The title of Joseph Pittman’s presentation says it all: the “Power of O*Net.”

“People don’t know that this resource is available to them,” explains Pittman, RESEA program coordinator at the IowaWORKS office in Des Moines. “It really is here to help people open their eyes about the possibilities.”

What is O*Net? In short, says Pittman, a very valuable tool.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the database includes hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptions for near 1,000 jobs. For example, users can explore data on which jobs value expertise in certain technology, browse career clusters to see how specific occupations fall into general topic areas, or build a profile of their career interests using a site called “My Next Move.”

IowaWORKS career planners encourage all recipients of unemployment benefits to visit the site as part of the job search process, and Pittman regularly teaches an online workshop to explain O*Net.

The interest profiler is valuable to job seekers, he says, because it helps focus effort on finding occupations that will be much more meaningful over the long term.

“It helps career planners drive the conversation if they know you’re in the right area,” Pittman says. “It’s a navigating tool to help people find the right career path that they want to be in.”

Pittman’s “Power of O*Net” workshop is held online every few months. For more information, visit Find the “Job Seekers” heading, then click on “Additional Services” and “Job Readiness Workshops” to see an event schedule.

To explore O*Net, visit