The Ultimate Guide to American Job Centers

May 22, 2023

8 min read

Resources at American Job Centers can facilitate your job hunt.

There’s no doubt about it: Searching for a new job can be stressful, overwhelming, and difficult. Plus, finding open positions can be a challenge in and of itself. But in the U.S., American Job Centers make that process a little bit easier for job seekers.

In our ultimate guide to American Job Centers, we’ll break down what these centers are, how they work, how to find one near you, and how to ace your next interview to make sure your job search is as painless as possible.

What Are American Job Centers?

American Job Centers refers to a tool that people can use to help them on their job seeking journey. These centers provide job seekers with a plethora of resources designed to facilitate the process of switching careers or finding a new job. 

The American Job Center initiative is meant to be especially helpful to young people who are early in their workforce career as well as people who face significant obstacles to high-quality jobs. 

This initiative was founded through the Workforce Investment Act, a piece of legislation passed in 1998 to advance employment, vocational rehabilitation programs, literacy, and training for Americans.

American Job Centers were also reauthorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 which was designed to further develop and improve the workforce system.

The U.S Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is responsible for coordinating these centers and the program as a whole. 

Across the U.S., there are about 2,300 American Job Centers. 

How Do American Job Centers Work?

The American Job Centers system works by easing the job hunting process through available resources. For example, American Job Centers provide support in the form of things like: 

  • Job listings
  • Training referrals
  • Career counseling

In most centers, you’ll find resources like:

  • Cover letter and résumé assistance
  • Career placement and development assistance
  • Workshops for job searching
  • Applications, contacts, and referrals for people hiring in your area
  • Up-to-date information about the current labor market 
  • Claims and filing for unemployment insurance 

To take advantage of these resources, you can find an American Job Center near you and go in person. You can also find kiosks that provide remote access or visit online. 

How to find an American Job Center near you

Luckily, it’s not too difficult to take advantage of these resources. To find an American Job Center near you, call 1-877-US-2JOBS, which is a toll-free help line from the ETA. For those using TTY, that number is 1-877-889-5267. 

If you’d rather find an American Job Center online, you can visit CareerOneStop which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Here, you can input your city, state, or zip code to find the nearest centers to you.

You can also use a Google search to browse nearby centers. 

Tips for Using American Job Centers

American Job Centers can be extraordinarily helpful in aiding job seekers in their career search. Still, securing a high-quality position requires some effort on your part, too. 

Here are the top five tips for getting the most out of American Job Centers.

1. Set some realistic goals.

The best way to set realistic career goals is to evaluate key aspects of the job itself. For example, you’ll want to examine your job preferences. What interests you most? What type of work do you envision yourself doing? Answering these questions can help you nail down what kind of role and in what specific industry you’d like to work. 

Think about your strengths and any limitations you might have. What are your strong points? This can also help you narrow down your job search. Considering your limitations can help, too. For example, you might not want to relocate. For some positions, relocation is a necessity, so knowing you don’t want to move can make your search a little easier. 

2. Consider networking.

Networking can be a very helpful tool. Reach out to friends and family to talk to them about your job hunt. Sometimes, when you describe what you’re interested in and what jobs you’re looking for, your friends or family members will know someone in that industry they can connect you with. Local job fairs can be a great start, too. 

You can also virtually network through online apps like LinkedIn. Other social apps — like Facebook and Twitter — can be platforms on which you can be vocal about your job search.

3. Have a strong résumé and cover letter ready to go.

It might’ve been a while since you last looked at your résumé. If that’s the case, you might even want to start fresh. 

To create a résumé, you can use templates on a site like Canva to make it easier. You can also use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to design your résumé yourself. Places like your local library, an American Jobs Center, or even the U.S. Department of Labor’s website have sample résumés you can look at. 

Once you’re finished creating yours, make sure you have a few people review your résumé. 

For each job, you should plan to write a respective cover letter. Using the exact same cover letter for multiple job applications isn’t a good idea. Make sure each cover letter mentions specific qualifications and skills you have that align with the job posting you’re applying for. 

4. Be familiar with the do’s and don’t’s of searching for a new job.

If you’re new to the job search, you might want a refresher on the do’s and don’t’s of the process. For example, do: 

  • Ensure you’re honest, especially when talking about your qualifications, skills, and experience
  • Prepare to put in the time and effort to look for a job
  • Plan to explain any gaps in your work history
  • Research the estimated pay range for each position you apply for (so you can be prepared if they ask you about how much you’re looking for)
  • Have an elevator pitch ready so it’s easier to sell yourself.
  • Make sure you practice interviewing

However, make sure you don’t: 

  • Use terms like “let go” or “fired” — instead, opt for phrases like “laid off” or “looking for new opportunities” 
  • Be dishonest about any skills, qualifications, or your work experience
  • Apply to just one position (apply to multiple positions that you’re interested in to up your chances of getting interviews)

5. Practice for your interviews. 

To best prepare for your interview,

How to Ace Your Next American Job Centers Interview

The goal of American Job Centers is to help you score a job or another career opportunity. But once you get an interview, what’s next?

To up your chances of acing your next American Job Centers interview, you’ll want to do lots of interview prep and practice. Using an AI interview prep coach like Yoodli can help tremendously. Plus, unlike other speech coach apps, Yoodli is completely free and accessible. 

Yoodli works by using AI technology to do a thorough analysis on your speech. You can upload a video or record one live of yourself speaking and this interview prep coach provides insightful metrics and actionable tips to improve. For example, you’ll get access to analytics such as your:

  • Speech pace (how fast or slow you speak)
  • Word choice (like filler word usage, weak word usage, etc.)
  • Body language (such as facial expressions)
  • Speech content (the details of what you’ve said)

You’ll also get a complete transcript of what was said, including functioning timestamps. But how can Yoodli actually help improve your chances of excelling in an American Job Centers interview? 

Here are the two best ways to use Yoodli for interview prep.

Yoodli’s interview simulator

One of the most efficient ways to prepare for your next American Jobs Centers interview is to take advantage of Yoodli’s interview simulator. This tool allows you to practice answering interview questions and to review your resulting analytics to improve your response.

Yoodli's interview prep can help you prepare for your next American Job Centers interview

You can choose from a host of interview options, such as:

  • General 
  • Product management
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Consulting
  • Software engineering

However, you can also input your own interview questions. For example, if your goal is to score a job with Apple, you can input specific Apple interview questions to prepare for.

If you select a specific interview type, you can then pick an interview style. These styles include:

  • Friendly and supportive
  • Professional and formal
  • Technical expert
  • Behavioral specialist 
  • Stress interviewer

From there, Yoodli gives you three questions that you’ll respond to. You can choose how long your response is from the pre-selected times (1, 3, or 5 minutes) or you can input your own desired response time. 

Yoodli records your response and then provides you with those aforementioned analytics to improve your response. It can also ask you AI-powered follow-up questions. 

You can practice for your next American Job Centers interview with AI-powered follow-up questions.

Private Yoodli

The other way to prep for your American Job Centers interview is through Private Yoodli. This is a specific functionality that allows you to get real-time nudges and reminders during your actual interview. 

Of course, only you can see these nudges. For example, if during the interview you start speaking too fast, Yoodli will give you a gentle reminder to slow down. It can also make sure that you hit all your talking points. 

Private Yoodli can be your discreet interview coach during your American Job Centers interview.

The Key Takeaway

American Job Centers can help you find a new position, no matter if you’re facing job loss or would just like a career change. Taking advantage of these centers and their free resources is a great way to facilitate your job search.

You can up your chances of acing your American Job Centers interview by preparing with an AI interview coach like Yoodli. Using this speech coach can take your interview skills to the next level and give you the confidence you need to succeed.

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