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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • October 07, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Announcing the 2022 Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR) Winners: Anne Barnwell, Cathy Lanzalaco, and Marie Plett

    The winners of the 8th annual Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR) competition were recently announced at the National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA) conference, Unveiling Strategies for Success, September 18–20, 2022.

    The NRWA holds this competition annually to recognize top-tier resume-writing talent in the career services industry. Winners of the ROAR competition join an elite circle of resume writers who have been recognized for their technical writing and presentation skills. One winner is selected in each of several categories by a judging panel, consisting of the following NRWA members this year: Kathi Fuller, Lorraine Beaman, Bob Janitz, Arno Markus, and Dr. Cheryl Minnick.

    The 2022 ROAR Award winners are:

    • Anne Barnwell, winner in the Military to Civilian Transition Category.
    • Cathy Lanzalaco, winner in the Professional Category.
    • Marie Plett, winner in the Mid-Level Manager, Executive, and Fictional Client categories.

    Anne Barnwell, of Keller, TX, got her start in the resume-writing business 30 years ago as a student at Cornell University, where she worked in the career development office. For many years, she honed those skills by helping friends and family members. In 2018, Anne launched The Write Resumes and has earned credentials as a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW). She writes resumes for clients spanning college students to C-suite executives across various industries. Anne specializes in working with transitioning service members and helping people return to the workforce after a long career break.

    Cathy Lanzalaco of Buffalo, NY, owns Inspire Careers, specializing in helping executives and career-minded professionals build careers and land jobs they love in less time than going it alone. She is the creator of the Inspire Careers Student Professional Launch Program™, the only new college graduate success program in the country. With 15+ years of human resources experience, Cathy gives her clients the perspective “from the other side of the desk,” helping them create career marketing materials and stories that align with what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a job candidate. In addition to this award, Kathy won a 2018 ROAR award and has been a proud member of the NRWA since 2017.

    Marie Plett of Toledo, OH, is an 11-time ROAR Award winner whose passion for resume writing goes back to her childhood. As a 12-year-old, she would often help her recruiter parents by reviewing resumes. She started her business, Aspirations Career Services, Inc., in 2004. A Certified Executive Resume Master, Marie has won more than 30 industry awards for producing best-in-class resumes featuring high-impact content and visually stunning formats. She is widely known throughout the career services industry for her award-winning resumes and generosity in sharing her knowledge as a trainer and mentor of some of the best resume writers in the business. This includes this year’s NRWA conference, where she led an intensive “boot camp” to help fellow resume writers develop the graphic design skills that serve as a foundation for the visually stunning resumes she creates for her own clients.

    About The ROAR Competition

    Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes or the “ROAR” competition was first launched in 2015. Contestants submit resumes they have written (and fictionalized to protect job-seeker identity) to be judged by a panel of industry experts, most of whom hold the Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) credential. Submissions are evaluated based on several criteria, including strategy, style, creativity, positioning, layout, readability, ATS compatibility, branding, keyword optimization, grammar, technical writing skill, and compliance with the NCRW Study Guide and The Gregg Reference Manual. Winners, who are typically announced at the NRWA’s annual conference, receive multiple forms of recognition and a free one-year membership in the association. To learn more about this year’s competition, visit the NRWA website at:

    Cathy Lanzalaco hold samples of her award winning resume at the 2022 NRWA Annual Conference

    Cathy Lanzalaco, of Buffalo, NY, was selected as a winner in the Professional Category of the Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Résumés (ROAR) competition. She is shown holding a poster of her winning resume submission at the National Résumé Writers’ Association annual conference on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

    Marie PLett surrounded by samples of her award winning resumes

    Marie Plett, of Toledo, Ohio, was selected as a winner in the Mid-Level Manager, Executive, and Fictional Client categories of the Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR) competition. She is shown with posters of her winning resume submissions at the National Résumé Writers’ Association annual conference on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

    Anne Barnwell headshot

     Anne Barnwell, of Keller, Texas, was selected as a winner in the Military to Civilian Transition Category of the Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR) competition, awarded during the National Résumé Writers’ Association annual conference, September 18-20, 2022.

  • October 07, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Amanda Brandon, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I met with Ellen Sokolowski in August via Zoom to discuss her role in helping people with disabilities gain access to resume writing help, interview coaching, and job search strategies. We had a lovely conversation, and I learned that I want to be more like Ellen when I grow up. Her mission is evident, and her passion for people is unmistakable.

    Ellen is a counselor with the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and serves a wide range of mostly rural individuals who need a boost in their job search. She equips them with job search support, including resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, and interview coaching.

    One of the impressive parts of Ellen’s work is that she works with people who have a range of disabilities – learning, physical, behavioral, and neurodiversity. She and her colleagues help individuals with disabilities obtain and retain employment. They also connect job seekers with companies and agencies that provide paid and unpaid training opportunities.

    “It’s gratifying that I work with people who may be at the lowest point of their lives, and I get to see growth and development to the point where they are working and being productive,” Ellen says.

    Ellen’s clients run the gamut from high school students to older candidates who need assistance gaining accommodations to either seek employment or maintain a current role. She and her colleagues can assist persons with disabilities in becoming comfortable in explaining their accommodations to an employer; educating employers on reasonable accommodations that may be available and accessibility in the workplace.

    Another area of focus for Ellen is working with disabled students transitioning from high school into the professional world.

    “We work with many high schools to help students develop their pre-employment transition skills,” Ellen says. “This includes work-based learning, work readiness, career evaluation, and assisting in the college entry process (applications, major selection, and disability accommodations).”

    Ellen and her colleagues equip students with a plan for employment that outlines how they will get from high school to their next professional goal, whether it’s a two-year degree, a four-year degree, professional training, or an apprenticeship.

    “We can assist with things like tuition, tool and equipment costs, and traditional career services (resumes, interview preparation, etc.),” Ellen says. “A recent addition is helping candidates prepare for video interviews and video resumes.”

    In a major effort, Iowa Rehabilitation Services is working with companies to establish apprenticeships for clients, extending beyond the traditional trades such as plumbing and electrical. “We’re seeing apprenticeships in dental hygiene, medical assistance, hospitality, and more,” Ellen says.

    I asked Ellen if there was a need to identify disabilities on a resume in case the applicant needed accommodations. She says it’s not best practice to identify a disability on a resume, but more important to showcase quantifiable skills and value to an employer.

    “We would not put any reference or recommend that a reference to a disability appear on the resume. “Ellen says. “The best practice would be to assist the person with a disability to address this in an interview setting.”

    Covering gaps in a resume is another way Ellen and her colleagues equip candidates. She says that a skills-based resume is often the best remedy for this. “We can show that the candidate acquired them versus sharing a chronological work history,” she says.

    For interview preparation, Ellen suggests that candidates keep accommodations part of the conversation. She says they work with candidates to identify if they can do the essential functions in the job description. If they need an accommodation, she recommends they discuss how the employer can help them meet that need.

    “It may be beneficial for the candidate to educate the prospective employer about the need through conversation,” she says. “They may find a different way of performing a task that works for them, but the task is still completed.

    “For example, if a candidate is in a meeting that requires notetaking, they can use a device like the Echo Smartpen to record the notes and get a transcript instead of laboring to get the notes on paper.”

    Ellen and her team can equip employers to handle these accommodations through the onboarding and orientation process so that it becomes part of the role.

    I learned that many common standards in the workplace often started as disability accommodations. For instance, ergonomic office chairs can be considered an assist for someone with a back injury. A standing desk can help with multiple struggles, such as attention and physical impairments.

    “Small changes to the office environment can make a person productive and feel included and supported,” Ellen says. “Inclusivity is something that individuals with disabilities can identify with; I think employers want to make their workplaces more inclusive. This is one way for them to do it.”

    Educating employers on individual differences has been a success factor for Ellen and her colleagues. For instance, one counselor established a relationship with Winnebago, and now they place neurodiverse candidates in their production roles. The counselor identified that many of her clients have excellent attention to detail when reading blueprints and constructing complex equipment. This skill set is an advantage to a camper manufacturer.

    “I think it’s a matter of finding strengths in a neurodiverse population,” Ellen says. “And changing the interview process – a traditional interview process may not benefit that [neurodiverse] individual. Give them a problem to solve, and you’ll see how well they solve problems and how creative they are.”

    Ellen says that’s a piece of her role – to educate employers on how they can change a few things to build a diverse and inclusive hiring process.

    Ellen joined the NRWA because she attended one of our webinars. She said she loved the educational side of our mission and wants to continue growing in resume writing skills.

    Ellen Sokolowski, MS, CRC, is an advocate for the disabled and neurodiverse, which shows in her dedication to forwarding this cause. She has served as the president and in several other board positions with The National Rehabilitation Association. She’s also received three awards for her dedication to service: the Yvonne Johnson Leadership Award (National Rehabilitation Association), Max T. Prince Meritorious Service Award (National Rehabilitation Association), and the Gerry Byers Memorial Award (Iowa Rehabilitation Association). Ellen holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and Personnel Service from Drake University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Learn more about Ellen’s work at IVRS.Iowa.Gov and find her online at

  • October 07, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    This year, the theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is Disability: Part of the Equity Equation. This topic brings me joy on a personal and professional level. In September, I started a new role as the Senior Director, Global Recruiting & DEI for an organization whose mission is to ensure accessibility to technology for people who are disabled. As I started the mandatory company training, I thought it would be significant to share my findings and thoughts with the NRWA community. 

    A disability does not necessarily mean a personal health condition but rather a mismatch between a person’s abilities and their environment. I was eager to learn about different types of disabilities and how we, as an organization, can accommodate or interact with our colleagues with disabilities. 

    Visual disabilities: I never considered that there are different types of visual disabilities, such as long-sightedness, blindness, color blindness, and low vision. A study published by the Journal of Usability Studies found that only 28% of blind users could successfully complete an online job application due to the processes designed without accessibility in mind. When coded correctly, screen readers announce content to users with vision disabilities. 

    Motor/mobility disabilities: These types of disabilities go beyond the use of hands and arms to other muscular or skeletal conditions. If users cannot use a mouse, they need technology such as speech-to-text software, mouth sticks, eye trackers, and voice recognition software. 

    Hearing impairments/deafness: If our hearing-impaired colleagues don’t have a way to interact with audio files, they will miss out on a lot of content.

    Cognitive & learning disabilities: Not all disabilities are physical. Learning and cognitive disabilities can have unique challenges in the workplace. Some standard accessibility adjustments to accommodate this group include allowing extra time to review content, presenting content in multiple formats, and enabling speech-to-text input.

    Invisible disabilities: There are invisible disabilities such as reading, auditory processing, visual-spatial processing, processing speed, memory, attention, and executive functioning.

    Temporary/sporadic disabilities: People can experience temporary situations that affect their mobility and work. I am an example of this when I suffer from sciatic nerve pain in my lower back and physically cannot move for a period of time.

    Now, let’s discuss some tips that everyone can do to make the workplace inclusive for people with disabilities.

    1.      Language: How we talk about people with disabilities is subjective. It’s recommended to start with “person-first language” and say a “person with a disability” instead of “disabled person.”

    2.      Readability: Write in plain language with visual cues to ensure everyone can understand the message.

    3.      Wheelchair Users: Don’t lean or reach over someone who uses a wheelchair, and don’t touch a person’s wheelchair without asking first. 

    4.      Vision Disabilities: Introduce yourself as you initially approach a blind person. When in a food line, don’t make it awkward. Ask them if you can help with their plate. However, if they say no, be okay with that. Not everyone is going to accept your help. At events, have digital copies of presentations available. And during presentations or meetings, describe the things you’re talking about on the slides. 

    5.      Inclusive Outings: When planning functions with colleagues, ensure they’re inclusive of everyone. It’s important not to put any people in a position to feel excluded. 

    Please note, this is a short list of many recommendations. Some of these things I was aware of but some I was not. I encourage you to do additional research to learn more about what you can do to assist your colleagues with disabilities.

    My biggest takeaway is to simply be polite and ask questions instead of making assumptions. Going forward, I will do my best to use the best practices I learned to support colleagues. As always, I wish you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

    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

  • October 07, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager
  • September 06, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of August 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.


    • Whitney Alvarez in Austin, TX
    • Traci Beighle - University of Montana in Missoula, MT
    • Keniesha Fields in Mobile, AL
    • Cassandra Hatcher - Career Confidence in Howard, CO
    • Erika Klics in Van Nuys, CA
    • Debra Manente - Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT
    • Chelsea McMillan - Sweeter Knowledge Consulting LLC in Albany, GA
    • Kari Michael in Lebanon, TN
    • Kiri Rawson in Lexington, SC
    • Kathleen Ruxton in Derwood, MD
    • Daniel Scotton - Equus Workforce Solutions in Medford, OR
    • Stacy Ulery - University of Montana in Missoula, MT
    • Vee Vo - Portland Community College in Portland, OR
    • Amy Britta Watt - Career Marketing Centre in Orillia, Contario, Canada


    • Cathy Alfandre in Easton, CT
    • Maria Barroso in Coral Gables, FL
    • Brenda Bernstein The Essay Expert LLC in New Haven, CT
    • Denisha Bonds - Career and Résumé Designs in Port St. Lucie, FL
    • Kathleen Brogan -Brogan Communications in Minneapolis, MN
    • Dawn Bugni - The Write Solution in Atkinson, NC
    • Melissa Carvalho in Kenilworth, NJ
    • Michelle Dumas - Distinctive Career Services, LLC in Sanbornville, NH
    • Cliff Eischen - Eischen's Professional Resume Service in Fresno, CA
    • Jennifer Fishberg - Career Karma Resume Development & Career Services in Highland Park, NJ
    • Joyce Harold - Resumes By Joyce in Norcross, GA
    • Devian Harris in Columbus, MS
    • Beverly Hendley in Mobile, AL
    • Julia Holian - Holian Associates in Walnut Creek, CA
    • Kelly Hood in Dallas, TX
    • Camille Jackson - ResumeSpice in Houston, TX
    • Laura Krueger - ELK Solutions in Fulshear, TX
    • Terry Leja in Chicago, IL
    • Dianne Millsap - Di4Resume® in Oceanside, CA
    • Thomas Munoz in Honolulu, HI
    • Kenna Murison in Sandwich, IL
    • Ruth Pankratz - Gabby Communications in Fort Collins, CO
    • Erica Reckamp - Job Search Like a Pro in Crystal Lake, IL
    • Jennifer Reule Precision Writing Services LLC in Orlando, FL
    • Rosalinde Rosado - URLaunchpad in Wellington, FL
    • Christina Scott in San Francisco, CA
    • Brenda Smith - Resume & Career Services in Baltimore, MD
    • Daphne Valcin - Daphne Valcin Coaching in Atlanta, GA
    • Jennifer Wegman in Fleetwood, PA
    • Adam Zajac - James Drury Partners in Park Ridge, IL

  • September 06, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

    Editor’s Note: Our Certification Commission team is transitioning this column to a “tips” column. We’ll share an actionable item from them and feature articles when they have big news to share. If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

    Is your client looking for support in creating a reference page? Here are some actionable tips on how to do this and advice on how to find quality references.

    1.      Create a reference page with the same heading you used for the resume and cover letter.

    2.      Include 3-5 business references with the contact information preferred by the reference. For example, they may not want to receive a phone call at work, so only include their cell number. 

    3.      Make sure your clients know that they need references who know them well and can speak highly of their strengths. We suggest supervisors, colleagues, or coworkers. If they cannot find anyone from a previous company, here’s a list of potential contacts:

    • Executives from other areas of the company
    • Fellow members of a board, committee, or taskforce
    • People who worked for your client
    • Project team members
    • Strategic partners
    • Vendors
    • Mentors
    • Community leaders

    4.  There must be a direct correlation between the references and the resume. If your client lacks business references, have them select credible friends. Try to choose people who are accustomed to serving as references.

    5. After your client has asked contacts if they will serve as a reference, be sure they share a copy of the resume. Your client wants the reference to be clear on their job duties and accomplishments to avoid miscommunication when someone from HR calls. 

    6. On the reference page, it’s crucial to include an explanation of how the reference knows your client. Names without a link to the resume are meaningless. The HR representative usually checks references in the order they appear on the resume, so put the best reference first.

  • September 06, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    The NRWA DEI Committee has been meeting to bring a real focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to the organization. We are planning many communication strategies for the coming year. I thought we’d start with who contributes to this amazing team. Also, if you want to join the DEI Committee, please contact Kathi Fuller.


    Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    As NRWA marketing chair, I’m deeply invested in ensuring the organization speaks clearly and candidly about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also care deeply about advocating for and empowering our members and, by proxy, their clients to be proudly and confidently themselves without fear or worry.

    What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    I am transparent with clients about my commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to eliminating words that have racist, sexist, ableist, or otherwise oppressive or exploitative history. I recently completed a 12-credit-hour Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certificate at The Ohio State University. I’m also pursuing advanced coursework in sociology (social stratification) and comparative studies (intersectionality) to enrich my consulting practice.

    Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    Let’s talk about it more! The hard stuff, not just the holidays or the months of recognition. Representation is important. I believe that fervently. We are having conversations about DEI (and the lack of it!) in the workplace with our clients. We owe it to our members to prepare them for these conversations and empower them to respond with empathy and action. Our clients face discrimination for so many reasons and so many types of status. We should be prepared to engage meaningfully in those conversations, even if to point them to more informed resources.

    What is your biggest challenge in DEI – i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

    I think it’s easy for DEI to become just another tagline or phrase, to become defanged. But it’s a radical idea, and it should remain radical! Diversity, equity, and inclusion means being actively anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-exclusionary, and anti-oppression all the time. It means calling bull when you see it—which is constantly—and trying to move entire systems to change.

    How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    Conversations about diversity benefit from diversity of all dimensions. The theory of intersectionality tells us we have much more in common than we do in opposition, even while we remain so very different from one another. We can come together in common experiences, even if they are perpendicular, not parallel. This breeds empathy, and I believe empathy breeds community. Call me hopeful!

    Kristen Schmidt, NCOPE, has been a member of the NRWA since February 2021. She is the marketing chair and contributes to multiple committees as needed. In 2021, Kristen, a former magazine and newspaper editor, founded Wordschmidt Consulting, an editing, writing, and personal branding studio in Columbus, Ohio. Find her online at


    1. Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    As a member of the NRWA Board of Directors that voted to establish the DEI Committee, I want to ensure that our organization’s leadership is doing all we can to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all.

    2. What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    In my NRWA board role, I strive to keep DEI issues on the radar screen across all functional areas of the organization – membership, marketing/communications, education, conference, and more. I have served as the leader of the DEI Committee this year, identifying key issues, setting the agenda for our meetings, facilitating committee discussions, and playing a key role in developing our DEI mission statement, web pages, and other initiatives.

    In my business, I seek to understand the challenges that job-seeking clients from marginalized communities face, helping them navigate the complexities of the job search and hiring process to foster their success. I help other clients stay attuned to an increasingly DEI-aware workplace culture, helping them develop the knowledge and skills that prospective employers are seeking in new hires, assisting them with crafting DEI statements, and preparing for interview questions about their track record of contributions to DEI.

    3. Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    I’d like to see a more formal board role focused on DEI issues, ideally filled by a DEI-trained and certified member. I took on my position on the DEI Committee while serving as President-Elect and Ethics Chair of the NRWA Board and have continued to be engaged as President and now Past-President.

    A dedicated DEI board role would go a long way to demonstrate the NRWA board’s deep commitment to this work while enabling more consistent and impactful DEI efforts. Education/training for our leaders and members on DEI issues should also be a priority for the NRWA.

    4. What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e. communication, buy-in, etc.?

    I think our greatest challenge is member engagement and bandwidth. We have a very dedicated – but small – core group of members who contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the organization. However, we need more people to get involved for the organization to grow and thrive. This is the case across many facets of the NRWA, but particularly the DEI Committee – a new initiative that has not yet gained the traction that other committees/volunteer opportunities have developed over the years. We welcome ideas, insights, and active involvement from all NRWA members who care about this work. Formal training isn’t required (although it would be appreciated). We just need individuals who are passionate about these issues and want to make a difference. We are all learning together.

    5. How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    As members of the organization, we need education – the opportunity to learn more about DEI issues and topics for our clients’ benefit. They look to us to understand the importance of DEI in the hiring process and workplace. As volunteers, we need the ability to demonstrate our passion and leadership in this increasingly important area.

    Kathi Fuller, NCRW, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2017. A Nationally Certified Resume Writer, Kathi provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile (and company page) development, personal branding, career marketing, and other consulting services to clients in the US and abroad. Living in northwestern Vermont, just a few minutes from the Canadian border, Kathi enjoys alpine and Nordic skiing, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, gardening, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as volunteering and supporting civic and charitable causes in her community. Connect with Kathi online at


    1. Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    I joined the DEI committee to actively support DEI initiatives across the NRWA to raise awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of us all.

    2. What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    I am committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment where cultural diversity is welcomed and valued.

    3. Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    The NRWA needs training on DEI topics as a first step. However, we must expand beyond traditional tactics to create a culture of equality and participation. 

    4. What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

    While we face many challenges, I feel like our biggest challenge is enlisting the active support to drive our forward progress. As a volunteer-run organization, we rely on member volunteers with technical expertise who are willing to step up and contribute their time and expertise. 

    5. How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    For me, it starts with the saying, “Together, Everyone Achieves More.” Everyone can benefit from an engaged membership filled with active collaboration, members sharing unique perspectives, and respect and support for one another's individual needs. This will go a long way to helping each member reach their full potential, creating a better future for themselves, their families, and their customers.

    Rob Rosales, NCRW, NCOPE, CDCC, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2018. He provides resume writing, job search strategies, career marketing, and career transition coaching to clients nationwide, from college graduates to senior-level professionals, through his career services firm, EZ Resume Services, based in Kingsburg, CA. Find him online at

  • September 06, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, and the fall season is approaching. In the U.S., September 15 through October 15 is recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

    The histories, cultures, and accomplishments of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America are honored throughout this month.

    Commemorative months are essential to HR professionals and organizations because they allow us to celebrate diversity and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.

    Leaders can assist their organizations in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and establishing fair career paths for people of color this month and every year around this time. The list below includes some tips and suggestions.

    1.      Act as a mentor. According to research, bias frequently affects how we perceive mentoring. It's crucial to maintain awareness of workplace bias through ongoing training. Technology can also be a benefit in this situation. Colleagues can develop stronger bonds by using a learning and performance management protocol that enables mentors and mentees to interact based on responsibilities and skills. As leaders who frequently design mentoring programs, we should check our procedures for unconscious bias. For instance, before launching a mentorship program, organizations can pilot the program with their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging team or employee resource groups to get meaningful input and suggestions.

    Commemorative occasions like Hispanic Heritage Month offer an additional chance at work to assess if we have meaningful ties of mentorship, allyship, or sponsorship with colleagues of color. Today’s employees want to interact with, share with, and learn from coworkers from various backgrounds and career stages. These kinds of partnerships need to be actively encouraged and supported by businesses.

    2.      We should rejoice together (in-person or virtually). Planning company-wide celebrations of significant milestones has historically been simple to do. In a post-Covid world, organizations should continue to observe these types of events both in-person and virtually. Hosting virtual celebrations with a representative from the Hispanic community is an opportunity for organizations to encourage learning and community involvement.

    At my organization, we have celebrated by spotlighting our Hispanic team members. Organizations should also consider external partnerships such as the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and similar organizations to strengthen their community ties.

    3.      Let's address pay equity. The Economic Policy Institute says that more needs to be done to achieve equitable pay in the United States. Organizations should ensure that they regularly assess their pay equity policies and that they act to address any uncovered inequities. To identify further potential sources of pay discrepancy, rules, and procedures for hiring and recruitment should be examined.

    It's crucial to set up and carry out frequent pay equity audits. Ensuring the organization's pay equity policy is covered in continuous training and communication is also crucial. Working toward pay parity at work requires involving hiring managers in the solution by educating them on aspects of the recruiting and hiring procedures that can result in pay discrepancy.

    This month, as organizations take the time to celebrate their diverse workforce and commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, they can make meaningful steps toward building a workplace where employees are valued and can thrive.

    As always, wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.


    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
  • August 05, 2022 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of July 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.


    • Salam Akhnoukh - Elevate Career Services in Erskine Park, New South Wales, Australia
    • Brittney Ambrose in Mobile, Alabama
    • Jaswin Banks in Flowery Branch, Georgia
    • Christopher Barnes - University of South Alabama Career Services in Mobile, Alabama
    • Tomeika Bennett - Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Kenyetta Choice-Ellis - Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Raul Delgado III - Carolina Resume in Summerville, South Carolina
    • Christopher Erle - Chris Twist in North Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Lori Gastin - Kenyon Colleg in Gambier, Ohio
    • Allyson Glover in Irving, Texas
    • Christel Grissett in Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Ruth Hurtado in Germantown, Maryland
    • Johari Leaks in Richmond, California
    • Ileka Leaks in Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Lori Norris - Get Results Career Services in Glendale, Arizona
    • Hannah Oswalt - University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama
    • Melanie Shorts - M Resumes and Career Consulting, LLC in Washington, D.C.
    • Kristin Vinson Wright - Tarrant County College - Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas
    • Natalie Weston - University of South Alabama - Career Services in Mobile, Alabama
    • JaHanna Wilson - JW Custom Writing Services LLC in Southfield, Michigan


    • Teegan Bartos - Jolt Your Career in Schaumburg, Illinois
    • Kara D. Bell - Kara D. Bell Careers in Austin, Texas
    • August Cohen - GetHiredStayHired® in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    • Catharine Craig in Lamoni, Iowa
    • Lisa Dupras - Elev8 Career Coaching in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
    • Cherise Elliott - C. Elliott Resume Writing in Powder Springs, Georgia
    • Eustacia English in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
    • Robyn Feldberg - Abundant Success Coach in Little Elm, Texas
    • Nadine Franz - APEX Career Services, LLC in Overland Park, Kansas
    • Cathleen Garner in Pearland, Texas
    • Katie Gaskill in Elgin, Illinois
    • Wendy Gelberg - JVS in Boston, Massachusetts
    • Nancy Grant - Regional Career & Employment Services in Canandaigua, New York
    • Fred Hairston - National Able Network in Oak Park, Illinois
    • Rachel Horan - Career Cultivation LLC in Clayton, Missouri
    • Emily Kapit - ReFresh Your Step in Miami, Florida
    • Laurel A. Kashinn - Write Stuff Resources, LLC in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
    • Ginger Korljan - Take Charge Coaching in Phoenix, Arizona
    • Scott Kraun - Scott Kraun Healthcare Consulting, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Heather Papovich - Resume Kitchen in Baraboo, Wisconsin
    • Annette Richmond - career intelligence Resume Writing and Personal Branding in Norwalk, Connecticut
    • Paula Scott Gross in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Laura Spawn - Virtual Vocations, Inc. in Eugene, Oregon
    • Meredith Tseu - MLT Career Services LLC in Ellicott City, Maryland
    • Stacy Valancy - Next Level Career Coach in Miami, Florida
    • Sarah Vallieu in Tukwila, Washington
    • Vivian VanLier - Advantage Resume & Career Services in Los Angeles, California
    • Rosa Elizabeth Vargas - Career Steering in Maitland, Florida
    • Kara Varner - A Platinum Resume in Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • Towanda Wall-Palmer - Coach for New Life LLC in New York, New York
    • Stephanie Walsh - ARES HR Services in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    • Linda Woodard - LDW Group LLC in Jacksonville, Florida
    • Christine Wunderlin - Wunderlin Consulting in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • August 05, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Anne Anderson, NRWA Staff Writer

    Cathy Lanzalaco came to resume writing after enjoying two successful careers, first as a registered nurse, and then as an HR leader for 18 years. When the company she worked for closed, she helped employees transition into other jobs and was herself the recipient of outplacement services.

    She realized this was the work she wanted to be doing and started her business in 2017. She offers resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, career development, executive coaching, public speaking, and brand consulting. She has also developed a program to help new college graduates launch their careers.

    She began doing contract work for Beth Stefani, whose business was Inspire Careers (Beth is familiar to many NRWA members). Cathy was selected as Beth’s successor to carry on the legacy of the business before Beth passed away. Cathy is proud of its evolution during her tenure, crediting her time working with Beth as key to her success now.

    Cathy reminds us that you never know where the opportunities will come from. She has found that buying an existing business was a great way to boost visibility and credibility. She’s been able to make it her own, applying her individual style to put her personal stamp on the business.

    The NRWA is the first organization Cathy joined when she started her business – and she quickly became a ROAR winner!

    She says, “The NRWA made a massive difference in my career and my business. The NRWA is such a crucial organization for our industry that really helps support new writers, coaches, and business owners, as well as more experienced ones. There’s something for everyone.” Cathy recently led a webinar on writing C-suite resumes (July 15).  She has found many resume writers are skittish about writing for these clients and she has expertise to share, hoping to open this niche for her colleagues.

    Cathy is interested in the Experienced Business Owners board position as a way of giving back to the organization that has given her so much. She enjoys being part of the community and appreciates its collegial nature. A frequent speaker, she loves to deliver webinars and participate in Ask the Experts.

    She hopes to be able to support the newer folks coming into the NRWA. Cathy has made her business very successful, is eager to help others master the business side of things, and is a frequent coach for NRWA new business owners.

    When she is not traveling or enjoying time with her three adult children, Cathy is home in beautiful Buffalo, NY. Contact her at or

    Anne Anderson is an HR Manager at Charter Spectrum and a professional resume writer. She has been a member of NRWA since 2013. Find Anne online at

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