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

February 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Welcome to February! This issue is slightly lighter as we’re doing a little content reorganization. Stay tuned!

However, I think you’ll find the content engaging and valuable. I particularly like the NCRW corner this month. Our member spotlight features a new board member—Sandra Allison. And Eustacia brings us a closer look at Black History Month.

I’m still looking for members to feature in our Member Spotlight for the upcoming months. 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!

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

NRWA - National Resume Writers Association

In This Issue:

  • Perspective: Eustacia Campbell shares the history and impact of Black History Month.
  • Member Spotlight: Anne Anderson introduces the 2022 Partnerships Committee Chair—Sandra Allison. You’ll love Sandra’s storied career!
  • NCRW Corner: This month, our Certification Commission gives the nuts and bolts of why keywords matter.
Call for Speakers - Proposal Submission Deadline: March 7, 2022 - Unveiling Strategies for Success - The NRWA 2022 Annual Conference - September 18-20, 2022 - New Orleans

Perspective: Black History Month—Honoring the Legacy 
by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

It’s Black History Month, and I’m here to give a brief history lesson on how it all started. Let’s start with five fun facts:

  • Black History Month began as a one-week celebration.
  • Dr. Carter G. Woodson is known as the father of Black history.
  • February was specifically chosen.
  • A week-long celebration turns into a month.
  • Black History Month was created to honor the achievements of Black men and women.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper. Black History Month was created to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans, both men, and women. Initially, Black History Month started as Negro History and Literature Week and was created by Harvard University historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In 1912, Woodson was only the second African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard, after W.E.B. DuBois.
Eustacia English

Eustacia English

Black History Month

Dr. Woodson wanted to do more to celebrate Black history and bring awareness to anyone who would listen. Ultimately, his goal was to educate because he believed young students were not taught enough about their ancestors' deep heritage and accolades. In 1926, Woodson and his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, were the creators of Negro History and Literature Week.

Click here to read the full article.

NRWA Member Spotlight:
Sandra Allison

by Anne Anderson, NRWA Staff Writer

When you feel a fresh breeze blowing through the NRWA, it’s probably Sandra Allison stirring things up at a board meeting! Clearly a force of nature, Sandra currently serves on the NRWA Board of Directors as the Partnership Committee Chair.

Interior designer. Museum director. Tour guide. Tea shop owner. Avid gamer. Chigiri-e artist. Executive resume writer. Board member. SCORE advisor. Chamber of Commerce Legislative Director. Sandra calls her history “quirky,” but it seems pretty dazzling to me.

Self-taught and self-made, she has repeatedly transformed little acorns of jobs into mighty oaks of careers. At 19, Sandra began working at JCPenney designing retail displays. This entry-level role developed into a high-end interior design career.

Anne Anderson

Anne Anderson

Sandra Allison

Sandra Allison

After starting as a tour guide, Sandra moved into the assistant director role at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts in Cape May, NJ. She expanded the organization to be one of the largest employers in the area, with 120 employees and a $1.2 million budget.

Because Sandra joined the workforce before finishing college, she coaches clients that success is attainable despite perceived disadvantages (like not having a degree).

The NCRW Corner: Don’t Bring Me Flowers—Using Keywords in Resume Writing 
by NRWA Certification Commission Member

As writers, we love creative language and masterful wordsmithing. But when hiring managers are at their job, scrolling through stacks and stacks of resumes, they’re not looking for a Nicholas Sparks novel. They’re giving each resume a six-second chance to win a second date, and that’s if it even gets past the ATS (applicant tracking software).

During this initial screening, they care far less about the client’s effervescent personality and far more about their skills, qualifications, and competency to do the job. We must be the best matchmaker between our clients and the job they deserve.

Use keywords found in the job ad to maximize the resume’s chance of getting through the ATS. It filters out unqualified applicants by scanning for keywords the hiring manager has programmed into the system. If it does not find enough keywords, it rejects the application.

The ideal keywords include hard skills, soft skills, and certifications the candidate has that are also mentioned in the job description. For example, a construction worker’s resume may include OSHA, NCEES, ACI, and LEED. A software developer’s resume may include C++, Java, Python, and Linux.

New & Renewing Members 

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of January 2022! Click here to view the full list.

By the numbers for the month of January:

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!


electronic learning

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