How to find Craigslist gigs

I am a web developer.  Jobs are plentiful.  Craigslist is a great tool to find jobs, but searches for computer gigs isn’t the easiest thing to when it comes to searching outside your local area.  There are a few sites that claim to allow you to search the entire United States, but all it is, is a Google search.  Not exactly the desired results, as they may not or not be related to your search, and they might not be current.

So what I did (and what I’ll be showing you) is utilize Craigslist to produce results for any city in the country with your specific search.  If you’re not comfortable with editing HTML, you might find this a little hard, but I’ll try explaining it as easy as possible.

Since there is no Craigslist API to tap into, I had to get a little creative.  Attached is the sample that you can build upon.  I will break it down for you, so that you can edit it to your liking.

Extract the zip and then open the HTML file in a simple text editor like Notepad.  You’ll notice right away that there is a small bit of javascript in the <head> section.  There is one line you should look at right away:

var origsearchParam = ‘/search/cpg?sort=date&query=’;

This is a variable I’m assigning with a specific string.  The string is the same url you see when you perform a Craigslist computer gig search.  I’m assigning it to this variable, so that I can form my own url for each city I want to search.  The “query” paramater at the end of this, is where I’ll tack on the term you will be searching.

Next down the page, you’ll see many, many links.  Each of these represents a city.  The link attribute “href” represents where you’ll be taken when you click on the rendered link (i.e.  Add or remove as many as you’d like for the city you wish to search in.

After you are done, save the file.  Return to the folder where this HTML resides in, and double-click on it to have it render in your browser (i.e. Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc).  You should see a long list of links with a search box at the top.  Enter a search term in the box and click “Submit”.

What you’ll see next will look strange, but I promise, it is normal.  For each city you listed to show results for, your browser will open a new tab for it.  I have about 50, so I have 50 tabs open in my browser.  Each tab will show the results for that particular city for the search term you provided.  At this point you can quickly see if there are any related gigs.  If not, close that tab and move onto the next.

This is a down and dirty way of performing a global Craigslist search.  You can do this for any Craigslist category, as well.




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