Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Special Notice

Important Special Notice to External Applicants

Thank you for your interest in employment with the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Central Management Services receives and reviews hundreds of thousands of applications for state employment each year from talented individuals looking to begin a career in Illinois government. We encourage all interested candidates to apply for state employment; however, please be aware that it can be a lengthy process with limited chance of success given mandated hiring requirements governing how individuals are selected for state employment.

State hiring rules as outlined in the Personnel Code provide the foundation for how Agencies are allowed to select individuals for employment. For example, when positions are posted on the website, they are often made available to internal candidates before external candidates may be considered. Also, if the position title you are applying for is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, which a large number positions are, an internal candidate from that bargaining unit is given priority in filling that vacant position. In many cases, external candidates will not be afforded the opportunity to test and receive a grade, or interview for positions as most are filled by internal candidates. In the event that agencies are able to consider outside candidates to fill vacancies, qualified veterans are always granted employment preference before non-veterans.

Of the many thousands of external applicants, less than one percent will be hired for state positions, and the number of non-veteran candidates is even smaller still.

As you make your way through the application process, please carefully consider how your education, training and experience matches up with the requirements of the positions you are interested in. Recruitment Counselors are available by appointment to help you determine which positions you may be qualified for within state government. Please keep in mind that CMS administers examinations and assists in the grading process, but final employment decisions are ultimately made by the individual hiring agency.

The state of Illinois offers other resources to assist you in your search for employment. The Illinois Department of Employment Security provides many valuable tools to connect Illinois residents to education, training, and meaningful work. Please visit www.ides.illinois.gov to learn more about programs available to help you in your job search.

Questions about the State of Illinois’ employment process should be directed to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services’ Division of Examination and Counseling at (217) 782-7100 between the hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.

We wish you success in your search for employment.

Return to Work.Illinois.gov homepage