Tips for Building a Network

Tips for Building a Network

When most people hear the word “networking,” images of boring mixers with name tags and off-brand sodas usually come to mind. Professional networks can be helpful and building them can be fun, if you do it right. Read on for some tips for how to build a better, more successful network.

Join Organizations

Many professions have local, national and international organizations that allow people in similar fields to meet and network. There are organizations for doctors, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, designers, engineers, professors, lawyers and just about any profession you can think of. There are also organizations for women, young professionals, African Americans and most demographics. The organizations you join don’t have to be strictly professional, either. Alumni groups, volunteer organizations and recreational activities are all great ways to meet people with similar interests. You never know who can help you in your job search!

Attend Events

Yes, building a network still involved networking events. The big thing to remember is that they don’t have to be boring. Events put on by professional organizations bring together like-minded people with similar careers, so you won’t be at a loss for a conversation topic. Alumni events are a great way to meet people who went to your high school or college and reminisce about great times. Recreational activities should be fun for you, regardless of whether they land you a job! In order to build a network, you have to get out there and actually meet and connect with other people.

Follow Up

Meeting people means nothing if you say goodbye at the end of a luncheon and never speak to them again. Make sure to carry business or calling cards with you and collect new acquaintances’ cards, as well. After a day or two, send your new contacts an email to let them know how great it was to meet them, and make a plan to catch up in the future.

What to Bring to an Interview

You’ve sent out your resume far and wide, and now you’re starting to hear back from potential employers about your applications. When you get interviews set up, you’ll start preparing your best answers to all the standard interview questions. There are certain things


Even if you already submitted your resume as part of the application process, you should always bring extra copies to an interview. Print at least five of them on resume paper and keep them in a nice, solid colored folder. If you have a portfolio of design work, writing samples or any other projects, bring that along. Even if you’re unemployed, it’s a good idea to bring business cards with your contact information, as well.


You should also come prepared with a list of questions for your interviewers, not just answers. Ask them specific questions about the company, position, team and culture. You’ll probably come up with questions as you go, but you should think of a few ahead of time just in case. Asking thoughtful questions will show employers that you are serious about the position, and can give you a chance to further explain why you’re a good fit for the role.

Company Information

Of course, you should have the company address, phone number and the name of the person you’re meeting with on hand (preferably written down) so you know exactly where to go and what to say. You should also do some research on the company before the interview. Bring along some notes to review while you’re waiting.

Emergency Supplies

Carry a notebook and pen with you in case you need to take notes in your interview. Many resume folders have space for your resume, a legal notepad and a pen. You should carry along some breath mints (not gum!) to freshen up just before your interview.

The Rehabilitation Counselor’s Role in Empowering Jobseekers

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According to 2015 data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five adults in the United States (approximately 53 million) has a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits individuals’ ability to perform one or more major life activities, individuals having a history or record of such an impairment, or individuals being perceived as having an impairment. Disability can impact individuals’ ability to function independently through activities of daily living, finding and maintaining employment, and feeling included and supported in their communities.

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Rehabilitation counselors work with individuals with disabilities by assisting them with achieving their optimal independence, integration, and participation in the community and world of work to reach personal goals, career aspirations, and perceived quality of life. They encourage personal, social, and economic independence while acknowledging the unique experiences of individuals of various social and cultural backgrounds (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, 2009*). They abide by the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors while making decisions and delivering services to their clients. Rehabilitation counselors create specific and time-oriented rehabilitation plans that map out their clients’ goals and what the process will entail for them to achieve those goals. Rehabilitation counselors provide services in a variety of settings, including veteran hospitals, mental health facilities, schools, state and federal offices, correctional facilities, public rehabilitation agencies and Workers Compensation agencies.

Vocamotive is a vocational rehabilitation and career services firm that works with a wide variety of clients, including unemployed or underemployed jobseekers, worker’s compensation clients, military veterans, and transitional students. Rehabilitation counselors at Vocamotive collaborate with a team of career placement professionals, job developers, résumé and branding specialists and computer instructors to help clients develop job seeking and computer skills in order to find new employment. By working with professionals of various areas of expertise, rehabilitation counselors can address each of their client’s goals and help them enter or return to the workforce. At Vocamotive, we empower our clients to develop a new set of skills to take on new employment experiences.

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Rebecca Hanna is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) for Vocamotive, Inc. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Bradley University and Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Northern Illinois University. Her areas of career interests include vocational rehabilitation, transition and disability services, and career counseling and placement.

Message or follow Rebecca on LinkedIn at:

Contact Rebecca via email at:

Learn more about Vocamotive at:

Call Vocamotive at: (630) 789-2519


*Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. (2009). Code of professional ethics for rehabilitation counselors. Schaumburg, IL: Author.


Our Resume Writing Process

Our Head Resume Resume Writer provides you with a look into our professional process, guaranteed to deliver outstanding results for anyone seeking a new position or career advancement:

As the Head Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writer for my company, I am often asked about the process which I follow when creating materials for my clients. There are many good resume writers out there, but we each have our own approach to how we complete a project.

Let me draw back the curtain and allow a glimpse into how I create professional works of art for each of my résumé clients:

  • The Consult:

In most cases, and like many writers, I start with a free service consultation. This is usually completed by phone and allows me to gain insights into my client, his or her professional background, future goals, and potential employment targets. I discuss the processes, timelines, package options, and costs involved at this time as well. In addition, I am also happy to provide feedback on job search strategies and existing documents sent to me for review. To be successful, I believe the writer and client need to be a good match for one another, and that is what this initial conversation is all about. Some of my prospective clients are surprised to learn that I am also willing to provide referrals to other writers if it turns out that we are not the best match for a project.

  • The Proposal:

If a project is particularly complex, I often draft a project proposal which reviews information discussed during the consult. It also provides a review of the steps, timeline, objectives, cost structure, package options and more. As many of my clients are surprised to learn that resume and profile writing involves much more than simply writing a career history, the proposal offers clarity following the consultation.

  • The Selection Process:

Once I take on a client, I ask him or her to provide me with 2 to 5 job leads or descriptions for which they would be interested in applying. This provides a great deal of clarity and direction for the project, along with a starting point for my research. It also allows the client to be actively involved in the trajectory of the project. He or she can also be certain that the final product will be optimized to fit specific fields and targeted opportunities.

  • The Research:

Here is where much of the fun begins, as I must admit, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to performing research. This is a crucial step often missed by do-it-yourselfers. As extraneous content is a big no-no in proper resume construction, and given that space is usually limited, it is critical to know exactly what information to include and accomplishments to emphasize. I typically start by researching the job leads provided by my client, then expand into researching the employers themselves, similar positions in my client’s geographic area, and learning about hiring trends in the target industry.


  • The Gathering of Information:

I like to err on the side of having access to the most information possible before I create a resume, so in addition to collecting a comprehensive professional history on each of my clients, I construct a detailed and industry specific list of questions for each to answer. These questions are formulated from my research, and my client’s answers to them provide the content required for the materials I produce. As every client and project is unique, the questions I develop are highly individualized.

  • The Draft:

Once the research is performed, it is time to start formatting a draft of the resume. Some may be surprised to learn that I, like most good writers, begin every resume from scratch. A resume’s layout is dependent on many factors, but in all cases pertinent information must jump off the page and grab the reader’s attention in about 6 seconds. This can present a challenge to some writers, and getting it right involves a series of drafting, redrafting, peer review, and performance testing.

  • The Vetting Process:

Although I have been writing resumes professionally for 11 years now, I am not an expert in microbiology, zoo keeping, political science, or criminal justice. Therefore, I include a unique step in my resume development process for many of the projects on which I work. If I am not intimately familiar with a client’s chosen vocation, I submit a draft of the resume (personal information redacted for confidentiality) to recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers who work in my client’s targeted field. For this reason, I maintain a large and diverse professional network. In exchange for constructive feedback, many of these contacts come to me to find potential candidates, which allows me to often assist clients with professional networking and lead development.

  • The Review:

In the final analysis, the resume I create ultimately belongs to and must produce outstanding results for my client. Therefore, I will work with my clients as much as is needed until he or she is completely satisfied with the product.

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  • Presentation of the Masterwork:

The aforementioned process culminates in a final product with which all parties are satisfied and which will go on to assist my clients with landing the interview opportunities they seek. I treat each project with great care, and I love presenting a resume which is effective, powerful and elegant.

  • The Ongoing Promise:

I also provide my clients with another unique service after the project is complete. Having been trained in the school of thought which states that the most effective résumé is a highly targeted one, it is logical to deduce that a single document may not be right for each and every situation. Therefore, I include a free modification service with each of my résumé products. I simply tell my clients to email me a job lead they intend on applying for, and I will customize the résumé I previously created to that specific position. I offer 3 such modifications with all packages, thereby providing peace of mind and ongoing professional support.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into how the resume sausage is made. Happy job hunting and may each of you achieve your professional goals!


About the Author:

Adam Zajac is the Head Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Senior Career Development Expert for Vocamotive, Inc. As a vocational rehabilitation and career placement professional for the last 11 years, he has successfully assisted thousands of job seekers and career changers throughout the United States.

Message or Follow Adam on LinkedIn at:

Contact Vocamotive via email at:

Call us for more information at: (630) 789-2519

Get assistance starting on your new Résumé and LinkedIn profile at:




The Importance of a Job You Love

shutterstock_74324989It can be easy to get stuck in a job rut, doing the same old thing because it has a decent paycheck. But if you find yourself dreading Monday mornings, it may be time to reevaluate your career choices. There are a lot of valid reasons to love your job, so here are a few of the most important ones.

More Money

Typically, people who make a lot of money in a given field are good at what they do. They spend a lot of time working at something until they become experts and people will pay a lot of money for their skills and expertise. It’s a lot harder, almost impossible, to put that kind effort into a job you don’t enjoy doing. If you love your job, you won’t mind the long hours and years of hard work it takes to become top of your field, and eventually the paycheck that comes along with it. Not to mention, just putting more hours into your job will be more money right away. 

Better Health

Working a job you dislike, or one that doesn’t align with your personality, talents or values, can start to stress you out. Stress can have serious health consequences. It can lead to weight gain, lack of sleep, a lowered immune system, depression and anxiety. Over a few years, those effects can take a serious toll on your body.

Increased Happiness

Imagine if you woke up on Monday mornings excited to do your job. You’ll be more motivated at work, be able to think of better ideas, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Your increased happiness at work will carry into the rest of your life, as well. Coming home after spending a day doing work you love is a lot better than coming home drained and exhausted at the end of the day.

If you decide you need a career change, visit our website to make an appointment today.

Driving Sales and Recruiting Customers with LinkedIn


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As a professional résumé and LinkedIn profile writer, over 50% of my business comes directly through LinkedIn connections. A portion of these customers are not the job seekers that comprise the majority of my clientele, but rather small business owners, sole practitioners, independent consultants, and salespeople who want to generate new business opportunities and market their products and services via LinkedIn.

As this platform was launched over a decade ago, it surprises me just how many businesses and individuals are missing out on opportunities to increase market share, enhance revenue, and expand their customer base. Also notable is the fact that many businessmen and businesswomen who are active on LinkedIn have not optimized their profiles for business generation purposes.

It is fairly common to find a well written and fairly complete profile for an entrepreneur or sales professional. However, if correct grammar and a dozen complete profile sections (plus a business page) were all it took to be successful, articles such as this would not be needed. I often inquire about how a prospective client chose the content they were using before contracting my services, and more than a few have admitted to virtually copying someone else’s profile. When they do not notice an increase in business, they often wonder what went wrong.

Typically, I can point out two big mistakes. First, plagiarism is bad. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but stealing another individual’s work and passing it off as your own is a no-no. We all learned this by middle school so I will refrain from belaboring that point.

The second mistake is less obvious. Your profile should be constructed around your end goal(s), therefore the content should reflect this. To emphasize this point, I ask you to think about all the reasons and objectives that people may have had in mind when setting up their profiles. If you are drawing a blank, here is an incomplete list: job search, sales, recruitment, professional networking, marketing, credibility enhancement, community engagement, information dispersal, event promotion, exchange of services, and collaboration. (I intentionally left the inappropriate uses off this list, and yes, I’m talking to those of you who use LinkedIn as a dating forum).

In short, the profile of a LinkedIn job seeker should not look like that of a small business owner, consultant, or salesperson. Though LinkedIn provides us all with the same sections with which to build our profiles, the content we exhibit in those sections can (and should) vary depending on your objectives. The reason is relatively strait forward: keywords. While visuals, text layout, and engaging content is important, keywords drive people to your page.

An effective profile is not necessarily complicated, but it will take careful consideration, diligent research, a capacity for creativity, and a bit panache when it comes to writing.

Some may ask “Why bother?” Though some studies have indicated an 11% average annual sales increase with an effective LinkedIn presence, my response to this question is much simpler:

What is the benefit to your business of adding one new customer or account per month? How about 10? To figure out what this (very) conservative equation can mean for your yearly bottom line, multiply that number by 12 (months).

If the answer you come up with it is worth more than 8 to 20 hours of your time, or (alternatively) $500-$2000 in paying for a professional to build it for you, it may be time for you to consider a profile overhaul and LinkedIn presence expansion.

If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it with your friends and connections!

About the Author:

Adam Zajac is the Head Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer for Vocamotive, Inc. As a business writing and career development professional for the last 10 years, he has successfully assisted thousands of individuals throughout the United States. For a free consultation, contact him using one of the methods below.

Message or Follow Adam on LinkedIn at:
Contact Adam via email at:
Call Adam for more information at: (630) 789-2519
Get assistance with developing your LinkedIn strategy at:

Can a Resume Creation Service Benefit your Job Search?

The job market is competitive in Chicago. As such , if you are in the market for a new job, you may wonder what you can do to give yourself the upper-hand. A resume creation service may not be the first thing you think of, but it can be greatly beneficial to anyone seeking a job. Here are some of the ways this type of service can be beneficial in your job search.

They Make Sure Your Resume is Error-Free

One of the biggest benefits to using a resume creation service is that the service ensures your resume is free of spelling, punctuation and other grammar errors. Unfortunately, errors on your resume can cost you the opportunity to interview for companies. And what’s worse is that many people take their resume and submit it online or to a several employers before they realize that there was an error on their resume. By that time, it’s been seen by countless employers. If you want potential employers to think you are detail-oriented and have great grammar, hiring one of these services can help you prove that point.

They Can Tailor Your Resume to the Industry You Are Searching In

Another benefit to a resume creation service is that they can tailor your resume to the industry you are searching for a job in. Not all of your educational achievements and certificates are relevant to employers. They want to know about your experience, education and achievements in the job field you are looking for. Cutting out what isn’t needed helps to streamline everything for the person looking over your resume, before they get bored and toss it to the side. Additionally, what you think is a great resume, may not be so great. Resume creators look at resumes all day long, so they know how to make yours stand out from the crowd, optimizing your chances of finding a new job.

They Offer Job Assistance Services

The last benefit to resume creation service Chicago is that most companies that offer this service also offer job assistance services. They will help you find jobs so you can apply using your new resume. And multiple sets of eyes can locate a great opportunity faster than you looking on your own.
If you are in the market for a new job in Chicago, brushing up on your resume is imperative. But instead of doing it yourself, consider letting a resume creation service do the hard work for you. They can create an error-free resume that is tailored to the industry you are applying for jobs in and many also offer job assistance services.


Sharpening Your Skills Through Job Training

Competing in today’s job market can be stressful.  While you may have been able to demonstrate your excellent organization and critical thinking skills in your last job, the truth is that there are some basic skills that nearly all employers are looking for that many people still lack.  Technology is a critical part of most organizations today, and there are specialists in job skills training in Chicago that can help you develop the right skills for this competitive marketplace.

Job Skills Training in Chicago

Nearly anyone can benefit from additional job skills training.  Whether you are switching industries or have been employed by a company for many years that simply didn’t keep up with the times.  The fact is that things change quickly with technology and most people require periodic training just to keep up.  Learning new skills can not only make you more employable, but it can also help you with your job search.  As much of today’s job listings are found online and even through social media, understanding how to navigate this digital world can help land you land next job.

Computer Job Training Program

Signing up for a job skills training in Chicago that focuses on technology provides students with several options.  Even those who need help with the basics, such as learning how to type, can receive assistance and training.  Beyond that, students can learn how to use Microsoft Windows and the basics of surfing the internet.  Doing internet searches and sending email are topics that can be covered in depth.
Those students who wish to develop Microsoft Office skills have the opportunity to do as well.  There are training courses that focus on the different Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.  The training in these software programs advances from Basic to Advanced as the student progresses.

Flexible and Supported Job Training

The beauty of the job skills training programs for technology is that they are very flexible. Students can begin a program at any time and programs are based on their current skill level and needs.  There isn’t time wasted on training skills that have already been mastered.  Also, courses are self-paced for students so that they can do the training according to their own schedule, with one-on-one support if needed.  Finally, students in these programs have access to accommodations due to disabilities, such as ergonomic equipment.
Today, computer skills are a basic requirement for many jobs.  Whether the job is in an office or not, today’s work environment requires that employees be familiar with basic keyboarding, internet usage, and Microsoft products.  Even factory workers are often asked to use automated systems in their work, to complete timesheets, or to participate in company safety and educational courses.  Not only are having computer skills a good way to make yourself competitive in the job market, but they are also now an essential skill needed to find a job.   If you’re looking for job skills training in Chicago, be sure to start with technology skills training.


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Using a Vocational Rehabilitation Service to Craft your Career Path

Vocational rehabilitation helps those who are actively looking for employment opportunities become more employable. When you use a vocational service, you receive the tools, skills and career guidance you need to help you land a job that would be perfect for you in the long run. Vocational rehabilitation services can be utilized by anyone who is seeking professional career guidance.

A vocational rehabilitation service can help you create a detailed career plan — a plan that will help you prepare for your new career in every step along the way. When using a vocational service, you will learn how to best fill out job applications and how to create a winning résumé, how to effectively search for jobs that are right for you and your skills, how to land job interviews and react to interview questions, and how to make the right decisions when searching for your new career.

When you use a vocational service, you will also receive sensible advice on how your temperament, personality and skills would match a specific job or positions. You will receive customized personality and skill testing to determine the best job fit for you in the long run.

After being evaluated and tested, you can choose to receive one or more of the following vocational services:

  • Advice and guidance on how to effectively look for jobs
  • Cover letter and résumé writing
  • In-depth career analysis
  • Internship and career development aid
  • Advice on how to transition into another career or industry
  • Job placement instruction
  • Labor market survey results
  • Basic software training (such as Microsoft Office)
  • Career guidance for those who speak English as a second language
  • And more

We are also prepared to answer any questions you may have while looking for and obtaining gainful employment.

Vocational Rehabilitation Service Chicago

Vocamotive understands that many people are never taught how to choose a career that properly matches their lifestyle, temperament and skill set. That’s why vocational services exist; to give job seekers a hand in finding a career that is truly right for them, and to give them a leg up when searching and interviewing for that perfect job.

While Vocamotive specializes in helping those with disabilities, workers who have been injured on the job, and older workers, we also extend our services to anyone else who is looking to make a career change or may simply need the tools they need to land a great job.

Vocamotive offers a large array of vocational rehabilitation services, including resume creation and job search support, career consulting, and career transition assistance. We employ a proven and effective job seeking process that will help you develop your employment goals and obtain a great job.

If you’re looking for a professional vocational service in the Chicago or Hinsdale, Illinois area, look no further! We are based out of Hinsdale, Illinois, and we’re excited to talk to you about your career goals. Give us a call today at 630-789-2519, or fill out this contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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Jumpstart Your Job Search with a Professionally Built Resume

There are a lot of rewards for do-it-yourselfers these days. You can save $20 by changing your own oil, $12 by washing your own car, $50 by repairing your stove. You can press your own suits, groom your own pets – some people even cut their own hair. Why not save a few bucks by writing your own resume? There are plenty of examples online, web sites that take your work history and spit out neat-looking resumes in a matter of minutes. How hard can it be? Seriously, who needs a professionally built resume?

The answer to that question is, You need a professionally built resume. There’s a time for economizing and a time for investing, and now is the time to invest in yourself. We’re not talking about trimming a few bucks off your grocery bill or finding a cheaper way to paint the basements stairs; this is about your career; this is about getting to that next level so that you have more money for things like groceries and paint.

Do the math: Have you calculated the difference between your current situation and the job you’re searching for? How much more will you be making if you get that new job? Quite a lot, right? Subtract the cost of using a professional resume creation service, and look at it again: If you don’t get the job because you decided to scrimp on your resume, how much money will you have saved? The answer to that question is, You haven’t saved a dime. You’ve lost thousands of dollars, maybe; you’ve lost a more rewarding work experience, you’ve lost a chance to really make a difference.

You don’t need to be told that the job market is ultra-competitive. It’s a buyer’s market, and you’re definitely selling. You need a resume that will receive instant attention and mark you as a serious candidate, as someone to be reckoned with. Your hand-built resume may please your friends and family, but how critically are they looking at it? What will your homemade resume say to a human resources professional who does nothing but look at resumes all day?

Even the sharpest do-it-yourselfer can make mistakes. Professional communicators, including journalists and editors, have handed in their own resumes only to discover later that they left something out, or that they had substituted “hear” for “here” or much worse. We live in a world of distractions, and no one is perfect.

So do yourself a favor and connect with a professional resume creation service. Resume pros are the mirror image of those HR people who spend all their time looking at resumes. They’re up-to-date on the latest trends in resume creation, presentation, and interpretation – and they’re more keenly tuned in to what your real strengths will be in the eyes of that prospective employer. Let them take care of your resume, and then you can cut your own hair later.

Preferably after the interview.