If you’re looking for a new job, the world may be your oyster right now. There is currently a labor shortage across many industries, and job openings are at a historic high. Companies who can are offering more pay and better benefits in an effort to fill positions vacated by workers throughout the pandemic. Job seekers can take advantage of the tight labor market—but those with the best training, job applications, and interviews will be able to command the most desirable jobs. Here’s how you can get help with all of the above with a career center.

What Is a Career Center?

Career Centers help people with various aspects of job seeking, from career counseling to interview practice, and most do so free of charge. Some are located in high schools, colleges, and universities; these are geared toward helping students choose a college, a college major, or a future career. Community career centers may be government or nonprofit agencies. They serve all adults who seek specific, practical resources in their current search for employment.

What Services Do Career Centers Provide?

A career center can help just about anyone who is looking for a job. However, they are especially important for underinvested or disadvantaged individuals who need more support and job-related resources. Some benefits that career centers can provide include:

  • Help with cover letters and résumés
  • Jobseeker or professional development workshops
  • Career counseling
  • Career training
  • Digital literacy skills
  • Information about employers and labor markets
  • Information about upcoming job fairs and networking events
  • Referrals to other community resources and agencies
  • Information about supportive services (government benefits, childcare, legal advice)

Some centers additionally offer services tailored specifically for military veterans and people with disabilities.

Reasons to Visit a Career Center

If you’d like to make the most of the unprecedented number of current employment opportunities, the best place to start is with information and training. A career center can prepare you in ways that may help you land a better job or negotiate higher pay than you might on your own. Here are some significant ways you can benefit from these services:

  • Find the career that best suits your personality, skills, and interests. If you’re unemployed or currently hold a job that isn’t a good long-term fit, a career counselor can help you get on the right path. Even if your current job doesn’t look anything like your dream one, you may have transferable skills (such as customer service skills, which are valuable in any industry) that can help you find a better or higher-paying fit.
  • Learn about industry trends and hot new job roles. A career center can help you find the fastest-growing industries and professions related to your skills and interests. This knowledge can help you choose a career path that will offer both opportunities for advancement and long-term job security.
  • Get job training for certain industries. Some centers offer job training in in-demand industries, such as construction, culinary arts, healthcare, and technology. Such skills can help make your job application more competitive and prepare you for a rewarding career in which you’ll learn even more.
  • Put together a top-notch job application. Career Centers can help you perfect a cover letter and résumé that will help get you noticed. 
  • Take the stress out of interviews with practice. Job interviews are often stressful, but you can practice—and get constructive feedback—in a career center workshop or counseling session. You can learn what’s working, what isn’t, and be prepared and confident for your next conversation with a prospective employer.
  • Attend job fairs and other networking events. Career Centers can provide information on upcoming local events that are likely to put you in front of many potential employers or useful contacts—all in one place in one day.
  • Get help with government benefits, childcare, and even legal advice. You may be able to receive supportive services at a career center that can help you with other pressing life needs. When your essential needs are supported, you can give your job search and, ultimately, your new job the focus it requires.

You can get all of these benefits and more by searching for a career center near you. If you live near Silicon Valley in northern California, you can visit one of JobTrain’s four affiliated centers. These are located in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Jose, and South San Francisco.

JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help the Valley’s most in need reclaim their lives from poverty and unemployment by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields.

Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around—from unemployment and poverty to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!