Bureau of Recruitment and Selection FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


  1. I've submitted a CMS-100 for a job opening fairly recently. Are there different ways to submit the application?
    • Some titles require different application methods than others. A title may require submitting your CMS100 via email or fax. Others require using the online application system. Please refer to the job postings on www.work.illinois.gov to discern what you need to do to apply for each title; application directions will be given under the How To Apply section.
  2. Once I submit a CMS100 application, what is the follow up process?
    • Please follow up with the agency contact listed on the job posting. It is always a good idea to print off the job postings you have applied to so you can have a reference in the future of what vacancies you applied to.
  3. If I applied for a job weeks ago and haven't heard anything, does that mean that I didn't get the job?
    • Not necessarily. There is a large encompassing process behind the scenes that our Personnel department must first work through, and there is often a great number of postings coming down constantly that must be worked. If this position title is subject to contractual bidding rights, it must go through that process. This can result in some delay depending on the situation. After that, filling the position goes to other means hiring, meaning non-contractual rights candidates and external/public candidates. In addition, the CMS grading process can take some time depending upon the amount of application they are currently processing. When CMS returns the grades for applications and grade list requests to us, we then randomly select candidates from the A grade list to interview, then candidates from the B list, then C grades. We notify selected candidates via mailed letter or email.
  4. What do the different "Opt"s stand for?
    • Some position titles have Options. An Option is an identifier for that specific title that correspond to more specific duties of that title and may require an additional exam. For example, if the position requires being fluent in another language besides English, such as Spanish, it will have Option SS after the position title. Some of the Office series titles have an Option 1, 2, or 3. Option 1 means that the position covers general office work. Option 2 refers to that title requiring a lot of typing, and thus applicants will need to take a typing test in addition to the regular exam. Option 3 is an additional dictation test. If you ever have a question on what an Option stands for, please refer to the bottom section of the job posting; it will state the Option and what it means.
  5. After submitting my application, how long can one expect to hear back, and how will we be informed if our application is rejected?
    • It depends on the specific vacancy. As previously stated, there are many variables that must be covered in the hiring process. As for your grade, if the position you applied for does not require a test, you will be informed of your grade via mailed letter from CMS. If a qualifying exam at a CMS examining center is required, CMS will contact you to set up an appointment, and your grade will be instantly issued and automatically uploaded to the appropriate grade lists once you take the exam.
  6. Do you recommend submitting a resume and cover letter with the CMS100 application?
    • No. Your grade will solely be based what is on the CMS100.
  7. I can't download the CMS100 application.
    • The application is optimized for PC use. Please try to open the CMS100 using Internet Explorer. If that does not work, right click on the CMS100 download link on the post and save the application or try using this CMS100 Link (PDF).
  8. Do I have to complete the education breakdown if I attach my transcripts?
    • Yes. You must completely fill out the education breakdown. You are not allowed to send documents in lieu of completing something on the CMS100. Please be aware that sometimes transcripts are also requested in addition on the job posting to support the education, licenses, or training claimed on the application.
  9. If I do not have a degree, should I still put my education down?
    • Yes. The CMS graders will still give you credit for those college courses. Education could be even used as a tiebreaker between two candidates who have the exact same interview score.
  10. Can I put multiple titles on my CMS100 application?
    • No. You need a separate CMS100 application for each active position in which you are interested.
  11. How many copies of the CMS100 do I need to test?
    • You will need one completed CMS100 for each test you are scheduled to take.
  12. Do you accept foreign degrees/education?
  13. I do not have the required degree, but [X] years of experience in the field. Am I still eligible?
    • If the Minimum Requirements state that we will accept [X] number of years, such as "Requires a degree OR [X] years' experience", then yes. If the Minimum Requirements list a degree is required, but no experience equivalency, the answer is no.
  14. How can I update my email address/mailing address /phone number on file?
  15.  How can I change my county preference?
  16. I sent my application to the CMS address on the CMS100; why have I not received a response?
    • CMS is no longer accepting applications sent directly to them. You must send your CMS100 application directly to the email listed on the job posting, per the postings directions if that posting requires you to send one.
  17. Is there counseling available for my application?
    • State government career counseling services are provided by CMS Assessment Centers. Complete and attach to the email your CMS-100 application, indicate that you want counseling by email along with your geographic employment preferences and salary requirements, and email your request and application to: CMS.CounselingByEmail@Illinois.gov.
  18. I am a veteran. How do I establish my veteran's preference? Do I need to do it each time I apply?
    • Under State law, qualified veterans are entitled to points added to a passing grade and appointment preference. Please Note: Illinois National Guard/Reserves non-activated with less than 4 years of service only receive points added to a passing grade. All veterans will be required to submit a certified copy of their DD214/DD215 as proof of service at the time of application. Once you have established your veteran's preference, it is permanent. For more information, please see https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/work/Pages/Vetsopgm.aspx.


  1. When will the CMS examining centers reopen?
  2. When I receive my grade notice from CMS, am I automatically applying for the position and future openings for that position?
    • In essence, yes. When you receive your grade, your name is automatically placed on the eligible list for that specific position title in the counties you selected. Whenever we fill a vacancy via non-contractual means, we will select candidates via random selection from the grade lists in the county that vacancy is in, starting with the A grades, then B's, then C's. Your grade is valid for one year. The expiration date will be on the grade notice.
  3. I have my grade. What are the next steps?
    • Once you have received your grade notice in the mail from CMS, there is nothing further needed. Your grade is valid for one year. Your name will be placed on the eligible list for that title in the counties you selected. Whenever we fill a vacancy via external means, we select candidates from the grade lists via random selection. We start with A grades, then move to the B's, and finally C's.
  4. My grade for a title expired. Do I really have to retest?
    • Once your grade expires, you must reapply, and if required, retest.
  5. I can't take the test for this title. Can I send you my application instead?
    • If the position title requires a test, you must take the exam. You cannot submit a CMS100 in lieu of taking the CMS test.
  6. How long before I can retest?
    • You must wait 30 days to retest and there must be an active posting for that title. Please keep in mind that testing is by appointment only. CMS will contact you to schedule a testing date and time.
  7. How long is my CMS grade/score valid for?
    • Your grade is valid for one year. The expiration date will be on the grade notice.
  8. Are these timed tests? Is it possible to get accommodations if I have a disability?
    • The qualifying exams at the CMS Examining Centers are timed. Applicants are allowed at least 90 minutes to answer the questions on automated tests. On tests with a larger number of questions or more complex questions (Human Resources Assistant & Associate; Data Processing Specialist & Administrative Specialist; Disability Claims Adjudicator Trainee; Insurance Analyst II; Revenue Tax Specialist Trainee; Social Services Career Trainee; Telecommunicator Trainee), more time is allowed to complete the exam. If you require a testing accommodation, please refer to the CMS Disabled Workers Program at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/work/Pages/Disabpgm.aspx.
  9. I live in [other state]. Can I take the CMS exam online or at a local library or any other location?
    • If that position title requires a CMS exam, it must be taken at a CMS examining center.


  1. How often are new jobs posted?
    • We do not have a posting schedule; new positions are posted daily.
  2. Can I still be considered for a posted vacancy after the closing date?
    • Unfortunately, you cannot. Your application must be postmarked or emailed by the closing date.
  3. I see a continuous posting for Social Services Career Trainee and Human Services Caseworker. Can I apply for those?
    • The Social Services Career Trainee continuous posting is available to apply for at any time. This allows us to maintain a populated list of candidates on the grade lists that may be contacted when new vacancies occur through employee attrition, expanding headcount, etc. The Human Services Caseworker continuous posting is there for both educational and internal reasons. Please be aware that neither of these specific postings represent actual vacancies within IDHS.
  4. What does (Upward Mobility Target Title) mean? I see it listed after a job title on a posting.
    • The State of Illinois Upward Mobility Program is a career mobility program designed to give internal state employees an opportunity to advance to more challenging, higher paying positions. Therefore, this means that the specific title is a targeted title for this program. As an external, non-state candidate, you are still more than welcome to apply for these vacancies posted on www.work.illinois.gov. Just ensure that you leave (Upward Mobility Target Title) off the position title when you complete your CMS100. In the event the vacancy is not filled internally, external candidates will be considered.