In today’s competitive job market, finding the right opportunity can be a daunting task, even for candidates with a traditional four-year degree and relevant industry experience. For adults from disadvantaged families or communities who have faced significant adversity in life, looking for a new job can seem even more overwhelming. This is especially true for job seekers with employment barriers such as:
- Lack of experience
- Gaps in employment
- Not having a college degree or vocational training
- Lack of reliable professional references
Yet job search assistance is available from a number of resources, and it can be enormously helpful for jumpstarting your career. Here’s why seeking assistance can be a game-changer.
1. Navigating Complex Job Markets
Common barriers to employment can be discouraging, but getting the right support can open doors:
- Understanding requirements: Many job postings require specific skills and qualifications that may be unfamiliar or unnecessarily intimidating. Some of these may be more straightforward to acquire than they appear, and job search assistance services may be able to offer or connect applicants with related training.
- Overcoming stigma: Criminal records or lack of formal education can create barriers, but with professional assistance, applicants can learn how to put their best foot forward.
2. Lack of Digital Literacy
In low-income households and underinvested communities, unequal access to high-speed internet, internet-ready devices, adequate smartphone data, and internet technology training can leave job seekers behind on the digital skills others take for granted. Job support programs can connect you with the resources you need to catch up:
- Online applications: Most job applications are now done online, and it can be difficult to know where the right job board sites are or how to create and upload application documents. But a little training and some helpful resource connections can point you in the right direction.
- Résumé writing: Professional writing skills are essential for creating compelling résumés and cover letters. With a little help, you can learn the basics quickly and assemble polished job applications.
3. Balancing Responsibilities
Many applicants have very limited time or energy to devote to a thorough job search. But job search programs can help you make it all work:
- Time constraints: Single parents and those with other jobs or family caregiving responsibilities may find it difficult to find time for uninterrupted job searching. A career center near you may be able to offer or connect you with childcare support and other “life” resources, both freeing you up for a more successful process and helping you to avoid wasting any precious time.
- Personalized support: Personalized job search assistance can provide exactly the kind of support and encouragement you need — and help you find the kinds of jobs that are right for you.
How to Get Job Search and Application Assistance
Recognizing the advantages of getting job search assistance is the first step. Here are some resource types worth exploring.
If you’re able to access high-speed internet (consider visiting a local coffee shop, library, or community center), you can build your skills and participate in online hiring events:
- Online courses and certifications: There are a number of web platforms that offer online job skill courses or certification courses, both of which can help your résumé stand out. Some of these are free of charge.
- Virtual job fairs: Search for virtual job fairs or networking events and spend some time preparing for them. This will help keep you confident and focused as you connect with potential employers.
Many people aren’t aware that there are government programs designed to help job seekers find both private sector and government jobs.
- Job boards: Look for state and federal agencies that provide resources for job seekers. You can find job boards online through either of these tiers of government.
- Job skills assistance: Most states additionally offer job training programs and related resources. Discover these by visiting your state’s labor department website.
Community Career Centers
Look for a community-based career center near you and gather information on its offerings:
- Workshops and seminars: Many community centers offer free workshops on résumé writing, interview skills, and job searching.
- One-on-one counseling: If you’re hoping to start a new career (or advance in your current one), you can get personalized guidance from career counselors regarding the kinds of opportunities you should consider seeking.
There are many nonprofits whose missions involve equipping people to find and qualify for high-quality jobs. This benefits you and all of society, since a stronger workforce contributes to stronger communities and economies. If you live near Silicon Valley in northern California, you can visit one of JobTrain’s four affiliated centers to get free personalized job search assistance to boost your qualifications and prepare for college or a high-quality job in a field that excites you.
Get Job Search Assistance at NO COST With JobTrain
You can get the help you need with job searches, applications, and interviews — and training in a variety of digital and technical skills as well. Explore JobTrain’s job readiness workshops, career training programs, and other supportive services. These can help remove “life” obstacles to a successful job search.
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. Contact us today!