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How to Use O*NET: An Amazing FREE Research Tool

Remember when you had to write a report and went straight to the Encyclopedia (or Wikipedia)? It was a great place to start your research. Don’t you wish there was a similar great start to research your new or current position? Good news—that research tool exists, and it’s FREE! O*NET http://www.onetonline.org/ is to job searches what the Encyclopedia is to reports.

If you’re not sure what Occupation Title, Type, or Industry to select, look for the purple box in the middle of the screen on the right side. This selection is marked “I want to be a…” with a link to click Find it now at My Next Move. This will take you to http://www.mynextmove.org/ to turn vague ambitions into a focused career search. Click this link for more information about using My Next Move.

If you know the job title you’re interested in, use Occupation Quick Search on the upper right corner. Advanced Search Options are available by selecting Find Occupations or the Browse link on the left side of the middle of the page. This will take you to a new page.

Once you’re on the Find Occupations page, you can use the Keyword search if you know your target position’s title. The search will give results for all job titles related to your keyword, sorted by relevance. For example, if you type dentist, the top related results are Dentists, Orthodontists, Prosthodontists, Dental Assistants, and many more on a list of 83 related titles.

Once you select your target position from the list, the next page will contain a list of relevant titles referenced in the report. Start with the default page which is the summary page. On this page, you will find a list of tasks and activities specific to the job title, tools, knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the work, as well as the level of education necessary to qualify for the position.  Work styles and Common Values best for the position are listed as well. Salary information is listed along with Career Outlook (growth rate) of the position. Knowing the Career Outlook is valuable information—instead of focusing your search on a career which will soon be downsized/eliminated, you can focus on positions which are growing. Keywords are important for a résumé as well as networking and all other aspects of your search. The keywords used in the report are a great place to start in finding the best keywords to use for your search.

On the View Report line, you will see Summary, Details, and Custom. These options change the report type from the general summary. Click on details for an easy to read chart of the importance of general skills listed. If you’re just looking for specific tasks in a certain level of importance, select the Custom report.

Not only is O*NET a great way to find information on a new position; it’s a great place to start when looking up your previous title. Duties you performed might have seemed mundane, and the results you should highlight are forgotten. The listing on O*NET can help jog your memory in order to recall your most impressive activities and results.

To find more information on salary ranges and job demand (for that particular position) in your area, select your state from the Select a State drop-down box under Wages & Employment Trends on the position’s general listing. That link will take you to Career One Step which has detailed information for your state/area.

For additional assistance with your Job Search/Career Search, call CrossRoads at 317-842-8881 to make an appointment if you live in the Central Indiana area.