The term job search agent refers to a database querying tool that allows individuals to select certain attributes of a job opening and receive automatic notifications when a match occurs. Job search agents can be found on both job posting sites as well as the "careers" section of larger companies.
Also known as a job scout, a job search agent sends an alert to the user when an opening matches the criteria they've selected. Typically, the alert will be an email containing a brief description of the job opening along with a hyperlink to the more detailed qualifications. Some systems also provide alerts in the form of an instant message delivered to a smartphone.
The selection criteria of a job search agent are fairly standardized, and may include:
- Geography: ranges in granularity from domestic and foreign countries through individual states as well as physical plant locations.
- Job Function: allows the user to narrow their search by identifying the types of jobs they are seeking. For example, job functions may include high-level categories such as accounting, administrative support, and computer services.
- Company: oftentimes appears as a selection criterion for a corporation that is also a conglomerate of dissimilar business operations.
- Job Level: includes categories such as executive, manager, supervisor, entry level, as well as student (used to identify internships).
- Keywords: finally, the job scout may allow the user to type in a number of keywords to narrow their search.
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