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Making a career choice is one of life’s most crucial decisions that will shape your future for better or for worse. When making a career choice, you need to take into consideration a number of important components, such as your skills and talents, qualifications and demands on the job market. If you feel that your education is inadequate or insufficient for the job you are interested in, don’t shy away from the challenge and take a course to earn the necessary credentials and land the job you desire. For young job seekers and those who have yet to determine their next step, the Illinois Department of Employment Security offers a number of programs and services to choose from, including:

  • The IllinoisJobLink job search tool.
  • Apprenticeship programs.
  • Hire the Future program.

IllinoisJobLink Job Finder Tool

You can begin your quest to find a job from the comfort of your home via the IllinoisJobLink – an Internet-based job search tool that features current job openings. Because this online platform is a rich “hunting ground” for talented individuals, many companies constantly perform searches for resumes by selecting search criteria based on keyword, experience, education and other criteria.

To utilize this free-of-charge tool, the first thing you will need to do is create an account by entering all required information. Once you sign up, you will gain access to a number of features that will help you find a job tailored to your qualifications by:

  • Building and posting an online resume.
  • Performing local and expanded searches for job openings.
  • Receiving email updates job postings.
  • Saving your job searches.
  • Creating multiple resumes to target specific jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs

If you are a young individual who has not decided the career path you would like to take, you can join an apprenticeship program to earn a living and master some useful trade in the process, if only until you decide on your next step.

To this end, the Illinois Department of Employment Security has set up a number of apprenticeship programs which are administered by an employer together with a labor organization or trade association. These apprenticeship programs typically take three to five years to complete and include 2,000 hours of on-the-job training (plus at least 144 hours per year of related classroom instruction), with wages that gradually increase over the length of the apprenticeship. Most apprentices work in the trades related to construction, but you can also choose to train for professions such as the following:

  • Electrician
  • Cement mason
  • Carpenter
  • Architectural iron worker
  • Painter
  • Drywall finisher
  • Operating engineer
  • Glazier

If you are interested in joining any of the aforementioned programs, simply print the apprenticeship application available at the IL Department of Employment Security website, complete it, and use the office locator (also on the page) to submit your application.

Hire the Future Program 

Young Illinois residents between the ages of 16 to 24, who are looking for a job that best suits their talents, can turn to the Hire for Future program which the IL Department of Employment Security designed to provide people of this age category with employment assistance, job readiness and career development services.