Have you checked out the revamped Job Center of Wisconsin website at jobcenterofwisconsin.com? It’s an invaluable resource for job-seekers around the state.
The site is now more user-friendly, with an impressive array of information and services. I find it preferable to commercial career sites because it doesn’t charge job-seekers for access, nor does it favor certain jobs based on fees paid by employers. It’s simply focused on helping Wisconsin residents get the help they need.
As you’d expect, the Job Center website lets employers post open positions and job-seekers peruse those listings. But it includes several other novel features that can be useful in your job hunt.
A resume-generation tool. If you’re not an expert in writing a resume, this is a great place to start. You fill in the basic information and the website formats it for you. Presto: instant resume.
A skills-match tool. After you’ve created your resume on the site, you can click a “skills match” button to search the database. It will show you the jobs you’re qualified for. I can vouch for how well this tool works: I used it to find my current position as a UW-Madison career counselor.
A skills explorer tool. Why not look beyond job titles to expand your career options? This tool matches you with opportunities related to your skills, but in jobs you may not have considered.
Wisconsin economic and labor-market information. This page offers a wealth of data that can be helpful in your job search, as well as tools for customizing the info to your situation.
Online workshops. Need tips on writing a cover letter? Preparing for a job interview? The online workshops provide a convenient way to sharpen these skills.
Links for individual needs. If you require training and education to find your dream job, the Job Center website has a link to resources. The same goes for veterans’ services, unemployment benefits, and a variety of other specialized information.
Of course, not everybody can easily go online to make use of these wonderful features. Those who don’t have access to the internet can visit their local Job Centers in person or head to their local public libraries for help with a computer. Some University of Wisconsin campuses also partner with community agencies to offer free support for job seekers.
Even if you have your own computer, it’s not a bad idea to visit the nearest bricks-and-mortar Job Center. Even at a time of low unemployment, searching for a job can be difficult. Job Center staff will not only connect you with resources, but also talk you through the often frustrating process. I’ve found them always willing to answer questions and extend a helping hand.
Sometimes, even the best website in Wisconsin is no substitute for a friendly face.
University of Wisconsin-Madison career counselor Elizabeth Schrimpf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.