Finding Work When You Are on Unemployment Benefits

Calendar Icon Updated February 21, 2019

Once you’ve filed for unemployment insurance benefits, the next step is searching for work. Though this can seem like a daunting task, there are a variety of services and tools available to help you find your next job. Here, we explore three ways you can set your job search apart and not only find a new job, but find one you actually want. All can be done through your local America’s Job Center and come at no cost to you.

Get top-notch recruitment and career coaching services

Staff at the America’s Job Centers act on your behalf as recruiters, job coaches and career counselors with the goal of getting you employed. Services like résumé reviews, mock interviews and cover letter help are all available at the centers at no cost. Centers also offer numerous workshops covering everything from job search skills to computer training to in-demand career paths.

While receiving benefits, you will likely be required to register with your state employment system. Check there often for job openings and utilize your career counselor to connect you with job opportunities. Since they work with employers, as well as job seekers, they can tailor the leads specific to your goals.

Enroll in a training program

The U.S. Department of Labor funds job training programs all across the country through the America’s Job Center network. You must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify, but many people who are receiving unemployment benefits are eligible.

The centers maintain a list of eligible training providers and can recommend programs in your industry or area of interest. Training programs often last a few months to 2 years and result in a certificate of some kind. Sometimes training is partially-subsidized, other times you may be covered in full. In some cases, you may even be able to continue receiving unemployment benefits while training is completed.

Pursue an in-demand job

A skills gap occurs when employers have jobs to fill, but can’t find job seekers with the skills to fill them. Though this does happen often in regards to high level positions, such as engineers, it is becoming most prevalent in middle-skilled jobs. Middle-skilled jobs require more than a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year degree (e.g. certificates, AA degrees).

Your State Unemployment Agency or America’s Job Center can direct you to research on in-demand jobs in your area. Identifying skills you have to that can transfer into one of these occupations can help you land your next job.

The unemployment insurance program offers services to recipients to get them back to work, but you have to make it happen—as with any task, you will get out of your job search what you put into it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, use the tools offered to you and explore new career paths you may have never considered.

Eligibility Team

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