Career Counseling the WIOA Way!


The Radar Approach to Job Retention

Western Association of Farmworker Advocates Annual Conference

October 19 Sacramento, CA

Are You Talking Like Businesses Think?
Cooperation, Coordination and Collaboration! How to Make Them Work Better!

Getting Ahead of the Pack!
How to Find Job Leads in the Hidden Job Market!

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Larry Robbin Training Topics

Larry trains on more than 300 topics. This list features some of the most requested workshops. Click here for the list of training topics. If you do not see what you need, please contact  Larry   to see if he trains on that subject. Larry trains onsite, by telephone or by webinar.


Resumes are complicated documents.  As someone that has read literally over a hundred books on resumes in my forty-five year career, I have seen many " resume experts" that completely disagree with each other.  Some parts of resumes are subjective, but other aspects of resumes are very objective.  There is one overall objective category of resume mistakes that is usually fatal.  I have seen this mistake category in entry level resumes and high level management resumes.  It is easy to make mistakes in this category.  If you want to help your job seekers avoid the resume mistake that kills job offers killer click here.

For the latest national data on the length of job search, go to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm.  As of the writing of this newsletter, it was twenty-nine weeks!  It is important to know that your local figures may be different.  Do the research and make sure your job seekers know what the average length of job search is in your area.  While it is important to point out that there is quite a range of time for individual job seekers, it is also important that people prepare themselves for what might be a longer job search than they expected.


Workforce professionals focus a lot of attention on resumes, but do not focus enough on the cover letter.  Most cover letters are boilerplate language that employers have seen many times so they do not even read them.  You want to do a cover letter in a format that will catch the eye of the employer and make them more interested in reading the resume.  There is a format that can accomplish both of these goals.  It may not work for every job seeker, but when it fits with a candidate, it can be a very powerful introduction to the person.  Click here to learn more about a very effective cover letter format.

In a previous issue of the newsletter, I announced that under a special grant I received that the first three people in management to contact me would get an hour of free telephone management consulting.  Thanks to everyone that sent in an email.  We received the first three from the following individuals.  Esther Landin, a Program Manager with the Orange County Conservation Corps, used her time to get my ideas about new strategies for the recruitment and retention of disconnected youth.  My new training Through Dislocated Eyes that includes recruitment, engagement and retention strategies is based on interviews with hundreds of disconnected youth about what they want from workforce programs.  Email me at larryrobbin@aol.com for a description of the training.  Elizabeth McDaniels, the Director of Mission Services and Terri Conway Chief Culture Officer at Goodwill of Southern Nevada, used their consulting time to get new ideas for working with my high capacity group work model that they are using at her organization.  The model makes it possible to serve more people with less staff and get better results at the same time.  Email me at larryrobbin@aol.com if you want information on my high capacity model.  Clair Farley, the Associate Director of Economic Development at the San Francisco LGBT Center, used her consulting session to my perspectives about improving client engagement so people stay involved with the program during their long job search and when the get employed.  Thanks to all of you for giving me such stimulating and interesting consulting sessions.   For more information on my consulting click here.

The SF LGBT Center provides a wide range of employment services to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) community. Their unique programs support the broader Bay Area in California in getting back to work through one-on-one services and workshops tailored to connect LGBTQ job seekers with employers committed to diversity and inclusion.  Services include vocational case management, professional mentoring, life skills training, skill building workshops, resume review, interview practice, job leads, access to LGBT friendly employers, employer spotlights, and referrals to community resources & training programs.  The Center also has the nation's first City funded Trans Employment Program (TEEI), the collaborative program was started in 2007 in partnership with the Transgender Law Center and Jewish Vocational Service. The TEEI program addresses the distinct economic needs of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals looking for work in the Bay Area. The program provides training, connection to safe workplaces, and provides employers comprehensive policy and training support.  This was the first program of its kind in the world!  The agency also provides consulting and training to programs that want to be more effective in serving LGBTQ job seekers. To learn more about the Center and TEEI please visit their website here or contact them for more information at

Working from home is a fast growing segment of the world of work.  It can be attractive as a work option for a variety of reasons.  It can help people avoid the cost of childcare and transportation.  Some people like the flexible hours.  There are legitimate companies that offer this option, but there are also a lot of illegal operations that will take money from people and never give them a paycheck.  Every employment counselor should know how to help people tell the difference.  Click for this helpful information from the Better Business Bureau.


This outstanding report from the JobsFirstNYC organization features the results of extensive interviews with employers about their experience with both youth employment programs and hiring youth.  The report is filled with best practices that will help improve employer satisfaction with your services.  A lot of the information will also be relevant for programs serving adults with no or limited work history.  Click here to see the report.

In workforce development, we focus so much on people getting a job that we often fail to give them advice about how to be as successful as possible when they start a new job.  This helpful list should be given to every job seeker and discussed in your counseling sessions.  It is also great advice for you when you change your job!  Click here to see the list .

We just recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This historic piece of legislation helps to level the employment playing field for people with disabilities.  While a great deal more needs to be done to get people with disabilities to be equally represented at all levels of the world of work, the ADA was certainly a step in the right direction.  The law can seem overwhelming.  Click here for a great outline of what it covers and connections to other helpful resources.

Have you ever seen a great employee go into a slump?  At one time, they were a high performing member of your workforce, but now they seem to be just gliding through their job.  Everyone, including managers, is at risk for a career slump.  If managers do not address it well, they may find this employee becoming one of their lowest performing team members or quitting their job.  It takes special management strategies to know how to identify a career slump and help people overcome this low performing period.  This very helpful article will show managers how to respond to their employees who are having a career slump.  Besides being of use to you, this would be a great resource to share with your employer partners.  Click here for more information.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has a series of recorded and transcribed trainings on many aspects of helping people who are homeless with employment.  This includes information on working with homeless veterans and people in reentry as well as a wide variety of other topics that will be of interest.  Click here to go to the website and then search under employment.


I was honored to be invited to give the keynote speech at the excellent annual homelessness and employment conference sponsored by Saffron Strand.  I also presented a workshop on job retention, T he Radar Approach to Job Retention.  For the last year I have bee n providing management consultation and staff training to the SparkPoint Centers.  The Centers are a project of the United Way of the Bay Area.  They provide financial literacy and workforce development services to low income individuals.  I have trained the staff in career counseling, program development, assessment and barrier removal and provided customized consulting sessions to the management of the Centers.  Over the last two years I have been providing management consulting and staff training to the Oakland Unite reentry employment initiative in Oakland CA.  I have provided staff training and management consultation on a wide variety of topics designed to improve employment and retention rates of people in reentry.  Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County sponsored my training, You Can be a Change Agent!  How to Increase Employment Motivation in People in Reentry.  Under funding from the Y & H Soda Foundation, I consulted with Saint Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County to help them improve the outcomes from their transitional employment program.  My management consulting work with the Insight Center focused on helping them develop their employer outreach and engagement strategies for their initiative to improve the hiring, retention and upward mobility of young men of color in the healthcare industry.  The Homeless Employment Collaborative is a San Francisco based group of agencies that all work on the issue of employment for people who are homeless.  They sponsored my training The Barrier Buster!  New Ways to Eliminate Barriers to Employment!  Click here for a description of the training.  Thanks so much to everyone that gave me these rewarding keynote speaking, training and consulting opportunities!


From an anonymous job seeker

The 3 c's of life are choice, chance and change
I must make a choice  To take a chance
Or my life will never change
I will make the choice to job hunt
Take the chance to try something new
And change my life by getting a job
Worry is like a rocking chair  It gives me something to do
But gets me nowhere  
I am getting off the worry rocking chair
By doing something else besides worrying
so I can get a job
Somewhere someone is looking for exactly
what I have to offer
If I drop out of job search   I will never find them
But if I keep job hunting   Eventually we will find each other
My job search makes that match happen
Progress is falling down seven times
But standing up eight!!