job, information, paperwork, career

Resume Buzzwords for HR Departments: Actionable Verbs for Your Resume

Although modesty is supposed to be a virtue, that’s certainly not the case when it comes to creating a resume that will make employers sit up and take notice. In fact, your resume represents the ideal opportunity for you to brag about all your achievements and to let everyone know just how fantastic you are, all the wonderful things you’ve achieved and, more to the point, what you could do for their company if they hired you. Since your specific focus when writing a resume is to sell yourself, it’s time to be a little creative. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should make things up, but it does mean that you need to come up with more exciting and emotive ways of livening up your actual achievements. You need to spice up your application with resume buzzwords.


The Importance Of Actionable Resume Buzzwords


Verbs are the be all and end all when it comes to writing your resume. Choosing the right ones can make the difference between being a shortlisted candidate and ending up at the back of the filing cabinet. Vague, weak, or just plain overused verbs not only won’t work in your favor but will actually diminish all of the accomplishments that you’ve made in your career so far. It couldn’t be more important, then, to choose words that present you in the best possible light and which showcase your skills and expertise in your chosen industry.


Passive verbs are tantamount to failure, so it couldn’t be more essential to choose active verbs which are appropriate to your industry. Leading action words that have been thoughtfully chosen will highlight your experience and skills rather than having a negative effect on your contribution to your former company. In today’s highly competitive job market, Human Resources departments have certain buzzwords that they are looking for when it comes to selecting prospective employees, and it’s important to get it right first time to avoid your resume being consigned to the trash.


Avoiding The Cliche


With potentially hundreds of candidates applying for the same job, the task of reading through all those resumes can be an unenviable one. There is nothing more boring than reading a hundred almost identical texts, all of which look and sound the same. It’s no wonder that HR teams have developed clever tricks that they use to weed out the likely candidates from the rest, however if you want to be noticed, you need how to make sure your resume is one of the ones that makes it onto the shortlist pile.


Cliches are the death-knell of any resume. Using the same old tried and tested verbs to describe your former roles will make you look just like any other run of the mill candidate. To achieve your objective, you need to make more unique word selections which will make your abilities leap off the page.


With that in mind, here is a quick guide to some of the best verbs to use when writing your next resume that will make it more powerful and more effective.


Express Yourself – Actionable Resume Buzzwords To Convey Your Communication Skills


Most jobs these days require applicants to have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. From the highest level posts to entry level positions, there are very few roles which don’t involve some sort of human contact, and being able to express yourself effectively and to convey the company’s brand message is key to securing employment.


All too often, applicants use words like “talked”, “organized”, “led” and “presented,” and although there’s nothing wrong with those words, they don’t really create a distinct impression of you as a dynamic character. With a few little tweaks, you can shine a spotlight on your skills and elevate your standing in one fell swoop.


Let’s take a look at the word “organized”. It’s a bit dull and doesn’t really stir up much interest in the minds of the recruitment team. How about changing the word to “orchestrated” instead? It means the same thing, but immediately it gives an extra connotation of power and coordination skills. In the same vein, we could also switch the words “talked” and “led” with “addressed” and “chaired”. These words are a little more formal and therefore carry more weight than just generic terms.


Communicating Your Ability To Organize


You can probably count on one hand the number of jobs which don’t specify a need for excellent organizational skills. Whether you’re applying for an office role or a managerial post, being able to organize your time and work efficiently is the key to success. So, how can you demonstrate this to the HR team at your prospective employer’s company?


Let’s take a look at some of the standard words that the average candidate might use to express their organizational abilities. Of course, there is “organized”, but you might also see “filed” or “ordered” cropping up. Although these words accurately describe what you’ve done, they aren’t exciting or emotive. So how about changing them to “cataloged”, “operated”, “monitored” or “executed” instead?


The subtle nuances in these replacement words make all the difference. For example, if you “executed” a project rather than “organized” it, it suggests that you not only set it up in the first place but that you actually saw it through to its successful conclusion. Even basic, functional descriptions such as “I filed accounts paperwork” can be improved with an upgrade to “I was responsible for monitoring client accounts”. While the meaning is the same, the effect is completely different in the mind of the reader and the impression of you will be hugely improved.


Prove Your Management Skills


If you’re applying for a senior level post, you need to be prepared to put even more effort in to writing your resume. The competition for managerial posts can be tough, so making yourself stand out from the crowd couldn’t be more important.


The average words which Human Resources tend to see on resumes for managerial post candidates include “oversaw”, “handled” and “led”. You’ll probably agree that these words, while functional, aren’t remotely exciting, and certainly won’t make you appear to be a stand out candidate for the position. So, what changes can you make to impress the recruitment team?


Proving your ability to lead is essential when applying for a job in any kind of management, so how can you demonstrate everything that you’ve achieved in this area in an engaging way? “leading” a team isn’t anywhere near as exciting as “establishing” one, as this gives the impression that you had the ability and drive to create a team from scratch. Another word which you should avoid is “oversaw”. Overseeing a team actually comes across in a negative way when you’re applying for a high level job. While it may be fine for someone applying for a supervisory post, when looking for the ideal management candidate, HR teams are looking for someone who is proactive and who takes an active part in the project rather than simply watching over it. Expressing how you have “delegated” tasks shows in a much more effective manner how you really participated in that particular project.


Avoid The Dangers


Of course, there are some pitfalls to avoid when creating your new and upgraded resume. The primary danger is accidentally repeating yourself, using the same exciting action word again and again. This will actually reduce its impact on the reader and will instead downgrade your status and make your resume even more dull and boring than it would have been if you had left the original average words in place. If you’re struggling to find a word that truly expresses your achievements, skills and experience properly, it’s a good idea to dig out a thesaurus or dictionary and look for a suitable word that captures the essence of your abilities in a way that is sure to create the right impression. Before you submit your finished version, however, always ask a colleague or a trusted friend to read it over, just to make sure that you haven’t made any foolish mistakes or errors and that it reads through fluidly.

year in review, annual report, job search, career services

Another Year of Achievement for Vocamotive: A 2017 Retrospective

2017 was a busy year at Vocamotive! During the past year, we continued to provide the very best in vocational rehabilitation and consulting services to clients throughout Illinois, and achieved excellent case management and closure results for our customers.


Vocamotive continued to expand service offerings. Our extensive line of services allow us to empower more individuals than ever before in pursuing new employment opportunities.


Here are a few things we have been up to, along with some big achievements we had last year.


2017, review of the year, annual report, review


Vocational Evaluation: 2017 in Review


Vocational Evaluations Performed by Our CRCs in 2017


It was a productive year for our CRC team. They completed well over 300 vocational evaluation interviews. Vocamotive also started offering comprehensive in-house vocational testing to assess General Educational Development, as well as aptitude and interest assessment, as part of our comprehensive vocational evaluation process to identify viable job targets and training opportunities for clients authorized for vocational services.


Additionally, we continued to expand service to special needs students in transition, including vocational evaluation and job placement services. The goal of this new initiative is to evaluate capabilities and help young adults with cognitive or developmental disabilities to successfully transition from high school to the workforce.


Expertise and Credentials


Our Certified Rehabilitation Counselors, and job search staff renewed credentialing with the Veterans Administration to continue to provide vocational services to U.S. military veterans. Services provided include vocational evaluation and testing, job placement services and independent living assessments.

Our team of Certified Rehabilitation Counselors completed hundreds of depositions and trials in workers compensation, civil litigation, wrongful discharge, and other litigation, serving both respondent and petitioner/plaintiff.


Our team of Computer Lab Instructors renewed and expanded the most up-to-date Microsoft Certifications and Illinois Board of Higher Education requirements to train our clients in keyboarding and all aspects of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook, and our unique Vocational English as a Second Language program.


Job Placement


Vocational rehabilitation clients successfully placed into new jobs in 2017


This year, 33 vocational rehabilitation clients were successfully placed into new jobs. The Career Development Team provided comprehensive support and supervision to clients to find new career opportunities by identifying employment opportunities, supervising the process (keeping our clients accountable), conducting mock interviews, developing strong résumés, facilitating job application, directing follow up with employers, and building employer relationships to create placement opportunity and job offer.


Computer Training


Vocamotive offers Computer Training Services under supervision and approval of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). This year Vocamotive again completed the 5 year credentialing process with the IBHE for curriculum and instruction staff.



Students provided with computer skills training in 2017


Our Computer Training Program served 99 students who were enrolled in 2017. The computer training curriculum offered at Vocamotive includes basic keyboarding, computer use, basic through advanced Microsoft Office programs (including Word, Excel and Outlook), internet and email communication for job search purposes,.


Vocamotive offers a complete hardware and software solution, providing students with laptop, Internet connectivity, and assistive technology as required. Via our customized training console we monitor student activity and progress, and provide technical support.


Whether our students train in our lab or in a remote location, Vocamotive monitors progress, provide support, and manages accountability.


Résumé and Personal Branding Services


In 2017 Vocamotive continued to build its new division dedicated to providing Résumé, LinkedIn profile, executive biographies, and related writing services to clients outside of the vocational rehabilitation market. Adam Zajac and Brittney Beck are both Nationally Certified Résumé Writers and have built a diverse client base throughout the country and the world.


26 U.S. States and 9 Countries

In which Vocamotive provided résumé services in 2017


resume writing service, job search, 2017, new job, career change


As demonstrated by the map below, the team has worked with individuals in 26 states last year. In addition, our international clientele included business executives from many countries, including Luxembourg, Canada, Spain, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Colombia, and the United Kingdom.


Adam and Brittney work with senior level professionals and executives in a wide array of fields, including (but not limited to) Insurance, Real Estate, Broadcast Media, Defense Contracting, Government Administration, Military and Veterans Affairs, Global Retail, Supply Chain, Academia, Law, Hospitality, Finance and Banking, Healthcare, Energy, Engineering, Social Work, Automotive, Pharmacy, Urban Planning, Criminal Justice, Design, Sales, IT, Professional Athletics, PR/Advertising/Marketing, Nonprofit Administration, Human Resources, Merchandising, Global Shipping and Logistics, and Counseling.


Brittney successfully obtained her NCRW certification this year, making her and Adam two of only 55 NCRWs in the world with this résumé writing distinction (the highest within the field). Adam was also elected to the board at the National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA) as Conference Programming Chair.



Glowing testimonials received by Vocamotive’s résumé writing team in 2017


As a sign of their success (and their clients’ satisfaction), Adam and Brittney received 45 written testimonials in 2017 for their writing, career guidance and executive coaching expertise. Some of the feedback received included:


“Brittney is a pleasure to work with! I just finished up the process with her and was so very pleased with the end results. I would absolutely recommend Brittney to anyone needing assistance with making a career move. I am in a period of career transition right now so I had many high hopes and she made sure to exceed my expectations every step of the way, both with the content she delivered as well as the career guidance and support she provided. Brittney was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and patient throughout the detailed process!”


“As a senior operations executive, I recently found myself seeking a new opportunity. After deciding professional career and writing advice would give me a decisive advantage in my job search, I approached Adam after considering several writers. He assisted me in developing a highly polished profile which did an excellent job of representing my brand and career narrative. His work produced immediate results and helped to grab the attention of top recruiters. He is an excellent resource and I highly recommend his LinkedIn, resume writing and other career-related services.”



The new salary of one of our résumé clients


From the desk of Joseph Belmonte, C.R.C./President Vocamotive, Inc.


2017 was a banner year for Vocamotive. We continued to provide service to workers compensation claimants throughout Illinois and neighboring states, offering the most unique vocational rehabilitation protocol in Illinois, and maintaining our status as one of the most unique vocational rehabilitation and career consulting practices in the country.


We continued to drive down case open time and cost to closure in core workers compensation services to yield greater return on investment.


We expanded staff expertise and credentials in vocational testing, the Veterans Administration, Microsoft Office Certification, Vocational English as a Second Language, Résumé Writing and Personal Branding.


We are preparing to take bold new steps to create unique training and employment opportunities for Special Needs Students in Transition and for students who have aged out of the educational system, but still need assistance.


Empowerment Through Employment is our mission. Our name is a combination of two Latin words. Vocatio (our call to service), and Motum (our passion and commitment). Vocatio/Motum-Vocamotive. We love what we do and we intend to do it even better in 2018!

Want to learn more about Vocamotive’s wide-array of services? Contact Vocamotive by phone at 630-789-2519, via email at, or by visiting our website at

interview, handshake, pre-interview, interview tips, career change, job search

Pre-Interview Routines That Help You Bring IT!

Nail Your Interview with These Routines

Attending a job interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in any of our lives, especially if it’s a chance to take another step toward achieving the career of our dreams. The trouble with nerves, however, is that they turn us into stuttering, stammering shadows of ourselves, and prevent us from putting forward the best representation of ourselves when it matters most!


Here at Vocamotive we want to change that, so we’re doing to share six tips that will help you stay cool, calm and collected while you’re being interviewed. Follow this advice and you’ll have employers eating out of your hand and begging you to start work before the meeting is even over.



Do Your Homework


It goes without saying that you should spend plenty of time and effort researching the company that you’re meeting with, but don’t just parrot back what’s written on their corporate website. Guess what – they work there, and already know all that. Instead, spend a little time thinking outside the box.


Firstly, look into business competitors. What are they doing well, and where are they falling short? Learn everything you can about the sector and you’ll be able to impress the company by sharing insights that they may not even have thought about themselves. Look for a particularly successful case study from the company you’re interviewing with too, such as something that made the mainstream media. This will equip you to fill any silences with confidence and relevant conversation – and you’ll feel much calmer heading in knowing that you have an Ace up your sleeve.


Of course, you should also investigate the LinkedIn profiles of the people interviewing you. Firstly this will give you an idea of how seriously they take their online presence, but you’ll also be more relaxed if you know a little about the person you’re meeting, rather than seeing them as anonymous gatekeepers to your career aspirations.


What’s their working background? Where did they go to college? This is useful information for ice-breaking conversation that will set you at ease when you arrive. And while you’re online, make sure there are no embarrassing photos on your own social media accounts, as your interviewer will probably be doing the same thing!

Think About What You Want


Here’s a common mistake that we’re all guilty of when it comes to interviews – we’re so busy trying to impress the people on the company side of the desk that we forget that the meeting is for our benefit, too!


Before you head into your meeting, clear your head and think about what you are hoping to get out of the job when they inevitably offer it you. Which they will. You know what you bring to the table, so make sure you’re ready to be clear about that in your own mind – but also give plenty of thought about what you want in return, should you decide to accept the job.


Is the salary appropriate for your skill and experience? Will you have a parking space? Are the hours flexible if you have other commitments? What’s the company culture? Remember, you are interviewing this business just as much as they are interviewing you.


Keep that mind, writing it down the night before the meeting if necessary, and you’ll be able to retain some control over your nerves – and your confidence and composure will impress the interviewers. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions (when appropriate!), and most businesses will actively encourage it during the interview process.

Get Groomed


interview, handshake, pre-interview, interview tips, career change, job search


Clothes may not make the man or woman, but dressing appropriately can have a huge impact on how we feel in a professional setting. Taking the time to prepare everything in advance will take a lot of stress of out of the interview day itself.


Try on your suit or outfit the night before, ensuring that everything fits appropriately, and then lay the clothes out or hang them to prevent any creases. Give your shoes a thorough polish, so you’re ready to step straight into them and feel great. If you need to shave, and can get away with doing so the night before, do so then – cuts and shreds of toilet paper on your chin are not a good look for anybody. Get a haircut a few days before the interview, so you’re not walking in looking like a kid on their first day at school.


Go easy on the perfume of cologne on the day of the interview – there’s nothing wrong with a classy scent that makes you feel expensive, but nobody wants to feel like their office is doubling up as the fragrance counter of a department store – and dab a little water on your wrists and behind your ears. These are pressure points for stress and anxiety, and will keeping them cool will help keep your nerves under control.


Arrive Early – But Don’t Tell Them


When it comes to job interviews it’s better to be an hour early than a minute late – but the truth is, both are just as frustrating for the interviewer. The best possible way to prepare yourself is to actually arrive in plenty of time to ensure that there are no mishaps with traffic, street closures or public transport, but don’t head into the building until ten minutes before the interview is due to start.


Find the building, and hang back and observe from a safe distance. You’ll be able to watch the current employees coming and going, and get a feel for the place through this. How are they dressed? How are they carrying themselves? Are they relaxed, or gravely serious? In many respects, this will teach you more about the business and their culture than any interview will be able to offer, and give you a real insight into how it will be to work there.


Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be too informal during the meeting, no matter how relaxed the staff appear to be. You will, however, be able to humanize your interviewers. Rather than ogres that can make and break your dreams, they’re people just like you – it never hurts to have a reminder of this!


Build a Music Playlist


interview, handshake, pre-interview, interview tips, career change, job search, motivation


We’re willing to wager that you use music playlists to get you psyched and cooled down in other aspects of your life, such as hitting the gym, so why should a good interview be any different? Music can be a great way of manipulating our moods, and a handful of carefully cultivated favorite songs can be a great way of keeping on top of your nerves.


Start the day with something that gets you psyched and ready to take on the world before you’ve even swung your legs out of bed in the morning. Follow that up with something jolly that keeps a smile on your face – you want to be feeling happy when you head into the room, as the smile that accompanies your handshake can be key to giving a good first impression. Consider something a little more low-key to cool your pulse just before you head in so you’re not too pumped, and then line up a track for the immediate aftermath to take your mind off the meeting itself and get your head back into the ‘real world’.


Choose a Prop


A well-chosen prop can be a hugely important and useful weapon in your arsenal when it comes to an interview. Pick your prop before you head in – a folder of documents or items of jewelry are great examples – and practice using these props to keep a steady rhythm of speech cadence.


When we’re nervous, many of us tend to speak quickly, or tail off as we start to question ourselves. If you have a folder that contains your resume and some previous work samples, you can teach yourself to take a moment to breathe and say, “I actually have something relevant to answer that question here” – why tell when you can show?


Likewise, if you have a ring on your finger that’s kept out of sight, you can practice twirling it at a pace that matches your optimum speech pattern. If you twist the ring around your finger while you speak, you’ll be able to ensure that you are talking at a steady, stable rhythm and stave off the temptation to babble.


If all else fails, practice taking a sip of water whenever you feel your nerves start to rise – buying yourself a few precious seconds of thinking time can make all the difference.

job tips, tips, new year, new job, career search

18 Tips for Job Seekers in 2018!

Great Tips for Professionals Seeking a New Position in the New Year!


job search, interview tips, career change, networking


With 2018 right around the corner, many experienced professionals are thinking of making a career move. Opportunities for management and executive level roles are on the rise, so if advancement with your current employer is not in the cards within the near future, perhaps you should start exploring your options. While there are many things to consider when making a career change, and decisions around compensation, work environment, travel, time commitment, etc. are important, we will reserve that discussion for another time (and article). Instead, this article will primarily provide guidance for those individuals who have already decided to launch their search. Below are 18 tips (subdivided among 3 relevant sections) which may be just the info needed to help jumpstart your employment search in the New Year!    


Tips 1 through 6 – Updating, Optimizing and Modernizing your Resume

Resumes have long existed as the backbone of an effective job search effort. However, most resume writers, recruiters and career coaches will tell you that the document has evolved significantly in recent years, with elements including style, formatting, content choice, length and other variables changing considerably in just the past year or two.


  • Pro Tip 1:

    Focus your content on achievements, rather than just on your responsibilities. Presenting multiple accomplishments from current and past roles illustrates you have been successful and that you can achieve similar results in the future. Seeing as your accomplishments also provide insights into many of your daily responsibilities, you will (as the saying goes) kill two birds with one stone. For example, rather than stating that you were responsible for sales growth, incorporate an achievement which simultaneously demonstrates this. Most would agree that including “increased sales 32% in 2017” is much more impactful than blandly stating “accountable for increasing sales.


  • Pro Tip 2:

    Consider creating more than one variant of your resume. If you are pursuing different roles, your executive summary and other resume content should be adjusted and targeted appropriately. For instance, if pursuing a position in operations leadership, you may want to focus your summary around executive management wins and expertise. If also applying for sales leadership roles, make sure to enrich that version’s summary with attractive achievements such as revenue enhancement, sales capture, margin improvement, etc.


  • Pro Tip 3:

    If creating multiple resume variants, consider building a “modular” resume. This involves creating sections of your resume which can quickly and easily be swapped in and out depending on your target audience. For instance, if you plan on applying online, a resume with a keyword-rich experience section is often a good idea. However, if you are sending your resume directly to a contact, you can sometimes pare down overly wordy sections and then augment your resume by adding easy to understand visuals (such as simple graphs or infographics). Having a resume constructed in a modular format can often save you time and effort in the long run.


Sage advice from Wendi Weiner, Esq., Career Branding Expert:  “A job search for executives in 2018 requires a different process and a different approach. You can’t use the same LinkedIn profile or resume strategy from 2008 and expect to succeed with it in the digital age. You need a clear brand that communicates your value proposition, a defined job search target, and you need to build a network pipeline that propels your brand.” Learn more about Wendi via her website here!


  • Pro Tip 4:

    Incorporate hard data wherever possible. Your resume becomes stronger once you begin incorporating either qualitative or quantitative information. Why? The information you are conveying is easily understood, it allows the reader to get a better sense for the impact you made, and you become more credible because you are sharing verifiable information. Data comes in many forms, but often consists of numerical facts, exact names (companies, awards, etc.), measurements and detailed descriptors. An example of this process could look like the following:


    • Take this statement: “Improved profit margins in 2017.”
    • Now, add quantitative data:Improved profit margins 28% ($11.3M) in 2017.”
    • Finally, add qualitative data: “Improved profit margins of Serum-Tech line 28% ($11.3M) in 2017 by automating product processing and fulfillment.”


  • Pro Tip 5:

    Brand yourself with a tailored headline and key competencies. To help focus the reader, consider how you want yourself to be viewed and which of your skills are most pertinent in the roles you are targeting. By including this information in a clear and concise format towards the very top of your resume, you can help ensure that your experience will be interpreted correctly. Keep in mind your headline and skills can and should be edited to match the role you are applying for.


Sage advice from Virginia Franco, Executive Career Storyteller: “In today’s world where people are reading your resume and LinkedIn on screens and mobile devices rather than print, more words and many sentences don’t equate to a strong resume.  Write for screen reading by avoiding long lists, long paragraphs and dense text.” Learn more about Virginia via her website here!


  • Pro Tip 6:

    Be mindful of applicant tracking software (ATS) system requirements. Many executives who do not find a new position through traditional networking end up using recruiters or firms which utilize ATS systems. Online job search engines also utilize this type of software. If you believe you might apply through any type of automated system, build an online use variant of your resume. Utilizing appropriate keywords and phrases, assigning content appropriately throughout the various sections of your resume, and utilizing a format which is ATS compliant can mean the difference between securing an interview and being rejected before a human being ever lays eyes on your document.

Tips 7 through 12 – Networking and Utilizing Professional Social Media Platforms (LinkedIn):

Networking has always been central to a successful job search effort, especially for those seeking leadership positions. A few decades ago, most individuals had a relatively limited professional network. Nowadays, with the mainstreaming of professionally oriented social media (i.e. LinkedIn), job seekers have access to a vast network of recruiters, HR personnel, and others in their field who are willing to help by providing a well-timed introduction. Though statistics vary, most career professionals would tell you that effective networking will speed-up your job search and help you gain exposure to higher-quality opportunities.


  • Pro Tip 7:

  • Ensure your social media activity represents you in a positive light. According to “What Recruiters Look for on Your LinkedIn Profile” (as seen in Fast Company), most hiring personnel want to see a candidate who engages their network, shares valuable content, and generally interacts on the platform in a professional manner. Recruiters will view your profile to see if you are active and to determine the nature of that activity. That rude comment or inappropriate article you shared? Upon discovering it, they will likely stray away for fear that you will be a workplace liability. It is relatively simple – remain active and share workplace-acceptable content.  

    Pro Tip 8:

  • Use your LinkedIn headline as a branding statement that communicates more than just your current job title. The headline makes up the majority of viewable text when you show up in a search, and is one of the very first things recruiters will notice when viewing your profile. Be sure your headline draws people onto your page or motivates them to continue reading.


Sage advice from Michelle Robin, NCRW, CPRW: “With the unemployment rate being low and the number of employers hiring increasing in 2018, the job market is going to get even more competitive. While there may be more opportunities, that means more people will be vying for these positions. For the job seeker it means that distinguishing yourself and building your personal brand is more critical than ever. I think we are going to see more personal websites, videos and consistent use of social media platforms especially with professionals in the marketing and sales industries.” Learn more about Michelle via her website here!


  • Pro Tip 9:

    A perfect LinkedIn profile is not everything, active use is key! Many executives now hire professional profile writers to develop perfectly optimized content for LinkedIn, and then expect instantaneous results. While it is true that a well-crafted profile will drive page views and generate increased employer and recruiter interest, this is only half of the equation. Make sure to continuously add relevant connections, interact with others on your network, like and share articles, and consider writing your own article using LinkedIn’s publishing tool. Completing some or all of these steps on a weekly basis can dramatically increase your exposure and will help drive interested parties to contact you.

  • LinkedIn, job search, job, career


  • Pro Tip 10:

    Use your LinkedIn profile to tell your professional story and communicate your personality. Resumes are often written in language that is not particularly warm or personable, but your profile does not have to be! Take the opportunity to really tell your story in an intriguing, fun and easy-to-read format. Doing so will provide hiring managers with a different perspective and additional information beyond what was presented on your resume. Most importantly, it should inspire them to reach out to you in order to learn more.


  • Pro Tip 11:

    Networking does not always have to take place digitally. Yes, in the age of social media we have all been lectured on the advantages of reaching out via electronic means, but there is still a place for person-to-person networking. There is still power in connecting face-to-face, and human interaction has the potential to hasten relationship building. In just a few minutes at a networking event we can establish stronger bonds than if we spent months communicating in online forums. After-hours professional networking events or career fairs targeted at executives are a great place to start and can be found through a quick and easy Google search.


  • Pro Tip 12:

    Tap your existing network of contacts. Many job search engines such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter and even LinkedIn would love for us to solely rely on their technology. While these are valuable tools, speaking directly to friends, professional acquaintances and recruiters can speed up a career search and lead to quicker results. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to inquire about opportunities or have someone put in a good word!


Tips 13 through 18 – General (Yet Relevant) Job Search Tips:

You have a great resume and a top-notch LinkedIn profile, so you are good to go, right? Well, having these tools are good, but a job search that produces ideal results may take a bit more. Applying these tools correctly and tightening up other key areas may make the difference between generating fast results and resigning yourself to a protracted effort.  


  • Pro Tip 13:

    Develop success oriented interview responses. While many sales and operations executives are comfortable with expressing results through quantifiable or qualitative means, others who do not regularly express accomplishments with hard figures can struggle to demonstrate the positive impact they have had in previous roles. If this sounds like you, consider talking about key projects, initiatives, improvements in efficiency and workflows, or other innovative contributions you have made which have garnered results. Be prepared to talk about these in a straightforward fashion when interviewing.


  • Pro Tip 14:

    Maintain an accurate and unified online presence across LinkedIn, other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), job search sites, and on the internet in general. There are few things more detrimental than having false information posted in public view (i.e. much of the internet). At best it can be confusing, and it has the potential to make you look less than honest. If you share information on one platform make sure it jives with data that can be found elsewhere. For example, if you say you were employed at XYZ Company from 2000 to 2005, but a simple Google search reveals the company has been closed since 2003, you need to correct inaccuracies and synchronize the information.


Sage advice from Jessica Sweet, LICSW, Career Coach: “I talk to a ton of people with a lot of career success who decide for various reasons that they’re ready for a career change, but they aren’t sure which direction to go. One place to start to find direction is to ask: “What are your goals in making this change?” It’s a simple but powerful question. You may realize you’re looking for more money, more meaning… You are being pulled towards something. Or you may be being pushed away from your previous work… Whatever it is, it gives you a clue about where to go next and what your new goals might be. You may realize you need more work life balance and to find more meaning in whatever is next. That gives you some criteria to judge your next opportunity by.” Learn more about Jess via her website here!


  • Pro Tip 15:

    Execute a well-rounded job search. Many executives make the mistake of devoting all their time to one aspect of job search when it is important to attack from all angles. Leverage your network to track down leads. Hit up friends and connections to grab a coffee and chat with you about your career goals. Identify desirable positions online and complete online applications when applicable. Follow up on opportunities directly and do not just hope for the phone to ring. At the end of the day, it is never a good idea to put all your job search eggs in one basket.


  • Pro Tip 16:

    Prepare for interviews by reviewing answers to questions you may be asked, but also by proactively organizing a list of questions you want to pose to the interviewer. Keep in mind that the interview also serves as a mechanism for you to feel out the employer and working environment. Assemble a list of at least 5 intelligent, thoughtful, and position/company focused questions and strategize about how you will incorporate these important queries into the conversation.


  • Pro Tip 17:

    Invest in professional assistance and in yourself. While needs differ among professionals, many executives simply do not have the time to learn about hiring trends, application requirements, and resume or profile optimization. Services from resume writers, career coaches, search consultants and others may not be cheap, but the return on investment can be astounding. Here are two ways of looking at it:


    • If you expect to earn a salary of $200,000.00 per year, every month not working costs you $16,667.00 (or $3,846.00 per week). Highly experienced executive resume writers and career coaches can help their clients shave 2 to 3 months off a job search, saving their clients thousands of dollars.


    • Alternatively, consider this real-world example: a mediocre resume was generating interviews, but only for positions paying around $75,000.00 per year. After this individual invested in a resume and LinkedIn profile rebuild, he quickly received interviews and a job offer which paid nearly $200,000.00 annually. That is a $125,000.00 return on investment!


  • Pro Tip 18:

    Construct a complete (yet flexible) job search strategy, then give it the time it deserves. Whether you are going at it on your own or hiring professionals to help you assemble the tools needed for success, you should plan on scheduling time and dedicating effort to your job search. Many job seekers fail to do so properly, then drop the ball when it comes to application follow up, responding to messages or emails, interview preparation, and lead identification. Your job search does not have to be life consuming, but you should devote time daily to attend to the various activities which comprise your effort.


You owe it to yourself to get jump start on your career goals in 2018. An updated and optimized resume and LinkedIn profile, when used in conjunction with effective networking, professional guidance and a well-designed job seeking strategy, can open doors and generate exciting opportunities.


If you found this article helpful, please be sure to hit the like button and share it with your LinkedIn and other social media networks.


About the Authors:

Adam Zajac, NCRW is Chief Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Executive Career Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. He is 1 of only 54 Nationally Certified Résumé Writers in North America and is an expert career development professional with over 12 years of industry experience. As a proud member of the National Résumé Writers’ Association and leader of the career development team at Vocamotive, he has successfully assisted thousands of job seekers, career changers, and business executives achieve their professional goals throughout the world.

Follow Adam on LinkedIn at:

Contact Adam via email at:  


Brittney Beck, NCRW, CCELW is a Senior Associate Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Recruitment Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. She has an education in strategic communications, as well as considerable experience in writing, career development, and personal branding. Brittney is highly talented in assisting clients achieve their professional goals and materials she creates quickly result in interviews.

Follow Brittney on LinkedIn at:

Contact Brittney via email at:


Obtain professional Résumé and LinkedIn profile writing assistance by visiting Vocamotive’s website or by calling (630) 789-2519 to schedule a free consultation.


Follow Vocamotive on LinkedIn and Facebook and read Vocamotive’s Blog to hear about our latest career and resume development tips and offers!

employment, job search, disabled, opportunity

Vocational Rehabilitation and Empowerment of People with Disabilities for Employment

Work contributes to a person’s identity from multiple standpoints. Someone’s job impacts how they are viewed in society, by their family or friends, and also plays a part in forming personal identity. A disability or onset injury could complicate an individual’s ability to work and thus, adversely impact how they view themselves or how others view them.  


Because of this, people with disabilities are also more likely than those without to face employment challenges. This includes facing discrimination when looking for a job, having to make a career transition due to disability, or even navigating physical accessibility issues while on the job or looking for new roles.


Over the last two decades, there has been legislation geared towards individuals with disabilities to ensure equal employment opportunities and to improve accessibility to work.  


First, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 ensured equal rights were provided to individuals with disabilities and expanded access to greater labor market opportunities. The ADA prohibited job-related discrimination against disabled individuals and required employers to provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified applicants.


Another step forward for individuals with disabilities was the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). This developed local and statewide workforce investment systems to increase individual’s participation in training as a way to obtain and maintain employment. WIA resulted in the development of one-stop career centers, which provided job development services to all populations, allowed individuals to select services based on their needs, and provided evaluative means to ensure measurable outcomes.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law in 2015 to replace WIA. This legislation was designed to provide training opportunities to individuals beyond those of WIA. The goal of this new legislation was to increase diversity in job training programs and strengthen the public workforce system in order to help individuals with significant barriers to employment, such as those with disabilities.


These are just a few of the many laws developed to ensure equal rights for disabled individuals and to ensure accessibility to employment opportunities and community support.


Similar to these pieces of legislation, vocational rehabilitation also allows individuals with disabilities access to resources that help them return to the workforce. By providing services such as assessments to pinpoint an individual’s inherent skills and vocational needs, vocational counseling and guidance, job coaching or placement, as well as skills training, participants are better equipped in their career search.


In particular, vocational rehabilitation participants are more knowledgeable about what types of positions to pursue and how to go about obtaining these position in a skilled fashion.


With legislation eliminating employment barriers and providing access to resources, individuals with disabilities have less employment challenges to face, are better equipped to conquer those barriers that do still exist, and have access to better employment opportunities than ever before.


Although there is still plenty to improve upon, individuals facing life-long or onset disability can better pursue opportunities that positively contribute to their sense of identity in the world.    


About the Author:

Rebecca Hanna, CRC is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor at 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.


Follow Vocamotive on LinkedIn and Facebook and read Vocamotive’s Blog to hear about our latest career and resume development tips and offers!


Message or follow Rebecca on LinkedIn at:


Contact Rebecca via email at:


Call Vocamotive at: (630) 789-2519

fired, moving, job switch, career switch

Before You Leave: Tips to Remember Before You Transition Into a New Role

You already accepted another position and your 2 week notice with your current role has been submitted. It is safe to assume you are happy the recruiting process is over, excited for new times ahead, and ready to wrap up the final weeks in your current role.


Although your next career move is likely the last thing on your mind, there are a few things you need to remember before packing up your desk that will make future job search much easier.  


In addition to the convenience factor, proactively engaging in the following activities could also lead to higher earning potential due to an increased ability to convey your worth on a résumé, LinkedIn profile, or during future interview processes.


Use these tips now, and you will thank yourself down the road!


Archive Applicable Information:


job, information, paperwork, career


In your current role, you have surely accumulated quantifiable and qualitative data which demonstrates your work and associated achievements. It is difficult to recall specific information years later and oftentimes uncomfortable or not feasible to contact previous employers in order to obtain such content.


Before you transition out of your current role and lose access to everything, do yourself a favor and review your emails, server contents, and hard files.  


Having a hard time figuring out what information is important? Think through the following questions to help determine what information may be beneficial to store away:


  • How many individuals have I trained, supervised, or led?
  • Have I spearheaded any notable projects or initiatives? If so, what was my budget, what were the outcomes, and how many individuals were involved?
  • How many and which large-scale accounts have I managed?
  • What process improvements have I initiated and what were the results?
  • Have I spurred any cost reductions or revenue increases? If so, how did I do so and by how much?
  • What were my key performance indicators (KPI’s) and how did I measure up against them?
  • Have I won any awards or been formally recognized? When and why?


Note: Be sure to familiarize yourself with your company protocol with regard to confidential or proprietary information before collecting such information.


Obtain Physical or Digital Content:


Depending on your field, you may have physical or digital content that could be utilized to demonstrate your work. Alternatively, it is possible certain documents you utilized or created may be helpful to reference in your new position.


Content that may be beneficial to collect includes:


  • Articles, publications, or reports
  • Marketing deliverables including ads, flyers, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Sales, client, or internal presentations
  • Performance reviews
  • Charts, graphs, and tables
  • Templates
  • Emails


Note: Double check your employee handbook, client agreements, or applicable contracts to ensure you are not breaking any protocols. Assuming you are good to go, make sure to save all applicable files or make copies to take home.  


Collect References


job references, endorsement, superiors, recommendation


Talk to your coworkers, supervisors, and clients to see if they would be willing to serve as references. While you may not need references during another hiring process any time soon, your LinkedIn profile is a fantastic (and public) place to store testimonials!


Be sure to send recommendation requests via LinkedIn to obtain testimonials while your professional skills and successes are still fresh on the writer’s mind.


While you are at it, obtain their contact information as well. Personal email addresses and phone numbers are important to record for future use when you are in a formal hiring process again.


Update Your Résumé


Get your résumé updated now with your responsibilities, accomplishments, and applicable information such as job titles, promotions, and associated dates. While you may think you will have no issue remembering this content down the line, many of my résumé and LinkedIn clients can attest to the fact that their memory is not as sharp as they thought years later.


Updating your résumé sooner rather than later with hard data and associated skills could lead to increased earning potential in the future due to your ability to demonstrate your worth effectively.


* About the Author:


Brittney Beck, CCELW is Senior Associate Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Recruitment Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. She has an education in strategic communications, as well as considerable experience in writing, career development, and personal branding. Brittney is highly talented in assisting her clients achieve their professional goals and the materials she creates quickly result in interview opportunities. Her dedication to her craft and expert business writing abilities result in top-tier products.


Follow Brittney on LinkedIn at:


Contact Brittney via email at:   


Obtain professional Résumé and LinkedIn profile writing assistance by contacting Brittney directly, visiting Vocamotive’s website or by calling (630) 789-2519 to schedule a free consultation.


Follow Vocamotive on LinkedIn and Facebook and read Vocamotive’s Blog to hear about our latest career and resume development tips and offers!


* Research and Editorial Assistance Provided by Adam Zajac, NCRW


connections, career, job search, app, mobile

Could You Be Swiping Right on New Career Connections?

A Paris-based and New York startup called Shapr has gone on to raise close to 3 million to create a professional networking website for your industry. However, unlike LinkedIn, which is one of the largest networking giants, Shapr is user-friendly on mobile. As a user, you get a chance to go through a list of the contacts that you know and would love to endorse. You can then easily share these contacts with other people in your network to forge connections. 


What’s the Story of Shapr?

The brand was founded in the middle of 2014 by Huraux Ludovic, who’s also known for creating Attractive World, which is a French dating site. He has also worked with private entities and startups such as Prezi and Songza.

He says that the idea of the networking app grew from his need to help fellow entrepreneurs connect with more people. He adds that getting connected nowadays is very random and frustrating. Here, you’ll find most networking websites connect you with people who you hardly know or others who haven’t met for many years. Eventually, this hinders proper online and real-time endorsements.


How Does It Work?

Nowadays, the Shapr app allows you to choose from up to 50 people who you trust. You can then go on and share your network with them, and they can easily get access to all your connections. Keep in mind that the people who you connect with should only be from your ‘inner circle.’

It attempts to mimic offline introductions by offering five presentations or endorsements each day. As a user, you can view the five matches, and accept or reject them by only swiping right or left using the app. The swiping interface is akin to the user experience of Tinder. If you both accept the match, then you’re connected and able to engage in fruitful conversations!

It also comes with another feature known as the “Shapeline” which provides a more collaborative and public feed. Here, if you are a user, you can share opportunities, advice and further build on your relationships.

The industry operates in an environment where several professional networking applications have tried and since failed. Such companies include Holler, Mingle, and Intro which sadly tried to find new methods of making the networking process quicker on mobile. Similar to Shapr, they focused mainly on shared interests and proximity as a reliable starting point.

So where was the challenge? We found that the problem of using these mobile applications is that they lack certain connections. For instance, you cannot reach out to investors or people having public profile or status. These people normally have many other connections from other connections, and they may not be willing to increase their inbound flow. Eventually, you end up networking with many people, sailing in a similar boat.

But this should not discourage you as not all investors behave in such a way. There are some who value the need to keep increasing their contacts by meeting new people. You just have to keep trying and never give up on your goal!

How Does Shapr Make Professional Networking As Simple As Swiping Right?

career, networking, mobile, app



If today you were to ask an average person if they enjoy networking, you’ll probably get a straight “No” or even an eye roll. They find it uncomfortable, painful and a process that lacks genuine connections.

But we now have a reason to smile with this Tinder-like application used for professional and advanced networking. Let us see how it manages to survive in an area where others have collapsed.


What Makes It Unique From Other Networking Events Such As LinkedIn?

Some people may invest their time through happy hour events in networking as they try to make the proper value in time and money for their connections. However, the truth is most people dislike all types of networking events.

Here, you’ll find that even the most perfectly organized events in networking may feel a bit forced to an individual who’s used to creating his connections online. This is with good reason – it’s hard to know if the connections you want to make are worth your time.

One of the marketing managers at Citi added that “it’s like walking into a cold room without knowing who is there and why they choose to be there.” Besides, you also have no guarantee that you’ll connect with any person in the company or in an industry that you’re pursuing.

LinkedIn has bridged this gap in several ways for us. Keep in mind that we are the same generation that spends most of its adult years looking for ‘juicy’ details about someone through social media websites such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Just like we use our social media platforms, we like context and the chance to give our networking time priority. With LinkedIn, for instance, we can know the history, background, networks, and skills of an individual before even we start talking to them. Unluckily, such comes with its own set of disadvantages. For example, we found that most of us do not like the ‘Who has viewed your profile” feature.

Well as human beings, we are curious creatures of nature, and we love to stalk. Unfortunate for us, we can no longer enjoy these ‘privilege’ with LinkedIn and even in Shapr. You may view many profiles without realizing that the website is notifying them. You’ll only realize this if someone views your profile and you get a notification.

However, Shapr is unique from LinkedIn and other networking websites because of its ability to create brand new connections in an approachable or friendly manner. With LinkedIn, you can only connect with those people you’ve directly talked to or met. If you try connecting with any other person, they may feel awkward or may think you want to sell them a product.


The Beauty of Using Shapr

app, network, career, circle



Shapr is an application that uses a new approach when it comes to professional networking. By applying smart and straightforward algorithm, it provides 10 to 15 profiles of nearby professionals who carry similar interests. We’ve mentioned that it has a similar relationship to Tinder where users get to swipe from left to right to show if they are willing to connect with the other person. If two individuals swipe right, they can now start charting and even decide to meet in person maybe over a cup of coffee!

Although networking can be kind of tiresome and also requires a good amount of energy and time to create successful relationships, Shapr makes the entire process easier. It introduces you to like-minded investors who are close by and would love to grow their online networks. The main app’s goal is to create a networking system that’s inspiring and seamless enough to become a lifestyle!

It’s interested in opening up new business opportunities for all its subscribers. Having mentioned this, they also have flagging features and moderators to make sure that all those pursuing unprofessional connections like selling or dating are reported directly!

Huraux further reiterated that “At Shapr, they aim to create a mindful method of networking.” It ensures that all your business cards reach a wide-range of people. Through creating beneficial conversations, Shapr gives you the first step in creating long-term relationships.


LinkedIn or Left Out: A Modern Networking Guide

LinkedIn profiles are becoming more of a necessity than an option in contemporary networking. As each year passes, social media grabs a stronger hold on the business world. Many have heard of the importance of LinkedIn as it relates to professional networking, but may not be aware of the data behind the site. To understand LinkedIn’s impact, let’s take a look at the numbers. The amount of jobs on the site, recruiter’s usage of LinkedIn, and its success compared to other social media sites are all relevant statistics that reinforce the necessity of utilizing the networking tool.


career, job search, online, social, network


Job Traffic on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s job search functions are remarkable in that job leads are usually plentiful and high-quality. There are 6.5 million available jobs on LinkedIn to browse.

While this is impressive in itself, the amount of positions available is not what makes LinkedIn useful. The true value of LinkedIn is the instant access and visibility to networks that lie behind an open position.

With over 500 million worldwide LinkedIn members on the site and over 133 million professionals in the U.S. with profiles, job seekers can connect directly with hiring managers for positions found on the site.

The ability to connect directly with a job poster or hiring manager is the true beauty behind LinkedIn’s job features.


Recruiters and LinkedIn

Recruiters are the ultimate connectors. While they may not have the perfect role for you at the moment, they are likely to be aware of upcoming positions, other industry leaders who are hiring, or of industry trends for which you should be aware. There is no doubt, recruiters can be an excellent asset in your job search. On average, they have 616 connections on LinkedIn from which to tap into.

Not only can recruiters be your partner in a job search, but they are also gatekeepers. If you fail to pass a recruiter’s initial screening, you may not be considered further. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates and 48% only use LinkedIn for social outreach.

In order to pass their initial test or to attract recruiters when you are not actively searching for new opportunities, keep your LinkedIn profile updated! Keeping your profile, and specifically your positions up-to-date on LinkedIn makes you 18 times more likely to be found in searches.


LinkedIn vs. The Other Guys

In the social media world, the top 5 sites are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram with LinkedIn coming in at number 5. Out of these sites, LinkedIn is the only site that is devoted specifically to professional networking. While companies or individuals may post jobs to other social media sites, data shows LinkedIn as the professional networking leader:

  • LinkedIn receives 3x more job views than Twitter (source)
  • LinkedIn receives 5.7x more job views than Facebook (source)

The numbers make the message clear: having a LinkedIn profile is critical and having an up-to-date profile that is the best possible representation of yourself is imperative. Networking is responsible for 85% of job fillings, and social media heavily influences the world of networking.


Need assistance building out your LinkedIn profile? Contact Vocamotive’s writing professionals. Click here for a free consultation.

* About the Author:


Brittney Beck, CCELW is Senior Associate Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Recruitment Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. She has an education in strategic communications, as well as considerable experience in writing, career development, and personal branding. Brittney is highly talented in assisting her clients achieve their professional goals and the materials she creates quickly result in interview opportunities. Her dedication to her craft and expert business writing abilities result in top-tier products.

Follow Brittney on LinkedIn at:

Contact Brittney via email at:   

Obtain professional Résumé and LinkedIn profile writing assistance by contacting Brittney directly, visiting Vocamotive’s website or by calling (630) 789-2519 to schedule a free consultation.

Follow Vocamotive on LinkedIn and Facebook and read Vocamotive’s Blog to hear about our latest career and resume development tips and offers!


* Research and Editorial Assistance Provided by Adam Zajac, NCRW and Luke Myers.




5 Signs You Would Benefit From Job Search Assistance

Whether you are currently employed and exploring your options or unemployed and looking for a new career, searching for a job can be a long and exhausting journey. In addition, the process can feel futile and frustrating if you are not getting employer feedback, are turned down during the interview process, or are unsure of where and how to concentrate your efforts.

There comes a time during a job search where you may not want or be able to go through the process alone. Time is valuable, so we need to ensure it is put to good use. Not only that, but in certain circumstances, weeks or months without a job can be financially detrimental.

If any of these signs apply to you, perhaps it is time to pursue outside help in order to turn around your job search fortunes.


  1. You are struggling to hear back from employers

job search career services

You take the time to apply to countless positions, make calls, and network, however, you still are no closer to landing a new position.

A likely correlation to this problem may be that your résumé is not technically compatible or does not showcase your background properly. Many companies send candidate résumés through an applicant tracking system (also known as ATS) before a human being ever reads it. If your résumé is not compatible, it could be automatically moved to a virtual trash bin. Alternatively, if your résumé makes it past the ATS check, but your employment history and associated skills are not appropriately presented, the hiring manager may deem you as unfit after taking a quick glance.

Getting outside help from a professional résumé writer helps ensure your résumé makes it through ATS, catches the eye of a hiring manager, and leads to more interviews. With that said, it is important to do your homework and choose a certified writer with experience crafting résumés for individuals with backgrounds and career goals similar to your own. Be sure to ask questions with regard to what type of résumés they specialize in, how much time they spend on a typical résumé, and what their process is.

  1. Your LinkedIn presence is lacking

linkedin job search career services

Social media is the new age of business with LinkedIn as one of the most predominantly used professional sites. With over 500 million users registered with the site (, utilizing LinkedIn to network and find a new career is becoming more and more of a necessity.

Let’s pause here though. There is a large difference between simply being present on LinkedIn and being active on the site. According to MarketWatch, approximately 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates ( This means that the vast majority of the time, when an application is submitted the recruiter will pop over to your LinkedIn profile to take a look. If your profile is half complete, has inaccurate information, is a carbon copy of your résumé, or shows no recent activity the recruiter may be inclined to move on to the next candidate.

A professional and reputable LinkedIn profile writer has the ability to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and career desires in such a way that enhances your job search. Written well, your profile can serve as the hook for a recruiter to reach out or be the final piece of your application puzzle which prompts a hiring manager to schedule an interview.   A reputable LinkedIn profile writer also serves the important role of providing advice and guidance on how to use the site in an effective manner. Look for writers that provide ongoing assistance or LinkedIn use and maintenance guides!

  1. Your information is inconsistent

resume writing help careers

Applying for a position is typically not a one-step process. Instead, it usually includes submitting the application itself, your résumé, and a cover letter. Not only does the employer have access to this information, but they also can see any content on your LinkedIn profile. If the information across these components contradicts itself or is inconsistent, this may leave an employer confused, or worse, wary of your background.

Information such as dates, names of employers, job titles, job descriptions, and even degrees or certifications are all common pieces of information that tend to lack consistency across employment documents or profiles.

Maintaining consistency is may often be easier said than done but, when achieved, many find that not only are the details lined up, your personal brand becomes stronger due to the unified message being sent. Many professionals offer résumé, LinkedIn, and cover letter packages along with coaching on how to accurately transfer this information to applications. Consider asking for more information on such services if hiring a professional is in your future.

  1. You do not focus on your own brand

brand branding career job search

When people think of a brand they tend to think of a product or a company. What many seem to forget is that YOU are your own brand. Throughout the application and interview process, you are required to sell yourself either on paper, on the phone, or in person.

In order to adequately sell yourself, having a clearly defined brand is essential. In order to sell a product a sales person must know what the product can do, what it has achieved for others who have used it, and how it works. You must be able to do the same. Do you know what skills you bring to the table? Do you know in what fields you would be a best fit? What have you achieved with previous employers?

If you are unsure of how to brand yourself and translate that into your résumé, LinkedIn profile, or during interviews, a career services professional can assist in defining your brand. Look for a professional with a background in personal branding for job seekers, training related to the field, and the ability to provide coaching on how to translate training into results.


  1. You do not get to the next round of interviews

fired hired interview round career job

Getting an interview after countless applications is exciting, which is why when you do not get to the next round of the interview process it can be heartbreaking.

Oftentimes, job seekers take this denial personally when in most cases it comes down to how you presented your skills in relation to the postion or how you presented yourself as a professional. Take the chance to ask your interviewer why you were not chosen and how you can improve in interviews.

If time after time you find yourself not making the final cut, consider engaging in mock interviews or pursuing written exercises that will hone your skills in line with your personal brand.


* About the Author:

Brittney Beck, CCELW is Senior Associate Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Recruitment Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. She has an education in strategic communications, as well as considerable experience in writing, career development, and personal branding. Brittney is highly talented in assisting her clients achieve their professional goals and the materials she creates quickly result in interview opportunities. Her dedication to her craft and expert business writing abilities result in top-tier products.

Follow Brittney on LinkedIn at:

Contact Brittney via email at:   

Obtain professional Résumé and LinkedIn profile writing assistance by contacting Brittney directly, visiting Vocamotive’s website or by calling (630) 789-2519 to schedule a free consultation.

Follow Vocamotive on LinkedIn and Facebook and read Vocamotive’s Blog to hear about our latest career and resume development tips and offers!


* Research and Editorial Assistance Provided by Adam Zajac, NCRW and Luke Myers.

what to do when you've been fired

“YOU’RE FIRED” … Now What?!

An Open Letter to Former-FBI Director James Comey (and anyone else who has ever been fired)


Dear Former-FBI Director Comey,

We heard you were fired and we want you to know that we can help you during this stressful time. The first thing you need to know is that you’re not alone – plenty of people get fired (although most people don’t hear about it on TV, so that’s pretty unique) and they still go on to have great careers. Like other people who have been fired, you’re probably dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions and meanwhile starting to worry about where your next job will be. So, we’ve put together a list of Dos and Don’ts for you to help you get through being fired and get on with your life and your career.

  1.     Don’t sign anything without a lawyer present.

Whether you were fired because you weren’t doing a good job or because of political differences or downsizing or any other reason, you may be asked to sign a severance agreement. We would strongly encourage you to refuse to sign anything without first having an employment lawyer look over the document. Even if HR says “it’s standard” or something like that, anything you sign might take away your ability to negotiate the terms of your departure.

  1.     Do try to get a reference.

Everyone knows President Trump probably isn’t going to give you a great reference after firing you – he’s already said publicly that you were doing a bad job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a reference from someone else. For instance, you served under a former boss – President Obama. Even though he is no longer with the organization, he may be able to offer you a positive reference. You can even seek out someone else still working for the organization who might offer you a good recommendation.

  1.     Do fill employment gaps.

Unfortunately, it’s easier to find a job when you already have one. So get busy! Volunteering is a great way to fill employment gaps on your resume. For instance, you might want to testify in front of Congress for a few days, which will of course take some prep time, too. So, on your resume, you can list that after your position at the FBI. We also hear you enjoy gardening. Even though gardening isn’t related to your career path in law, it’s perfectly acceptable to say you took a break from your career to perform service for your community when you volunteered at an urban farm for a few months. Not only does volunteering keep you from sitting at home and watching Judge Judy all day, you will appear all the more noble for wanting to spend some time helping your community.

  1.     Don’t use the F-word.

We know you were fired by probably the most famous boss of all time. After all, the President literally made a career based on saying “YOU’RE FIRED.” That doesn’t mean you need to use the “F-word” when describing what happened to you. Instead, try using one of these phrases:

  •      We had differences in opinion.
  •      We had different working philosophies.
  •      We had differences in creative direction.

The great thing about these descriptions of what happened is that they are vague about whether you were fired or left voluntarily. While it seems unlikely, former-Director Comey, that anyone doesn’t know you were fired, it’s possible! So be vague and let them wonder whether you were fired or left voluntarily.

  1.     Don’t badmouth the boss.

The President has made it known that he thought you weren’t doing a good job. He’s claimed some things about a few conversations the two of you had that seem…questionable. He’s even sent a few Tweets that have a hint of a threatening tone. So we understand why you might harbor some negative feelings toward your former boss. But you need to work through those feelings on your own because new employers don’t like complainers, even if they may be understanding of your point of view.

  1.     Don’t lie.

In some cases, you may be asked on an application or in an interview if you have ever been fired / let go / asked to leave a position. Don’t lie. Even for people who have experienced less public firings than you, lying is a bad idea because if your new employer finds out you lied, even after they’ve hired you, they could take back your employment offer because you deceived them during the hiring process.

  1.     Do turn a negative into a positive.

If you’re asked whether you have involuntarily left a previous position, you can use the question to demonstrate that you can be honest (use one of the descriptive phrases in #4) and then turn the discussion to you positive attributes. For instance, if you say you were let go over differences in opinion, you can follow-up by talking about how you’ve spent your career valuing impartiality and fairness and abiding by the law. You could point out that you’ve worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations, showing that others have viewed you as impartial and non-political. Do all of this by talking about yourself in positive terms – and not speaking negatively about President Trump.

So, former-Director Comey, we know you’re probably still feeling all the emotions, so do grab yourself a pint of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor and spend a night Netflix and chilling. Sleep late. Putter in the garden. Indulge a little and rest up for a few days because we have a feeling you’re about to get really busy – and that’s the best thing you can do after being fired.

In the meantime, if you have questions about how to revamp your resume to shift into a new career, we’d be happy to help. For instance, you might want to move out of government and into private industry. While these kinds of career moves can be tricky, with a little tweaking of your resume, we can set you up for success on the job market and get you back to doing what you love faster than President Trump can say “YOU’RE FIRED.”