Jobseekers in Illinois who apply for unemployment benefits on or after July 17, 2016, will have to register for employment services and post at least one resume to the state’s job search website before they can receive unemployment payments (unless an exemption applies), according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Although the IDES is characterizing its announcement as a “reminder” that applicants for unemployment insurance benefits must show they are looking for work by registering for employment services, the requirement to post a resume in order to receive unemployment benefits appears to be a new tactic for the agency.

Previously, an application for unemployment benefits was separate from the work registration requirement, according to IDES. “Now we are tying these two processes together to help expedite the hiring process. Registering for employment services with a work-history and list of skills will help individuals re-enter the workforce,” IDES director Jeff Mays said in a press release.

An estimated 60 percent of people who file for unemployment claims with the Illinois unemployment office do not include a work history or resume, the IDES indicated. Yet Illinois employers have nearly 180,000 job openings listed on the Job Link website, according to IDES.

State and federal laws require people who seek unemployment benefits to actively be looking for a new job in order to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, with limited exceptions. People who currently are receiving Illinois unemployment benefits are not required to register again.

As part of its announcement that unemployment applicants must register through the Job Link site to show they are seeking work, the IDES is touting the resources it provides to job-seekers, including free job searches and postings, recruiting, job matches, hiring fairs, workshops, seminars, and webinars.

A failure to register can result in harsh consequences for unemployment applicants. According to an FAQ posted to the IDES website, if individuals who are required to register for employment services do not do so by a deadline triggered by applying on or after July 17, they “will not be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits for any week prior to the week in which you complete your registration.” It is unclear at this early stage to what extent the job registration requirement will cause people to be disqualified for unemployment benefits until they meet the registration requirement. But if it results in people being re-employed quickly (or for some, forfeiting benefits for weeks in which they failed to register), then employers may stand to benefit.

Registration must be done through the IDES site; registration on other job sites or search engines does not meet the requirement, according to IDES. The agency is requiring the job search registration process to be completed online and is directing people who do not have internet access to go to their local public libraries.

The IDES has prepared a set of questions and answers for unemployment applicants regarding the job registration requirement, which can be found here. The full content of the IDES news release can be found here.