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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • March 10, 2023 2:00 PM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English - NRWA DEI Columnist

    March is one of my favorite months because it’s Women’s History Month in the United States, and we celebrate International Women’s Day during the second week of the month. International Women’s Day reminds us to be even more mindful and welcoming of women from all continents, countries, and communities.

    International Women’s Day is an inclusive and diverse celebration devoted to celebrating women's achievements while fighting for gender equality across the globe. This day aims to honor the impact of women worldwide and encourages people to challenge gender stereotypes, discrimination, and oppression.

    For International Women’s Day in 2023, the official International Women’s Day organization will run a campaign on the theme of "Embrace Equity.” Meanwhile, this year, the United Nations’ official theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”

    Women and girls face many overlapping and intersecting challenges, like reproductive injustice, economic inequality, and ongoing discrimination. Historically, women of color, transgender women, and queer women have been subjected to even more harmful and isolating oppression than their White, cisgender sisters in America and beyond. However, on International Women’s Day, it’s important to learn more about the experiences of women all across the globe.

    Here are some resources and learning materials for your educational pursuits:
    • Read good news about women.
    • Donate to organizations around the world that support women and girls.
    • Help improve women’s health around the globe.
    • Check out local and virtual event calendars for International Women’s Day events, fundraisers, or service projects near you.
    • Have a women filmmakers movie marathon.
    • Watch a documentary about women’s rights.
    • Read books about gender equality.
    • Learn about the challenges women and girls face around the world.
    • Turn your good intentions into real change.

    Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Celebrate women's achievements. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere.

    I implore you to approach all of your celebrations with intersectionality and intention.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at

  • March 10, 2023 8:45 AM | Administrative Manager

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of February 2023!

    Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums: the Member Forum on our website, Facebook group, and LinkedIn group.

    You can find colleagues in your area by searching here.

    New Members

    • Maranda Churn in Bowie, Maryland
    • Ricky Clifton at Miss. State, Mississippi
    • Chelsea Edwards at CodeWorks, LLC in Boise, Idaho
    • Vashayla Frinks at Career Kickback in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Kelly Harper at Cincinnati State in Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Claudia Kidder in Washington District of Columbia
    • Agnes Kroneraff in Gunnison, Colorado
    • William Martin at Skookum in Bremerton, Washington
    • Leanne McLean in Winnipeg, Manitoba
    • Kim Nowlin at Nowlin Resume Service in San Angelo, Texas
    • Marshall Tucker at Emory University in Doraville, Georgia
    • Ramon Vega in Naples, Florida
    • Cindy Wilder, MRA, in Dayton, Minnesota
    • Autumn Willingham at Arlington Hts, Illinois

    Renewing Members

    • Kaljah Adams at The Career Advising Hub in New York , New York
    • Jean Austin at Talents Presented Resume Writing & Job Search Strategies in Melbourne , Florida
    • Laura Bashore at Anew Resume and Career Services in San Marcos , California
    • Joanna Beattie in Hoboken , New Jersey
    • Jeannine Bennett at Vision to Purpose in Virginia Beach , Virginia
    • Eric Brass at Federal Prose in RICHMOND , Virginia
    • Katie Britton at The Finesse Resume LLC in Clover , South Carolina
    • Amanda Doblin at AD Freelance Writing, LLC in Wilmette , Illinois
    • Liz Doyle at Career Forward in Tarpon Springs , Florida
    • Stephanie Dwelly at Career Vantage in New Richmond , Ohio
    • Cynthia Estalilla at Let’s Résumé! LLC in Daly City , California
    • Arnie Fertig at Jobhuntercoach in Melrose , Massachusetts
    • Brooke Fisch at Four Corners Career Consulting, LLC in Darien , Connecticut
    • Toni Frana at FlexJobs in Boulder , Colorado
    • Gail Frank at Frankly Speaking - Resumes That Work! in Tampa , Florida
    • Heidi Giusto at Career Path Writing Solutions LLC in Apex , North Carolina
    • Denise R. Hemphill, PharmD at Confident Career Moves, LLC in Houston , Texas
    • Fanchon Henneberger in Dallas , Texas
    • Alana Henry at The Writique, LLC in Indianapolis , Indiana
    • Kelly Hood in Plano , Texas
    • Sarah Jewell at A Remarkable Resume in St Augustine , Florida
    • Felicia Landry in Broussard , Louisiana
    • Marion Liszkowski in San Diego , California
    • Debra Ann Matthews at Let Me Write It For You: Job-Winning Resumes in Clarksville , Tennessee
    • Rebecca McCarthy at Bright Career Branding in Vista , California
    • Jennifer Messner in Altoona , Pennsylvania
    • Keith Miller, M.A., NCRW, BCC, PCC at Ivy League Resumes in Staten Island , New York
    • Jonathan Nugent at All★Star Career Services in Florence , Kentucky
    • Marissa Polselli at Wordtree, LLC in Quakertown , Pennsylvania
    • Michlie Ranieri at SquareBiz Recruiting in Farmingdale, NY , New York
    • Michelle Riklan at Riklan Resources in Freehold , New Jersey
    • Martha Rockwell at A+ Resumes & Career Coaching in Scottsdale , Arizona
    • Elena Sabry at Career Academy in San Jose , California
    • Robin Schlinger at Robin's Resumes in Atlanta , Georgia
    • Kristen Schmidt at Wordschmidt Consulting LLC in Columbus , Ohio
    • Anne Marie Segal at Segal Coaching LLC in Stamford , Connecticut
    • Rachel Shelton in Leander , Texas
    • Tammy Shoup at Breakthrough Resume Writing Service in Decatur , Indiana
    • Scott Singer at Insider Career Strategies in Hallandale , Florida
    • Lydia Snyder at Morongo Tribal TANF in San Bernardino , California

  • February 10, 2023 1:26 PM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    I love a good theme, and this year's Black History Month theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how "African Americans have resisted historical and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings," since the nation's earliest days, according to

    Let’s dive into what you need to know about Black History Month and how to celebrate it this year.

    Black History Month, which began as a week-long celebration in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, is an annual celebration of African American achievements and a time to recognize their central role in US history.

    Black History Month was first recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976. In a speech, President Ford encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Since his administration, every American president has recognized Black History Month, and Congress passed National Black History Month in 1986.

    Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Ireland, celebrate Black History Month in October. Black American history was the main emphasis of Black History Month when it was first observed in the U.K. in 1987. However, Black British history has gotten more attention over time, with the celebration now focusing on African achievements in the U.K.

    After teaching Canadian Black history in her classroom, Canada’s first African Canadian Parliamentarian, Jean Augustine, led the charge to establish Canada’s Black History Month. She proposed a motion to Parliament in 1995 that passed with unanimous consent.

    I urge everyone to commemorate Black History in February and all year long. Here are three ways to do so.

    1. Support Black-owned businesses. Many Black-owned companies are still affected by structural racism, threatening their ability to serve community needs. Becoming a customer is a great way to celebrate a Black-owned business. 

    Don’t know where to start? Online marketplaces like Miiriya, Afterpay, and We buy black showcases Black-owned businesses in fashion, art, beauty, home decor, and more. You can also find companies by searching for the #blackowned hashtag online.

    2. Visit museums that center on Black history and culture. There are plenty of museums that you can visit in person or virtually. My personal favorites are the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
    3. Learn about Black figures and their contributions. Black History Month is associated with many well-known historical figures, such as Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and activist Rosa Parks. You can visit for a list of other notable Black figures.

    This column is a call to everyone to study the history of Black people and establish safe spaces where Black history can be honored, sustained, fortified, and respected. Peace, love, and blessings in 2023 and beyond.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at

  • January 06, 2023 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of December 2022!

    Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums: the Member Forum on our website, Facebook group, and LinkedIn group.

    You can find colleagues in your area by searching here.


    • Muhammad Bandesha - Key Resume LLC in Tampa, Florida
    • Mellonie Banks - iApply4U in Hazel Green, Alabama
    • Daniel Bowley in Bel Air, Maryland
    • Amanda Camarata in Wheat Ridge, California
    • Tracy Engstrom in Galesburg, Illinois
    • Courtney Long in Kannapolis, North Carolina
    • Molly McCoy - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Philip Myer - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Dali O'Neill - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Sandra Saltibus Howard - Sandra Saltibus Coaching in Stonecrest, Georgia
    • Leanne Torres - Leanne Torres Life Coaching in Moline, Illinois
    • Roger Torres - HHUSA Bulverde, Texas
    • Vincent Vitale in Lexington, Kentucky
    • Paul Wagoner in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • Michelle Yestrepsky - Front Range Community College in Longmont, California


    • Uche Achinanya - Gelife Group in Fulshear, Texas
    • Dahlia Ashford - Ashford Career Consulting Company in Winchester, Virginia
    • Marian Bernard - The Regency Group in Aurora, Ontario, Canada
    • Ralph Brown - Rightway Resumes in Madison, Mississippi
    • Demetria Cooper - Iron Sharpens Iron 2717, LLC in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Adelle Dantzler - Dantzler Solutions LLC in Washington, D.C.
    • Shabrina Dew - Thee Happenings LLC. Professional Recruiting Agency in Killeen, Texas
    • Kathryn Dolphin - Dolphin Talent Scout in Renton, Washington
    • Laurie Feigenbaum - Feigenbaum Publishing and Resume Consultants, Inc. in New York, New York
    • Sadanyah FlowingWater-ONeal in Akron, Ohio
    • Gary Foster in Highlands Ranch, California
    • Virginia Franco - Virginia Franco Resumes in Matthews, North Carolina
    • Emma Geiser - Visual-Career-Guides, LLC in Dublin, Ohio
    • Nancy Hedrick - The Professional Edge Resume & Business Services in Lawrence, Kansas
    • Caroline Jagot - A Better Resume in Tallahassee, Florida
    • Crystal Johnson - Johnson Consulting Services LLC in McLean, Virginia
    • Gayle Keefer - TruMark Resumes in Martin, Georgia
    • Mary Jo King - Alliance Resume & Writing Service in Racine, Wisconsin
    • Beth Lovell - Employment Issues! in Millersville, Pennsylvania
    • Greg Marano - The Syracuse Pen in Liverpool, New York
    • Ferrell Marshall - Spotlight Coaching in Pasadena, California
    • Troy Reed - Tee, The Writer in Los Angeles, California
    • Kristen Schmidt - Wordschmidt Consulting LLC in Columbus, Ohio
    • Nina Scott in Pleasanton, California
    • Dan Shortridge in Dover, Delaware
    • Mary Ann Victor in Shelby Township, Michigan
    • Wendi Weiner, Esq. - The Writing Guru in Miami, Florida
    • Michelle Wright - Wright Writing Services, LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • January 06, 2023 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

    Editor’s Note: We will review essential sections from the NCRW Study Guide for the next several months. Members can access this guide for free at this link.

    If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

    We’re starting the New Year with an update to the NCRW Study Guide!

    The Certification Commission reviews new information and best practices pertaining to writing resumes all year long, keeping a list which we discuss at our quarterly meetings. There weren’t many items on the list in 2022, but we have made some changes to the updated version of the Study Guide (available here). Here are highlights:

    1.       Revamped letterhead section (page 20) to incorporate changes and better explain our thoughts.

    We addressed two best practices:

    • For many years, resume writers have agreed that the client’s street address shouldn’t be included on the resume.
    • As a general rule, we omit the http:// part of a web address and do not include guide words (i.e., email, phone number).

    When reviewing samples, we see letterheads that aren’t as eye catching as they could be, so we rewrote our guidance on layout and design of this important section of the resume. 

    2.       Advice on verb redundancies in the “Accomplishments and Contributions” section under Professional Experience (page 14).

    We added just three words to this section, but if you pay attention to these words, your resumes will be much more powerful: “Avoid verb redundancies.” Very often, on samples and tests, we see words like “develop,” “deliver,” or “manage” used multiple times. Using a variety of verbs will make your resumes more interesting.

    3.       Best practices on personal pronouns in the ATS section (page 30).

    In the ATS section, we added the recommendation not to include preferred personal pronouns (he/his; she/her; they/them) after the client’s name at the top of the resume.

    We encourage everyone to spend some time reading the Study Guide. We guarantee you will pick up tips that will improve your resume writing. 
  • January 06, 2023 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    Happy New Year! I'm writing this in December, reflecting on 2022 and thinking about what's coming in 2023. As I reflect on the past year, I think of diversity, particularly the diversity of thought in the workplace. Too often, I see people holding back their thoughts and not commenting for whatever reason. As I sit here, I think of what I would like to see collectively in the workplace in the new year.

    If you stop to think about it, the typical meeting or event is a haven for conformity and group thinking. According to studies, conversations at events and meetings often center on a small number of people discussing the same topics, with the talking points of the most senior individuals present. Let's try to reconsider how we handle meetings and events in 2023.

    In my opinion, the best meetings and events concentrate more on the ideas that people can contribute than on the identity or stature of their sources. Allowing anonymity during brainstorming sessions is one of the best ways to do this because it allows for the evaluation of ideas to be based only on their merits rather than being limited by conformity.

    In 2023, let's open the door to fresh thinking and honest dialogue. It's important to create cultures in your organizations that allow everyone to benefit from the full range of perspectives and skills. We often characterize a diverse group in terms of race and gender. However, it's important to encourage racial and gender diversity and inclusion at meetings and events, but these are just the beginning of what a truly diverse group means. 

    Different people have various viewpoints and ways of thinking. Everybody has encountered various influences throughout their lives. Smart leaders know that if they want to build, grow, and retain good teams, they need to use cognitive diversity, which is a mix of different ideas and experiences. This is the only way to effectively promote diversity and an inclusive culture.

    If everyone in the room is an analytical thinker, you may have a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, but you won't get the creative abrasion that comes from combining risk-takers, brainstormers, and analytical thinkers. Better outcomes occur when different ways of thinking are brought together.

    Here are some techniques to help ensure your organization encompasses diverse thinking styles, even though you might not be able to spot them right away.

    1.       Break down the silos. Establish interdisciplinary teams to promote varied thinking. You get better results when many different people look at a problem from many different angles. Each person's contribution is valuable, and when silos between teams are broken, great ideas result.

    2.       Analyze thinking styles. I fully support using personality tests like Myers-Briggs or Insights to distinguish between various thinking styles on teams. I have completed and administered these assessments over the years, giving you opportunities to put like-minded individuals together to foster more creative thoughts. Collaborations improve because people are better aware of the value that others can bring to problem-solving.

    3.       If your team lacks diversity in ideas, employ varied thinking tactics to fill in the gaps. Teams with similar thinking styles frequently arrive at the same solution quickly. When you add in varied thinking tactics, they must determine if they are examining all their options when asked to select the next best answer. Research suggests that teams approach issues from four distinct viewpoints: data and analysis, the human element, major ideas, and deadlines to meet. It's a terrific method to encourage individuals to think critically and outside their comfort zone.

    4.       Encourage everyone to speak up. No matter how accurate the assessment, it won't work if leaders don't value all thinking styles and allow everyone a chance to contribute. Leaders must encourage all viewpoints and ideas to create a space where everyone can feel heard and respected. 

    Diversity of thought is significant for decision-making because it introduces diverse perspectives. According to recent studies, diversity of thought can lead to higher revenues, more innovation, and lower turnover rates.

    But remember, skin color and gender aren't the only measures to consider when building a diverse organization. If business leaders want to leverage the full financial benefits of creating diverse organizations, they also need to seek out diversity of thought.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at

  • January 06, 2023 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Editor’s Note: I sat down with Louise Kursmark for an interview around Thanksgiving after I saw many of my LinkedIn connections sharing that they’d been featured in the updated Modernize Your Career series and upcoming Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates. This book series is a frequent reach on my personal writing desk.

    I also learned that Louise and Wendy Enelow just released an updated version of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring you an inside look at what goes into a book like this. Enjoy!

    Congratulations to the NRWA members featured in the upcoming Modernize Your Career titles: Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates and Modernize Your Resume, Third Edition:

    NRWA: Why did you write these books?

    LK: The principal audience for our books is job seekers. Many will not hire a resume writer, so we write these books to help them be more fluent in writing their resumes and managing their careers.

    I don’t worry about [the books] cutting into our market as professional resume writers. There is a huge need for our services, and what we provide is incredibly valuable. But the books help to create a benchmark for what makes a good resume. And, of course, we know that many resume writers use our books as resources, so we want to be sharing the best practices and best examples to help our colleagues as well as the general public.

    Each book in the Modernize Your Career series has a slightly different focus. The upcoming book for New College Graduates is written a bit differently, with more step-by-step instructions for every part of the job-seeking process from resumes and LinkedIn to letters, job search practices, and interviewing. We’re assuming a broader range of readers with more experience in the Modernize Your Resume book – that they have some understanding. We explain the why and how and give job seekers confidence.

    NRWA: What can resume writers gain from your books?

    LK: I’ve been a resume writer for a long time, and I still I find value in seeing how others do things. I get ideas from others’ work. It keeps my creativity alive. I expect that many writers can gain similar value from the books.

    NRWA: How did you get started as a resume writer?

    LK: I started doing secretarial services to work from home. I’ve always been a good writer, but I never knew I could make a living from it. (I should have consulted a career coach!) People were asking me to edit and write, and over time I shifted entirely to resume and career services. I learned the craft by doing, serving, attending training and conferences, reading books, listening to my clients, and refining it all into my own style.

    NRWA: What does your business look like today?

    LK: I’ve been in business since 1982, but I don’t have a high-volume practice. I probably take four new clients per month along with regular updates from past clients.

    I’m not a career coach; I’m a writer. I love the writing and strategy that’s involved in creating a resume. I enjoy positioning my clients and building their professional narratives. The vast majority of my clients are senior executives—more specifically, executives who know what they want and where they want to go.

    Most, if not all, of my business comes from referrals. Quite often my executive clients will ask me to work with their college-graduating children. I really like working with new graduates. They’re ambitious and hardworking. It makes me hopeful for the future generation.

    NRWA: What’s the most interesting resume you’ve written?

    LK: One of the most interesting was my first board of directors candidate, a European senior executive who was extremely accomplished and very fascinating. I had fun positioning him for board opportunities, and I enjoyed the challenge of doing something new and a bit different.

    Another was my son. He was trying to get into a competitive major in college, and I was wracking my brain to come up with accomplishments because he didn’t do anything in high school except play in a garage band! I ended up using his band experience as the value in his resume. He got into the program (thank goodness), and he’s been really successful as a U/X designer since graduation.

    NRWA: Why would you suggest a writer join a professional organization like The NRWA?

    LK: We have to always be learning. If we’re stagnant, our work will reflect that. Take advantage of having a group of colleagues to relate with, ask for advice, and share your struggles and successes. Our industry feels unique in that we share freely and don’t feel like we’re competing.

    NRWA: How do you select submissions for your resume books?

    LK: We do a mass invitation to submit resume samples. Our evaluation questions: Does it look good? Is it diverse in style? Does it fit our topic?

    I then go through and proofread the resumes and have editorial license to change some elements for the book. I will sometimes change a name or gender to ensure a diversity of samples. I might add design elements. I want the samples to look as good as possible. Because it is published in black and white, the glorious colors used by the writers won’t be visible. However, most of the edits are quite minor. I want the samples to showcase the different writers’ skills and strategies.

    If anyone is interested in hearing about future publishing opportunities and has NOT received past appeals, email to be added to the distribution list.

    NRWA: How did you get started in writing resume books? What professional gain have you experienced from it?

    LK: Way back when Jan Melnik (my co-author for Expert Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates) was writing a book on how to start a resume business. She recommended me to her editor, and I wrote my first book about running a home-based business. Later, at an industry conference I met an editor from the former JIST publishing company and proposed my first resume book: Sales & Marketing Resumes. I kept writing book proposals and kept writing books. I absolutely love the process—I would do it full-time if it paid well enough. (Writing resumes is much more lucrative.)

    The main benefit of writing books is that it positions you as an authority and helps you gain more frequent speaking and training opportunities. You become better-known in the industry. However, writing a book should be a passion project. You also need to be prepared to market the book. I’ve worked with publishers in the past, and now Wendy Enelow and I have a self-publishing company and do the marketing ourselves.

    NRWA: How can a professional resume writer build their audience?

    LK: I think libraries are an incredible resource. Propose a program there – where you teach people how to write a resume. Consider what are the local needs and just ask.

    NRWA: What other resources do you offer resume writers and job seekers?

    LK: We have an entire book on writing for executives in the Modernize Your Career series. It’s called Modernize Your Executive Job Search. In addition to resumes, the guide features examples of LinkedIn profiles, bios, cover letters, and board resumes and a detailed guide to conducting an executive job search.

    Another tool is the Modernize Your Job Search Letters. This guide gives you many examples of e-notes, cover letters, recruiter letters, networking letters, thank-you letters, job proposal letters, and letters for challenging circumstances

    NRWA: Where can we find your books?

    LK: Our books are available in many local bookstores and online at traditional booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, quite likely at your local library! We also have a website,, where we sell digital and print copies of our entire catalog.

  • January 06, 2023 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I reached out to our brilliant Facebook community to find out what our members will focus on in the first month of 2023. Great advice and ideas! Here’s what several members shared.

    1.       “I’ll be focusing on building my marketing infrastructure via web content and downloadable lead magnets. I have 100 ideas, but they always keep falling to the back of the to-do list!” ~Dan Shortbridge, NCRW, Dover, DE,

    2.       “In January (and beyond), I plan to focus on being more active in our line of work. Although I have 17+ years in our field, I have not spent enough time networking, attending events, and interacting with professionals. I aim to connect, network, and broaden my reach.” ~Danielle Powelson, CPRW, Williston, ND,

    3.       “I do NO social media whatsoever, but I intend to change that. That’s why I’ve enrolled in some self-paced webinars (through a monthly subscription) – including “How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel from Scratch” and “LinkedIn for Business.” ~Marian Bernard, CPRW, CEIP, CJSS, NCOPE, Ontario, CN,

    4.       “January is the month of new beginnings, reflections, and action plans. As a business owner, it is time for a seasonal tweak in service offerings on my calendar. I will focus on providing more flexibility in my calendar for career transition coaching and inserting nonnegotiable self-care time.” Gayle Draper, Collingwood, CN,

    Thanks for sharing with us! Got a tip for “What’s Saving My Life?” Send it to

  • December 09, 2022 10:02 PM | Administrative Manager

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of November 2022!

    Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums: the Member Forum on our website, Facebook group, and LinkedIn group.

    You can find colleagues in your area by searching here.


    • Jenn Dorman in Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Karen Gill - Next Step College Advising in Santa Cruz, California
    • Jessica Goforth - Hire Heroes USA in Winter Garden, Florida
    • Courtney Imel McKim - Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    • Vinita Matta in New Delhi, India
    • Valerie Palmer - Higher & Hire in Corpus Christi, Texas
    • Araceli Patino Ortiz - Artistic Precise Translations LLC in Canton, Michigan
    • Tasha Penwell - Bytes and Bits in Vinton, Ohio
    • Kellie Weed in Belmont, North Carolina
    • Curtis Williams - CMW Consulting LLC in Turnersville, New Jersey


    • Amy Adler - Five Strengths Career Transition Experts in Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Kim Batson - The CIO Coach in Sammamish, Washington
    • Arnie Boldt - Arnold-Smith Associates in Rochester, New York
    • Carolina Borges in Howell, New Jersey
    • Casie Dingwell - Opening Doors Resume & Writing Services in Inwood, West Virginia
    • Kamee Gilmore - Paradigm Solutions in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    • Bea Hait - Resumes Plus in Holliston, Massachusetts
    • Sandra Ingemansen - Resume Strategies in Matteson, Illinois
    • Julia Kaukinen - Kaukinen Consulting Oy in Kauniainen, Finland
    • Monica Manney - Compass Career & Development Services in Charlottesville, Virginia
    • William Mitchell - The Resume Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Becky Neff - Zoetic Resume & Writing Services in Three Rivers, Michigan
    • Greg Palmer in Winterville, North Carolina
    • Lisa Rangel - Chameleon Resumes in Rutherford, New Jersey
    • Rachel Raymond (Vander Pol) - RVP Career Services in Santee, California
    • Katey Redmond - The Amiable Red Pen in Anchorage, Alaska
    • Nikki Ryberg - Ryberg Group, LLC in Oregon, Wisconsin
    • Laura Smith-Proulx - An Expert Resume in Arvada, Colorado
    • Wendy Steele - BluePrint Executives in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Stephanie Sullivan - Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas
    • Donnella Tilery - Careers with Donnella LLC in Raritan, New Jersey
    • Jill Walser - I got the job! in Bellevue, Washington
    • Angela Watts - MyPro Resumes in Eagle, Idaho
    • Dirk Welch - Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas

  • December 09, 2022 4:55 PM | Administrative Manager

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    Editor’s Note: Our current president Sara Timm and I sat down for a Zoom before Thanksgiving to talk about her past year and the upcoming year for the NRWA. Sara also chatted with me about moving from Dallas to Colorado Springs and what that business transition looked like. Fun fact: Sara and I only live about an hour apart! So fun to have NRWA buddies nearby! I hope you enjoy this member spotlight as much as I did. Thanks, Sara, for serving as our fearless leader in 2022. 

    A Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Sara made the move from Dallas to Colorado in 2021. She still owns DFWResume and expanded her business to incorporate Colorado Springs to Denver with Colorado Resume. In addition to moving, she took on the immense role of leading the nation’s only nonprofit resume and career services professional association.

    DFW to Colorado

    Sara moved to Colorado after completing a seven-state vacation tour. “I had breast cancer and knew I needed a healthier lifestyle,” she says. “We visited Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Coming down Interstate 25, I asked my husband, ‘Can we move to Colorado? It feels like home.’”

    Getting Started in Resume Writing

    After running an employee transition center for a financial services company, Sara got her start in resume writing almost accidentally.

    “Someone from the bank asked me to help with his resume, and the rest was history. I secured a contract role with a resume firm and became their head writer. I decided to turn it into a business. This also allowed me to stay home with my young children.”

    For many years, Sara worked on building a business with her own sweat and tears. And through Bridget Weide Brooks’ website, she discovered the need to expand her education. That’s when she started looking at associations. She chose the NRWA because the nonprofit aspect of our organization appealed to her. She also saw the value in gaining certification as a solopreneur.

    Why the NRWA
    “I was only working on my strengths and hit a block where I could go no further by myself,” she says. “The minute I put my NRWA membership on my business website, I saw a big difference.”

    She says she got involved in 2015 and joined a boot camp with Jean Austin to start working on her NCRW certification. “This is how I got to know the leadership,” she says. “Jean asked me to join the conference committee and gave me a couple of things to do. She said that I followed up and did what I said I would do.”

    Then NRWA President, Michelle Dumas, reached out and said, “I hear you’re doing good things,” Sara says. “So, my NRWA board career began. I’ve served as an industry support representative, membership chair, conference chair (for a very short spell), and now president.”

    Why Sara Loves Her Job

    Sara won a ROAR Award in 2021 for her work on a resume for a breastfeeding expert who was looking to move across states and says this is one of her favorite projects to date. She also recently completed a resume for a fire chief and found it fascinating.

    “I learn something every day, a new skill, a new way to do something, and what people do for jobs,” Sara says about helping clients.

    “My process involves a personal interview, a DISC profile, and researching the industry by studying job descriptions. I fill in the blanks by taking all that back to the client and asking, ‘Where does this apply? Where did you do this? Research is the key.”

    Building Business Value with the 2022 NRWA Conference

    When asked how the NRWA has helped her business lately, Sara told me about a new feature she’s writing on LinkedIn called “Sara Says.”

    “At this year’s conference, I learned that I don’t need to be afraid to put myself out there,” she says. “I teach my clients to build engagement on LinkedIn and I knew I needed to practice what I preached, so I invented Sara Says.”

    “I introduced my avatar and its purpose during Breast Cancer Month. And then, I started offering advice almost daily. I have doubled my connections, and the engagement is incredible.”

    What Sara Can Teach the Next Generation

    Sara’s tips for newcomers to the resume writing world:

    1.       Follow the industry leaders and find a mentor so you can get support.

    2.       Tap into the network of an association. It’s been instrumental in growing my business.

    3.       Find your niche and write about what you know.

    What’s Next for Sara?

    As the immediate past president, Sara will still have a role in the NRWA leadership. She’ll be heading the ROAR Awards and a grant program for members to apply for financial assistance, such as free membership and attendance at the annual conference. She’ll be sharing more about these programs in the next few weeks.

    We’re so grateful to Sara for leading us this year – through our first in-person conference in two years and so much more. Reach out to her at sara@dfwresume.comor on LinkedIn at

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