Job hunting is tough work. It requires time, effort and patience. It is generally frustrating, and especially for the newcomer to the job market, it can be seemingly futile. But job-seekers in the metropolitan Washington area can get help from "The Metropolitan Job Bank" (Bob Adams Inc., 1983, $9.95, 272 pages).

A useful book designed to acquaint job-seekers with the major employers of the Washington and Baltimore metroplitan areas, it is the eighth in a series of books that have outlined employment information for places such as Boston, New York and Chicago.

Probably one of the toughest questions for any job-seeker to answer is "where do I start?" In listing about 800 major local employers, including the federal government, "The Metropolitan Washington Job Bank" is a good place to begin. It is a book of ideas.

The book begins with a listing of local employers. It includes the address, phone number, name of the contact person and a brief description of the principal business of each firm. There are separate chapters on hospital and university employers. Of importance to many in the D.C. area, there is a chapter outlining the correct procedure for exploring jobs in the federal government, which, if properly followed, should help job-seekers avoid the otherwise baffling maze of bureaucratic confusion.

A word of caution is in order here. Although recently published, the book contains errors that are probably due to the publisher's inability to update information on all 800 firms. Divisions close, divisions open, and personnel changes occur frequently. Although it is a good starting point, the book is no substitute for the hours of research that the serious job-seeker will put into preparation for the job-hunt. And a simple phone call can ensure that the name of the contact person is correct.

The book does provide some information on preparing resumes, writing cover letters and preparing for interviews, even though it is not the last word in job-hunting. Those new to the job market, or those thinking of changing careers will find some insight into career opportunities. The chapter entitled "Jobs in Each Industry" contains a listing of 62 occupations that the publishers feel have "especially good outlooks for the 1980s." Following a brief description of each occupation, there is information on the necessary qualifications for entering and advancing in that profession, the salary expectations, entry-level positions and related industries tht may offer job opportunities.

The cross-index in the back is a time-saving tool useful in drawing up a list of those firms that may offer jobs in several different categories, such as "accounting/auditing" or "mining and drilling."

"The Metropolitan Washington Job Bank" is not a substitute for the hard work and concentrated effort required to find a job. It is one of the many sources of information that will help inspire the motivation and start the job-seeker on the right path to the right job. It is available at local bookstores or direct from the publisher, in Brighton, Mass.