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College Graduate To-Do

As a college senior, the process of applying for public sector jobs in the State of Illinois looks quite different from the private sector. Here are five tips for the college graduate.


Visit your college career service department

College career centers provide resources and information related to the job search process in the public sector. Whether it's to discuss career goals, review a resume or participate in a mock interview, students can schedule meetings with staff members at their university that are familiar with the State of Illinois hiring practices.

Handshake (a company that specifically caters to college students seeking employment) is a great resource that shows what positions are available with an agency and allows for two-way communication between the student and agency.

Career fairs are another great opportunity to build your network, hear about job opportunities, and improve your interviewing skills. Check with your school’s career center or Handshake for upcoming fairs.


Join the Work for Illinois website

Create a profile and set job alerts by going to the Work for Illinois website. To create an account, you will need to read and accept the data privacy statement. Next, you will want to upload a current resume, which is required for most positions to verify employment history.

Don't forget to upload a copy of your college transcript or diploma demonstrating educational achievement (unsubstantiated education will not be considered when evaluating qualifications).

The Work For Illinois career site allows applicants to establish "Job Alerts" for keywords, counties, job titles, locations, zip codes, and agencies. You can request to receive email notifications for postings that meet your interests.



Network virtually with state agencies

Take the time to create a LinkedIn profile. Many state agency recruiters will post positions online and even reach out to you. Make it your mission to become an active networker by keeping your LinkedIn up to date and professional. And don’t forget to log-in and check your LinkedIn inbox regularly.



Build a valuable professional network by joining relevant LinkedIn groups online and finding face-to-face networking opportunities through relevant professional associations, trade shows, and conferences. A large and strong network of contacts will result in more job opportunities in general for private sector jobs.

There is no need to network with hiring managers at State agencies, though. Recruiters are a good resource to help point you to job openings and assist with application and resume questions. However, the hiring managers and interview panels are prohibited from contacting applicants or viewing resumes prior to interviews to ensure a fair process for everyone. If you have questions for our recruiters, email


Utilize Career Counseling with the State of Illinois

State government career counseling services are provided by the CMS Assessment Centers by email. Career counseling staff will evaluate your education and experience along with your employment interests and preferences as to salary and geographic location. They will respond via email within 10 business days with potential state position titles for which you may qualify that coincide with your interests and preferences.

Email your resume and transcripts to: In the subject line, enter “Counseling by Email Request.” Be sure to indicate your employment preferences, geographic preferences, and salary requirements in the body of the email.


Be persistent when applying for State of Illinois employment

Sometimes students think, “Well, I've sent off all these electronic applications and now I'll sit back and wait.” If you see the same title on several postings, apply for ALL of them!

We only consider each applicant for the position in which they apply regardless of whether that title is listed one or four times on the job board. You must apply for each requisition to be considered. The more applications you complete, the greater your chance to interview and be hired.

The hiring process can take several months. We encourage graduates to start applying 90 days prior to their graduation date. You may mark “yes” for your degree and include the expected graduation date.

For more info on employment with DoIT, please see our FAQs or contact our recruiters at