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Job Seekers: Why Earn a Virginia Career Readiness Certificate?

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In a highly competitive job market, job seekers need to take advantage of every opportunity that gives them that edge above the rest. Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) is a nationally recognized credential that can give the job seeker that edge. Job seekers often get frustrated after looking for a job for several weeks and they complain that there are no jobs. The reality is that there are jobs available but employers are unable to hire because applicants who meet the qualifications are difficult to impossible to find. There is a gap between what employers need and the skills possessed by the individuals who are seeking employment. The WorkKeys System on which the CRC is based, is a tool that can be used to help applicants identify the required skills that are needed for the jobs in which they are interested. The assessments that constitute the CRC (Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information) are workforce-based, therefore, the questions are based on situations that might occur in an everyday work environment. The results of the assessments can be used to identify the difference between skills needed and skills possessed by using information from among the 18,000 profiles that have been conducted. If it is determined that there is a gap, the gap can be addressed by using Keytrain, an online self-paced tutorial program that facilitates the user in gaining the skills necessary to qualify for the job of his choice. An applicant needs to retest only in the area of the skill deficit and then earn the level certificate needed to qualify for the job of choice.

The CRC serves as objective standardized proof that an individual possesses the skills that employers seek, the skills needed to be successful. Throughout the state of Virginia there is a growing number of companies that will not interview applicants who do not have a CRC. You can be among that group that has the credential that is sought after by hundreds of companies across the state of Virginia.

In regards to the 18,000 profiles, don’t be fooled into thinking that if you aren’t interested in manufacturing you have no need to earn a Career Readiness Certificate. In fact, those 18,000 profiles include occupation titles across the board. A few examples are: Automotive body repairer, Transit/Intercity bus drivers, Customer Service Representatives, Police and Sheriff’s patrol officers, Funeral Directors, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians, Respiratory Therapists, Veterinary Technologists/Technicians, Aerospace Engineers, Computer Information Systems Managers Loan Officers, Mental Health Counselors and Secondary School Teachers.

Appomattox Bio Energy hires Chemical Engineers who have Master’s degrees. The company’s application instructions directly from the website read:

A resume is required.

If you already have a Governor's Career Readiness Certificate (Gold, Silver, Bronze), please submit it along with your current resume.

If you do not have a Career Readiness Certificate, you will need to be tested though the Workforce Assessment Center at John Tyler Community College prior to submitting your resume.

The cost to take the test is $45.00 and the results can be used for any future employment opportunities. Once you have obtained your Career Readiness Certificate, you may then need to take the Applied Technology and Teamwork Evaluations Test, which will be paid by the company.

Submit all resumes and CRC test scores via e-mail.

Time is a resource that you can never regain so, you need to use it wisely. When you target your applications to only those jobs that fit your skills and interest, your job search is more productive.

When put in the position to have to detail your skills, you may find yourself speechless though you know that you are fully qualified for the position for which you are applying. On the backside of your certificate is a list of skill proficiencies based on the level that you have earned. For instance, if you have achieved a Level 4 (Silver) certificate, in Applied Mathematics you are able to “Solve problems that require one or two operations”. In Locating Information you can “Compare information and trends shown in one or two straightforward graphics” and in Reading for Information your skill enables you to “Apply instructions with several steps to a situation that is the same as the situation in the reading materials”. You can use this as a guide during the interview to explain why you are a good fit for the position. We encourage you also to include a copy of both sides of your certificate with every application.

When you are clear about how your skills fit into the job market, your confidence in your ability to secure and maintain employment increases. That confidence will carry over into the whole job search process including your interviews. Employers can sense and are attracted to applicants who show self-confidence.

The value of your CRC does not end when you gain employment. Employers also have criteria and standards for positions that incumbents must fulfill to change careers or to qualify for promotions. Your Career Readiness Certificate will serve you well as you advance within a company and reach higher levels in your career.

A Chance to Advance

Individuals can earn three levels of Career Readiness Certificates based on their test performance in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

Bronze level signifies that a recipient possesses skills for approximately 30% of the jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these three specific skill areas.

Bronze-level Skills in Detail

Silver signifies that a recipient possesses skills for approximately 65% of jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these areas.

Silver-level Skills in Detail

Gold signifies that a recipient possesses skills for 85% of jobs profiled by WorkKeys in the three areas.

Gold-level Skills in Detail


  • Skills Tested: Bronze Level

    Applied Mathematics

    • Solve problems that require a single type of mathematics operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) using whole numbers
    • Add or subtract negative numbers
    • Change numbers from one form to another using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or percentage
    • Convert simple money and time units (e.g., hours to minutes)li>

    Locating Information

    • Find one or two pieces of information in a graphic
    • Fill in one or two pieces of information that are missing from a graphic

    Reading for Information

    • Identify main ideas and clearly stated details
    • Choose the correct meaning of a word that is clearly defined in the reading
    • Choose the correct meaning of common, everyday workplace words
    • Choose when to perform each step in a short series of steps
    • Apply instructions to a situation that is the same as the one in the reading materials

  • Skills Tested: Silver Level

    In addition to the skills required for a Bronze certificate, Silver certification requires competence in the following areas:

    Applied Mathematics

    • Solve problems that require one or two operations
    • Multiply negative numbers
    • Calculate averages, simple ratios, simple proportions, or rates using whole numbers and decimals
    • Add commonly known fractions, decimals, or percentages (e.g., 1/2, .75, 25%)
    • Add up to three fractions that share a common denominator
    • Multiply a mixed number by a whole number or decimal
    • Put the information in the right order before performing calculations

    Locating Information

    • Find several pieces of information in one or two graphics
    • Understand how graphics are related to each other
    • Summarize information from one or two straightforward graphics
    • Identify trends shown in one or two straightforward graphics
    • Compare information and trends shown in one or two straightforward graphics

    Reading for Information

    • Identify important details that may not be clearly stated
    • Use the reading material to figure out the meaning of words that are not defined
    • Apply instructions with several steps to a situation that is the same as the situation in the reading materials
    • Choose what to do when changing conditions call for a different action (follow directions that include "if-then" statements)

  • Skills Tested: Gold Level

    In addition to the skills required for both Bronze and Silver certificates, Gold certification requires competence in the following areas:

    Applied Mathematics

    • Decide what information, calculations, or unit conversions to use to solve the problem
    • Look up a formula and perform single-step conversions within or between systems of measurement
    • Calculate using mixed units (e.g., 3.5 hours and 4 hours 30 minutes)
    • Divide negative numbers
    • Find the best deal using one- and two-step calculations and then comparing results
    • Calculate perimeters and areas of basic shapes (rectangles and circles)
    • Calculate percent discounts or markups

    Locating Information

    • Sort through distracting information
    • Summarize information from one or more detailed graphics
    • Identify trends shown in one or more detailed or complicated graphics
    • Compare information and trends from one or more complicated graphics

    Reading for Information

    • Determine the correct meaning of a word based on how the word is used
    • Identify the correct meaning of an acronym that is defined in the document
    • Identify the paraphrased definition of a technical term or jargon that is defined in the document
    • Apply technical terms and jargon and relate them to stated situations
    • Apply straightforward instructions to a new situation that is similar to the one described in the material
    • Apply complex instructions that include conditionals to situations described in the materials

  • CRC Assessments

    As mentioned above, CRC assessments test applicants in three major areas: Reading for Information, Locating Information, and Applied Mathematics. The different levels earned – bronze, silver and gold – signify increasing levels of difficulty in each area. You may get a detailed description of what skills are tested for at each certificate level:
    Bronze | Silver | Gold

    How to Earn Certification

    Career seekers can obtain a Career Readiness Certificate by taking WorkKeys assessments at any of Virginia's 23 Community Colleges or more than 40 One-Stop Career Centers. Individuals who do not initially achieve the certificate can pursue targeted training and education through the Community Colleges and Career Centers.