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

December 2021

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Welcome to December! Grab a warm drink and relax with our last newsletter of 2021.

I’m excited about all the festive fun of this season, and I love planning for next year. I’ll be hosting a few conversations in the Facebook group over the next couple of weeks on planning for next year, and I’ll share some of the best ideas in our next newsletter.

A fun conversation I start every year with my parent friends is “What’s the weirdest thing your kid wants for a gift?” My son wants a hair vacuum, a bank tube, a drone, and a mobile handwashing station. I want to know what’s on your list – what unique item do you want for yourself?

I personally want a Bamboo Slate Smartpad to take notes while talking to clients. I hear that it transcribes handwriting to text – I love taking notes by hand, but I find the transcription tedious. I’ve been typing my interviews, but I don’t remember as much as I do when I write.

I’m also looking for some new members to feature in our Member Spotlight for next year. If you haven’t had a chance to share your business with us, I want to hear from you. Email me at, and I’ll set you up with our member spotlight columnist. Thanks for reading!

In This Issue:

  • What’s Saving My Life? Our Member Directory – I had an exciting opportunity arise because I updated my profile! I hope you’ve updated yours lately.
  • Feature Article: The Benefits of Member Mixers – Paul Bennett shares why you need to attend our next Member Mixer and the benefits you gain from taking an hour to network.
  • Perspective: Do You Know All the Holidays of the Season? – Eustacia English gives us a fun look at all the holidays we can acknowledge in this month’s DEI column.
  • NCRW Corner: Kathy Keshemberg shares an in-depth look at the NCRW sample review process. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of how to get started with certification.

Thanks for reading!

Amanda Brandon

Pet Colleague
of the Month: Holly, Grassroots Marketer & Nibbler

a rabbit in its habitat

Holly is Rob Rosales’ newest hire. She handles all the grassroots marketing for his business – Rumor has it that she hopped right into her new role and was all ears from the first day. Thanks for sharing your floppy-eared friend with us, Rob.

If you’d like to see your furry, slimy, feathered, 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.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite perks of being an NRWA member is the effort our admin team puts into resources for job seekers and industry professionals. Between the education opportunities, networking events, and resources, we really do have the best industry organization!

I’m so excited about a contact who found me through the member directory.

    I had recently updated my profile and received an email asking me if I could handle some contract work in the New Year. How cool is that?

    Our association with the NRWA helps us establish a professional reputation. I encourage you to link to your member profile in your email signature, add our banners to your website, and be sure to update your information regularly. It’s a free tool that can help you build your business and reputation.

      Feature Article: The Benefits of NRWA Member Mixers
      by Paul Bennett, NCOPE – NRWA Director of Member Support, New Business Owners (West)

      Heads up from your keyboards, everyone!

      No matter where we fall on the introversion-extroversion scale, once in a while we’ve all got to extricate ourselves from intense brainwork, come up for some air, and enjoy a bit of good old-fashioned socializing. Our happiness and mental health depend on it! And now that coronavirus has crashed the humanity party (in case you haven’t noticed), it’s more important than ever that we all simulate real-life gatherings until we can meet again in person.

      Paul Bennett

      Paul Bennett

      group of diverse professionals

      One of the many benefits of NRWA membership is that it plugs you into a vast network of potential friends and colleagues, and it’s easy to network through our private Facebook and LinkedIn groups. The problem is, our social media conversations tend toward more “serious” and business-related, and they don’t happen in real-time.

      So, how can we all have a little more fun? In an NRWA Member Mixer, of course! With a deliberately non-serious agenda, an NRWA Member Mixer is a great way to round off your afternoon. I’ve attended (some might say crashed) a few of our mixers over the past year or so, and I’ve always found them worthwhile.

        Perspective: ‘Tis the Season 
        by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

        It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least it is for me! I’m in an extremely happy mood from November to January and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Since I was a child, I have always loved Thanksgiving because of all the food. Who knew back then, I was a foodie at heart. I learned early on the meaning of giving thanks, being grateful for all you have, and why my household celebrated Thanksgiving.

        Christmas was my second favorite holiday. As kids, my brother and I were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. Growing up and going to Catholic school, I learned early on that Christmas was not about Santa Claus, the North Pole, and toys as I once thought.

        Eustacia English

        Eustacia English

        Equality, Diversity, Justice, Respect, Tolerance

        As I progressed in my career, celebrating holidays at work became hard. I didn’t know what to say to my colleagues. If I said, “Happy Holidays,” was I declaring war on Christmas? If I said, “Merry Christmas,” was I disrespecting my Muslim colleagues? Should we call the party a Christmas party, holiday party, or office party? I learned the safe bet is to call it a seasonal celebration and mention the various holidays celebrated during the season. In the diverse world that we live in, I don’t want to leave anyone out.

        In light of my column’s focus—celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion, I thought it would be fun and relevant to bring awareness to the various holidays celebrated from late November through January.

        • November 27 – December 24: Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ.  
        • November 28 – December 6: Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring its menorah, or lamp.
        • November 28 – January 6: Nativity Fast, a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus Christ.  
        • December 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment.
        • December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.
        • December 16 – 24: Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating Mary and Joseph's trials during their journey to Bethlehem.
        • December 21: Yule Winter Solstice, a celebration by Pagans and Wiccans focusing on rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings.

        Click here to read the full article.

        The NCRW Corner: An In-Depth Look at the NCRW Sample Review 
        by Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE NRWA Certification Chair

        Are you interested in gaining more confidence in your resume writing abilities? Could a differentiator between your services and the competition increase sales? Would you like to be recognized within our industry as one of the best?

        If you answered yes to any or all these questions, earning your NCRW should be on your goal list for 2022.

        Get a Free Prep Workshop
        Not sure where to start? Sara Timm & I presented a session at the NRWA conference in September and shared many tips and advice. You can listen to the recording here—for free!

        Get the Evaluation Sheets—Free!
        And, as a bonus, I included the actual documents the graders use to evaluate your sample and score your exam. If you review each section of these forms and study the corresponding sections of the NCRW Study Guide, you will greatly enhance your success in the NCRW process.

        Your NCRW Graders Are Here to Help
        Now, I’m not saying everyone is ready to be an NCRW, and probably at least half of the samples we see are deemed not ready on the first try. However, the bonus of starting the process is that you receive targeted advice on how to improve your writing. Your grader completes one to three pages of notes, calling out specific mistakes in strategy, grammar, punctuation, formatting, and much more. Plus, you have the opportunity to request a 15-minute consult with your grader to ask specific questions

        New & Renewing Members 

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

        By the numbers for the month of November:

        • 14 new members.
        • 23 renewing members.
        • 5 new members who joined by enrolling for the last NCOPE certification course.
        • 4 renewing members from the West Coast.
        • 2 new members from North Carolina.
        • 1 renewing member from Hawaii.
        • 1 new member from Alaska.
        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.

        LEARN MORE

        Certification Programs 

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


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