job search tips Archives - Manpower Maine

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Workplace Safety is a Shared Responsibility

A safe and secure workplace not only protects you from harm but also promotes productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success. As we continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of work, it is crucial that we all reaffirm our commitment to workplace safety.

Adhere to all Safety Guidelines:

Familiarize yourself with the safety protocols and guidelines established by your organization. These guidelines exist to protect you and your colleagues. Make sure you understand them thoroughly and follow them diligently. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor or the designated safety officer.

Maintain a Clean and Organized Workspace:

A clutter-free and well-organized workspace not only enhances productivity but also reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. Keep your work area clean, properly store equipment, and promptly report any hazards or potential risks to the appropriate authorities.

Report Incidents and Near-Misses:

Reporting incidents and near-misses is crucial for identifying potential hazards and implementing preventative measures. If you witness an accident, unsafe condition, or near-miss, report it to your supervisor or the designated reporting channels immediately. Your timely reporting can prevent future incidents and ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace.

Utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Depending on the nature of your work, you may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety helmets, goggles, gloves, or masks. It is essential to wear and maintain your PPE properly to safeguard yourself and others. Regularly inspect your equipment, replace damaged items, and store them in designated areas when not in use.

Stay Informed About Safe Work Practices:

Stay up-to-date with the latest safety practices and procedures by attending all safety training sessions that are offered to you. Take advantage of those opportunities to enhance your understanding of safety protocols and share your knowledge with colleagues.

By adhering to safety guidelines, maintaining a clean workspace, promptly reporting incidents, utilizing personal protective equipment, and fostering a culture of safety, we can ensure a secure and productive work environment. Remember, safety is not an individual effort but a collective endeavor that benefits us all. Let’s work together to prioritize workplace safety and create a safer future for everyone.

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Dressing for Success

No matter how cliche it may sound, you never do get a second chance to make a first impression. What you wear to an interview tells the person you are speaking with a lot about you. It demonstrates your decision making, and it helps them see how you will fit in amongst the rest of their team. The hiring manager knows that during an interview you are presenting your best version of yourself – so while there is some understanding for small faux pas, there are some generally accepted style expectations.

Here are some things to consider when deciding what to wear to your interview.

Casual & General Labor

Whether you are interviewing for a dishwashing job, general labor position, or a job in a warehouse, you still need to put your best foot forward. You want an employer to be focused entirely on what you say and your skills, not the wrinkly shirt, torn up pants, or unkempt hair and hygiene.

Business Casual

The most predominant style across the workforce would be described as business casual. This classification of attire creates a professional yet approachable image which is why it is commonly used in businesses. As long as you avoid jeans, tee-shirts, sneakers, and overdressing, you are likely hitting the mark.


There are still many industries that expect their team members to step-up their appearance by wearing the more traditional suit. This style conveys confidence, professionalism, and power. This is most popular in sales, finance, and executive positions.


There are times when the best approach is to show more of your creative side. Think of positions like marketing, high-tech firms, or innovative start-ups. These companies are looking for ingenuity, flair, excitement, creativity, and style. Forward-looking organizations want their teams to present a trendy vibe that matches the overall organizational image.

Don’t Overthink It

While we may have outlined some common acceptable style choices, it is important to not overthink it. Obsessing over how to dress may only cause you more anxiety about the process, and what matters most of all are the skills and qualifications you will bring to the job. If trying to paint yourself into a box is overwhelming, perhaps your best course of action is to focus on what things you should always avoid.

No matter how casual a position is, or how many amazing skills you bring to the table, there are some style choices that should always be avoided. Heavy make-up and cologne are two things we see regularly. You want to make sure all the attention is on what you say, not your appearance or smell. You also want to avoid coming across as if you don’t take the process seriously by being underdressed or not practicing proper hygiene.

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Acing the Virtual Interview

Landing an interview for the job you want feels amazing… until you start overthinking the interview process, and the panic sets in: what if I mess up and say the wrong thing? What if it doesn’t work out?  The thought of interviewing for a job can feel intimidating, but with a little preparation and a healthy dose of effective communication, you can set the scene for a great experience. While virtual interviews can present some unique challenges, following these tips will help you overcome them and allow you to make a great first impression:

Clarify the Plan

When scheduling the interview, make sure you’re clear on the procedure. Will the interview take place via Skype, Zoom, or some other platform? Will you need any information, such as a password, to gain access to the meeting? Knowing what to expect will give you peace of mind and help you prepare appropriately.

Test Your Tech

If you need to download a platform such as Skype for your interview, be sure to do it well in advance so that you are ready to go on the day of your interview. If you already have the software you need, or the interview will take place via an online platform, check to see if any updates are needed for the software or your browser to make sure you’re not surprised by any glitches at an inconvenient time. If possible, do a trial run to make sure everything is operating as it should. That way, you won’t have to stress about tech issues on top of normal interview jitters!

Assess Your Surroundings

Once you’ve decided what space you’re going to do your interview in, assess your surroundings. What will be within your webcam’s field of view? Tidy up any spaces that your interviewer will be able to see. No one is judging you for that pile of laundry you haven’t quite gotten around to folding yet, or that stack of mail piling up on the coffee table – we’ve all been there. However, you want your interviewer’s attention entirely focused on you and all the things that make you a great fit for the job, so for the sake of minimizing distractions, simply move any such things out of view. Also ensure that there is adequate lighting so that your interviewer can see you – fuzzy visuals can make it very challenging to focus.

Hone Your Personal Presentation

As casual as things may feel when you’re sitting on the computer at your dining room table, don’t forget that a virtual interview is still a professional meeting and should be treated as such. Dress as professionally as you would for a normal in-person interview – it will not only help you make a great first impression, but it will also help give you confidence as you interact with your potential employer. Maintain positive body language by sitting up straight and making sure that your facial expression conveys that you are engaged in and interested in the conversation. Sometimes the audio quality of virtual meetings isn’t great, so it is important to speak clearly and concisely and minimize background noise to ensure that you are heard correctly. If for any reason during your interview there is a bad connection on either end, work with the interviewer to reschedule.

Know Your Stuff

Just like you would with any other interview, prepare yourself to talk about your strengths and experience in relation to the job requirements and have a list of good questions. One of the best ways to do this is to review the job description and conduct a bit of research on the company before your interview. You may even want to practice answering some common interview questions to give you an even stronger sense of preparedness for your interview. Ultimately, your interviewer just wants to get to know you and learn more about the amazing things you bring to the world of work – so be yourself, be positive, make it clear that you’re excited about the opportunity – and go ace that virtual interview!

Let Manpower Help You Make a Great Impression!

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Tips to Thrive – Build Your Resume

Your resume should be an ongoing work in progress. What that means is that to thrive in the world of work, you always want to be thinking about how you are growing your professional skills and how they factor into your resume. Every job provides learning and growth opportunities, and it is up to you to recognize those opportunities and take advantage of them.

Say Yes to Opportunities

Whether you are asked to take on new responsibilities, participate in a training, or shift departments, you should consider each opportunity that is put in front of you. While not every opportunity will be right for you, don’t allow yourself to be so risk averse that you fail to seize an opportunity for growth.

Acknowledge All Growth

Redwood trees didn’t grow overnight, and neither will your professional skillset. All growth is incremental, and you need to acknowledge the seemingly inconsequential improvements you make. Success is built one step at a time and every step forward you take is something to be recognized.

Embrace Change

The only constant is change, and learning how to quickly embrace it will set you apart from all the rest. When a change presents itself, don’t wallow in what once was – instead, be the one leaning in and moving forward. Change can be scary because there are so many unknowns, but if you embrace it and commit to being successful no matter what, you will thrive.


Keep a Success Journal

Chances are you experience several professional wins and successes throughout the year. It is also likely that you celebrate those successes very briefly, move on quickly, and tend to forget about them. Keeping a journal where you record professional successes will not only provide you with a motivator when times get tough, it will also be helpful should you need to recall them for someone else.


Keep Your Resume Up to Date

Sometimes people forget that their resume is a living and breathing document, and they tend to only dust it off when they find themselves looking for a new job. Unless you are actively looking for work, it is a good idea to review and update your resume every six to twelve months. Keeping your resume up to date allows you to really reflect on your professional accomplishments and highlight the most notable ones.

Want more tips to help you thrive in the world of work? Click below.

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Make Your Resume Work For You

Resumes are to job seeking as tires are to cars. They are a core component to helping move you forward. They need regular updating and maintenance, and there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Knowing this, what can you do to ensure that your resume is working for you?

Less is More

One of the most common misconceptions about resumes is that they should be an exhaustive list of all your accomplishments and professional history. In actuality, a resume should be a brief advertisement that creates just enough intrigue for the reader to call you in for an interview. When preparing a resume you want to be clear, succinct, and focus on the past 10 years of work experience. Naturally, you want to highlight all of your accomplishments to help you showcase all that you bring to the table, but the reality is that less is more, and paring your resume down to no more than two pages is going to help ensure that your resume is more likely to be well-received.

Formatting Matters

You may wonder how you can stand out in a stack of 8.5 x 11in sheets of paper that all look the same – well, it is important to note that gimmicks are unlikely to help. When developing your resume, it is best to stick with traditional formatting. While you want to be noticed, stand out, and be remembered – you want that to happen for all the right reasons. Avoid using flashy fonts, colors, and images, and have trust that the content is what makes a difference.

Keep it Relevant

When preparing your resume, you should always design it for the reader. While you want to showcase your talents and skills, you must consider which of your many talents is most relevant to the job you are applying to, and the person reviewing your resume. Due to the sheer volume of resumes that an employer receives for any given position, chances are they are quickly scanning through them, seeking out certain keywords to narrow the stack down to just a couple that they are interested in speaking with. By focusing only on your relevant skills, you are greatly increasing the likelihood of being moved into the ‘yes’ pile.

Qualification Summary

It used to be that all resumes contained a section at the top called the objective. This was a simple section where an applicant would describe their career interests and goals. While a feel-good section, ultimately it never really spoke to the employer. It is said that you need to capture the reader’s attention in the first 3rd of your resume – and the best way to do that is by including a brief qualifications summary. This is where you can immediately call attention to why they should read on and consider you for the job.


It seems that something so simple shouldn’t need to be said, but proofreading is a critical step in the resume process. Not only should you be reviewing your resume for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and relevancy – you should also rely on a trusted friend to proofread for you as well. Having that second set of eyes can make a world of difference. When someone proofreads their own writing it is easy to miss something important because you are prone to focus more on what your thoughts are versus the actual mechanics of what was written. In addition to proofreading for traditional errors, you also want to double-check that you have provided accurate and appropriate contact information.

Would You Call Yourself To Interview?

In closing, before you hit send, ask yourself – “would I call myself in for an interview?” If for any reason you are hesitant to say yes, that may signal that you need to make some adjustments to the content of your resume or possibly consider if this job is even a good fit. Remember, not every job is right for every person. Your goal is to seek out and apply to jobs that you can be successful in.

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Ask Manpower: Applying And Not Hearing Back

Ask Manpower:

I have been applying to a bunch of jobs, but it seems like I never hear back. What should I do?

This is a question we hear a lot in our business. Understandably, job seekers find themselves frustrated when they are applying to multiple jobs and not hearing back. If you have found yourself out of work unexpectedly, or if you desperately need to make a job change it is already a stressful time and not hearing back can feel incredibly defeating. While we cannot guarantee that you will hear back from every company you apply to, we do have some tips that will help you get noticed and increase the likelihood of being called back.

Be More Selective About What You Are Applying For

Yes, you want/need a job. And you are likely willing to do just about anything – only, it really isn’t that simple. When an employer is looking to hire, they are looking for people that have both the direct working experience and skills necessary to do the job. The world of work moves at a rapid pace and it leaves little time for training staff. So if you are applying to a ton of jobs, it is likely that you are not being as selective as you should be and carefully applying to positions that are a match for your skills and experience.

When searching for work, be sure to thoroughly read through the job description. Pay close attention to the skills and experience they are looking for. Can you clearly describe to this employer what you bring to the table and how it will help you be successful in this role? If so, great – continue on to the next step. If not, you should probably spend your time looking for another opportunity.

Take the Time to Modify Your Resume for Each Job

As noted above, every ‘good’ job advertisement is going to clearly outline the skills, experience, and qualifications that they are looking for in a candidate. They may use different terms or acronyms to describe what they do. They may call special attention to a certain quality that they are looking for. Before you just send off that same old resume that you have sent to every other employer, take the time to ensure that you are including that information.

The reality is, most employers do not have the time to fully read every resume they get due to having other responsibilities as well as the sheer volume of resumes they get. This means that they are likely scanning through resumes to look for those key attributes that they listed in their job description. From there they will quickly identify a couple people that they are interested in speaking with. The others will likely get placed in the no pile, never to be revisited again.

Double-check Your Contact Information

As simple as this may seem, you would be surprised how often this is an issue. In our line of work, we process hundreds of applications and resumes each month. Common issues we see for contact information are: the wrong/disconnected telephone number, an outdated/out of area address, a less than appropriate email, a lack of voicemail access, and transposed numbers. All of these missteps could quickly move you out of the running for a job that you would be a great fit for.

You also want to be fully aware of the information that can be gathered by simply googling your name. Before you dive right in and start applying for your dream job – make the time to do a simple internet search on yourself and adjust settings on your social profiles if there is any chance that it could negatively impact someone’s perception of you.

Follow Up On Your Application

It is perfectly acceptable to follow up on your application for a job that was advertised within a reasonable time frame. We don’t recommend a high-pressure approach though. All too often employers are eager to get a job out there to start accepting applications, but may not have the immediate capacity to follow up on those applications – so a little patience is encouraged. Most employers we know would be okay with an applicant calling to perform a simple follow up 1 week after they submitted their application.

Again, you should take a soft approach when making this contact whether it be through email or over the phone. Simply say something like, “Good morning (hiring manager’s name), I wanted to take a moment to reach out to make sure that you received my application for your (insert job title). Given my experience and what I read about this position, I am very interested in learning more.” This approach let’s the hiring manager know to look for your resume and demonstrates that you are still interested and engaged in the process.

As you can see, while there are pieces of the hiring process that are out of your control – there are still many things you can control.

About Manpower’s General Application Process

Due to the large number of businesses we work with and the wide variety of skills they are looking for – Manpower offers a general application process. What this means is that you can apply directly to Manpower and one of our recruiters will reach out to talk with you about all the skills and experience you offer in order to consider you for many different jobs we are hiring for.

Get Noticed by The Right People at The Right Time – With Manpower!

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

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Back to Basics: Digital Communication in the Job Search

With more ways to apply for work now than ever before, it’s no surprise that some job seekers are left wondering about digital etiquette and best practices. If, like most people, you are conducting your job search online, check out Manpower’s tips to help enhance your results and land that next great opportunity:

Keep Your Emails and Messages Professional

Email is such a fast, convenient method of communication, and more and more employers are getting on board with accepting applications via social media as well. While these methods of communication may feel more casual in some ways, it’s important to recognize that all communication with a potential employer should be conducted professionally, regardless of whether it is occurring digitally or not. Avoid the use of emojis, unnecessary abbreviations, and of course, vulgar language. Maintaining a professional tone and ensuring proper spelling and punctuation will bring you one step closer to making a great first impression that leaves the company wanting to know more.

Be Mindful of Document Formats

When applying for work, try to send your resume in PDF format if possible, unless the company has specified a different preferred format. Depending on the word processing software you use, people may or not be able to access the documents you send them. Adobe Reader is standard software for most businesses, so sending a PDF will ensure that your application can be opened. Providing an accessible resume from the get-go will help speed up the process for you, because you won’t have to worry about emailing back and forth to provide alternative formats.

Clean Up (or Secure) Your Social Media Profiles

You have a right to post what you want and talk about what you want on your personal social media profiles – but that doesn’t mean that highly controversial, raunchy, or explicit content doesn’t have the potential to negatively impact your professional reputation or affect a potential employer’s perception of your professionalism. When you are looking for work, it’s a good idea to clean up your profiles to avoid content that you wouldn’t want seen by a supervisor, coworker, or potential employer. If you’d rather not delete the content, simply adjust your privacy settings so that only your friends or people you give permission to can see what you share.

Prioritize Data Security

While advances in technology have enhanced our job search options in many ways, it has also opened us up to increased risk. Scammers may post illegitimate job opportunities or pretend to be a representative of an established company in attempts to phish for your personal data. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself. When evaluating job advertisements that you’re considering applying to, be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t seem right – improper spelling or grammar, unofficial email addresses, or links that don’t appear to be affiliated with the company are common red flags.
Be cautious when responding to individuals that approach you about opportunities you did not apply for, and be sure to do some research and verify their legitimacy before providing any kind of information. If you’re not sure whether an opportunity is legitimate or not, reach out to the company directly using contact information provided on an official website – not the email or phone number provided by the person who reached out to you. Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right or the facts aren’t adding up, do not respond, click suspicious links, or download any unexpected attachments.

When it comes to navigating the world of work – Manpower is here to help! 

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Back to Basics: Boundaries in the Job Search

There’s just so much to do in the job search – when you’re trying to update and edit your resume, browse jobs, research companies, request references, and find the right opportunity that meets all of your needs – boundaries are probably the last thing on your mind. However, understanding and honoring boundaries is important to your success in the job search and beyond. Read this before your next interview to help you get a clear understanding of boundaries that you may encounter in the process:

Observe the Rules

When you visit any place of business, it’s likely that you will encounter a variety of signage – including things such as where to park, where you can wait, whether cell phones are allowed, or warning what areas are off-limits to non-employees. These are all clear boundaries that have been set by the company, and it is very important to observe them. By respecting these boundaries, you are demonstrating that you are both observant and willing to follow the rules – two qualities that all employers like to see in potential employees.

Respect Personal Space

It is important to recognize that people have varying levels of comfort when it comes to physical space, and if you don’t know someone well enough to know what their level of comfort is, it’s best to err on the side of caution. A handshake is perfectly acceptable, but don’t assume that someone is comfortable with a touch on the arm or pat on the shoulder. Keep in mind that respecting spatial boundaries doesn’t just mean avoiding direct touching – it can also mean not hovering or talking too closely, leaning over their desk, or fidgeting with their personal belongings.  Being mindful of personal space in this way ensures a comfortable experience for all, allowing your interviewer’s focus to remain right where you want it – on the qualities that make you a great fit for the job!

Don’t Overshare

There’s no need for an interview to be an uncomfortable experience; it’s an excellent opportunity for both the company and applicant to determine if they can be successful together. However, don’t let yourself get too comfortable and cross professional boundaries by divulging excessive personal information. Even if you’ve built a good rapport with your interviewer, sharing personal stories that aren’t relevant to the job has the potential to create some unnecessary awkward moments, or worse, create doubts about your professionalism. To have a great interview and enhance your chances of success, it’s important to understand the balance between friendliness and professionalism; be friendly with your interviewer, but know that intimate details about your life are best saved for conversations with your friends.

Be Respectful of Other People’s Time

Of course, you want to be respectful of your interviewer’s time by showing up prepared and on time for your scheduled appointment. However, you might not have realized that being respectful of an employer’s time also applies to not overextending your visit. You don’t need to hustle out of there as fast as you can- by all means, ask questions about the job and company, and get the information you need to make an informed decision about your employment. However, once both you and the company are done discussing the job, it’s time to start making your exit. It’s not that you’re not welcome – employers enjoy meeting and getting to know people who are interested in being part of their team – but most places of business have tight schedules to abide by, so each appointment can only be allotted so much time. Pay attention to the conversation and to your interviewer’s cues – when it feels like the conversation is coming to a natural close and the employer thanks you for time, stands up, or otherwise indicates that they have other things to take care of, it is time to go. Thank them for their time and let them know you are looking forward to hearing back from them about the position.

These are some very basic ways to demonstrate you are capable of respecting professional and personal boundaries, and following these tips will help you be successful in any setting.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!