Online Job Searching Has Doubled Since 2005


NEW YORK—U.S. job seekers are as likely to look for jobs online as they are to rely on friends and other contacts for connections to the job market, according to a recently released survey. Many resources for job seekers are posted online and employers often expect applicants to find and apply for jobs using the Internet, e-mail or mobile applications.

The survey on the job search methods of 2,001 U.S. adults by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans (54 percent) have researched jobs on the internet, and nearly as many (45 percent) have applied for a job online. That is more than double the number from 2005, when 26 percent of Americans told Pew they had used the internet to look for jobs.

Of recent job seekers, defined as the 34 percent of Americans who have looked for a job in the last two years, 79 percent reported using resources or information they found online, while 80 percent used professional contacts and personal connections to find work.

Some 28 percent of job seekers, including 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, have used a smartphone as part of a job search. Among these Americans who have looked for a new job in the last two years:

• 94 percent have used a smartphone to browse or research job listings.
• 74 percent have used a smartphone to e-mail about a job.
• 50 percent have used a smartphone to fill out an online job application.
• 23 percent have used a smartphone to create a resume or cover letter.

Recent job seekers also used employment agencies (32 percent), print advertisements (32 percent) and job fairs (28 percent) to find work.

Americans with higher educational levels are especially likely to use the internet to seek employment, the survey found. Nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) of those who are college graduates went online to look for a job, compared with 77 percent of those who attended but didn’t graduate from college, and 69 percent of those who have never been to college.

Those who are better educated were also more likely to have relied on professional connections in their most recent job search. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of college graduates did so, compared with 59 percent of those who have attended but not graduated from college, and 57 percent of those who have never attended college.

The percentages of Americans searching and applying for jobs using mobile devices and social media is the survey’s other big takeaway.

More than 1 in 3 social media users have relied on social media to research jobs and have used social media to tell friends about available jobs where they work. About 1 in 5 have applied for a job they learned about through social media, and 13 percent of social media users say information they have posted on social media helped them get a job.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC
(707) 217-0979