West Virginia Work Search Requirements

You Must Register for Work with a Job Service/WorkForce West Virginia Center or American Job Center network

WorkForce West Virginia offers a number of services to the public in addition to the Unemployment Compensation Program. One of our other services is a statewide system of public employment offices to help jobseekers. A Job Service/WorkForce West Virginia Center office often is located in the same building as your unemployment claims office.

The primary function of a Job Service/WorkForce West Virginia Center or American Job Center network office is to help employers who are seeking workers and applicants who are seeking employment. Many local employers list their openings with one of these centers to bring available jobs and applicants together. The Job Service/WorkForce West Virginia Center offers job-seeker services consisting of referrals to job opportunities, vocational counseling, resume preparation and other special services, for which there no charge.

Unless you belong to a union hiring hall that has a business agent who looks for work for you, are partially unemployed and filing with a Low Earnings Report, have a return-to-work date within four (4) weeks which is verified by your local office, in approved training, or on jury duty, you must register with your nearest Job Service/WorkForce West Virginia Center or American Job Center network office prior to filing for your sixth week of benefits. Failure to do so may result in a denial of benefits

You Must Actively Seek Full-Time Work Each Week

According to West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Law, you are eligible to receive benefits only if you are doing that which a reasonably prudent person in the same circumstances would do in seeking work. Each week, you must make an active job search to find work. The number of weekly contacts you should make depends upon your occupation and the condition of the labor market. As your length of unemployment increases, you must be willing to expand your work search. This means you may have to consider taking work outside your preferred field, and be willing to accept other jobs for which you are qualified. You also may have to be willing to accept a lower wage than you wanted when you first became unemployed.

You may use the methods of seeking work that are customary in your occupation. However, to increase the likelihood of being successful in obtaining employment, you should undertake a variety of methods in seeking work. In certain professions, submitting resumes is the usual and customary means of obtaining work. If you work in such an occupation, this is a satisfactory method of showing that you are actively seeking work. If you belong to a union with a business agent that finds work for you, you must be a member in good standing and do what your union requires to be subject to call when jobs are available.

Contacting employers by telephone who may reasonably be expected to have openings in work in which you are qualified to perform is an acceptable job contact. However, these contacts should involve, when possible, contact with persons with the apparent authority to hire. Generally as a rule, calling an employer on the telephone simply to inquire if s/he is hiring is not a good method to secure leads for employment. Potential leads for employment should be followed up with the employer using their preferred method of application (such as a resume, email, written application, etc.). Checking want ads, using Internet based employment searches, and attending job fairs are acceptable methods for seeking work. To count as a work contact, you must make an independent effort to talk to the person or firm that placed the ad and/or submit an application or resume. When submitting applications or resumes by mail, fax or via the Internet, document all relevant information pertaining to the search, such as address, position sought, name and title of employer, date mailed, web address, fax numbers, etc. Save emails or confirmation faxes for your records.

Failure to make required job contacts and/or failure to register timely, by the deadline provided, will result in a denial of benefits. You are required to keep a written record of your weekly job contacts and be prepared to furnish this record should your claim be randomly selected for review. The back of this handbook provides a sample form for documenting your job contacts. This form is not exclusive of the types of information you should be recording; you should add all pertinent information you feel would be useful if your claim is randomly selected for review.

If you are in a training program that has been approved by our Agency, or on jury duty, the work search policy may be suspended. (See “How Attendance of School or Training Affects a Claim”). If you are claiming Extended Benefits, there are additional requirements that will be explained when you apply for benefits under that program.

Tips on Seeking Work

The best method to use in seeking work depends, to some extent, on the kind of work you do. The following suggestions apply to most occupations. Apply in person, whenever possible. Ask to speak to the person who does the hiring. Have a neat, clean appearance. Avoid seeking work during the lunch hour, or near quitting time. Take a written record of your past employment so that you can complete an application, if required. Complete an application and leave it, or a current resume, if the company will accept it. Do not expect an employer to consider hiring you if you call on the telephone and ask about work. Most employers will not offer work to people they have never seen. Do not contact the same employer every week if you are told that the employer is not hiring. Make repeat contacts only if an employer encourages you to check back later.

Tips on Handling a Job Interview

If you want to make a good impression at a job interview, be prompt. Do not take others with you to the interview. For many jobs, your personal appearance is important. Be neat, clean, and as a rule, be dressed as though you were to start work immediately. Avoid nervous mannerisms, such as chewing gum or jingling coins in your pocket. Many office buildings are smoke-free workplaces, so do not use tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaporizers during your interview. Be business-like. Answer questions honestly. Be ready to talk about the kinds of work you have done and the skills you have to offer. Be realistic when discussing wages. Be prepared to furnish names and addresses of former employers, the dates you worked for each, your references, and any permits or licenses you have.