Job hunting, job seeking, or job searching is the act of looking for employment, due to unemployment, underemployment, discontent with a current position, or a desire for a better position. The immediate goal of job seeking is usually to obtain a job interview with an employer which may lead to getting hired. The job hunter or seeker typically first looks for job vacancies or employment opportunities.
Local libraries and career centers have resources to aid in job searches. These resources come in multiple formats such as books or online databases and having the right tools can streamline the process make the job-hunt less stressful.
Common methods of job hunting are:
- Finding a job through a friend or an extended business network, personal network, or social media
- Using an employment website
- Job listing search engines
- Looking through the classifieds in newspapers
- Using a private or public employment agency or recruiter
- Looking on a company's web site for open jobs, typically in its applicant tracking system
- Going to a job fair
- Using professional guidance such as outplacement services that give training in writing a résumé, applying for jobs and how to be successful at interview.
- Visiting an organization to find out whether it is recruiting staff or will be doing so in the near future.
Researching the employers
Many job seekers research the employers to which they are applying, and some employers see evidence of this as a positive sign of enthusiasm for the position or the company, or as a mark of thoroughness. Information collected might include open positions, full name, locations, web site, business description, year established, revenues, number of employees, stock price if public, name of chief executive officer, major products or services, major competitors, and strengths and weaknesses.
Likewise, job seekers are beginning to use social networking sites to advertise their skills and post resumes. Today, job seekers can use resources such as Google+’s Circles, Facebook’s BranchOut, LinkedIn’s InMaps, and Twitter’s Lists to make employers notice them in a unique way. In 2014, using these social media networks has led to 1 of 6 job seekers finding employment.
Job seekers need to begin to pay more attention to what employers and recruiters find when they do their pre-interview information gathering about applicants, according to this 2010 study by Microsoft, "Online Reputation in a Connected World".
One can also go and hand out résumés or Curricula Vitae to prospective employers, in the hope that they are recruiting for staff or could soon be doing so. Résumés can also be submitted to online employment sites that aid in job searching. Another recommended method of job hunting is cold calling and, since the 1990s, emailing companies that one desires to work for and inquire to whether there are any job vacancies.
After finding a desirable job, they would then apply for the job by responding to the advertisement. This may mean applying through a website, emailing or mailing in a hard copy of a résumé to a prospective employer. It is generally recommended that résumés be brief, organized, concise, and targeted to the position being sought. With certain occupations, such as graphic design or writing, portfolios of a job seeker's previous work are essential and are evaluated as much, if not more than the person's résumé. In most other occupations, the résumé should focus on past accomplishments, expressed in terms as concretely as possible (e.g. number of people managed, amount of increased sales or improved customer satisfaction).
Since the year 2000, the Internet has been increasingly popular method for job applications, with many companies giving job applicants the option of applying through their company website, while some companies now have no alternative form of recruitment.
Once an employer has received résumés, they will make a list of potential employees to be interviewed based on the résumé and any other information contributed. During the interview process, interviewers generally look for persons who they believe will be best for the job and work environment. The interview may occur in several rounds until the interviewer is satisfied and offers the job to the applicant.
Job hunting in economic theory
Economists use the term "frictional unemployment" to mean unemployment resulting from the time and effort that must be expended before an appropriate job is found. This type of unemployment is always present in the economy. Search theory is the economic theory that studies the optimal decision of how much time and effort to spend searching, and which offers to accept or reject (in the context of a job hunt, or likewise in other contexts like searching for a low price).
- Hinshaw, David. "The dangers of online job hunting". Boston Metro, 13 September 2010, p. 16. References uncited studies.
- Vilorio, Dennis (Spring 2011). "Focused jobseeking: A measured approach to looking for work" (PDF). Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
- "Social Recruiting Survey 2011". Jobvite. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- Schepp, Brad (2012). How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (PDF). McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Digital Job Search". Washington State University. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "Online Reputation in a Connected World" (PDF). Cross-Tab Marketing Services. 2010. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Frictional Unemployment". Investopedia. Retrieved 2012-07-25.