Sometimes it takes an expert to provide the extra edge that makes the difference between success and failure. People contemplating their next career step, for example, may want to turn for help to a workforce career coach facilitator who is trained to help them find jobs.

These facilitators not only help with job search strategies but also know how to use the Internet and other sources to find occupational and labor market information.

To teach these skills to human resources and education professionals, career and outplacement counselors to the and staff of the Department of Labor’s one-stop shops, Harvey Schmelter-Davis and Suzanne Guibert wrote the first draft of a curriculum to credential workforce career coach facilitators. At the time they were senior practitioners in residence at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, where they wrote curricula and provided training in workforce and career development.

Schmelter-Davis and Guibert will teach their curriculum as a 26-week online program for Thomas Edison State College, starting on Monday, October 20. Credentials will be conferred by the Center for Credentialing and Education, a division of the National Board for Certified Counselors. Cost: $1,500. Register online at https://ssl.tesc.edu/profcert.php. For more information, e-mail spcs@tesc.edu or call 609-777-5642.

Schmelter-Davis suggests specific ways that career coaches use technology to help their clients find career and job information on the Internet:

Find all job titles related to your career area. An accountant is more than just an accountant, for example. “You may think you want to be an accountant, but there may be 20 different job titles that you are not aware of,” says Schmelter-Davis. And it turns out that a website is available to find a range of job titles that offer related work opportunities: O*Net Code Connector at www.onetcodecon-nector.org.

Job titles may vary across different levels of skills, or there may simply be titles that people would not think to search for. What accountants would learn at this site is that when searching online or even in newspapers for job possibilities, they should also consider job titles like tax preparers, budget analysts, billing clerks, financial examiners, and auditing clerks. “You need to put in these job titles if you search on the Internet or the jobs will never come up,” notes Schmelter-Davis.

Use specialized job banks. Although the most important way to get a job is still through personal connections and networking, says Schmelter-Davis, the Internet is becoming an increasingly important job source. One reason is that putting ads on the Internet can be more cost effective than putting display ads in print media.

The job-seeking accountant, therefore, can go to the CareerOneStop site, acinet.org, and click on “career resource library” and then “job and resume banks.”

By then selecting “job banks by occupation,” then “business and financial operations occupations,” and finally clicking “financial specialists,” accountants will find four relevant job banks: www.accountantjobs.com, www.accountemps.com, www.accounting.com, and Advantage Human Resourcing at www.advhr.com. An accountant who lives in New Jersey may also want to check under “state and local job resources” for “New Jersey newspapers” or even “New Jersey’s Job Bank: New Jersey Employment Information.”

This site also includes listings for free and fee-based resume databases.

Use online tools for career assessment. Schmelter-Davis also suggests trying out the free career assessment at www.nycareerzone.org, which is based on the notion that if you know people’s general interests and personality characteristics, you can help connect them with compatible occupations.

Select “explore careers” and then one of the “career zone” options, depending on your computer and its software, and finally “assess yourself.” A user selects three of six broad interest areas, starting with the area of highest interest, and receives a list of potential jobs based on those choices.

For each job, the site displays job description, personal interests satisfied by the job, tasks involved, skills required, necessary knowledge, education required and types of school programs that provide it, wages, job outlook, additional resources, and other similar jobs.

Schmelter-Davis, whose mother was a bookkeeper and father a school custodian, graduated from Montclair State College with a bachelor’s degree in history, and his first job was teaching history at Monmouth Regional High School.

Because he wanted to get more involved in helping students, he completed a graduate program in college counseling at California State University, Los Angeles, and then took a job as director of career services and international education at Brookdale Community College.

Schmelter-Davis’s next job was with the federal government as manager of the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee’s Career Development Training Institute, which developed curricula and promoted the use of labor market information for people working as counselors or career coaches.

After writing the career coach curriculum with Guibert at the Heldrich Center, the two took the curriculum to Thomas Edison State College to discuss offering a course online that would satisfy the training requirement for the global career development facilitator credential. They also train counselors and facilitators to use technology as part of their counseling or facilitation practice, leading to either a credential of distance credentialed counselor or distance credentialed facilitator. Schmelter-Davis is a nationally certified counselor, a global career development facilitator, and a distance credentialed counselor,

In a recession, workforce career facilitators can help their clients make better job decisions and be effective in getting a job — whether a new job within a company, a job in a new career area, or simply a job to put food on the table. So consider going to the professionals for help or use the tools they have already developed online to help guide career choices and job search

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