Louisiana Workforce Commission/Coursera Partnership

free skills training, college-level courses, and certifications

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is partnering with Coursera in order to provide access to free courses and certifications on a wide variety of subjects ranging from basic technology skills to advanced programming. This means that a large catalog of Coursera courses is free to anyone who creates a HiRE account through the LWC. There are also courses covering business subjects, arts and humanities, language learning, personal development, healthcare, math, science and social sciences. There are over five thousand courses available through this collaboration, many of which grant you a professional certification.

What Is Coursera?

Coursera is one of the larger Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) websites, and provides courses that can be audited for free as well as paid for in order to obtain a certification. We have promoted Coursera, along with other MOOCs, on our website under Professional Development. However, it was always with the disclaimer that in order to obtain a certificate indicating that you have completed the course, you were required to pay for the course. This collaboration between the LWC and Coursera is eliminating that barrier for Louisiana residents. In order to access the Tech Ready Louisiana program, a HiRE account is necessary. In order to sign up for one; go to the https://www.laworks.net/ landing page and click on the Tech Ready Louisiana banner in the middle of the page.

Creating a HiRE Account

If you do not have a HiRE account, click on “my HiRE account” as marked on this image by a red checkmark.

Then click the sign in button at the top of that page, and scroll down until you see the “create a user account” section where you can click “individual registration”.

The process of signing up for a HiRE account will take around 20 minutes, and will require knowing your Social Security number as well as having an email in order to sign up. If you have any questions about this step of the process, you can go to your local library and someone will be able to assist you. If you live in East Baton Rouge Parish, you can come to the Career Center inside the Main Library at 7711 Goodwood Boulevard, and we will be happy to assist you.

Signing Up for Coursera through LWA

After you have created a HiRE account, you click on the Tech Ready Louisiana banner, and you will arrive at a sign up page, where you can click on the “Enroll Now” button. You will be prompted to enter your name, your email and your HiRE username. Please use the name and email associated with your account, to make the process easier.

Once you press enroll now, you will have an email in your email inbox from the LWC with link to the Coursera/LWC landing page. You will have to press “join now” in both the email and on the landing page. This will provide you access to any of the courses within the catalog. In order to find courses, you are able to search using the search bar at the top. There is also an “Explore Careers” page which will list courses commonly associated with certain careers such as IT, bookkeeping and database management. Finally, you can also look at a variety of courses using the sections provided under the search bar. When you find a course you want to enroll in, you simply just press enroll and you are free to start the course! In order to see your enrolled courses, you can locate them under “my courses” on the landing page as well.

final thoughts

We hope that this service provides invaluable information and education to your job search experience and professional development. Also, as a disclaimer, it may take 1 -2 days to gain full access to the courses, so if the “enroll” button includes a 7-day trial, you do not have full access yet. If you have any further questions, you can reach out to the Career Center at 225-231-3733 or visit your local branch library for assistance.

Written by Kathryn Cusimano

Monday Motivation

There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.

Indra K. Nooyi

August 2022 YouTube Roundup

Summer is winding down, and as students begin to buckle down for school, so too may you start to buckle down on your job search. As always, we’re here to help. Here are the latest videos from our YouTube Channel:

everything interview playlist

How ex-offenders can answer, “Tell me about a time you had a difficult boss.”

Even experienced jobseekers can stumble over negatively-framed questions such as this. In this video, Career Specialist Lynnette Lee and guest presenter David Laatsch demonstrate the most common mistake ex-offenders make when answering this question, as well as a better alternative.

Resumes and Cover Letters playlist

quick tips: Writing a concise and eye-catching header

This is the first video in our new Resumes Before and After series, which showcases common resume mistakes and our recommended solutions. In this video, Certified Career Coach Anne Nowak discusses how to present your contact information succinctly and professionally.

this month’s spotlight: the resumes and cover letters playlist

This playlist contains guidance, advice, and how-to’s for creating and polishing resumes, cover letters, networking letters, and other job search letters. These videos are created by Certified Professional Resume Writers and follow current best practices.

Written by Lynnette Lee

The Job Interview: What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

“What’s your greatest weakness” is one of the most common interview questions in existence – and one of the most despised. This question often feels like a trap – there are so many ways to answer it poorly. Let’s look at the most common mistakes people make with this question.

Mistake #1

“I don’t really have any weaknesses. I’m basically an all-around solid employee.”

How this hurts you: This seems like a great answer at first – you’re perfect! There’s no downside to hiring you! In practice, though, it makes you seem arrogant, devoid of self-awareness, and resistant to constructive criticism.

Mistake #2

“My biggest weakness is that I can be a little lazy sometimes. So, if I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck, I might just goof off for several hours.”

How this hurts you: Some people feel that honesty is always the best policy, but as you can see from this answer, that’s not the case in job interviews. You should not be unflinchingly honest with your flaws – you’re supposed to be selling your best self.

Mistake #3

“My greatest weakness is perfectionism. I’m devoted single-mindedly to doing the best job I can. Sometimes I work myself a little too hard, but it’s only because I care so darn much.”

How this hurts you: This answer tries to disguise a strength as a weakness. This approach fails on three levels. First, it fails because it is the stock answer which they’ve heard a million times. Second, it fails because it doesn’t actually answer the question – hard work is not a weakness, and they won’t be fooled. Third, it fails because it smacks of insincerity.

Mistake #4

“My greatest weakness is that I tend to procrastinate on complex tasks. I always get my work completed by the deadline, but sometimes it takes longer than it needs to.”

How this hurts you: This one comes so close to getting it right – you’ve identified a genuine weakness, but one that’s not debilitating, and you’ve avoided coming across as conceited or dishonest. Yet it still might hurt you, because the hiring manager might worry about how much this weakness will affect your job performance.

So How Do You Answer This Question?

It almost seems like there is no good way to answer this question – but rest assured, there is! Anytime an interview question stumps you, it can be helpful to think about things from the hiring manager’s perspective. This can help you figure out what kind of answer they might be looking for.

Why do they ask this question? Because no one is perfect, and improving your weaknesses is a crucial part of becoming a great employee. Hiring managers ask this question because, on a surface level, they want to know if you have any major flaws which would make you a liability for the company. Beyond that, they want to make sure that you are humble and self-aware enough to identify your shortcomings. But even that isn’t enough – what good is it to know that you’re bad at something, if you make no effort to improve?

Winning Strategy

Pretend that instead of asking you, “What’s your greatest weakness?”, they asked, “Tell me about how you overcame your greatest weakness.” Identify a weakness that you’ve struggled with in the past, but focus most of your answer on the efforts you’ve made to overcome this weakness, and the improved result. Use the STAR formula to structure your answer.

Winning Example

“My greatest weakness is a natural tendency to procrastinate on complex tasks. I’ve always gotten my work done by the deadline, but sometimes it’s taken longer than it had to. Last year, I realized how much my inefficiency bothered me, so I took a time management webinar, and afterwards I went to the library and checked out three books on procrastination. I learned lots of helpful tips and strategies, including a new way of writing to-do lists so that I don’t get overwhelmed by large projects. Since I implemented these strategies, my project completion rate has gotten much better.”

One last hidden trap

Choose your weakness carefully. Do not pick a weakness that is crucial to the job duties at hand. For example, if you’re applying for a position as an accountant, don’t say, “My greatest weakness is that I used to be really uncomfortable with numbers.” No matter how great a story you can spin about overcoming your discomfort with numbers, they will not hire you as an accountant.

For more assistance with the job interview, please check out out YouTube playlist.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Note: This article was originally posted in December 2016, and has been re-posted with updates to reach a new audience.

Book Review: The Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide

If you’re dealing with job loss, you’ll want to check out The Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide, The Ultimate Visualization System for Landing a Great Job Now, written by Lynn Joseph, PH.D. This book is a quick read and gets straight to the heart of the matter. The premise of the Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide is, if you change your thoughts about the situation, your feelings will also change.

mourning

Losing a job is considered a very traumatic life event and like the loss of a loved one, can trigger symptoms of grief. The loss of a job requires coping strategies. One of the big takeaways is to “Take the time to grieve.” “The Job-Loss Recovery Program” will help you improve your coping skills and shift your thoughts from seeing the situation as a challenge rather than a threat.

managing

The stages and symptoms of a job-loss often feel a little discouraging.
Job loss is an experience that requires a period of grieving. Often the newly jobless feel abandoned and betrayed by their previous company. As in the stages of grieving a death, there is inevitably a stage of anger. The author cautions against turning the anger in on yourself, in the form of blame. The key goal of the program is to help you move through the stages to closure and the first step is to manage stress.

moving on

Through these visualization exercises the Program offers help to overcome stress, grief, and anger to improve attitude, boost confidence to find the new opportunity. This program has been used with many participants who all report feeling much improved and being able to address the job search with new energy.

If you would like in-person help with job loss, recovery and how to find a new role, the Career Center is here to help. Please check out the resources on our website and YouTube channel, or call us at 225-231-3733 to schedule an in-person appointment.

July 2022 YouTube Roundup

Summer is winding down, and as students begin to buckle down for school, so too may you start to buckle down on your job search. As always, we’re here to help. Here are the latest videos from our YouTube Channel:

everything interview playlist

How ex-offenders can answer, “Tell me about yourself.”

The job interview can be especially tough for jobseekers who were formerly incarcerated. In this video, Career Specialist Lynnette Lee and guest presenter David Laatsch demonstrate how ex-offenders can start the interview off on the right foot by discussing their skills and experience, including those gained while incarcerated.

common job application tutorials playlist

How to apply for a job at cc’s coffee

CC’s is a Louisiana-based coffeehouse chain. In this video, we demonstrate the step-by-step process of applying for a job with CC’s.

this month’s spotlight: the work-at-home job board reviews playlist

Work-from-home jobs are more popular than ever, but it’s not always easy to tell the real ones from the scams. In this playlist, we highlight several legitimate work-from-home job search websites. For each, we provide a detailed breakdown of how they work and what types of openings they offer.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Monday Motivation

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

m. scott peck