Employment Services

STEP 1: Plan & Organize

Find job search resources for planning and organizing your career path in the US.

←  Back to Employment Services page
Plan and organize your job search

Plan & Organize for Employment

Need help finding a job? Below are resources, divided into 5 sections, that will help you plan for, apply for, interview for, and start a new job.

Part 1: Plan for Employment

Identify your strengths and preferences to understand what type of position will work for you.

Part 2: Job Sectors & Careers

Find the type of job that fits with your style and preferences.

Part 3: Résumé

Make sure your résumé is complete and accurately reflects your skills, education, and training.

Part 4: Your Cover Letter

Draft a compelling cover letter to help get you into a job interview.

Part 5: Gather References

Find people who are ready to support you in your job search.

Part 1: Plan & Organize

Now that you are qualified to work in the US, you need to make a plan before you even begin your job search. Find resources here to get organized by selecting the tab below you’d like to review.

Plan for Employment: Work Preferences

What are your work preferences? Ask yourself these questions to help determine the type of job that fits you best.

Working with people
Working on a team
or
or
Working with machines
Working independently
Working with people
Being active
or
or
Working with machines
sitting
Working with people
Doing the same task over
or
or
Working with machines
Doing different tasks
Working with people
Being told what to do
or
or
Working with machines
Making decisions
Working with people
A quiet work environment
or
or
Working with machines
A noisy environment
Working with people
Having supervision
or
or
Working with machines
No supervision
Working with people
Having a steady job
or
or
Working with machines
Having temporary jobs
Working with people
Making a lot of money
or
or
Working with machines
Making less money at a job you love
Working with people
Working part-time
or
or
Working with machines
Working full-time
Working with people
Solving problems
or
or
Working with machines
Communicating with people
Working with people
Hourly pay
or
or
Working with machines
A salary
Working with people
A short commute
or
or
Working with machines
a long commute
Working with people
The night shift
or
or
Working with machines
The day shift

Plan for Employment: Work Values

What type of work environment and job attributes do you value?

ADVENTURE

A risk-taking job.

AUTHORITY

Use your position to control others.

COMPETITION

Compete with others.

CREATIVITY & SELF-EXPRESSION

Use your imagination to find new ways to do or say something.

FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE

You choose your own hours.

HELPING OTHERS

Provide direct services to persons with problems.

HIGH SALARY

A job where many workers earn a large amount of money.

INDEPENDENCE

You decide for yourself what work to do.

INFLUENCING OTHERS

You influence the decisions of others.

INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION

A job which requires thought and reasoning.

LEADERSHIP

You manage or supervise the activities of others.

OUTSIDE WORK

Working out-of-doors.

PERSUADING

You personally convince others to take certain actions.

PHYSICAL WORK

Requires substantial physical, labor-intensive activity.

PRESTIGE

A job which gives you status and respect in a community.

PUBLIC ATTENTION

You attract immediate notice because of appearance or activity.

PUBLIC CONTACT

You have daily dealings with the public.

RECOGNITION

You gain public notice.

RESEARCH WORK

You search for and discover new facts and develop ways to apply them.

ROUTINE WORK

You follow established procedures requiring little change.

SEASONAL WORK

You are employed only at certain times of the year.

TRAVEL

A job in which you travel.

VARIETY

Your duties change frequently.

WORK WITH CHILDREN

You teach or otherwise care for children.

WORK WITH HANDS

You use your hands or hand tools.

WORK WITH MACHINES OR EQUIPMENT

You use machines or equipment.

WORK WITH NUMBERS

You use mathematics or statistics.

Plan for Employment: Transferable Skills

There are two types of skills every person has: Hard Skills and Soft Skills.

The lists below were written by Jessica L. Mendes for ZipRecruiter.com.

Hard Skills

Hard Skills are skills that you’ve learned through training or education, including degrees and certificates that you’ve received and languages you’ve learned beyond your native language.

Below are some examples of Hard Skills:

  • A degree or certificate in a particular field or industry
  • Applied science
  • Computer programming
  • Driving a vehicle
  • Editing
  • Engineering
  • Foreign language skills (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Machine operation (computers, phone systems, forklifts, hydraulic presses, etc.)
  • Math
  • Medical procedures
  • Research
  • Software usage
  • Typing (and typing speed)
  • Writing

Soft Skills

Soft Skills generally include personality traits that are less measurable than hard skills — how you communicate with others, your character, time management, and other traits.

Below are some examples of Soft Skills:

Plan for Employment: Website Resources

Use these websites to learn more about Transferable Skills.

Jobscan logo

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills (and How to Use Them on Your Resume)

Posted on Jobscan September 30, 2020

There are two types of skills recruiters look for on resumes: hard skills and soft skills. When used correctly, they work together to form a powerhouse resume that provides the hiring manager a comprehensive understanding of the job seeker’s capabilities.

Read More…

SkillsYouNeed.com logo

What are Transferable Skills?

Posted on SkillsYouNeed.com

Transferable skills are skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life: socially, professionally and at school. They are ‘portable skills’.

People usually think about their transferable skills when applying for a job or when thinking about a career change. Employers often look for people who can demonstrate a good set of transferable skills.

Read More…

Plan for Employment: Job Sectors & Careers

Visit these websites to explore the types of jobs and careers that fit your skills.

Destination Occupation logo

Destination Occupation

What is Destination Occupation?

Destination Occupation (D.O.) is an online community of career exploration videos showcasing local Maine companies and careers. We feature Maine employers in a company profile and individual job profiles. Most of the jobs featured are in high demand around the state. One job may be featured at a business in a town far away from you, but don’t worry! The jobs we pick can be found all around Maine and by many different employers!

O*NET Resource Center logo

O*Net OnLine

Build your future with O*NET OnLine.

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

The O*NET Program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. Valid data are essential to understanding the rapidly changing nature of work and how it impacts the workforce and U.S. economy. From this information, applications are developed to facilitate the development and maintenance of a skilled workforce.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics logo

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for nearly 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.

Employment Services Part 1: Plan For Employment

Plan for Employment — Work Preferences

What are your work preferences? Ask yourself these questions to help determine the type of job that fits you best.

Working with people
Working on a team
or
or
Working with machines
Working independently
Working with people
Being active
or
or
Working with machines
sitting
Working with people
Doing the same task over
or
or
Working with machines
Doing different tasks
Working with people
Being told what to do
or
or
Working with machines
Making decisions
Working with people
A quiet work environment
or
or
Working with machines
A noisy environment
Working with people
Having supervision
or
or
Working with machines
No supervision
Working with people
Having a steady job
or
or
Working with machines
Having temporary jobs
Working with people
Making a lot of money
or
or
Working with machines
Making less money at a job you love
Working with people
Working part-time
or
or
Working with machines
Working full-time
Working with people
Solving problems
or
or
Working with machines
Communicating with people
Working with people
Hourly pay
or
or
Working with machines
A salary
Working with people
A short commute
or
or
Working with machines
a long commute
Working with people
The night shift
or
or
Working with machines
The day shift

Part 1b: Plan for Employment — Work Values

What type of work environment and job attributes do you value?

ADVENTURE

A risk-taking job.

AUTHORITY

Use your position to control others.

COMPETITION

Compete with others.

CREATIVITY & SELF-EXPRESSION

Use your imagination to find new ways to do or say something.

FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE

You choose your own hours.

HELPING OTHERS

Provide direct services to persons with problems.

HIGH SALARY

A job where many workers earn a large amount of money.

INDEPENDENCE

You decide for yourself what work to do.

INFLUENCING OTHERS

You influence the decisions of others.

INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION

A job which requires thought and reasoning.

LEADERSHIP

You manage or supervise the activities of others.

OUTSIDE WORK

Working out-of-doors.

PERSUADING

You personally convince others to take certain actions.

PHYSICAL WORK

Requires substantial physical, labor-intensive activity.

PRESTIGE

A job which gives you status and respect in a community.

PUBLIC ATTENTION

You attract immediate notice because of appearance or activity.

PUBLIC CONTACT

You have daily dealings with the public.

RECOGNITION

You gain public notice.

RESEARCH WORK

You search for and discover new facts and develop ways to apply them.

ROUTINE WORK

You follow established procedures requiring little change.

SEASONAL WORK

You are employed only at certain times of the year.

TRAVEL

A job in which you travel.

VARIETY

Your duties change frequently.

WORK WITH CHILDREN

You teach or otherwise care for children.

WORK WITH HANDS

You use your hands or hand tools.

WORK WITH MACHINES OR EQUIPMENT

You use machines or equipment.

WORK WITH NUMBERS

You use mathematics or statistics.

Part 1c: Plan for Employment — Transferable Skills

There are two types of skills every person has: Hard Skills and Soft Skills.

The lists below were written by Jessica L. Mendes for ZipRecruiter.com.

Hard Skills

Hard Skills are skills that you’ve learned through training or education, including degrees and certificates that you’ve received and languages you’ve learned beyond your native language.

Below are some examples of Hard Skills:

  • A degree or certificate in a particular field or industry
  • Applied science
  • Computer programming
  • Driving a vehicle
  • Editing
  • Engineering
  • Foreign language skills (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Machine operation (computers, phone systems, forklifts, hydraulic presses, etc.)
  • Math
  • Medical procedures
  • Research
  • Software usage
  • Typing (and typing speed)
  • Writing

Soft Skills

Soft Skills generally include personality traits that are less measurable than hard skills — how you communicate with others, your character, time management, and other traits.

Below are some examples of Soft Skills:

  • A degree or certificate in a particular field or industry
  • Applied science
  • Computer programming
  • Driving a vehicle
  • Editing
  • Engineering
  • Foreign language skills (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Machine operation (computers, phone systems, forklifts, hydraulic presses, etc.)
  • Math
  • Medical procedures
  • Research
  • Software usage
  • Typing (and typing speed)
  • Writing

Part 1d: Plan for Employment — Website Resources

Use these websites to learn more about Transferable Skills.

Jobscan logo

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills (and How to Use Them on Your Resume)

Posted on Jobscan September 30, 2020

There are two types of skills recruiters look for on resumes: hard skills and soft skills. When used correctly, they work together to form a powerhouse resume that provides the hiring manager a comprehensive understanding of the job seeker’s capabilities.

Read More…

SkillsYouNeed.com logo

What are Transferable Skills?

Posted on SkillsYouNeed.com

Transferable skills are skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life: socially, professionally and at school. They are ‘portable skills’.

People usually think about their transferable skills when applying for a job or when thinking about a career change. Employers often look for people who can demonstrate a good set of transferable skills.

Read More…

Part 2: Job Sectors & Careers

Visit these websites to explore the types of jobs and careers that fit your skills.

Destination Occupation logo

Destination Occupation

What is Destination Occupation?

Destination Occupation (D.O.) is an online community of career exploration videos showcasing local Maine companies and careers. We feature Maine employers in a company profile and individual job profiles. Most of the jobs featured are in high demand around the state. One job may be featured at a business in a town far away from you, but don’t worry! The jobs we pick can be found all around Maine and by many different employers!

O*NET Resource Center logo

O*Net OnLine

Build your future with O*NET OnLine.

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

The O*NET Program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. Valid data are essential to understanding the rapidly changing nature of work and how it impacts the workforce and U.S. economy. From this information, applications are developed to facilitate the development and maintenance of a skilled workforce.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics logo

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for nearly 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.

Part 3: Your Resume

Find tips to help build your resume and get it noticed by employers.

How to Get Your Resume Noticed by Employers (video)

Join career expert and award-winning author Andrew LaCivita as he teaches you how to get your resume noticed in 5 seconds guaranteed!

Resume Template (Google Doc)

person creating a resume

Use this Google Doc resume template to get started on your job search.

Open the Google Doc…

Resume Objective Examples and Corresponding Career Summaries for Entry-Level Job Seekers (blog)

Monster.com logo

Once you’ve determined that including an objective will benefit your resume, here are some entry-level resume objective examples you may want to consider.

Read More…

Resume Writing Tips (blog)

Once you’ve determined that including an objective will benefit your resume, here are some entry-level resume objective examples you may want to consider.

View the PDF…

Part 4: Your Cover Letter

One of the most challenging parts of the job search is writing an effective cover letter. Here are some tips to help with the writing process.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job in 2022 (blog)

job seeker writing a cover letter

You need to write a cover letter, but what is a cover letter, exactly? And what’s the best way to write it? Learn how to write a cover letter with expert tips and examples.

Read More…

Job Application Email Examples and Writing Tips (blog)

applying for a job via email

There are many ways to apply for a job. You may need to submit your application through an online system the company has in place.1 For some jobs, particularly retail and hospitality positions, you may still be able to apply in person and fill out an application by hand.

Read More…

Top Cover Letter Examples in 2022 [For All Professions] (blog)

people reviewing job application cover letters

No matter what stage you are at in your career, a cover letter is an important document to demonstrate your experience and fit for the position you are applying. It’s a way to explain specific scenarios and call out essential skills that aren’t already covered in your resume.

Read More…

Part 5: References

References are people you know or have worked with who can vouch for your skills and knowledge. Ask colleagues, supervisors, teachers, advisors, volunteer supervisors, clients, or managers to write references for you.

If none of the above are available or you have never worked, use a friend as a character or personal reference or to support your work ethic or reliability.

3 to 4 references are fine for most positions you apply for. If you are applying for a supervisory/upper management position, then it would be helpful to have 5 to 7 people write references for you.

Below are some links to help you create a list of references.

Get your references together for your job search (blog)

find job references

An employer may ask for a reference list when considering you for a job. Get the reference format and protocol right by following these expert tips.

Read More…

Job Reference List Examples (Google Images)

two women at a computer

Sometimes an employer will ask for a list of references to help verify that you have a strong work ethic and would be a good match for their open position. Find samples of these reference lists in this Google Image search.

View Reference Samples…

Sample Reference List for Employment (blog)

job seeker with list of references

When you need to provide references to a potential employer, the best way to do this is to create a reference page you can share with them. A reference page is a list of your references.

Read More…

Employment Services

Visit the other areas of Employment Services:

Contact Us to Post a Job on NMRC

8 + 2 =