The NRWA Watercooler - The monthly newsletter for the National Resume Writers Association - Quenching your thirst for information and connection

November 2020

by Norine Dagliano - NRWA Written Communications Chair

Notice anything new about this month’s newsletter?

After more than a decade of distributing our monthly newsletter under the banner and name “The NRWA Connection,” we decided it was time for a change. The newsletter production committee met with Kathi Fuller and tossed around names and taglines that captured why we have a newsletter and even more, what the NRWA means to our members. We reached consensus on the name—The NRWA Watercooler—but were still struggling with coming up with the best tagline.

Then about a week ago I received the following message from a new member:

I'm thrilled to have found the NRWA, which is the most supportive and encouraging group of professionals who have built my confidence to finally launch my career services business, do what I love doing (i.e., resume writing and coaching), and put me back in my "happy place."

About the same time, Kathi came back with the suggestion “Quenching your thirst for information & connection”—and it all came together! So, we invite our readers to gather around our virtual watercooler, find your “happy place,” and quench your thirst for information with this month’s this issue.

Board Bytes and Committee Reports 
Check out the latest Board Bytes for a summary of the NRWA’s board activities during the third quarter of 2020, posted on our website.

And here are some additional updates not included in the Board Bytes:

Leadership changes: Kathy Keshemberg has accepted the position of Incoming Certification Chair and is learning the ropes from current Certification Chair, Sally McIntosh. Annette Richmond is taking over the role of Membership Chair when Sara Timm begins her role as President-Elect in 2021.

Public Image Committee (PIC): The PIC met on October 19 and is currently pulling together content for the 2021 Ask the Experts e-book, while setting additional goals for the coming year framed around outreach to College Career Centers, creating a crisis communications plan, developing a social media/influencer program, launching a NRWA branding campaign, and others. Please consider joining the PIC and lending your talents to helping achieve these goals.

On the horizon: The board voted to designate December 2020 as “Update Your Profile” month and will be launching a promotional campaign (and possibly a contest) to encourage members to update their profile page on the NRWA website. Stay tuned for details!

Guest Article: Hope and Optimism…A Reflection and an Invitation 
by Carol Camerino, Carol Camerino Consulting LLC

As resume writers, we enter our clients’ most sacred spaces. The very essence of their identities, wishes, disappointments, and deepest questions are laid bare in hopes of support as they embark on a path of change.

For senior executives, this may involve a wish to expand influence, a desire to leave a legacy, or a passion for fixing things.

For new grads, our work contributes and puts shape to a new creation of self in the light of life post-academia.

For others, partnering with us may infuse much-needed hope and optimism in the form of renewed agency, a new lens with which to view where they’ve been, and a raft of new materials to add to their job search toolkit.

While words and design are our tools, our impact extends beyond the canvas of the screen or page. That hope and optimism infusion noted above helps job seekers tap into (or begin to rebuild) their own reserves for the journey ahead. While we cannot, of course, control just how clients internalize or leverage these—we offer a glimpse into another way of showing up in the world that may inspire them to adjust their perspectives to see a glass more full than empty.

Recently, I had the good fortune to participate in the Core Gifts Institute’s Master Facilitator training. Scheduled initially to take place in March on one of the lovely ferry-accessible islands near Seattle, things did NOT go as planned. Like so many events—including our NRWA annual conference, flexibility and creativity were needed—and last month I joined others from around the U.S. and the U.K. for an online version.

There is so much about the idea of using Core Gifts to explore and discuss, but one particular moment of the training impacted me as it relates to the work we get to do—and I want to share it with you.

A master storyteller, our facilitator and Director of The Core Gift Institute, Bruce Campbell, shared a story he’d written. “Girl with the Big Dream” is about a young girl whose family was filled with worry. They feared she was in the beginning stages of “the sickness of self-forgetting.” Her days were marked by making decisions that resulted in losing friends, acting in ways that garnered disapproval from teachers, and becoming more alone and isolated. A particularly gifted teacher at school, however, spied the glimmer of a spark inside the girl and told her parents that there were people not too far away—The People of Big Dreams—who could help.

The worried family sent the girl on her journey and away she went to find the helpers. As the girl walked and wandered, she crossed paths with a woman and asked her for help in finding the group she’d been searching for.

"You will know by their actions that they see a person of greatness within you—you will feel lifted by the way they look at you with their eyes…they will help you keep your big dreams alive when others try to make your dreams smaller."

Hearing this description was a lightning bolt moment…And less than two seconds after Bruce shared this part of the story, I had the revelation that we resume writers and career coaches are fellow PEOPLE OF BIG DREAMS!

It’s EXACTLY what we do…We REFLECT our clients’ dreams and validate them (keep them alive) by listening and then crafting resumes designed to help achieve them, to bridge between now and when. And our clients, indeed, feel LIFTED…both by the way we truly see them and by the reflection of their dreams, goals, and accomplishments on our canvas.

How incredibly lucky are we to get to do this work.

Shall we leverage the synergy of our organization and move this discussion to our member FB Page, fellow PEOPLE OF BIG DREAMS? Log into the NRWA Facebook page and look for the pinned “Pro-Sourcing” post to join in the conversation and share your ideas, resources, and tips for supporting client hope and optimism!

Carol Camerino is a member of the National Resume Writers' Association, a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Brain Based Success Coach (CBBSC), a Certified Tough Transitions Career Coach (CTTCC), and a Credentialed Career Manager (CCM). She is also an authorized administrator of the DISC assessment and a Career Thought Leaders Consortium Associate. A back-to-work strategist, career coach, and resume writer, Carol helps her clients achieve success through coaching, strategizing, and creating powerful career marketing materials. Her book, Words for the Journey: Thoughts and Affirmations for Women Returning to Work is available on Amazon.

The NCRW Corner: En or Em? That is the Question. 
by Norine Dagliano, NCRW - NRWA Written Communications Chair

Do you get confused about when to use the en dash and the em dash? We do. So here is some basic education.

  • An en dash (–) is bigger than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash (—). It should not be confused with the hyphen and should not be used interchangeably.
preparing resumes
  • The terms “en dash” and “em dash” come from a long-gone typography system: The en dash is the width of the letter “n” and the em dash is the width of—you guessed it—the letter "m."

The en dash is used to indicate a closed range or a connection between two things of almost any kind: numbers, people, places, etc. It means “up to and including.” Specifically, in resume writing, we use the en dash between dates of employment (e.g., January 1999–July 2020). Note: there are no spaces on either side of this en dash, which is grammatically correct and specified in the NCRW Study Guide.

And there’s another, rather obscure use of the en dash. 

When we hyphenate a compound adjective (as in “Roosevelt-era programs”), we use the regular hyphen; however, when the base word consists of two words, we use the en dash instead of the hyphen (e.g., Civil War–era memorabilia). This one might be a little too much, but at least you know.

The em dash indicates a sudden break in thought; a parenthetical statement (e.g. “The panel discussion—and the luncheon—made for an enjoyable seminar.”) An em dash indicates a longer pause than a comma, placing emphasis on what follows. It highlights material in a less formal way than commas or colons do. Do not place spaces either before or after an em dash.

Both the en dash and the em dash are symbols; therefore, you will not find either on your keyboard. Insert an en dash or em dash using the Symbol menu in Word by following these steps:

  1. Choose Insert on the menu bar.
  2. Choose Symbol.
  3. Choose More Symbols.
  4. Select the Special Characters tab.
  5. Click the character you want to Insert.
  6. Close the Special Characters window and return to your document.

Spotlight: Valuable Career-Planning Resource: O-Net Online 
by Paul Bennett - Director of Member Support, New Business Owners

No matter how we serve our clients—as resume and LinkedIn specialists, coaches, counselors, placement officers, headhunters, recruiters, and so on—we need detailed job information to be close at hand. Out of the many online resources, I especially like O-Net Online (OO), a free public-sector database.

The core of the OO system is its vast repository of “Summary Reports.” Each report contains key information about a job in the form of approximately 20 categories, including “Education,” “Work Activities,” “Work Context,” “Wages & Employment Trends,” and “Related Occupations.” Armed with a thorough understanding of many different jobs, one can make meaningful comparisons.

Each Summary Report is identified by a SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) code. For example:

A complete listing of the SOC codes is maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OO also provides us with four kinds of powerful searches to access the summary reports:

  • “Occupation Search” enables you to find reports using job title keywords, such as “dental,” or SOC codes.
  • “Find Occupations” is good for browsing similar occupations.
  • “Advanced Search” reveals occupations appropriate for one’s personal interests, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • “Crosswalks” helps to tie OO information with that provided by other job information resources.

So if you’re curious about everything the OO has to say about priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, and other spiritual leaders, put “21-2011.00” in the OO Occupation Search field and you’ll discover a huge amount of interesting information.

For your convenience, there is a downloadable two-page OO “desk aid” containing a good summary overview of the OO system.

OO is a great place to learn about industries that are growing rapidly, industries with numerous anticipated openings, and industries with a “future-focus” (for example, science and technology and the green economy). Furthermore, it’s linked to a huge number of other useful job market information resources.

Personally, I find that resources such as O-Net Online help me do a better job at gathering information from my clients. There will always be things for me to learn about jobs. O-Net Online gives me just about everything I need to make sure my client conversations are thorough, so that together we can create compelling career stories.

New & Renewing Members 

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of October 2020!
Click here to view the full list.

By the numbers for the month of October:

  • 21 new members.
  • 3 new members from New York.
  • 2 members from Canada: 1 new and 1 renewing.

Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums:

You can find colleagues in your area by searching here
Not yet a member of the NRWA? Click here to join!

Sponsored by:


The NRWA offers live and on-demand webinars, a self-paced Resume Writing 101 course, teleseminars, and more opportunities for learning throughout the year.


Certification Programs 


Resume Experts

Visit our public-facing companion site to access our directory of resume experts, learn more about how we help job seekers, and read our Ask the Experts blog.


Affiliate Partners

Indeed - Profiling Pro - Stewart, Cooper, & Coon - WebPages That Sell

Follow Us on Social Media:

Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    LinkedIn    Instagram

Copyright © 2020 The National Résumé Writers' Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at

The National Résumé Writers' Association  |  443-966-3851
2331 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill, MD, 21050