Job Seekers: Returning to Work
As California’s economy reopens, job growth continues. Most people on unemployment are required to search for work to maintain their eligibility for benefits. At the EDD, we can help you get back to safe and suitable work and meet the work search requirement.
Resources to Help You Return to Work
We offer job-search assistance at no-cost to help you re-enter the workforce.
You can search and apply for job openings using CalJOBS. With CalJOBS, you can:
- Create different versions of your resume for specific jobs.
- Set up alerts for job openings and apply.
- Find education and training programs, workshops, and job fairs.
- Access job-market trends and data to support your job search.
America's Job Center of CaliforniaSM
America's Job Center of California (AJCC) offers services that bring employers and job seekers together. AJCCs provide:
- Job search strategies.
- Career coaching.
- Resume and interview preparation.
- Access to job fairs, training, and apprenticeship programs.
To find an AJCC and schedule an appointment, visit America’s Job Center of California.
The Work Search Requirement
If you are required to look for work, we will mail you a notice explaining your specific work search requirements. The requirement to look for work begins when you receive this notice.
The requirement applies to finding suitable work that is safe to return to and is comparable to your skills, experience, usual occupation, and health. For more information, view Requirements to Look for Work (YouTube).
Participating in the work search activities below can help you answer Yes to the question, “Did you look for work?” on your certifications every two weeks. Answering No will lead to additional questions and possibly an eligibility interview to determine if you are eligible for benefits for that week. For additional help visit, Understanding the Certification Questions.
You may not be required to look for work if you don’t have childcare and you have explored all reasonable alternatives for finding childcare. However, to be paid unemployment benefits, you must still be available to work and able to accept work if you receive a job offer. The EDD will contact you if additional information is needed to determine your eligibility for benefits.
The Work Search Requirement for Regular Unemployment
If you are required to look for work, you must do one or more of the following activities to be eligible for benefits. We encourage you to document your efforts.
We will notify you to make sure you’re aware of the specific requirements for your claim.
Note: If you file a new claim for regular unemployment on July 11 or after, you must register on CalJOBS.
Prepare for your job search.This can include:
- Setting up an account and uploading your resume on CalJOBS.
- Participating in employment services offered by the America’s Job Center of California.
- Creating a profile on various job-search websites.
- Registering with your union hiring or placement facility and meeting all union requirements related to job placement.
- Watching videos on job-search topics like writing cover letters and interview skills.
Expand your network. This can include:
- Letting friends, prior employers, or community members know you are looking for work.
- Connecting with people on job networking websites and searching for jobs.
- Participating in networking events related to suitable work.
Apply for suitable work. This can include:
- Applying for positions with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings.
- Applying or taking exams for openings in civil service.
- Responding to “want ads” or job openings.
Participate in permissible training.This can include:
- Taking courses that help you gain employment and don’t prevent you from accepting full-time work, such as federal and state-funded training, computer literacy courses, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or courses offering certificates of completion.
Important: You do not have to search for work if:
- You participate in state-approved training, including the California Training Benefits program.
- You participate in an employer-sponsored Work Sharing program.
- You have a definite job promise within a reasonable time.
- You are on a temporary layoff due to inclement weather or another reason and will be returning to work within 30 days.
- You have a specialized skill with limited job prospects, and you’ve exhausted your potential job sources.
- Your labor market has been virtually eliminated because of a trade dispute.
- You’re unemployed due to a seasonal shutdown in your industry with little chance of finding other work.
We will determine if an exemption applies to you based on the information you provide when you certify for benefits each week.
Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment Appointment
You may be contacted by mail about a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment. This appointment is designed to help you re-enter the workforce.
The RESEA program will help you meet all unemployment eligibility requirements and give you access to America’s Job Center of California. If selected to participate in the program, you must attend the appointment and complete the program’s services. Failure to do so may affect your benefits.
- Ask EDDy Video: Requirements to Look for Work (YouTube)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Armenian (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Simplified Chinese (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Traditional Chinese (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Korean (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Tagalog (PDF)
- Job Seekers: Returning to Work Fact Sheet – Vietnamese (PDF)
Last Revised: 05/03/2022