How Do I Become a Job Development Specialist?

Lainie Petersen

To become a job development specialist, you will typically need an employment background in marketing, human resources, or staff recruiting or placement. In addition, you may need additional experience working with groups of people who may have difficulty obtaining employment on their own. Educational requirements will vary, with some organizations requiring you to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree. You may also need to earn certification in counseling or offering supportive services to a particular population, such as substance abusers or people with specific disabilities. It is also a good idea to maintain familiarity with labor laws and various tax benefits to employers who hire workers who have been deemed as difficult to employ as you continue on your quest to become a job development specialist.

Each organization has its own requirements for hiring those who wish to become a job development specialist.
Each organization has its own requirements for hiring those who wish to become a job development specialist.

A job development specialist typically works on behalf of a governmental or private agency to assist individuals in finding employment. Very often, your clients may be people who have difficulty finding work. In some cases, a client may have difficulty finding or holding a job due to a physical or mental disability. In other cases, you will work with individuals who have not worked for many years due to a variety of factors, including illness, caring for family members, or incarceration. Part of your role as a job development specialist is to prepare clients for job seeking, which may include performing assessments on the clients and assisting them with learning job skills and appropriate behavior for the workplace.

Many job development specialists have backgrounds in human resources or marketing.
Many job development specialists have backgrounds in human resources or marketing.

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Each organization will have its own requirements for hiring those who wish to become a job development specialist. In many cases, you will be expected to have at least an associate's degree, and many organizations would likely prefer you to have a bachelor's degree. Professional certification may also be important, particularly if you're working with a population that has special needs, such as recovering substance abusers. While a background in social services or counseling may be useful when working with clients, you will also need to demonstrate that you understand the demands of the modern workplace. Having a background in marketing or sales can come in handy as you work to persuade employers to hire your clients.

As part of your job, you will typically be expected to recruit employers into your job development program as well as maintain good relationships with employers with whom you have already placed clients. In many places, governments provide various tax incentives to business owners who hire unemployed workers, the disabled, and even the formerly incarcerated. Other governmental programs may include subsidized job training for employees as well as bonding services for employees. By learning about these programs and services, you can use your knowledge after you become a job development specialist to point out the advantages of hiring your clients to employers who may be nervous about working with your organization. By calming their fears, you may be more successful in your attempts to secure gainful employment for your clients.

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