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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • August 05, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Commission Grader

    Are you interested in earning your NCRW? There are many ways to prepare for the NCRW process and attending the NRWA conference is one of the best. Here’s why:

    1.  Earn 10 CEUs. The first step on the path to the NCRW is to earn 10 CEUs and attending the conference will provide you with what you need.

    2.  You Be the Grader. This is a scheduled session at the conference where I’ll provide participants with a fictitious profile, a written resume, and the test grading form. In small groups, you’ll review the document and grade that test sample just like our graders do. This exercise will give you great insight into what we’ll be looking for with your test submission.

    3.  Network with other NCRWs. You’ll have an opportunity to meet NCRWs and ask them your questions. How did they prepare? What steps did they find challenging? What advice do they have for you? What has earning the credential done for them and their business? 

    Having attended dozens of professional conferences over the past three decades, to me, the sessions, while valuable, aren’t the most important aspect of the event. Networking with my peers is where I find the most value. Meeting other writers and career service professionals during breaks, at a lunch table, at dinner gatherings, or even on a shuttle from the airport, is so beneficial.

    Personally, I’ve met lifelong friends at conferences. I’ve learned pricing strategies, marketing ideas, general business operational processes, difficult client tactics, and so much more.

    In our “regular” lives, our friends and family don’t always understand what we do or the challenges we face. Our fellow resume writers do, however, and it’s a blessing to be able to call on them when we need to vent or ask a question. To me, this is the single best reason to attend an in-person conference. I hope to meet many of you in New Orleans!

    Kathy began volunteering with the NRWA as a member of the initial board of directors and continued contributing in various capacities, culminating with accepting the role of Certification Chair in January 2021. For three-plus decades, she has operated A Career Advantage in Appleton, WI. Find her online at

  • August 05, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    What is belonging? Being a part of a group or place gives one the sense of security and support that comes with acceptance, inclusion, and identity. This is belonging.  It is the motivation to establish and maintain meaningful, long-lasting relationships with people.

    These connections can be made with the organization you work for and its principles, as well as the actual work itself. Everyone wants to work in a place where they feel like they belong, and the first step in building an inclusive atmosphere is to educate ourselves and have discussions with others. To fully participate in the discussion about diversity, inclusion, and belonging, organizations should make an effort to understand the value of listening, understanding, and learning from others.

    Most businesses actively aim toward having a diverse workforce, but many now try to ensure that all workers feel welcome at work. The essential element of inclusion is belonging. When workers feel fully included, they believe that the organization values them as people and allows them to be themselves. Employee well-being is enhanced, and ultimately, corporate performance is improved.

    Fostering a sense of belonging offers leaders a valuable opportunity to reassess their goals and strategies for inclusion. “Do employees feel completely welcomed as members of the workplace?” is a question that leaders should consider.

    If not, activities for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging need improvement. Greater on-the-job effort and good employee performance result from fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace. To create a sense of community, organizations should eliminate alienation, involve everyone, and show that they care through rewards and meaningful projects.

    Let's talk about ways to foster a sense of community and accomplish DEI objectives:

    1. Eliminate the feeling of being an outsider in the workplace: Despite improvements in DEI, many employees still experience this feeling, which leads them to further repress the aspects of themselves that set them apart from their coworkers. When an employee feels unwelcomed, it’s psychologically upsetting. This detrimental experience interferes with their concentration and performance. There shouldn't be a "one size fits all" office. However, the majority are still "one size fits some" with the assumption that everyone else will get on board.
    2. Create a work environment where uniqueness is acknowledged and valued. Show consideration for each employee and offer many chances for check-ins. One is less likely to feel alienated at work if there is trust, understanding, and support.
    3. Bring everyone on board. According to research, employees may believe that their 

    company isn't providing them with enough information about how to advance inclusiveness in their regular job. Make everyone accountable for attaining DEI goals on a daily basis to more effectively convey genuine support of belonging.

    • 4.      Encourage employees to value what each person can contribute. Show your team that you care about them, fight for their rights, and invest in their futures. Include employee feedback in organizational values to empower people and demonstrate their significance in creating an inclusive workplace.
    • 5.      Show that you care by offering perks. Offering advantages that apply to all demographic groups, such as flexible work hours and mental wellness programs, shows employees that you are concerned about their individual needs and expectations at work and outside of it. Such expressions of gratitude fuel a sense of belonging.

    Although there is still much to learn about how belonging affects people at work, adding belonging into any diversity and inclusion strategy holds enormous promise. Exclusion usually happens accidentally if people don't make a conscious effort to be inclusive. Even unintended exclusion might damage employees’ feelings of community. It is up to all of us to ensure that we are cultivating a sense of inclusion and belonging as part of our diversity programs.

    As always, I send you all my best wishes for continued peace, love, joy, and blessings.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspectivecolumn, 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 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Ruth Sternberg, NRWA Staff Writer

    The 2022 NRWA professional gathering is finally in person after two years of virtual, and many of us are excited to see each other again or meet for the first time.

    This time, if you have not heard, it’s September 18-20 in New Orleans. It’s our 25th anniversary, too! We’ve come a long way and have a lot to celebrate as North America’s only truly nonprofit, member-run professional organization for career services professionals.

    More importantly, YOU have something to celebrate! You have been working hard on your business and attending the NRWA conference is a gift you can give yourself to help you move forward successfully and effectively. The NRWA’s goal is to keep ramping up the training for our members so that we can continue providing excellent service and guidance for our clients while growing our businesses.

    This is why you pay your annual membership fee.

    Here are a bunch of reasons why you should consider attending the conference:

    The Knowledge and the Growth

    “I learn so much—the latest and greatest with regards to resumes, LinkedIn, and running my business,” said Sara Timm, NRWA president and owner of DFW Resume. “Plus, I earn enough CEUs to certify and remain certified.”

    Ellen Steverson, owner of StartingBlock Career Services and creator of the NRWA’s business development course, points to the conference as a catalyst for meaningful action.

     “Action kills fears,” she says. “Attending the NRWA's conference is the perfect action that will minimize or eliminate any fears you may have about being successful as a writer, business owner, or entrepreneur. There will be so many opportunities to learn and grow, not only from the workshops and speakers, but from other attendees. You will be energized and motivated upon returning for a successful year ahead!”

    This year’s meeting features some unique subject matter experts. Creativity is a major theme this year. And who doesn’t need a dose of that after the last two years?

    Check out our keynotes:

    Amma Marfo is a writer who loves to talk about integrating leadership, group dynamics, and creativity, and how you can infuse your work and life with your values in new and exciting ways.  

    Mason Gates is passionate about using data to improve the hiring process. He works for Indeed as a Recruitment Evangelist and will talk to us about trends, algorithms, and more, so we can stay on the cutting edge of the career industry.

    Other sessions, conducted by our members, will help you improve your close rate, strengthen your business processes, sharpen your writing, and honor your clients’ diversity.

    When you attend, Ellen advises: “Spend a few moments each day to write a few action-specific tasks or SMART goals to accomplish upon returning home so you can implement the most important things you learned.

    “Remember not everything you learn will align with your business model or goals, so focus on your mission and implementing what works for you best. Conferences can be packed with great info, but you want to return and use the knowledge you gained to help you, your business, and your clients grow!”

    The Collegiality

    “This will be my first in-person conference,” said Rob Rosales, owner of EZ Resume Services, and NRWA’s president-elect and ethics chairman. “I am very excited to attend and meet everyone that I have been working with! I believe that the physical connection of being together in the same place, talking about our passions, work, joking, and having fun will do more to build and grow relationships in a way that you can’t do over the phone or on Zoom.”  

    Cathy Lanzalaco, owner of Inspire Careers, agrees. “As wonderful as technology has been to keep us connected during the pandemic, nothing can replace the value of spending in-person time together to build relationships, share best practices, and strengthen our professional presence,” she said.

    Many NRWA members already have forged connections digitally and often consult with one another on business matters, and some of those relationships started at the conference!


    Sara loves seeing her friends. “The camaraderie is second to none,” she said. “The activities are a lot of fun, and they let me get to know my colleagues better. So many laughs!

    “This year you can take a dinner cruise or tour the city to learn about its haunted past. You can kick back at the opening reception on Sunday and have dinner locally with some of your NRWA peers.”

    The Confidence

    It’s always nice to feel validated by our peers. At the conference, you will meet a lot of people just like you, at various stages of business. You will see that we share the same challenges. At the awards luncheon on Tuesday, we will share our inspiration as we honor excellence in the profession with the ROAR awards.

    The Climate

    A change of environment can infuse your business with new energy. Just being in a different place can lead to a new mindset; maybe help you get unstuck. This is one of the key principles taught by thought leaders such as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, who preaches about change.

    After the past few years, a change of scenery can be refreshing! New Orleans is one of those energetic places full of history and activity.

    We hope to see you in September! You can register here and check out the agenda.

    Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, writes our Marketing Smarts column each month. She is a resume writer and coach who has also worked as a journalist, editor, grant writer, and copywriter during her 37-year career. She owns Confident Career Search, equipping people across the age spectrum with the confidence and tools to make meaningful career transitions. She has been a member of the NRWA for two years and serves on the Public Image Committee. She recently moved from Columbus, OH, to Rochester, NY. Find her online at

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

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


    • Kimberly Albert - Career Jamboree in La Quinta, California
    • Cam Arminio - Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio
    • Hope Bickmeier - Bickmeier Business Solutions, LLC in Gaylord, Michigan
    • Dustin Braddish - Missouri State University Career Center in Springfield, Missouri
    • Jason Brown - Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, South Carolina
    • Brooke Cabot - Cabot's Content Creations in Sebastopol, California
    • Thomas Camoia - KPMG in Floral Park, New York
    • Sandra Clingman - SJC College Counseling, LLC in Clifton, Virginia
    • Kristopher Gadsden - Bexar County Military and Veterans Service Center in San Antonio, Texas
    • Hannah Galante - Veteran Resume U.S.A. in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
    • Beverly Harvey - HarveyCareers LLC in Pierson, Florida
    • Stefanie Hurley - Fleet & Family Support Center in Washington, D.C.
    • Christopher Leitch in Limassol, Cyprus
    • Claudia Moreno - Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas
    • Amber Pesce in Jacksonville, Florida
    • Natasha Peterson in Vienna, Virginia
    • Leah Rinard - Rinard Corporation in Longmont, Colorado
    • Monica Sanchez - Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas
    • Tighe Scott - Bexar County MVSC in San Antonio, Texas
    • Andrew Smith - Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio
    • Ellen Sokolowski - Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Atlantic, Iowa
    • Holly Stancil - Intermezzo Coaching in Charlottesville, Virginia
    • Kelli Thomason in West Union, South Carolina
    • Karen Tweedt-Ordaz - Northern Valley Catholic Social Service in Corning, California
    • Suehein Valle - Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas
    • Kristin Vinson Wright - Tarrant County College - Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas
    • LaJeanne Williams - Tarrant County College - Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas
    • Brianne Young in Murfreesboro, Tennessee


    • Joanne Aughey - Joanne's Resumes in Hamburg, New Jersey
    • Brenda Collard-Mills - Robust Resumes in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
    • Kimberly Cook - Blue Pen Resumes in Katy, Texas
    • Cheryl Cooper - Professional Best Resumes in McDonough, Georgia
    • Jenny Czerniak in Cedarville, Ohio
    • Courtenay Davis in Alameda, California
    • Eduardo Gonzalez - Meet the World LLC in Laredo, Texas
    • Terri Heggemeyer - Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska
    • La-Shanna Henry - The Elevated Professional in Short Hills, New Jersey
    • Natalie Hodencq - Ikiru People Inc in Hoboken, New Jersey
    • Jean Juchnowicz - Career Advice Simplified in Sarasota, Florida
    • Fran Kelley - The Resume Works, LLC in Waldwick, New Jersey
    • Kate Knaul - Navigate College & Careers Greencastle, Indiana
    • Travis Koehler Travis Koehler Writing LLC in Hermitage, Tennessee
    • Laura Labovich - The Career Strategy Group in Bethesda, Maryland
    • Katherine Lavia-Bagley in Raleigh, North Carolina
    • Holly Leyva - Virtual Vocations, Inc. in Eugene, Oregon
    • Kimberly Matteson - KWM Resume & Career Solutions in Bettendorf, Iowa
    • Mill Montejo - The Talent Mill in Manahawkin, New Jersey
    • Sarah Moore in Jefferson, Maine
    • Irma Rojas in Wellington, Florida
    • Diana Sarkis - The Resume Studio Group in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    • Karen Silins - A+ Career & Resume, LLC in Kansas City, Missouri
    • Ellen Steverson - StartingBlock Career Services LLC in Orlando, Florida
    • Jawaria Suhail - ThenonclinicalMD in New Lenox, Illinois
  • July 05, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Dr. Cheryl Minnick, NCRW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Commission Grader

    One way to torch your career is to lie on your resume. We’ve seen careers of high-profile professionals burst into flames by misrepresenting their educational accomplishments. When their mistruths were exposed, some were fired, some resigned, some lost promotions, or had to repay or sit-out bonuses. Their short-term gain (a job or promotion) was torched by a company’s long-term interest (credibility).

    Let’s take a look at a few:

    • In 2007, MIT Dean of Admissions, Marilee Jones, resigned when a 28-year-old resume misrepresentation surfaced. She did not have undergraduate or graduate degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or Albany Medical College. In fact, she held no college degree at all.
    • In 2012, an activist shareholder group revealed Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s augmented resume, content included in the company’s annual report, a legal document that CEOs certify truthful. Scott’s tenure lasted four months when it was discovered he did not have TWO degrees, computer science and accounting, from Stonehill College; he had ONE in accounting.  
    • While assessing Walmart Senior VP Communications David Tovar’s resume for a promotion in 2014, a third party uncovered a degree misstatement on his resume. David “walked” at the University of Delaware’s 1996 commencement shy credits for an art degree. After an eight-year tenure with Walmart, he was found out and stepped down. In 2015, he returned to school and finished his BA, and has gone on to work for Sprint, McDonald’s, and GrubHub.
    • What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. MGM Mirage’s CEO, J. Terrence Lanni, quickly retired in 2008 yet remained on the Board of Directors when questions about his resume surfaced, finding he did not have an earned or honorary MBA in finance from USC.

    When resume errors come to light, professionals have quickly stepped down, repaid or forfeited a sizeable bonus, had severance packages cut, or been terminated.

    In 2020, Checkster Research found that 78% of job applicants lie about skills, GPA, title, degree, university name, and achievements, while HireRight (2017) found that 85% of employers caught lies.

    As resume writers, we can help clients avoid misstatements by reviewing their academic transcript for GPA, degree, and major. We can also include legal job titles with an equivalency title in parentheses and remind our clients that “embellishments” can cost them their job, promotion, bonus, severance package, and professional reputation.

    Dr. Cheryl Minnick, NCRW, NCOPE, has been a member of the NRWA since 2005 and has served on the Certification Commission since 2013. For the past five years, she has ensured the NCRW Study Guide aligns with best practices and The Gregg Reference Manual updates. She has also served on past committees for Member Support and ROAR Awards. She regularly presents at NRWA conferences on ATS, implicit bias, new grad resumes, and college career center services. 

    A veteran of the higher education career development space, Cheryl works as the Senior Career Coach at the University of Montana-Missoula and provides executive career consultations and resume writing for executive career development firms as well as her own boutique business, The Paper Trail. Find her online at

  • July 05, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Anne Anderson, NRWA Staff Writer

    We are fortunate that Ruth Sternberg has brought her unique brand of dynamism and creativity to the NRWA. She is currently serving as a Public Image Committee (PIC) member, is a contributing writer for The Water Cooler newsletter, and has helped develop social media posts.

    For several decades, Ruth worked as a reporter and writer for newspapers and other media, including the award-winning Columbus Dispatch, national magazines, an R&D manufacturing company, and one of Ohio’s largest urban school districts (producing newsletter content for the teachers’ union). She has also served as a grant writer for the arts, social services, and education. She holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University and an M.A. degree in American Studies from Kent State University.

    A few years ago, she decided to transfigure her storytelling and professional writing abilities to create powerful job search documents and coach clients to use the materials effectively. In her business Confident Career Search, she focuses on clients searching for positions in nonprofits, communications, marketing, sales, education, and operations. She embraces job seekers' challenges, such as career gaps, transitioning to a new field, or re-entry to the workforce.

    Having changed careers twice herself, Ruth identifies with the challenges inherent in these moves and is driven to help others do it successfully. She also helps entrepreneurs communicate their value with marketing sheets and related materials useful for clients and presentations.

    Ruth joined the NRWA because she wanted to keep learning and improving her skills. She says, “I’ve been a professional writer for more than three decades, but this is a very different kind of writing. I value having a professional network to call on when I need resources.”

    She appreciates being able to share insights and advice, helping us all serve our clients better. She notes that the support of professional colleagues during the pandemic isolation was critical for her. And perhaps best of all, she has made many new friends in the organization.

    Ruth chose to deepen her involvement in the NRWA by volunteering because it’s essential to raise the profession's standards and keep them high. She loves that it’s a member-driven organization and sees particular value in its nonprofit status.

    “If the NRWA is offering something, it’s being done from the heart,” Ruth says. “I love the spirit of collaboration and collegiality that are hallmarks of the organization.”

    When asked how we could support her committee work, she had a ready answer. She said the committee would love it if more members would participate in “Ask the Experts” and weigh in on some of the questions. She notes that it’s great PR for your business. You will receive marketing materials to promote your efforts if your response is selected.

    Ruth is currently living in Rochester, NY, after recently relocating from Columbus, OH. Her husband, Sam, is an engineering project manager. They share their home with their cat, Charlotte. Find Ruth online at

    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

  • July 05, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    Andrew Gold wrote the lyrics for the Golden Girls television series, “Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You're a pal and a confidant.” This theme song is befitting for this month's topic, the International Day of Friendship. 

    The United Nations General Assembly designated the International Day of Friendship in 2011. On July 30, we take a step back and give thanks for these connections around the world because they support and foster peace, joy, and harmony. The UN urges governments, community organizations, and other organizations to plan activities and events that honor the strong friendships that we cherish. Numerous gatherings emphasize making amends, building consensus and understanding, and finding solace in the bonds that make you feel at home.

    On July 30, the world celebrates friendship by celebrating friends that feel like family, close pals, and even adversaries. This day is dedicated to respect, inclusivity, and diversity. With a heavy focus on inclusivity, the International Day of Friendship encourages us to accept those who may seem different from us and involve everyone.

    Our world is challenging. Prioritizing peace appears to have less of a presence in the global community due to misunderstandings, abuse, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural conflict. There is really no excuse for the world not to exist in some peaceful manner. We should all be grateful to the UN for helping to bring awareness to the fact that there is some good in the world.

    Building connections and friendships goes beyond simply having something in common with someone else in terms of traits, characteristics, or interests. It also involves encouraging a worldwide commitment to and knowledge of diversity and inclusion. People should not be divided because of differences in appearance, attitudes, politics, interests, music, reproductive rights, or other factors. We can discover common ground despite our differences. Relationships are more important than that, and every July, the UN seeks to spread generosity and camaraderie.

    We are more alike than we all think. You can find commonalities by celebrating friendships through small gestures like a quick note, a coffee date, attending a concert, Facetiming, or going shopping. Another focus of this day is to spread ideas that reduce hatred and contempt; we want to believe that there is something that unites us all.

    The World Friendship Crusade, an international civil group that promotes peaceful culture through friendship, suggested the first World Friendship Day in 1958. Hallmark first launched friendship greeting cards in the 1930s, and to this day, many people, including me, celebrate their special connections with a card or note.

    On the International Day of Friendship, we honor and celebrate the friends who stand by us, correct us when we're being stubborn, give up their time for us while everyone else is preoccupied with adulting, visit us in the middle of the night to lift our spirits, and even the long-distance friends whose friendship has endured across borders.

    As I write this, I'm reflecting on my own friendships. I've had some of the same friends for nearly 30 years, and I will always value our friendship. Every person's definition of friendship is unique, as is the nature of the friendship bond. People we have known for a long time might not be close to us, yet we might regard someone we have only recently met as our best friend. It means a lot to me to have both in my life.

    There are simple ways to observe the holiday, such as hanging out with friends and doing what you enjoy, as well as more complex ones, such as throwing parties, exchanging gifts, and telling people how much they mean to us. Reaching out and contacting people we haven't seen in a while is another custom on International Day of Friendship. Since conversations are the foundation of all friendships, you might want to reach out to someone new.

    Use this celebration day to send someone a sincere note on the spur of the moment or go out to lunch with friends to catch up. Enjoy the month and strengthen your existing relationships, but don't hesitate to strike up new ones. 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
  • July 05, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Ruth Sternberg, NRWA Staff Writer

    You know the feeling: You have worked hard on a resume or copy for a profile, and after you have read it 12 times (even printed it out and read it), you find a typo.

    It’s hard to proofread your own work. When crafting our clients' materials, there is a lot to consider: spacing, punctuation, spelling, verb tense, formatting…the list is long.

    That’s why many professional resume writers also pay proofreaders as a second layer of defense.

    So, how do you find a good proofreader?

    First, note that a proofreader is not the same as an editor. Their job is not to correct your choice of words or phrases or check your accuracy but to ensure that what you have crafted is error-free. Proofreaders identify grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors. But they do not address syntax or make the writing concise, clear, consistent, comprehensive, and correct.

    Next, realize that an English degree does not necessarily make someone a good proofreader. It takes practice to get good at finding errors.

    Some of our NRWA members shared suggestions to help you find the right proofreader.

    1.      Start with your NRWA colleagues. 

    “The biggest factor in choosing a proofreader for me was getting recommendations from people I know and trust,” says Annette Richmond, owner of Career Intelligence.

    Paula Christensen, owner of Strategic Career Coaches, agreed but added that you can sometimes find great proofreaders among your own friends and family. She suggests asking people who are great with grammar to help you. You can train them to meet your specific needs.

    2.      Check online resources such as marketplaces and professional associations: 

    3.      When you find a viable candidate, here are some questions to help you vet them:
    • What style guides are you familiar with? The Chicago Manual of Style? The Gregg Reference Manual? The Associated Press Stylebook?
    • Have you written resumes yourself? This matters because resume writers leave out “the” or “an” before nouns. We have our own style designed to save space.
    • May I see a sample of your work? Ask for the pre-and post-proofed versions.

    Alison King, a resume writer, proofreader, and owner of Copyedit Queen, suggests asking if the candidate has special training.

    Check out Alison’s webinar, Needles in a Haystack: Tips & Techniques for Proofreading Your Own Work.

    “For example, I have a copyediting certificate from the University of California’s San Diego's Division of Extended Studies,” she says. “It consisted of four core courses that involved lectures, assignments, and discussion board interaction, and it took me over a year to complete.”

    4.      Next, consider their work structure and fees.

    When are they available? What’s their turnaround time? How do they charge? Annette’s proofreader bills in 15-minute increments. But others bill by the hour or by the project length. Others will bundle a specific number of projects, which can help you control your costs.

    Why You Need a Proofreader to Back You Up

    Remember that typos are not always a sign of sloppiness. Psychologists tell us that we make them because we are focused on higher-order thinking—on the ideas, which are the most important aspect of writing, and not on the smaller details. So, take it as a sign that your brain is doing its job!

    Just know that help is available to make sure all your “t’s” are crossed and your “i’s” dotted and your client’s name is spelled correctly! It can remove a lot of your stress.

    Feel free to share your tips! What other considerations have helped you find proofreading help?

    Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, is a resume writer and coach who has also worked as a journalist, editor, grant writer, and copywriter during her 37-year career. She owns Confident Career Search, equipping people across the age spectrum with the confidence and tools to make meaningful career transitions. She has been a member of the NRWA for two years and serves on the Public Image Committee. She recently moved from Columbus, OH, to Rochester, NY. Find her online at

  • June 10, 2022 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager

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


    • Jazmar Allison-Neal in Detroit, Michigan
    • Tamara Cameron in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
    • Tanya Floyd - Alliance Résumé and Writing Service in Austin, Texas
    • De'Neal Gilliam - Internal Revenue Service in Richmond, Virginia
    • Lauryn Gonzales - San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico
    • Helene Hale - Cornerstone University in Rockford, Michigan
    • Heather Halldin in Audubon, Pennsylvania
    • Nicole Koch in Upper Arlington, Ohio
    • Stacey Macchi - Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois
    • Nikki Marlowe - University of Montana in Missoula, Montana
    • Judith O'Toole - Applied Employment in Richmond, New Hampshire
    • Jennifer Snelling - EnquisitV Administrative and Consulting Services in Albany, Georgia
    • Joshua Snyder - Collin College in McKinney, Texas
    • Tanya Torst - California Conservation Corps in Chico, California


    • Peter Anthony - EDSI in Livonia, Michigan
    • Laci Baker - University of Phoenix in Missoula, Montana
    • Hollie Baker - Custom Resume Writer in Tyler, Texas
    • Grant Cooper - Strategic Resumes & Business Plans in New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Norine Dagliano - ekm Inspirations in Winchester, Virginia
    • Dianne Donovan in Fairfax, Virginia
    • Cliff Flamer - BrightSide Resumes in San Francisco, California
    • Judy Friedler - CareerPro International in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    • Nirmala Gangadeen in Hollis, New York
    • Holly Genser in Lake Worth, Florida
    • Jessica Gramc - Healthy Resumes LLC in Cleveland, Ohio
    • Cheryl Harland - Resumes By Design in The Woodlands, Texas
    • Kirstin Lincoln - Gather Momentum in East Amherst, New York
    • Robert Linderer - RJL Resume Writers & Career Advisors in Kirkwood, Missouri
    • Tyler Littleton - Littleton Virtual Services, LLC in York, Pennsylvania
    • Patti Long in Tyler, Texas
    • Sue Montgomery - Resume Plus in Dayton, Ohio
    • Nick Pirelli - ProfessorP Media in Plymouth, Massachusetts
    • Charmaine Pocek in Torrance, California
    • Thomas Powner - Career Thinker Inc. in Rego Park, New York
    • Suzanne Rey - Rey Edwards Inc. in El Cajon, California
    • Dorothy Richardson - DKR Global Consulting Inc. in Deerfield Beach, Florida
    • Elena Sabry - Career Academy in San Jose, California
    • Micall Searles - University of Montana in Missoula, Montana
    • Nikki Townsend in Elk Grove, California
    • Vitaliia Vasylenko - Resume Lust in San Francisco, California
    • Dawid Wiacek - Career Fixer LLC in White Plains, New York
    • Kate Williamson - Scientech Resumes in Bend, Oregon
    • Tim Windhof - Windhof Communications - Career Services in Delaware, Ohio
    • Christine Yamamoto in Germantown, Maryland

  • June 10, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I recently reached out to Kyle Elliott of about his comment on our Facebook group regarding “getting started in resume writing on” This intrigued me because Kyle recently presented the Business Growth Labcourse with Ruth Pankratz. I wanted to know more about going from $5 a resume to helping 1,000+ candidates land jobs at big tech companies. Here’s his story.

    Kyle fell into resume writing quite by accident. He was a sophomore in college seeking a degree in health education and counseling. The Fiverr work was solely to fund his pizza and coffee habits.

    “I was decent at writing and reviewed resumes for $5,” Kyle says. “I would write the about section on LinkedIn for $5. After Fiverr took their cut, I made about $100/week. I was ecstatic.”

    Kyle’s profile raised through the Fiverr ranks, and he followed his dad’s advice, “Every time you have a waitlist, double your price.”

    Next, he took a job that involved career counseling for university students who didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives. This is where he says his passion for coaching developed.

    After completing his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Washington, Kyle moved into overseeing student housing for 800 students living in apartments at San Francisco State University. He had 23 direct reports and many student-life-related challenges. He also became a major advocate for mental health awareness, hosting workshops, training sessions, and retreats.

    Over the next few years, Kyle continued to build his resume and coaching business. He is a prolific freelance writer for many career-focused organizations and mental health publications, including The Stability Network, Forbes Coaches Council, Career Directors International, Business Insider, The Muse, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

    Along the way, Kyle has worked with more than 1,000 candidates targeting jobs in Silicon Valley. He credits his success in helping these candidates land jobs with his extensive network, aligning resumes with the culture and job requirements, and helping clients set realistic expectations.

    Want more insight on how to help candidates break into Big Tech roles? Check out Kyle’s webinar on “How to Craft Webinars for the High-Tech Industry.”

    Kyle recently made a significant shift in his business – he stopped writing resumes. He still coaches clients on developing resume structure, differentiating themselves, and leveraging LinkedIn profiles. However, he focuses on the search strategy, interview process, and how to stand out in the huge pool of applicants that apply to Google, Meta, Microsoft, and other tech giants.

    “I mostly work with people in the Bay Area, and it all happened by accident,” he says. Over the past five years, I’ve worked with 1,000+ clients to help them land in big tech. Most of my clients have come via word of mouth and referral.”

    Kyle says that a secret to his success is to “put yourself out there.” For example, when he started writing for publication, he says he reached out to most of the publications he writes for and asked if he could contribute.

    Another part of his success strategy is to help clients differentiate what sets them apart – experience, knowledge, and value.

    Kyle believes that most clients know their own answers; he’s just here to help.

    Interestingly, Kyle doesn’t have any standard resume writing certifications. He’s a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and has two credentials with Myers-Briggs: the MBTI® and Strong Interest Inventory®. These certifications help him build bridges with clients because he is well-versed in stress management and the stages of change.

    Kyle is infatuated with coffee treats and says this fuels his branding. I think it also fuels his thirst for learning. He’s currently a Doctor of Education candidate at the University of North Dakota. This doctorate will give him an edge in his coaching business because it’s all about adult learning.

    His best advice for up-and-comers in our industry: “Don’t expect results overnight. This business is about small learning and steady steps toward your goals.”

    Thank you, Kyle, for sharing your success with us! Kyle will be presenting at our upcoming conference in New Orleans. His session, “Building an Authentic, Thriving Business Through Word-of-Mouth Marketing,” is one you don’t want to miss.

    Find out more about Kyle at or connect with him at

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