By Olivia Clawson, NENA Director
President, Employ-Ability, LLC
Most of us were introduced to O*NET in school and some of us may have never looked at it again. I implore you to pull up www.onetonline.org and take some time browsing the site. I will point you to some key areas in this article as well.
O*NET is a government funded website that contains every job title and job description that we have in our country minus several held by elected officials. As websites go, I find this to be satisfyingly comprehensive and very user friendly. In the tabs, there is one that says “easy read” which takes you to a sister site called, “My Next Move.” The setup of the page is slightly different, it has fewer words and the print is larger. There is also a version for Veterans and one in Spanish as well.
You will notice that you can search for a job title on the home page. It does not have to be exact because the listing itself should include alternate job titles. These titles may help to expand the search. In addition, there will be a significant amount of information about what the job involves and what types of skills and abilities are needed to meet the demands. Besides educating about the job, it may assist the client to remember past positions, achievements and training that they may have forgotten. Also, the wording can be used in part in the resume and the cover letter.
Moving through the links on a listing page, you will find more employee based information, such as, % of people holding that position with levels of education completed. There you will find an interest inventory that enables the client to print off results and decide what level of training they are willing to complete in order to get a job. The inventory permits you to change your answers easily. Doing so, can let clients compare and contrast positions with more or less training required. I always enjoy doing the inventories although I’m never entirely surprised when it comes out “counselor” or “business coordinator.”
Salary can be determined on this site for your state and zip code and takes into consideration job growth. Thereafter, the site connects to a search engine that lists several job databases for you to choose from. It finishes with recommendations for additional industry research and employment information.
So far, this is just a piece of the entire O*NET site. What I typically do is review it with my clients who are curious about making a career change or thinking about going to school. They are asked to pour a cup of coffee or hot tea and just allow themselves to dream about what they would like to be doing. Getting the information is empowering and motivating for the clients and assist us in setting concrete goals and objectives for their career goals. Knowledge is power and the only way to address fear is to face it. Your clients will appreciate having a sense of control over their plans and their targeted outcomes.