Maximizing the Use of a Free Career Development Resource

By Janet Wall

CareerOneStop.org offers a wide range of career development resources serving job seekers, businesses, students, and career advisors. The open-access website is the U.S. Department of Labor’s flagship website for career, training, and job search research and provides a variety of online career tools, information, and other resources (Donovan & Wall, 2018).


CareerOneStop is continually updated to include the latest career and labor market data, as well as to reflect current trends in the job market and the career planning field. For example, recent updates include a simple 30-question interest assessment and a 40-question Skills Matcher, both of which lead users directly to profiles of careers that may be a good fit. Other valuable tools include a Job Finder, Local Training Finder, Salary Finder, updated career videos, and more.


In addition to being a great overall career planning resource, CareerOneStop also features sections specifically designed for career changers, veterans, laid-off workers, workers with a criminal conviction, entry-level workers, older workers, young adults, workers with a disability, employers, career advisors and credential seekers


With so much to offer, it is likely the career services practitioner will miss utilizing this site to the fullest potential. The case examples included here may help achieve full benefits from site usage. The following are a few examples of how people are using it with their clientele.


Negotiating Starting Salary

David Lipnicky, a federal labor market specialist in Dallas, TX used CareerOneStop to help a college graduate negotiate a salary at a company in Ft. Worth, TX. David says, “I walked her through the CareerOneStop Occupational Profile section of the website. We looked at the typical entry-level salary for her occupation in Fort Worth, using the salary at the 25th percentile.  Nearby Dallas has a higher cost of living so we also check out the occupational salary in Dallas which was about 22 percent higher. We worked out a game plan where her initial asking salary would be the Dallas salary, expecting a counter offer. Two weeks later, she reported that she accepted a job offer and her starting salary was far closer to the Dallas salary we found… almost $13,000 more than what she would have accepted without researching CareerOneStop.” 


Assisting in Reentering the Workforce

Ron Elsdon, career and workforce author and speaker, references CareerOneStop as he conducts career-related workshops in a federal prison for women. He informs participants about the CareerOneStop information to help them with job seeking and employment information. Since participants cannot access the Internet while incarcerated, Ron provides CareerOneStop’s PDFs to those interested. The site also offers career videos that can be download for offline use. Ron says that he is “pleased that CareerOneStop created these resources for downloading as this allows people to have access to the information while they are incarcerated.”


Working with a similar clientele, Diana Bailey, educational consultant, uses CareerOneStop as a resource for adults and youth preparing for reentry. “I have used the information with individuals to help them chart a path to jobs and careers.” The videos, assessments, and job seeking tips have been especially helpful, she says. 


Helping Laid Off Workers

Kathy Ward, career counselor for the dislocated worker program in Minnesota, asserts that CareerOneStop has helped many of her clients make better informed career decisions. She notes that one of her clients was about to make a bad decision until he saw one of the videos. “I was working with a young man; his family was from another country and he was relying on his friends for ideas after he lost his job. They all said, “You should be a lab technician, that’s what we’re all doing.” So he set his mind on being a lab tech with no real clue about what they do. We sat down to watch the career video, and after 45 seconds, he looked at me and said ‘Blood? I didn’t know there was so much blood involved!’ The video helped us move on to figure out what he really wanted to do.”


Guiding Students

Reginna Z. Ford, workforce and career consultant, works with students and clients to help them as they apply for jobs. Specifically she works with college/university seniors to help them compare the content of job descriptions with their capabilities and pinpoint the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to use to develop more effective resumes. She relies on the career profile section on CareerOneStop to help the students review their chosen major study area by examining the occupational profile, video, salary, employment projections, credentials, certifications, and license requirements, and studying work tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities. She then helps students add pertinent information to their resumes. Her workshops utilizing CareerOneStop have helped many college students land their first job after graduation.


Helping Workers Earn CEU Credits

Janet Wall, founder of CEUonestop.com, incorporates several CareerOneStop tools in many online courses that offer continuing education clock hours for certifications such as GCDF, NCC, LPC, BCC and others. Online courses include Interests to Careers, Occupational Information for the Career Advisor, Realistic Career Development: It’s More Than Passion, and others. In each of these courses selected CareerOneStop tool are used to convey specific concepts such as searching for occupations by Holland interest area, finding high growth job opportunities, and jobs for transitioning from military to civilian occupations.


It is easy to see that there are many creative ways to use the various sections of the CareerOneStop website when working with students and clients. Focusing on this free resource site gives career services providers a one stop location for comprehensive career information. CareerOneStop is also included in the newly-updated NCDA Internet Sites for Career Planning section of the NCDA website. https://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/resources. Pay the site a visit and let us hear your creative uses of CareerOneStop by making suggestions in the Leave a Comment section at the end of this article.



Donovan, S., & Wall, J. (2018). CareerOneStop: Career resources integrated with theory. Career Developments, 34(2), 16-17.



Janet Wall 2017Dr. Janet Wall is an NCDA Fellow and Founder of CEUonestop.com, an NBCC-approved continuing education provider. She is recipient of many awards including the American Counseling Association’s Government Relations Award. She was the architect for the ASVAB Career Exploration Program and is the author of several ASVAB test preparation books. She serves on the CareerOnestop Advisory Committee. Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/careerfacilitator/ or contact her directly at careerfacilitator@janetwall.net. Janet wishes to thank Shirley Fenlason and Sandy Donovan of CareerOneStop for their assistance on this article.


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Lesah Beckhusen   on Monday 04/02/2018 at 05:54 PM

Excellent article - enjoy hearing the many ways counselors and clients can use our One Stops.

Janet Wall   on Monday 04/02/2018 at 07:07 PM


Peter Manzi   on Tuesday 04/03/2018 at 11:06 AM

Excellent resource. Will use in my counseling and consultation work and share with graduate students in my career courses at Walden University. Thanks!

Jim Cassio   on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 10:20 AM

Excellent article! Really good overview of COS and what it offers.

Janet Wall   on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 10:51 AM

Thanks, Jim.

Janet Wall   on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 10:52 AM

Thanks, Peter.

Daniel Kelley-Petersen   on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 04:32 PM

Great job Janet. Glad to hear the CareerOneStop is getting recognition it deserves as a useful tool in supporting folk to find meaningful work.

Michelle Waite   on Thursday 04/05/2018 at 10:03 AM

What a wonderful article. It's great to hear how CareerOneStop is being utilized with it's many functions.

Ron Elsdon   on Saturday 04/07/2018 at 11:55 AM

The career-related workshops at the federal prison cover both conventional job search and nontraditional careers/self-employment as described in the Career Convergence article "Volunteer Career Services in a Prison." Here is a link to the article: https://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/117365/_PARENT/CC_layout_details/false . I appreciate Shirley Fenlason and her colleagues at CareerOneStop making pdfs available of related CareerOneStop content. These pdfs were provided to the re-entry affairs coordinator at the prison who has them for interested class participants.

Mike Ellsworth   on Wednesday 11/28/2018 at 03:08 PM

Thanks, Janet! Regarding incarcerated people reentering the workforce, COS has recently released a version of the site that can be used while behind bars: https://reentry.CareerOneStop.org

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of this organization.