Overview

To be eligible for benefits, you are required to:

  • Register on WorkInTexas.com. If you live in another state, you must register at a public workforce office in that state
  • Search for work according to the guidelines provided below and make at least the minimum number of work search activities each week 
  • Keep good, verifiable records of those activities on a work search log 
  • Provide the work search log to TWC upon request at any time during the benefit year
  • Apply for and accept suitable full-time work

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Exemption from Work Search Requirements

To qualify for a work search exemption, you must meet one of the following criteria and have the exemption approved by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division. We will notify you in writing if you are exempt from the work search requirements.

  • Be on a temporary layoff with a definite return-to-work date
  • Be an active member in good standing of a union with a non-discriminatory hiring hall
  • Be in a TWC-approved training program that includes work search exemption
  • Be in Trade Act training
  • Be in a Shared-Work program

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Register for Work

You must register for work search within three business days of the date you applied for benefits on WorkInTexas.com, our comprehensive online job search resource. Make sure to use your Social Security number so we can verify your registration. Completing your work search registration is a separate process from applying for unemployment benefits.

If you live in Texas or regularly commute to Texas to work from a bordering state (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma), you must complete a work search registration on WorkInTexas.com. WorkInTexas.com is our comprehensive online job search resource and job matching system. WorkInTexas.com provides recruiting assistance to Texas employers of all types and sizes, and job search assistance to any individual seeking work in Texas. You can contact a Workforce Solutions office for assistance completing your registration on WorkInTexas.com. Many Workforce Solutions offices offer assistance by phone or online for your convenience, as well as in-person appointments. Check your Workforce Solutions office website for the services available.

If you do not live in Texas, or regularly commute to Texas, you must register for work search within three business days with the American Job Center in the state where you reside. You can find workforce services near you by using America’s Service Locator. TWC will verify that you registered in your state of residence.

 

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Search for Work

After you apply for benefits, we send you a letter with the minimum number of work search activities you must complete each week. See the section below for information on acceptable work search activities. We also remind you of your weekly minimum work search requirement each time you request payment.

You must actively search for work and meet your minimum number of weekly work search activities to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Acceptable Work Search Activities

TWC has determined that acceptable work search activities include, but are not limited to:

  • registering on WorkInTexas.com. For help with the registration process, go to WorkInTexas.com, scroll down to the “News and Announcements” section, and select “Registration Resources and Website Usage Tips.” For support, contact your local Workforce Solutions Office
  • searching for jobs on WorkInTexas.com and using the Virtual Recruiter tool to receive alerts about new jobs that match your skills
  • obtaining and following up on job contacts from WorkInTexas.com or Workforce Solutions office staff
  • registering at a public workforce office in the state you live in if you do not live or work in Texas
  • registering for work with a private employment agency, placement service of a school/college/university, or registering with other electronic job-matching systems (does not replace WorkInTexas.com registration)
  • making in-person visits, completing a job application, or interviewing with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable work. The job application can be submitted in person, online, by fax, or in any other manner directed by the employer and appropriate for the type of work being sought
  • mailing a job application and/or a résumé as instructed by a public job notice
  • creating a reemployment plan
  • creating or uploading a résumé to online job boards 
  • participating in work-related networking events such as job clubs or job fairs, or employment-related workshops that offer instruction in improving the job seeker’s skills for obtaining employment
  • taking advantage of reemployment services and resources available at your nearest Workforce Solutions office virtually. For more details, contact your local Workforce Solutions office. Reemployment resources include:

For more information:

 

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Document Work Search Activities

You must document at least your minimum number of required activities every week. However, we recommend that you document all your work search efforts every week that you are receiving benefits. For unemployment purposes, a week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday.

Common Mistake:
Not keeping good records of all of your work search activities. Write down the specific details each week. You can lose benefits if we request your log for a prior week(s) and you cannot provide it or it does not include required information.
 
 

We may request your work search log for any week or number of weeks at any time during your benefit year. Keep all your work search logs for your entire benefit year, or for as long as you are receiving unemployment benefits, whichever is longer. If you are selected to submit your log, we send a notice to you. 

Send a copy to TWC only if we request it, using the address or fax number we give you. You can also upload your work search log using our secure online UI Submission Portal. Once received, we will verify your activities. 

All work search information you provide to TWC must be true and accurate. Intentionally giving false statements about work search activities constitutes fraud and can result in loss of benefits, overpayments on your claim, and criminal prosecution. For more information, see Unemployment Benefits Fraud.

 

Work Search Log

You can download TWC's work search log or create your own log. If you create your own log, it must include the same information that is on our version.

Document your activities by including specific details about the work search activity, especially telephone numbers with area codes. Be sure to include:

  • Date of the work search activity
  • What you did (for example: searched for work at a Workforce Solutions office, applied online for a job, participated in a job fair, applied in person for an opening)
  • Type of job you are seeking
  • Employer names, addresses (mail/email/web page) and phone numbers including area codes
  • Name of the person you contacted, if applicable, and the method of contact (for example: mail, email, fax, phone)
  • Result of your activity (for example: submitted job application, sent a résumé, interviewed, hired, not hired, no reply, other)

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Apply for and Accept Suitable Full-Time Work

You must apply for and be able to accept a suitable full-time job. You are not eligible for unemployment benefits and we cannot pay you benefits if you do any of the following:

  • Refuse a TWC or Workforce Solutions referral for a suitable job
  • Refuse to apply for a suitable job
  • Refuse to accept a suitable job

We determine if a job is suitable based on:

  • Your experience, qualifications, and training
  • The working conditions and pay for similar work in your area
  • Any risks to your health, safety, or morals
  • The distance to work from your home and local commuting patterns
  • How long you have been unemployed

During your first eight weeks of unemployment, you must be willing to accept a suitable job that pays at least 90 percent of your normal wage. After you have been unemployed for eight weeks, you must be willing to accept a suitable job that pays at least 75 percent of your normal wage.

Reminder: When you apply for a job, you should not ask for a wage that is higher than what other people earn for that type of job in your area. Research local wages for that type of job and ask for a similar wage amount.

 

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Tips for a Productive Work Search

To make your work search efforts more productive, TWC suggests you: 

  • Use TWC’s Employment Support Resources:
  • Organize your time: Evaluate your job search needs and write a job search plan that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, and barriers to employment. Make a daily or weekly "to do" list of job search activities and keep a log of your activities.
  • Prepare: Make a list of your job history, skills, and experiences. This will help you fill out job applications, prepare résumés, or provide information during job interviews.
  • Network: Ask friends and relatives if they know of job openings. Most job tips come from word-of-mouth referrals. Follow up quickly on all job tips.
  • Use technology: In addition to the big job search websites, use smaller, specialized job websites that target specific industries and job types. Most job search websites offer free alerts when a new job is posted that matches your search criteria, so you can quickly follow up on leads.
  • Sell yourself: First impressions are important. Arrive early for interviews. Dress appropriately for all interviews and employer contacts, even if you are only picking up a job application. Go alone.
  • Customize: You do not have to rewrite your entire résumé and cover letter for every job, but you should update some keywords and content so it addresses the main qualifications listed in the job description. You can create custom résumés and cover letters based on your main résumé on WorkInTexas.com.
  • Structure: Establish a routine by setting and following a schedule so your personal life does not interfere with your structured work search activities.
  • Protect your hireability: Establish a positive online presence by monitoring your social media content. 

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