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

November 2021

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Welcome to November! Can you believe we have just two months left in 2021? I hope this year has been a good one for you and yours.

In this issue, we’re covering another membership benefit, a 2021 NRWA conference recap, and unconscious bias in the hiring process, and introducing you to a new NRCW.

In This Issue:

  • What’s Saving My Life? NRWA Member Benefits – This month, we’re featuring Distinctive Resume Templates – a timesaver for all of us!
  • Feature Article: 2021 Conference Recap – Paul Bennett is sharing stats and evaluating our highly successful virtual conference.
  • Perspective: 13 Types of Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process – Eustacia English gives us insight into several types of unconscious bias that can affect hiring decisions.
  • Member Spotlight: Caitlin Gonzalez interviews one of our newest NCRW’s and a conference pro – Kim Ribich.
  • NCRW Corner: Nelly Grinfield shares why strategy is essential in developing a client story for the NCRW sample.

Thanks for reading!

Amanda Brandon

Pet Colleague
of the Month: Buckeye, the Motivator

a dog with toys falling out of a basket

Buckeye is Rebecca Bosl’s motivational expert on her small team. She says that he brings energy and a fresh perspective to her days. Thanks for sharing your friend, Rebecca.

If you’d like to see your furry, slimy, or scaly friend featured, check for my Facebook post on the first Friday of the month or email with a photo, caption, pet’s name, and your name.

What’s Saving My Life This Month? NRWA Member Benefits
by Amanda Brandon – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Did you know that when you join the NRWA, you’re not just getting a network of professional resume writers? You’re also getting access to some amazing business building perks. Over the next few issues, I’m going to feature these perks in this space.

This month’s benefit feature is Distinctive Resume Templates. This resource allows you to receive access to beautifully designed, ATS-friendly Microsoft Word templates for resumes, biographies, cover letters, and other career marketing documents.

You can join the “Insiders” club at a discount for just $27 for the first month with no obligation. The subscription renews at $47/month after this, or you can cancel with no obligation. Each Insider receives access to four new template collections per month (bios, resumes, letterhead templates, and sometimes other documents too).

I recently purchased a template package from Distinctive Resumes because I had a client who quickly needed something “executive.” I should have joined the club because I spent the same amount on the templates! I’m signing up for the Insiders perk this month—the templates saved me so much time!

If you’re interested in learning more about this benefit or other membership benefits, head over to to learn more.

    Feature Article: 2021 NRWA Conference Recap
    by Paul Bennett, NCOPE – NRWA Conference Committee

    It seems we just keep getting better and better at holding virtual conferences! Our 2020 event was excellent, and I found our 2021 experience to be even better. This year, more than 160 of us attended (a pretty good turnout), and in the future, given the size of our organization, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number goes much higher.

    Because so many of us couldn’t make it, as a member of the 2021 Conference Committee, I’d love for all of our members to realize what a fabulous gathering it was. 

    Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett

    The NRWA 2021 Annual Conference - Resilient & Thriving

    So, here’s my personal experience and summary of the NRWA 2021 Virtual Conference’s “three fabulous Ps”: platform, program, and people.

    We used the Accelevents conferencing system this year (just like last year), and it performed well, with fewer technical glitches this time around and a smoother overall attendee experience. Personally, after just a few minutes of getting used to my surroundings, I felt right at home, and I’m guessing Stringfellow (meaning Addie, Robbie, and Jen) didn’t have to squash too many digital bugs.

    As I expected, the presentations were outstanding, with great breadth and depth of knowledge and a near-continual flow of “value bombs” that made the conference worth far more than the price of admission. Moreover, besides fortifying my skill in resumes and LinkedIn (my own two specialties), they broadened my knowledge of other essential career management areas. As a writer considering expanding his suite of offerings, I need to learn a lot more about the roles of other careers industry specialists such as coaches, recruiters, and career center personnel. Because these professionals are so closely involved in my resume clients’ success, I’m thankful that I gathered insight into what they do through the presentations I attended.

    If you couldn’t make it and would like to see the outstanding lineup of speakers and topics we featured this year, you can view the conference schedule at this link. Recordings will soon be available for purchase on our On-Demand Webinars page!

      Perspective: 13 Types of Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process 
      by Eustacia A. EnglishNRWA DEI Columnist

      By day I’m a recruiter, and I enjoy what I do. I get much satisfaction when I can offer a candidate gainful employment and their dream career. In this profession, we face challenges such as a lack of qualified candidates, a lack of diversity in the candidate pool, candidates and/or hiring managers missing interviews, or candidates accepting competing offers (after completing the entire interview process). While these challenges make our jobs as recruiters difficult, I want to discuss an often-overlooked challenge—unconscious bias—in this month’s Perspective.

      Unconscious bias can and does occur during the hiring process. It happens when you form an opinion about a candidate based solely on your first impressions or personal opinions without regard for the candidate's skills or ability. Recruiters and/or hiring managers may make hiring decisions based on subconscious emotion, perception, and stereotypes.

      Eustacia English

      Eustacia English

      Equality, Diversity, Justice, Respect, Tolerance

      Did you know there are up to 18 common types of bias in the hiring process? Let’s dig a little deeper on 13 of them.

      1. Affinity bias: Also known as similarity bias, affinity bias can occur when a recruiter chooses a candidate because they share a similar background. We all tend to gravitate toward what and who is comfortable for us. However, hiring someone because they have a similar background or were in the same fraternity or sorority does not focus on the candidate’s skills and experience.

      2. Expectation anchor: You could be making bad hires when you narrow your judgment on a candidate to just a few areas on the resume to form your entire opinion about them.

      3. Confirmation bias: I am a firm believer that first impressions are everything. However, we should not judge a candidate solely based on first impressions, especially if it’s a negative opinion. One should not look for evidence to support your first impression of a person. Instead, focus on the skills and experience of the candidate.

      Click here to read the full article.

      Member Spotlight: Kim Ribich – NCRW & Career Coach 
      by Caitlin Gonzalez, NCRW NRWA Newsletter Staff Writer

      Nestled in the cozy mountain town of Crested Butte, CO, known for its winter skiing and spring wildflowers, you will find Kim Ribich diligently writing resumes and coaching clients to help them achieve purposeful, meaningful careers.

      Much of this is new to Kim; she only recently moved into her Crested Butte home last weekend (at the time of writing this article), and she began her resume writing practice about one year ago. This "newness" symbolizes her adventurous and courageous spirit while also exhibiting how she seeks to maximize all that life offers. What a beautiful combination to gift job seekers as they navigate their journey towards intentional living!

      Kim brings skill in crafting life-changing resumes, a determined work ethic, and a community-centric approach to the NRWA. She "dove right in" to the career services industry in late 2020, and we are so fortunate to have her with us.

      Caitlin Gonzalez

      Caitlin Gonzalez

      Kim Ribich

      Kim Ribich

      A Passion for Solution-Focused Servant Leadership
      Interested in understanding more about how people think, feel, and behave, Kim achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Alverno College in her home state of Wisconsin. She had intended to go into this field upon graduation but found she felt less suited to orient around problems and preferred to orient around solutions. While she did not become a practicing psychologist, she was spurred into helping professions throughout the nonprofit sector. Her education has remained relevant and helpful throughout her life and work.

      Kim served as a Program Director for Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families, where she pioneered a statewide program to connect and support families adopting children with special needs. Then, after moving across the country to Colorado, she worked on behalf of child and animal protection with the American Humane Association, eventually spearheading the grants program. Kim also worked as Office Manager for Adam's Camp, offering developmental therapy programs and family support to children with special needs.

      Later, an opportunity opened within The Colorado Health Foundation, and she went on to become their Events Manager overseeing all public-facing events, conferences, and training. One of her most significant accomplishments was steering their annual award-winning conference. She noticed many other nonprofits struggling with event coordination and management and was repeatedly asked to help guide external strategy and planning. A new professional challenge then emerged—entrepreneurship.

      Click here to read the full article.

      The NCRW Corner: Plan Your Writing Strategy Around Your Client’s Voice 
      by Nelly Grinfeld, MBA, NCRW, CEIC, NCOPE

      Is your next professional goal to start the NCRW certification process? If so, congratulations! To ensure a successful resume sample submission, make sure to closely follow the guidelines that have been outlined in detail in the NCRW Study Guide. Take your time to review all the Study Guide sections, and then plan your writing accordingly.

      As you begin the task of writing a client’s resume, the first thing to think about is what information should be included to support the client’s target position, company, and industry. Without this clear goal, you run the risk of creating a document that is too general and irrelevant. In fact, before you type a single word on the screen, you should have a clear picture of what information is actually relevant to your client’s career goal.

      For a District Sales Manager looking to switch industries from retail to consumer-packaged goods, is his prior experience as a food supply sales representative important? Discuss this with your client to clearly understand what skills their next employer is looking for and which of their skills are a match. Remember that the experience section does not need to include every aspect of all positions.

      New & Renewing Members 

      Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of October 2021! Click here to view the full list.

      By the numbers for the month of October:

      • 21 new members.
      • 27 renewing members
      • 3 renewing members from Illinois.
      • 4 new members from New York.
      • 1 new member who joined by enrolling for the next NCOPE course.
      • 4 renewing board members.

      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!


      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 

      NCRW - Nationally Certified Resume Writer
      NCOPE - Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert

      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

      Click here to join our mailing list!

      Copyright © 2021 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