Gearing Up for Your Job Search


You’ve  just (re-)entered the job market and are ready to get started and find that next job. Before you call everybody in your network, scan all the ads, and send out an email blast with your resume, stop, step back, and get organized.

before activating your job search: The Checklist

What kind of job do you want?

The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be to find it. Clearly define what your strengths are, what contributions you can make to an employer, and what your job search goals are.

Are your resume and LinkedIn profile up-to-date, up-to-standards, and in sync?

Don’t just add your last job to the same old resume you’ve been using for years. Brush it up, do some research into prevalent resume styles, and get input from others. Resume styles and technical requirements — such as applicant tracking systems — change! Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile convey the same message. If you’d like expert help, contact us at the Career Center.

Is your online and phone presence free of incriminating evidence?

Google yourself to be aware of what pops up if a potential employer googles you (most of them will). Check the photos on your social media accounts. Check your voicemail message. It should be short and crisp, along the lines of “You have reached Jane Smith. I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message.” No music and positively nothing like “Yo, I’m too hung over to answer the phone right now, leave a message”.

Is your email address professional?

If you have an email address like or, don’t use it for your job search. Create a new professional sounding email address like that you only use while job searching.

Last but not least, be organized.

When you are out of work, it is easy to lose track of time and just go with the flow. Give yourself a daily schedule. Keep track of all your calls, contacts you made, and applications submitted. Schedule hours for job searching and schedule time for self-care. Looking for a job can be lonesome and easily veer into negativity. Make sure you have a support system in place, carve out enough time to meet with friends, exercise, and do other things that make you feel good!

Written by Anne Nowak, Certified Job and Career Development Coach.

If you’d like expert help with you job search, contact the Career Center for assistance.

Note: This article was originally published in January 2017, and has been re-posted with updates to reach a new audience.

October 2022 YouTube Roundup

The temperature’s dropping, but we’re not stopping! Check out the latest videos on our YouTube channel for some helpful job-search tips:



In this video, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton demonstrates the process for completing an online job application at the chain restaurant Applebee’s.

RESources for ex-offenders PLAYLIST

How Ex-Offenders can answer, “Tell me about your experience in this industry.”

Many ex-offenders gain valuable work experience and skills during their incarceration. It’s a great idea to talk about that experience in a job interview, both to showcase one’s skills and to fill in gaps in work history. But it’s important to handle this carefully. In this video, Career Specialist Lynnette Lee and special guest David Laatsch demonstrate how to do it well.

THIS MONTH’S SPOTLIGHT: THE job interview questions PLAYLIST

The videos in this playlist use a “Goofus and Gallant” approach to the job interview, demonstrating the most common interview mistakes, then demonstrating a better response. Each video is short and covers a different interview question, ranging from “Tell Me About Yourself” to “Do You Have Any Questions for Us?” and everything in-between.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Become a Skilled Trade Worker with the Industrial Training Initiative

We are excited to announce a new session of the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative, a fantastic free job-skills training program.  The new session of classes will begin in January 2023.

Are you interested in learning a skilled trade that will prepare you to work for local industrial employers? This may be the program for you. 

The North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative (NBRITI) is sponsored by ExxonMobil and Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC). This program provides training, credentials, and job placement for students in four in-demand fields. 


  • Electrical – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Millwright – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Pipe Fitting – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Welding -upon successful completion, receive  X-ray certification


Each program is 52-weeks long, and classes meet twice per week from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The program also contains job placement assistance and career fair opportunities for its graduates. 


While the program is designed to fully prepare you for a career in your chosen field, successful students will display timeliness, attention to detail, and strict adherence to safety protocols.  


Written by Karla Stewart

September 2022 YouTube Roundup

As we enter the magically ephemeral season known as fall in Louisiana, let not your job search successes be equally transitory. We are, as always, here to help with new videos:

Common job application tutorials playlist

How to apply for a job at benny’s car wash

In this video, Career Specialist Karla Stewart walks you step by step through the process of completing an online job application for Benny’s Car Wash.

Resumes and Cover Letters playlist

quick tips: What does (and doesn’t) belong on a resume

This video is part of our Resumes Before and After series, which showcases common resume mistakes and our recommended solutions. In this video, Certified Professional Resume Writer Lynnette Lee discusses what extraneous information can be removed from your resume, as well as what crucial information must not be omitted.

this month’s spotlight: the common job application tutorials playlist

These days, most of the job search is online – which can make things difficult for jobseekers who aren’t accustomed to using a computer. This playlist is designed to help jobseekers overcome that obstacle. It consists of detailed, step-by-step walk-throughs of the job application process for common businesses.

Written by Lynnette Lee

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 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