Partner With Libraries
Libraries are a central, accessible public resource for job seekers from all economic levels. By partnering with a library, you can reach a broad audience with your programs. Hold job seeking workshops in a private room and teach computer skills classes, helping job seekers set up email accounts. Have volunteers or staff members sit down with job seekers one-on-one and help them create or fine-tune resumes and cover letters. If the library doesn't already offer free Internet access, talk with the manager about giving free Internet time to job seekers. Link websites with local job listings to the library website as well, and post supplemental training materials online, like a guide to formatting a resume.
Pair Job Seekers With Mentors
Disadvantaged job seekers will gain invaluable moral support from mentors. Try to match mentors and mentees who face similar challenges or are from similar backgrounds, like two people who must cope with physical disabilities. The mentor should coach the mentee about how he can present himself when meeting with potential employers, and how to network to find the right job. The mentor may even have connections that could lead to job prospects.
Some job seekers have no suitable clothing to wear to an interview. Organizations like Career Gear and Dress for Success provide suits to economically disadvantaged job seekers to help them look professional. Make job seekers aware of how these resources can help them, or start your own community suit lending program.
Job seekers will have a difficult time finding work if they are the primary caregiver for their children. Volunteers from your organization could provide free child care while the job seeker goes to interviews, and while she starts a new job, until she begins receiving a paycheck. Make it clear that this service is temporary so she can prepare to make other arrangements.
Educate Job Seekers About Resources for Them
No matter how broad your program, connecting job seekers with outside resources will often be one of your most crucial roles. Work to educate job seekers about government programs and resources geared toward them. The U.S. Department of Labor's Keys to Career Success program, for instance, helps veterans transition into civilian jobs, encouraging vets to match their military credentials to civilian positions and find apprenticeships if needed