing is important from the point of view that it helps you to stay creative and think as such!

2. Industry and Market Research: Switching over to the technical prerequisites, it is proper understanding of your job that makes you successful. Based on similar stuff, in-depth market research is crucial to launch advertisements that suit the taste of the people of a region. For example, what may be seen as a ‘forward’ idea in some countries may not hold the same for other countries.

3. Communication: It is right communication channels that help in exact deliverance of advertising marketing inputs. Also the right communication will also help you generate your networking circles and thereby facilitating your business and product sales further down the line.

4. Attracting the Right amount of Attention: A popular saying goes around marketing circles is that – it is the right amount of noise which helps you grab the right amount of attention. Truly so, when you’re into advertising marketing jobs, you simply cannot choose to be docile. You have to be at your dynamic best each time!

5. Internet Directories/Yellow pages: The internet is a place where every second millions of bytes worth of unique data is generated. Quite understandably, one needs to have directory services to help people find what they seek and therefore these search engines. The majority of the business done on the internet is through search engines; thus, when you’re into advertising marketing – internet and physical directories are the agents to utilize properly.

6. Social Media Optimization: A majority of the world’s internet population uses social networking sites – even few years back, this was a grey area for marketing and advertising but after social networks were re-invented, everything changed! Today social media optimization is seen as the next giant leap for mankind’s quest to ultimate advertising marketing. So, why are you behind?

Warning – Be Weary of Fake Internship Or Job Ads Online

It’s tough to find jobs these days, but the internet has given job seekers an easy way to sort through job listings easily, even without spending a cent. However, once you take advantage of hunting jobs online, it can expose you to hundreds of job scams. Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or internships, scams can be a very frustrating thing to deal with.

The people behind these online job scams are bad people; they won’t care if you have been unemployed for years, how badly you need a job or how much money you’ll be losing. The bad news is con artists evolve and create new scams every day. The good news is you can avoid being ripped off by learning how these unscrupulous people take advantage of job seekers, recognizing red flags while sorting through job ads and practicing safety during your job hunt.

Types of Online Job Scams

Job scams aren’t a new problem. A scammer works by gaining his victim’s confidence to make the job seeker an accomplice to money laundering without their knowledge or extract personal information such of the victim, such as full name, Social Security Number, financial details (bank account, credit card or PayPal information), birth date, driver’s license or other personal data.

Online job scams come in various forms, but the most popular ones include resume blasting, bogus job offers and cash handling scams.

o Resume blasting – With this kind of job scam, fake employment agencies offer employment guarantees within a fixed time period for a fee. What the victim (job hunter) doesn’t know is that the agency is distributing his/her resume to thousands of employers, websites and other sources (in a process called resume blasting) in hopes of having companies send correspondence, which the fraudsters would use to scam new victims. Although such agencies provide a money-back guarantee as a way to bait victims, only few people ever receive refunds.

o Bogus jobs/internships – This is the most obvious and most popular type of job scam. With this kind of scam, fraudsters pretend to be recruitment agents and advertise jobs with real companies or job boards, usually offering lucrative salaries. Once these so-called employment agencies conduct a bogus telephone interview, they’ll pretend that the job is theirs and instruct victims to send money for their travel costs or work visa to an agent, who just happens to work on the scammer’s behalf.

This scam has different variations, but they always involve sending money to agents or providing bank account/credit card details. Some fraudsters use personal information and sold to third parties for a fee or even used for identity theft. Be careful of bogus jobs because these fraudsters spend money to list fake jobs on legitimate employment sites or even host their own job board website to lure victims.

o Cash-handling/money laundering – With this kind of scam, fraudsters seek employees to handle their money laundering scheme without the victim’s knowledge. Job seekers often answer to work-at-home job listings (usually as a collection agent or customer representative) set up by the fraudsters. Once hired, the victims are sent fraudulent negotiable that are to be distributed to various parties, assuring victims that they get to keep part of the money. Usually, victims don’t know they have become part of a money laundering scheme, until they are caught by police.

Red Flags of Job Scams

Although there are virtually thousands of job scams online, you can learn how to avoid these scams completely by spotting certain red flags.

o Personal information requirements – Steer clear from any job listing that asks for your personal bank account, credit card numbers, PayPal account or Social Security Number. Some fraudsters even request you to scan an ID to “verify identity.”
o Fishy Payment Methods – If you haven’t met an employer personally, but he/she insists of having funds or paychecks direct-deposited, this could be a way to get a hold of your bank account information.
o Job Guarantees – Don’t believe it if a company says you’re guaranteed a job, especially if they are asking for an upfront fee. Nobody can guarantee that somebody else is going to give you a job.
o Money laundering – If the job requires you to forward, transfer or “wire” money to another person, employer or “customer” and assures that you’ll keep a portion of the money as payment, your job is a part of a money laundering scheme.
o Unprofessional job listings – Watch out for strange sentences with a lot of exclamation points, misspellings and grammatical mistakes in the job ad. Some scammers can sometimes become confused and post a job with a title that doesn’t match the description.
o Employer Contact Details – Job ads that fail to list specific job locations, company location, or phone numbers, can be a good indicator of scams. You should also take note of the employer’s contact e-mail address; scammers often use e-mails that are not primary domains. Watch out for contact e-mails using yahoo, hotmail or other free e-mail accounts, which can be easily replaced. Employers that don’t provide contact details have a lack of interest in actually meeting you in person.
o Employer Response to Inquiry – If the ad seems legit, the red flags don’t stop there. Once you’ve expressed interest through e-mail and they respond, look out for the name of a person/company that doesn’t exist or a generic auto-response to all your emails. Also be careful of responses with a link that ask you to sign-up for various websites.

Monster.com lists descriptive words in job postings that are tip-offs to fraud. The list includes “wiring funds,” “money transfers,” “package-forwarding,” “PayPal,” and “eBay.” Terms like “Foreign Agent Agreement” and “No Experience Necessary” are also used often by scammers.

Of course, if a job offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Guarantees of high income in one week or other exaggerated promises of high pay can be tempting, but they’re usually a marketing scheme to lure victims. To be sure, a quick Google search of the company name, job ad title or other details can save you a lot of time and frustrations in determining if a job is a scam or not. If you can’t find information about a company online, please talk to your career counselor before going for an interview.

No Job is More Important than Your Safety

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Unfortunately, job seekers are often victimized by identity theft through job scams. Here are some ways to keep your identity protected:

1) File resumes online wisely – We encourage you to file resumes online, but it’s not necessary to put your actual address on these resumes. In addition, don’t include your Social Security number, driver’s license information, bank account/credit card information, phone number, date of birth or passwords. Be aware that an email address is suffice when sending resumes and employers will understand. When posting your resume online, read the website’s privacy policy to see how your information will be used. Most legitimate companies have an application form, which is private for your actual address.
2) Practice prudent posting – Aside from resume banks, it is important to keep your personal information private. Online social networking sites enable individuals around the world to chat, share photos, recruit employees, date, post resumes, auction property and more. Because the internet makes it possible for all information about you linked with one another in a simple online search, anyone can gather these personal data and use it against you. If you wouldn’t tell it to a stranger on the street, don’t put it online for the world to see.
3) Phishing e-mails – When you inquire for a job and the employer sends a response with a link to a third-party website, which often lands on a spoof Web site, asking you to provide personal/account information or download malicious software. Be very careful on what you click next because phishing emails are used to fraudulently obtain personal identification and account information.
4) Never send money – If a company is asking money to fill out an application, don’t pay up unless you know the company to be reputable.
5) Analyze “work at home” jobs carefully – Although there are legitimate jobs online, most of these work-at-home opportunities sound fishy. Always check for the red flags when dealing with virtual jobs. If it smells fishy or spammy, such as someone offering you a job without a background check, face-to-face interview or verification of your references, then it probably is. All these axioms hold true when it comes to your safety.

Most importantly, check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbbonline.com) to make sure the company is in good standing. If you follow these expert tips, it can greatly reduce your potential risk of being victimized by online job scams.

Our search techniques will reveal a lot of opportunities for internship seekers, but not all of these will be legitimate. Please be careful and remember that no internship or job is more important than your safety.