Illinois Unemployment

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Work Search Requirements

Illinois Work Registration Program

Illinois law mandates that all individuals applying for unemployment benefits must, unless otherwise excused, fulfill Illinois’s work registration process. You are required to do this PRIOR to receiving any unemployment benefits. You will also need to complete several work search requirements. To search jobs in Illinois, visit:

In order to collect Unemployment Insurance benefits in Illinois, there are a few work search requirements. First, you must register either at an IDES office or with the Illinois Employment Service program at

Once you have a work registration account, you must verify each week that you have made valid efforts to find employment weekly. You should keep track of these efforts on a Work Search Record. Your records will be automatically be stored and available to you 24/7 if you choose to utilize It helps maintain a safe place to keep all of your job search records and even update your resume and other important job search material.

If you are claiming unemployment benefits in Illinois, you are required to apply for employment a minimum of two times each claim week. Both work search requirements must be completed during one calendar week and should be done on different days during that week. Each claimant must certify their job searches and provide documentation weekly to IDES.

In addition to, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offers job employment opportunities and services at Your skills and work preference will be matched to available jobs.

IDES provides the following:

  • Access to many resources that are only available to private employment agencies at no cost to claimants.
  • Information on how you can return to work through job fairs, resume building, job referrals, apprenticeships, re-employment services and Veterans programs.

When applying for unemployment on IDES, you are required to keep documents of your work search efforts. You must also continuously certify that you are willing, available, and capable of working any legitimate job offer. Report any possible conflicts on your benefit claim form such as finding adequate child care, limited transportation or attending school at the same time as hours for work.

You can easily complete the work search requirements by searching for jobs online. To ensure best results, visit the Illinois career locater website to make connections and submit applications.

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Acceptable Work Search Activities include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Utilize resources available at your local career center.
    1. Have weekly meetings with a career center advisor to get information about any jobs that are available in your region or industry.
    2. Participate in career center instructional workshops.
    3. Follow up on job referrals with employers.
  2. Personally go to a job site and fill out a job application with employers who are expected to have job openings.
  3. Submit a resume and/or job application in response to a classified ad, public notice, or to an employer who is expected to have job openings.
  4. Attend any job search seminar in your area and visit job fairs and job workshops to help improve your interviewing and networking skills.
  5. Have interviews with employers.
  6. Submit an application and take a Civil Service exam for any open government job.
  7. Register with placement services located in schools, universities, professional organizations, colleges, and unions.
  8. Actively use internet, telephone, online job-matching search engines, business directories, or referrals for job interviews.

NOTE: You may be disqualified from receiving benefits if you do not make yourself available for jobs or you are unwilling to work. You may also be disqualified if you are not seeking jobs you are qualified for. If you are temporarily unemployed and have received benefits for 13 weeks, you must accept any type of employment if you are unable to have a precise date as to when you will return to work. This is applicable, even if a new job pays less than the previous one.

What You Need for Work Registration:

You’ll need to gather the following information criteria to successfully apply for work registration:

  • Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Education and employment history
  • Certifications and licenses
  • An online resume

IDES along with are great sites that have many tools, training, and tips to help make finding a job successful.