Online Career Exploration

By Jamie Goodpaster – Job Development and Placement Specialist

The key to successful job search is strategy. It is important to have a specific vision of your career goals as you embark on your job search. A great way to do this is by utilizing online career exploration tools.

JFCS will be participating in the delivery of an online healthcare career exploration platform, in conjunction with the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services, through a US Department of Labor grant.

There are many free career exploration tools available to the public that meet various needs. The JFCS Career Services department can assist job-seekers and students in understanding and navigating these tools, and putting the results into action through our direct services and partnerships with other organizations such as the KentuckianaWorks One-Stop.

A few of the online career exploration tools commonly used by JFCS Career Services staff and clients are:

O*NET

O*Net is a database providing online occupational information about specific occupations including: daily tasks of individuals within that occupation, tools and technology used, knowledge, skills and abilities required, training and education, work values and interests as well as wages and employment trends. This database is also widely used by employers for benchmarking position requirements and writing job descriptions.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) is published by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The content of this printed handbook is also available online. The OOH provides information such as wages, training and education, expected job prospects, working conditions and daily tasks of occupations. It also provides job search tips and state job market information.

AARP WorkSearch

AARP WorkSearch is a product of the AARP Foundation. The site was designed to provide mature workers with information on specific occupations and uses a job match system to match specific skills with work interests and personal characteristics. Additionally, the site provides skills assessments, and courses to assist the job seeker in improving these skills. While this site was designed for individuals over 50 years of age, it is available to individuals of all ages. The Career Services department is an approved AARP WorkSearch site.

Kentucky Indiana eXchange

The Kentucky Indiana eXchange is a product of the WIRED 65 (www.wired65.org) grant program. This site provides regional job seekers with social media networking, local job market news, a job board powered by Monster.com, and recent regional labor market information compiled from a survey conducted by the ERRIS Corporation as recently as March 2010. Additionally, there is a skills analysis function that allows job seekers to analyze their job-specific and transferable skills, and then matches those skills to specific occupations.

While all of these sites have some overlap, each one has its own place, function and value. JFCS would like to know your thoughts on the use of online career exploration tools. Have you used any of these tools? What other tools have you used? What would you like to see in an online career exploration tool? What value do you see in the use of tools such as these?

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