Craigslist vs LinkedIn

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Table Of Contents

Craigslist and LinkedIn represent two companies that approach the job industry differently than traditional online job sites. Both allow employers to post job listings and job seekers to search listings, but both offer unique takes, unlike any other site. Craigslist embraces function over form with its no-frills interface, while LinkedIn is a networking platform first, with career functionalities included.

Below is our comparison of Craigslist and LinkedIn to help you understand how each site operates and find the best match for your needs.

This review will focus on comparing Craigslist and LinkedIn, however, if you are looking for other options, we would recommend ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter offers free job searching for jobseekers and a free trial for job seekers.

get started with ziprecruiter


Craigslist has been around since 1995, but its interface looks older in many ways. What started as an email list for friends has grown to become one of the world's premier online classified ad websites. You can find dedicated pages on the site for almost every major city and region in the world.


Craiglist job postings range from $10 to $75 based on your location. The site lacks extra tools and features found on other job sites, but it offers an affordable way to promote job openings within your company. There are also no hoops to jump through to create a listing. The process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.

Employers have the option to include their actual email addresses in listings or use Craigslist's messaging system to handle correspondence with job candidates. There's also an option to include your phone number and receive phone calls and text messages.

You can save time by prepaying for multiple job listings at one time. This saves employers from having to enter payment information every time they create a new listing. For recruiters or companies with hiring teams, you can allow multiple users to share one account.

Keep in mind that Craigslist has no function to allow job seekers to apply for jobs directly. Always include instructions on how to apply within the body of any listings you create.


Craigslist is like most online job sites in that job seekers can search for jobs for free. There's no cost to use Craigslist other than the time involved wading through job listings. The best way to search is to navigate to your desired job location. You can browse jobs by category or search by job title.  The site offers a few filters to narrow down search results. The application process varies depending on the employer. Check within the job listing to determine the process for applying for desired jobs.


LinkedIn is an online professional networking platform. Users can create free accounts and profiles and connect with companies, colleagues, and other professionals. LinkedIn also offers career services, including online job listings. Although it's not a traditional job site, individuals use it every day to find jobs and employees.


LinkedIn offers free job postings for employers who want to use the platform to attract top talent. The real draw, though, is what's offered if you upgrade and promote your listings. LinkedIn pushes promoted listings across multiple content streams, including email, mobile push notifications, and more.

When you promote a post, you'll set a daily budget for how much you want to spend on your listing. You can change your budget or cancel it at any time. Pricing is somewhat mysterious and depends on your daily budget and the number of views from candidates. Also, employers only pay when individuals click on the job listing. Extra employer tools include a central spot online to organize all of your job listings and applicants and the ability to sort and rate candidates.

Related: LinkedIn Job Posting Cost


LinkedIn offers free and paid options for job seekers depending on your needs. Like most job sites, individuals can search listings and even apply for jobs within LinkedIn. To access other features, like direct messaging prospective employers, requires LinkedIn Premium. There are four plans available overall, but the one geared towards job seekers is the Career plan. The Career plan currently costs $29.99 per month (or $323.88 billed annually). Along with direct messaging, this paid plan also includes other tools like salary insights, job interview preparation, skill assessments, and more.

Related: How To Create A Great LinkedIn Profile

The Difference As An Employer

LinkedIn resembles a traditional job search site more than Craigslist, but each option has pros and cons. Craigslist offers basic employer services but at a budget-friendly rate. Perhaps you don't need access to extra tools and features at this time. Craigslist offers an affordable way to promote job openings within your company. LinkedIn includes the added element of networking, one of the best ways to connect and find prospective employees. With options for free and promoted listings, it's a good choice for companies who consider networking a large part of their recruitment process.

The Difference As A Job Seeker

Craigslist is free for job seekers. LinkedIn is also free but offers premium options if you want access to advanced career features. Depending on your career field and how active you are on LinkedIn, a Premium membership could be a good investment. If not, the site still offers free job searching capabilities that can help you connect with potential employers. Use both websites in your next job search and see which one fits your needs better and offers better options overall.

The Bottom Line

You can't go wrong, including Craigslist or LinkedIn into your recruiting strategy as you look for prospective employees to enhance your company. It's possible to use both sites without going outside your recruiting budget, although you may want to opt for paid promotions through LinkedIn to get your open jobs in front of more eyes. Craigslist is a great way to find local talent as well as save some money.

Job seekers should rarely discount a job site until they've at least tried it out for a short period. Take time to test the waters with Craigslist and LinkedIn. As a professional, it's a good idea to create a LinkedIn profile whether you're actively searching for a new job or not. It's a great way to network and build professional relationships.

If neither of these options are right for you, we recommend checking out ZipRecruiter.