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Organize Yourself

When exploring career choices, it's important think about:
  • what training you will need to get the job you want
  • whether the job is a good match for your personal interests
  • whether there are jobs like that around

After thinking that over, every job search begins by organizing. Below are tips to help you prepare your personal information and work history to share with employers.

Create a Job Seeker's Portfolio

A portfolio is a place to keep information that you will need as you type a resume. Use your portfolio as you look for a job. Refer to the following information as you fill out job applications, and interview for jobs.

Personal Information: Use the Personal Information Worksheet.

Work Experience:
  • Names and addresses of past and present employers
  • Awards for your work
  • Your job titles, descriptions, and skills
  • Names and contact information for work references
School Information:
  • High school
  • Schools you attended after high school
  • Dates attended
  • Major subjects studied
  • Certificates, licenses, or degrees awarded
  • A copy of your transcripts
Yourself:
  • Your interests and hobbies
  • Volunteer experience and awards
  • Your educational or work goals and plans for achieving them

Organize your Job Search

Create a folder for each job search and include the following items:
  • Advertisement for the job opening
  • Where you found the advertisement
  • Job description
  • Copy of your cover letter, resume and application
  • Employer information including address and contact information
  • Research you did about the organization (what they do, how large the organization is, their mission and vision)
  • Name, title, and contact information for the person doing your interview
  • Dates and times of phone calls, when you sent your resume and application, when you had interviews and when you sent follow-up letters

Keep track of job searches. Use the Job Search Record Link opens in a new window and keep it with your Personal Portfolio along with copies of resumes and job applications.

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  • Statewide Interest

    Create a Great Resume!

    Illinois workNet Resume Builder The Illinois workNet Resume Builder is FREE to all Illinois workNet account holders. Log-in or sign up External link opens in a new window to:
    • Create or Manage Your Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Cover Letters.
    • Create or Manage Your Portfolios.
    • Create or Manage Your Assessments.
    • Create or Manage Your Interviews.
    • Create or Manage Your Video Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Resume Websites.


  • Could this be YOUR LIFE?

    Could this be Your Life logo

    Check out this online interactive game brought to you by the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support, and take the journey through Could this be YOUR LIFE.  This interactive game will teach you about the consequences of making career and life choices.

    To access this interactive game, visit the Could this be YOUR LIFE External link opens in a new windowweb site.



  • Kids and Careers Brochure

    Kids and Careers: How Families Can Help Youth Succeed The Department of Employment Security, Kids and Careers: How Families Can Help Youth Succeed brochure provides the tools and information to help children succeed in life.   
    For more information visit the Kids and Careers brochure External link opens in a new window.

    Counselors and school administrators interested in packets of printed brochures, please call (877) 513-1987 or email des.icrn@illinois.gov . 


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