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Give the confidence of employment

You've probably been there before: sifting through job postings, refining resumes, attempting to make the most fruitful connections. The job hunt isn’t easy for anyone. Continual searching, prepping and marketing yourself can be exhausting. And with new search methods and tools coming out seemingly every day, it can be a struggle to keep up!

Do you know someone looking for a job? Or maybe you remember your own search process and know what it’s like in a job seeker’s shoes. A little help from you can go a long way: Volunteer to help a job seeker find and land their perfect position!

From resume help to serving as a reference, there are plenty of ways you can connect job seekers to confidence and a career.

Acting as an ally

How well do you know your job seeker? Are you familiar with their character and experience well enough to serve as a reference? If so, offer up a letter of recommendation or let them know they can list your name and phone number on applications. Job seekers could always use a champion on their side—and perhaps they’re just too bashful to ask!

Dressing the part

When headed to an interview, dressing professionally is a must to make an indelible impression. But many disadvantaged job seekers don’t have the wardrobe or resources to suit up. Do you have an old suit or slacks in the back of your closet that you never wear? There are many organizations that can put your used professional wear toward helping someone else land their dream job.

  • Dress for Success provides women with professional attire, a support network and other career development tools. Volunteer your time with them, host a suit drive yourself or participate in their annual Send One Suit Weekend.
  • Career Gear offers men experiencing poverty professional clothing, mentoring and life skills.

Helping with prep and resumes

One of the most important parts of the job search is being—and feeling—prepared. Give job seekers the confidence boost they need by providing feedback on their resume or directing them to places where they can get free resume help or interview practice.

In-person aid

If a job seeker is looking for in-person help, consider directing them to your local career center or community center. Search American Job Centers for a location near you—many offer workshops on resume building and cover letter writing. Many states also provide job seeker services free of charge.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has resources on career training, local opportunities and veterans' employment.

Navigating online

There’s a wealth of free and low-cost resources online, but it can often be hard to sift through and find the most effective ones. Here are some you may consider directing job seekers to:

  • LinkedIn —The largest professional social networking site, used more than any other website to connect recruiters to job candidates.
  • WSJ careers site —Chock full of articles and free content for those looking to advance their careers.
  • USAJobs —Not only a search engine for federal jobs, this site also has helpful employment information.
  • Indeed and SimplyHired —Two job search engines that aggregate job postings from all over the web based on custom criteria.
  • If nonprofits are an interest, Idealist is the place to search.
  • Glassdoor and Monster are additional online job boards.
  • There are also career-specific websites for those looking to stay in or change to a certain field—whether engineering, tech or the arts.
  • School alumni networks are another great places to start. Many already have official networks and exchanges with list servs set up—you may just have to request to join them. Some schools may have alumni career resources and training as well.

And remember, at the end of the day, simply providing a listening ear and conversational support to a job seeker can go a long way.

Opportunities to help a job seeker

Volunteer Opportunities in 20003

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Life Reimagined for Work

AARP’s very own Life Reimagined for Work is an excellent resource to point friends, family and others to if they’re looking to rethink their career or find a new job. Whether they seek a job or some career inspiration, Life Reimagined can help connect them to the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing workplace.

Get5 Out of the Box Volunteer Opportunities