I saw that some students, even from top schools and who are giving faculty candidate talks are posting a sentence like, "I am actively looking for a job in ..". Is this a good thing or only shows a desperate job candidate?

4 Answers 4


Your professional website is a summary of who you are and how you are currently presenting yourself publicly. If you are openly on the job market, then it is entirely appropriate to be frank about that fact on your website: just present it as a piece of neutral information, rather than making a big deal of it.


On a website, there's nothing wrong with such a statement. On the other hand, it's a much bigger problem to put "I'm actively looking" in a CV or resumé, where it could come off as seeming more desperate (or at the very least somewhat pushy, since a CV is sent for the purpose of looking for a job!).

But of course, context and phrasing are extremely important, and you'd have to look at the overall effect and impact of the sentence on the web page as a whole.

  • 2
    I think it's fine in a resume, where people are often advised to say "I am looking for a job of type X", but not a CV.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 7, 2015 at 0:58

In common with many others in my industry (finance, and probably most other industries) I have two states of "looking for a job". Currently I am passively looking which means that my CV is out there and people can approach me if they wish and ask whether I would be interested in a particular job but I am not looking to change jobs unless something out of this world landed in my lap. Previously I was actively looking for a job; I was sending my CV to recruiters and trying to find a new position. This is because I was looking to change my position. Saying anywhere that you are actively looking for a job is at the very least a neutral statement but in many cases will lead to recruiters getting in touch with you because they know that they are likely to make money out of placing you in a job. This is particularly true if the statement is that you are looking for a job in a particular area or industry as it implies that you are focused on a goal and not desperate.

What would look desperate would be spamming recruiters and job boards with CVs aimed at no job in particular; this says to the recruiter that you are not interested in their particular job, have no direction in your job search, and are looking for any job that will take you.

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    If you want the recruiters to get in touch, I'd recommend adding a month and year, e.g. "March 2015 - actively looking for work", too, so they know it's not outdated. Mind you, a lot of recruiters will just contact everyone speculatively anyway... Apr 7, 2015 at 11:38
  • by recruiters I didn't just mean recruitment consultants, I meant anyone recruiting. Keeping your CV up to date without putting a specific date as to when you started actively looking for work may actually be more helpful because if they think that you have been looking for a long time they will think that you're desperate too!
    – MD-Tech
    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:56
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    No, it's not meant to be a start date. If in April 2015 you're still actively looking for work, you update it to "April 2015 - actively looking for work". The point is that if all it says is "actively looking for work", they don't know whether you put that there today or several months ago. You may have stopped looking, or found a new job, and not updated your LinkedIn (or wherever) profile yet. Apr 7, 2015 at 12:55
  • What about making the employer aware of the level of loyality to the current job - is this relevant? Apr 7, 2015 at 23:08
  • @starsplusplus: if it looks like a starting date to me (albeit unintentionally) it will to others. VolkerSiegel: I've found that most companies want to make you happy so that you won't leave rather than punishing you for wanting to be happier. Your question is irrelevant to this question (as its a first job question) and would be best asked on the workplace stack as the answer is long and complicated.
    – MD-Tech
    Apr 8, 2015 at 8:03

I think such a line on a website straddles the line between

  • I am interested in talking to anyone who might have an interesting job.
  • I'd like it if a job looked for me, instead of the other way around.

The former attitude is very reasonable. I don't think I'd want to see just "I'm looking for a job" on a website of a potential employee. However, "I'm looking for a job. Contact me if you are looking for someone who wants to do cool stuff in Material Sciences (or just contact me if you are interested in talking about it!)" shows a slightly different type of personality.

  • Hmm... I'm not sure, it may be obvious or implied somehow, but what is that difference in personality type? Apr 7, 2015 at 23:11
  • One is just lazy and not bothering to search for a job properly. The other is an active engaged individual who is interested in talking to you about interesting things, and might even work for you if it's interesting enough.
    – Cort Ammon
    Apr 7, 2015 at 23:42

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