Washington Work Search Requirements

Do you have to look for suitable work?

Yes, everyone has to look for suitable work unless one of the following is true:

1. We approve you for a training program, such as Commissioner Approved Training or Training Benefits.
2. We approve you for SharedWork.
3. We approve you for standby.
4. You are dispatched through a full-referral union.
5. You are partially unemployed (and approved by the department).

Note: If you are a full-referral union member, you must look for work by meeting your union’s dispatch requirements. A full-referral union means a union that refers its members to jobs by referral or dispatch.

How will you know if your job search activities have been waived

We will notify you in writing based on the correspondence preference you selected. You must look for work unless you have been notified by the department that you don’t have to.

If you are required to look for work, you must meet Washington state’s job search requirements each week you claim benefits (unless we inform you otherwise) by:

1. Making employer contacts; or
2. Participating in approved job search activities in person at a WorkSource office or American Job Center.

You are required to make a minimum of three employer contacts, or three qualified in-person job search activities at the local WorkSource office or employment center, or a combination of both, totaling three. For example, make one employer contact and two approved in-person job search activities. If your job search requirements change, we will notify you.

What is an employer contact?
When inquiring about a position, you must take all steps necessary to apply for the position for the contact to count as a job search activity. If you have applied or inquired about the job and discovered that the employer is not hiring or accepting applications, you may still count your inquiry as an employer contact if you were unaware the employer was not hiring or accepting applications when making the contact and should note that fact in your job search log.

Be sure to record all details required for the type of contact you make, as shown in the tables later in this section.

Examples of contacts that do not count as employer contacts:

1. Contacting employers you already know are not hiring.
2. Browsing the Internet or a newspaper.
3. Posting your resume online without submitting an application for employment.
4. Having others look for work for you (such as “head-hunters”).
5. Working to set up your own business.
6. Calling job lines to hear lists of job openings.
7. Checking in with current employers or calling recruiting services with which you are already registered.

You make an employer contact when you ask about or apply for a job. You can contact an employer by:

1. Email
2. Fax
3. Internet
4. Mail
5. Phone
6. Meeting in-person
7. Virtual meeting using video conferencing services like Skype, GoToMeeting, etc.
8. An employer’s self-service kiosk

What is an approved in-person job search activity at a WorkSource office or American Job Center?

This is a free service provided through or monitored by a WorkSource office or American Job Center in your state to help you with your reemployment needs. It is related to finding suitable work. Learning about job search strategies, writing effective resumes and developing interview techniques are examples of in-person job search activities. Not all classes count as approved in-person activities, so be sure to ask WorkSource or American Job Center staff

Keeping your job search log

To stay eligible for benefits, you will need to show us your job search log if we ask for it. You must keep a written job search log even if you submit your job search information with your weekly claim online through eServices.

Blank job search logs and a sample log are provided at the end of this handbook. You can print/make copies of a blank log or get additional logs at esd.wa.gov by typing “job search log” in the search box then select the link that says “download” beneath the log version you’d like to use. Use the job search log we provide to avoid recording incomplete information.

We recommend and prefer you use the job search log template that we provide. You’re welcome to keep track of your job search activities on any document you choose. If you do, it must have the required information to demonstrate you are making an active search for suitable work and you are able to provide it if we ask to see it. For your written log, please use dark ink and print clearly. You must keep a written job search log even if you submit your job search information with your weekly claim online through eServices

What you are required to record on your job search log Your job search log must have sufficient information to show that you met the job search requirements. What you record depends on the type of work you are looking for and the type of contact you make. Include the following information for each type of contact:

1. Date of contact (month/day/year).
2. Type of contact (inquiry, application, interview, in-person activity, etc.).
3. Result of contact.

Keep your job search log handy

Keep your job search log handy because we may request to see it at any time. You must keep it at least 30 days after the end of your benefit year or 30 days after you stop receiving benefits, whichever is later. You don’t need to send it to us unless we request it.

We may request to see your job search log

We conduct random reviews of job search activities to make sure you are looking for suitable work. If you are selected for a review or we have a question about your job search, we will request a copy of your job search log(s) and you must provide them as instructed.

We may send you a letter to schedule a review of your job search activities to make sure you are looking for suitable work, review your eligibility for benefits and, when appropriate, provide feedback on how to improve your job search. Read the letter carefully to see if your interview is by phone or in-person. Have your job search log(s) ready. If your log is missing or incomplete, or you are not making a genuine attempt to find suitable work, we may deny benefits. You then have to pay back benefits for all the weeks you didn’t meet the job search requirements.

If you didn’t complete your job search log correctly

Even if you can show you have substantially complied with the job search requirements, we may suggest how you should modify your job search efforts or improve your documentation to complete your job search log. We may also schedule you for an additional appointment to confirm you are meeting the requirements. If you cannot show you are making a genuine attempt to find suitable work, we may deny your benefits. If we deny your benefits, you must pay back benefits you received for weeks you did not meet the job search requirements. In addition, we will schedule a review of your job search activities for all weeks you claimed