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Career One Stop

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Review of the CareerOneStop Website

Candace K. Oglesby

Loyola University, Baltimore, MD

Key Features of CareerOneStop The CareerOneStop Web site is a useful tool for those individuals looking to enhance their skills within the employment field. While conducting research on this particular Web site, there were many features that were found to be useful not only for potential employees but also employers. The first feature that I found to be useful was the “Education and Training” feature. This feature was designed to assist individuals looking to further their education and training. Individuals utilizing this feature are afforded the opportunity to be educated on careers that require additional certification and licensure. Not only does the site inform individuals of particular jobs that require a higher level of education it also gives the names of the specific colleges and programs in which the client can earn additional training. If individuals are unable to finance a higher level of education, the Web site also offers financial aid and scholarship information. The second feature I believed to be useful was the “Unemployment” feature. In today’s U.S. economy the employment rate is 7.2 percent (Rampell, 2013). This feature educates people on unemployment benefits for their specific state. Not only does the site educate individuals on unemployment benefits but it also offers education on how to become eligible for benefits, maintain benefits, and the action needed to be taken if denied benefits. The site also encourages unemployed individuals to plan ahead for future expenses. When people become unemployed and have difficulty in finding alternative employment they can encounter hardships, for example, health insurance continuation and mortgage payments. The site offers information on specific agencies that assist individuals in making payments for outstanding bills. The last feature I found to be useful while exploring this Web site was the “Salaries and Benefits” feature. This feature assists individual’s in knowing the salaries for their specific career choice. During a class lecture, it was stated to us by Professor Rollins that we know the salary in which we can live off (D. Rollison, personal communication [Wednesday, September 11, 2013]). This point was extremely important to me, because there were times I found myself considering jobs in which I knew would not be able to support my necessities. Not only does the Web site inform individuals of competitive salaries for various careers but it also compares wages in different cities. Furthermore it shows the most job openings for specific careers and careers that are also declining. In conclusion, these features are not only an asset to the people seeking information about employment but these features are also beneficial to those career counselors and employment specialist looking to educate other people who may not have access to this information.
Strengths and Weaknesses

The CareerOneStop Website has several strengths. The site is easy to navigate, which is helpful for those who are computer illiterate. In addition there is a helpline available to those individuals who may have questions either about the Web site itself or the information being presented. The site has a search engine for all of the states located in the United States, which allows for job seekers to locate resources within their specific area. Some of these resources include education, salaries, potential employment, and benefits. Career OneStop also has a “Rate This Page” feature which allows individuals to give feedback. This feedback allows the Web site to enhance features and correct any flaws it may have. The assessments on the Web site are easy to access and they help client’s become aware of their skills and abilities. The specific assessments on the CareerOneStop Web site can be applied to Frank Parsons theory, which suggests individuals assess their specific skills, strengths, and talents and match them with jobs with similar characteristics (Parsons, 1909). Once specific jobs have been assessed for similar characteristics there can be a decision made about which job would be most appropriate. Parsons suggested individuals with specific talents who seek employment with similar characteristics have an opportunity for longevity within their employment (Parsons, 1909). There are also some limitations as well as strengths within this Web site. CareerOneStop does not offer GED practice worksheets. For example, if an individual wanted to enhance his or her knowledge within a specific subject area for the GED they would only have access to a complete GED practice examination. In addition to not having GED worksheets, the site does not offer a listing of tutoring services that can be beneficial for someone looking to enhance his or her knowledge outside of a GED class/program. Individuals are not able to post their resume for potential employers on CareerOneStop. Employees are extended the opportunity to learn how to create a resume and research potential jobs in the area but they are unable to post their resume for hiring.
Relevance for Application with a Client

This Web site can be beneficial for the career development group I currently facilitate at my place of employment. I have many clients who currently have no high school education and, the GED feature would be beneficial in helping the clients locate different testing sites within the Harford county area. The site also offers a practice examination to help individuals prepare for the actual GED exam. The client’s that I service most times are unable to identify their strengths, skills, interests, and abilities. This site offers assessments that are beneficial for increasing a person’s awareness of their skills and capabilities. These assessments, in a sense, empower individuals by revealing their talents and qualifications. Not only does the site offer feedback about one’s abilities but it also matches the person’s qualifications to jobs with similar characteristics. Once my client’s have the opportunity to identify their strengths and potential job opportunities, they have the opportunity of drafting a resume. The CareerOneStop has an excellent tool for helping individual’s create a competitive resume. Because of this feature, my client’s would have the opportunity to improve their resume or create additional resumes according to the sites samples. After my client’s enhance their resume writing skills, they have the option of creating a cover letter. The site offers a professional example of a cover letter and the contents that should be included in the cover letter. My client’s would also have the opportunity to be educated on interview questions that may be asked during the interview process and the protocol for following up with a potential employer after the interview.
Pastoral Counseling Components of the Web site Although the Web site does not incorporate many pastoral counseling components, there are some spiritual components. For example, the site offers job descriptions of a clergy person. Some of these descriptions include: organizing religious services, counseling individuals about their spiritual needs, and reading from sacred texts. There is an abundance of ways, as a counselor, I can apply spirituality when discussing the Web site with my client’s. When my client’s are given the opportunity to assess their skills and talents; I can encourage them to think about their purpose in life and how a potential job fits in with that purpose. I have numerous client’s who are interested in gaining employment in the counseling field as a result of their receiving counseling for their substance abuse addiction. They have the belief that because someone helped them while they were active in their addiction, they want to give back to their community. The Lord appreciates when we give to each other which is stated in his word. “Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6: 38, NIV).

Conclusion
In conclusion, this website is useful for employees and employers looking to enhance their skills within the job industry. This Web site has numerous strengths which include: resume building, salary and benefits information, unemployment benefits, and education training. In having strengths, the site also has some limitations which include limited GED information. The key features on CareerOneStop can also be useful for career counselor’s working with individuals who lack resources and need additional help in receiving meaningful and stable employment. As a career counselor incorporating the CareerOneStop information into a session, it will be just as important to incorporate pastoral counseling components in helping clients make successful employment decisions.

References
Parsons, F. (1909). Choosing a vocation. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Rampell, C. (2013, October 22). Weak job gains may cause delay in action by fed. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/business/economy/us-economy-added-148000-jobs-in-september.html

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