It's often said that a job search is a full-time job, which is why it can be daunting to know what to do and when to do it. Or where to even start! This directory of career exploration resources breaks it all down in an easy-to-understand list that will help you explore a new or different career, understand the skills you need to do a certain job, or help you find some career coaching when you need it.
Before diving in, know that LiveCareer has a plethora of resources to help you create two of the most important documents you'll need for a job search--a resume and cover letter. Work from resume templates and cover letter templates when creating your docs, and get things off on the right foot!
General Career Exploration and Guidance-related Resources
AARP Work & Jobs
Created for 50+ jobseekers, this expansive directory of resources offers a search tool for locating new work by job, title, or company. Also find expert advice on age discrimination, work-life balance, dealing with unemployment, and work-focused AARP programs and resources.
A career exploration site that offers information on "how to become a ______" on hundreds of career fields, from the arts to the trades to careers in government. Include job descriptions, educational requirements, and salary information for a plethora of job titles.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Career Outlook
Career Outlook provides data and information on occupations, industries, pay, benefits and more. Includes feature articles on a wide variety of career topics, plus interviews with people in jobs that might be of interest to you.
Careers in Government
Careers in Government (CIG) matches qualified individuals with challenging and rewarding careers in government and the public sector. Allows jobseekers to search for jobs by city, state, category, or employer. Also offers career advice resources on interviewing, networking, resumes, cover letters, and proper use of social media.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, this very useful career and college site offers resources and links to help teens with self-assessment, summer job opportunities, college search, career development, and more. Create an account (for free) and download the Career Launch Facilitator Guide and Career Launch Toolkit for Clubs.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, this site serves as a one-stop source for career exploration, training, and jobs. Includes resources for career changers, entry-level workers, veterans, laid-off workers and more.
Offers a free career test consisting of 53 questions that takes around 15 minutes to complete. The results you get are based on the skills, traits, interests, and values that the test uncovers. There are also career insights from real people already in various jobs, and valuable advice to help jobseekers make the best decisions. Also find links to the top 25 career coaches online.
From the homepage: "CAREERS.org wants to be your go-to resource for job search and career advice. We offer insights on jobs, careers, entrepreneurial opportunities, and online degrees and training. Find in-depth profiles on hundreds of occupations, industries, and academic programs . . . if it's about your career, it's here!" Also from the homepage—the ability to search for jobs by keyword or location.
Chegg CareerMatch: Job Prep
This section of the Chegg CareerMatch site is aimed at recent college grads and those new to the world of the job search. Includes articles on how to get a job, how to network to find a job, and how to discover the right career path. Also find guidance on how to prep for interviews.
A great tool for students looking to learn more about themselves, as well as career exploration and career information. Includes career assessments and a search system for locating colleges, universities, and trade schools that best match your needs. Take a spin on the site's True Colors assessment test. Membership is required to use most of the resources.
"Career and college advice made simple." Designed to help students (from middle school through college) and professionals (adults of all ages, plus career changers) plan more fulfilling lives by making well-informed decisions about education and careers. Access resources to help you decide which college to go to, plus guidance on how to choose a major and plan for your career.
A career exploration tool that has detailed descriptions of more than 1,000 occupations. Developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, it's free to the public, and contains resources for veterans.
Occupational Outlook Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook
Access indepth information on a wide variety of occupation groups, from architecture and engineering to transportation and material moving (and everything in between). Includes details on the nature of the industry, working conditions, employment, occupations in the industry, training and advancement, earnings and benefits, and employment outlook.
LiveCareer: Career Exploration and Guidance-related Articles
- Top 10 Career Fair Tips
- Job Shadowing Tips for Teens and Students
- 5 Tips on How to Succeed In Your Career
- Considering Switching Careers? 11 Steps for Creating a Plan
- 5 Career Tips You Need to Hear
- 11 Tips for Career Planning at Any Age or Career Stage
- Job-Hunting Etiquette and Job-Seeking Tips and Techniques
Note: While career exploration is one part of job hunting, be sure to focus on other aspects of your career by using the following resources: