Getting Started as an Employment Specialist

As the employment specialist in your ward or branch, you fill an essential role in helping members become self-reliant. You will accomplish this objective in a variety of ways as you assist members in finding and maintaining employment. Here are some of the many resources available to help you fulfill your calling.

Understanding Your Calling

In your calling, you will serve as a primary contact point between many different groups while helping to improve the lives of individuals. To more effectively serve the members of your ward or branch, learn about your purpose through the following resources.

The Role of the Employment Specialist

Ministering Resources: Employment

Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 6.2.5, “Ward Welfare Specialist”


Below are some online training lessons to help you understand the core concepts associated with your calling. You might also seek training from your stake employment specialist and the nearest LDS employment resource center.

Helping Those with Employment Needs—Learn about the different emotions an unemployed individual might experience, ways to support priesthood leaders, and the role of employment centers.

Helping Candidates: Planning—Learn how to help candidates conduct career assessments, create goals, identify needs and resources, and determine actions.  

Helping Candidates: Providing Resources—Help candidates use resources, such as the LDSJobs website and candidate profiles.

Helping Candidates: Following Up—Learn how to partner with leaders, contact new website users, and track candidates’ progress.

Helping Candidates: Individualized Services—Improve the way you help underskilled candidates, increase involvement with priesthood leaders, create career plans, follow up, work with development specialists, and take advantage of on-the-job partnerships and community resources.     

Resource Development—Become an expert at cultivating relationships with resources, including finding resources, doing research about them, following up, maintaining relationships, and communicating powerfully.

Teaching Techniques—Learn about the difference between workshops and lectures, and perfect the key elements of an effective workshop.  

Assessing Members’ Needs

Before you can be a benefit to members, you must first know which members need help and in what areas they require assistance.     

Identifying Members Who Have Employment Needs

The Lord’s Storehouse

Ward Councils: Responding to Employment Needs

Coaching and Mentoring Members

As an employment specialist, you will have the opportunity to coach and mentor many members in your ward or branch. Effective job coaches and mentors regularly meet with job seekers to help them improve their search for employment, and they do this by teaching job search principles and keeping individuals accountable for the goals they set for themselves. 

Coaching Techniques

How to Be an Employment Mentor

Being a Mentor

Job Search Tip Sheets

Helping Members with Key Job Search Principles

Teaching these key job search principles to members will provide them with a strong foundation for their employment search.

Develop a Career Plan

Job Search Planning



Successful Interview Techniques

Choosing a Job Coach

Using—the official website of LDS Employment Resource Services—is an effective tool for employment specialists, job seekers, employers, students, educational institutions, and ward and stake leaders. In your role as an employment specialist, LDSJobs can be an efficient way for you to track all of the people in your ward or branch who are seeking assistance. Individuals can register on the site and receive personalized help based on the information they provide when creating a profile. 

Within the website, you have access to nearly 200 employment articles along with many other resources, and you can use LDSJobs to stay connected with the employment center.

How to Register

LDSJobs Tours (accessible only after creating an LDSJobs account) 

How Do I Use LDSJobs?

Article Index

Connecting with an Employment Center

Maintaining communication with the employment center’s staff will allow you to more effectively track the job search of each unemployed individual in your ward or branch. Remember that the employment center is a gateway for other local resources and job search tools. Each center has its own custom webpage on LDSJobs that provides important contact information, hours of operation, links to community resources, and details about upcoming events held at the center. 

Find a Center

What to Expect When Visiting an Employment or Self-Reliance Center

The Role of Employment Missionaries

Services Available at Employment Centers

All services offered at the employment centers are free of charge to both members and nonmembers. Ward and stake specialists can offer to teach workshops to members who don’t have access to an employment center.

Career Workshop

Self-Employment Workshop

Accelerated Job Search Program (AJS)

Professional Placement Program

Additional Resources

Life Skills Training

Business Partnerships

Development Counseling Services


Printable PDFs are available online for many of the different workshops and programs available through LDS Employment Resource Services.

The Self-Employment Workshop Facilitator’s Guide

The Career Workshop—Participant Workbook

The Career Workshop-Teacher Guide

Job Search Tip Sheets

Employment Resource Survey


Was this helpful?