Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 20, 2021, to reflect changes to acceptable work search contacts.
If you are unemployed and collecting benefits you are now required to complete and report two acceptable contacts with potential employers for full-time work or acceptable work search activities. Not sure what counts as an acceptable contact or activity?
Acceptable Contacts or Activities
- Submitting an application, resume, cover letter or letter of interest to an employer.
- Interviewing for a position. Interviewing with the employer who you previously used as a contact is also acceptable.
- Receiving work search assistance from the Idaho Department of Labor. We recommend attending an interview preparation class, participating in a mock interview or meeting with a staff member one-on-one.
- Attending a job seeker event such as a job fair, virtual job fair, hiring event or job club.
- Registering with a staffing service, recruiter or placement agency.
- Using placement services that provide professional assistance to job seekers.
- Completing employer-required prerequisites for a job such as background check or drug testing, for example.
- Networking or meeting with others in your career field in an attempt to obtain work.
- Asking an employer about employment opportunities AND submitting an application if the employer is accepting them.
- Emailing or calling an employer to request an application AND submitting the completed application if available.
Not Acceptable Contacts or Activities
- Searching for work online or in the newspaper, but not finding anything to apply for. If you are looking for job openings in the newspaper or online but do not find anything to apply for, you have not made an acceptable work search contact. This also applies if you review job postings and do not apply because you do not meet the qualifications.
- Pursuing self-employment or 1099 gig work. Work search vitimites must be made to obtain wage work for an employer.
- Failing to follow through with the application process. If you fail to follow application instructions, the employer contact will not be acceptable. For example, if an employer only accepts applications online and you fail to submit it, you may not use it as an acceptable contact. Additionally, if you get a job referral from the Department of Labor, but you do not follow up on the position, the referral is not an acceptable work search contact.
- Following up with a previous contact or repeating employer contacts. While it is good practice to check back with employers, repeated contacts for the same position are not acceptable.
- Checking in with a staffing agency. The initial application is acceptable, but repeated follow-ups with the same employer is not.
- Contacting your part-time employer or your most recent employer.
- Applying for work you are not qualified for (i.e. do not have the skills or education to perform the job).
Make Your Contacts Count
Call or visit your nearest local office for work search help. We offer many free services, including workshops on specific work search topics. Find all the locations for Labor local and mobile offices at labor.idaho.gov/officedirectory.
Unemployment can be complicated, but we have tools to help you. For more information on your unemployment insurance rights and responsibilities, visit labor.idaho.gov/uitips.
Excellant post and timely of course. Thanks for the informative comments and information.
A point this page and the booklet fail to mention is that your sent emails will be used to verify work search contacts meaning the Compliance department will contact you requesting you to forward sent emails you have sent potential employers. If you are using Yahoo mail, there is a good chance that, by default, it will not be setup to save sent emails meaning you will not have the requested information they are looking for. Failure to produce sent emails to employers will result in being denied benefits from unemployment insurance, which I am experiencing now. To avoid these types of problems, use Google’s G-mail as it saves your sent emails by default and gives you the tools to verify work search contacts for the Idaho Department of Labor.
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