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    The unemployment in Illinois is very high at 10.1%.  So, if you are without a job you are definitely not alone.  Just because you don’t have a pay check does not mean you don’t have to pay the bills.  The goal of most people who lost their jobs is to get back into the workforce as soon as possible.

    Help is available through the state of Illinois, which has several web sites you can use to get back on your feet.  You can get information on occupations, education, and financial aid.  The Career Information Section provides resume writing assistance as well as links to employers throughout the nation.  It includes a “Career Click” section which you can use to help plan your career.

    The site www.illinois.gov is your one-stop shop to complete your next step in your job search.  To begin, go to the site and select the “working” option.  A wealth of links to service and information will then become available for your selection.

    For example, clicking on “Career Resources” takes you to a page where you can get to the Career Information System and One Source, to name just two.   The Career Information System provides a view of different careers to help you find a career that is right for you.  One Source also provides help towards making your career decision as well as links to labor market information.

    Another option available  from the “working” option of the www.illinois.gov site is the Illinois skills match.  As its name implies, the Illinois skills match is a free site that lets you provide what you’re looking for in a job and then pulls up matches.  Since it has links to thousands of job openings in Illinois, you are bound to find one that is a good fit.

    The site also includes links to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).  The IDES site, which is located at http://www.ides.state.il.us/ is where you will go to apply for unemployment benefits.  It is also where you will certify for benefits once every other week.

    Another site you might want to use is http://www.isbe.state.il.us, the Illinois State Board of Education site.  It contains a handy Career and Technical Education section.  It contains resources regarding the five occupational areas of agricultural education; business, marketing and computer education, family and consumer sciences, health science technology, and technology and engineering education.

    Remember, if you have been paying taxes to the state of Illinois, you are also paying for people to update and maintain their web sites.  Your friends in Illinois have also helped pay the way for you to reap the benefits of the Illinois government web sites.  By using the sites, you can register for unemployment and seek and find a meaningful career.  Then you will be able to pay the state of Illinois back for the investment it has made in you.

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