June 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! Happy June! We’re discussing routes to success in this issue—the small steps it takes to get significant results.

I got this month’s themes from a repeated thread in my interactions with clients and NRWA members this month—small steps snowball if you are consistent.

Here are a few examples:

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

  • Making small changes to my schedule has given me space for a four-day workweek.
  • Taking a few short minutes to call a client gave her some hope after a layoff.
  • Nelly Grinfeld shows us why it’s important to edit out those overused words “hardworking” and “responsible for” and replace them with value-driven results. Small changes = big impact.
  • Eustacia English shows us how small steps led to Juneteenth gaining recognition as a federal holiday.
  • Kyle Elliott shares how a small job on Fiverr turned into a huge success.

I’m running a little empty on features and spotlights. I want to hear your business strategies, work hacks, and client stories for future issues. If you want to share your ideas and business, please email me at newsletter@thenrwa.org.

Don’t forget to check out our updated Conference Page for some exciting information on our in-person event coming to the Big Easy, September 18-20. Have a great month!

In This Issue:

NRWA Board of Directors 2023 Elecetions - Now accepting nominations through June 24! Click here for more details
Unveiling Strategies for Success - The 2022 NRWA Annual Conference - September 18-20, 2022, New Orleans - 25th Anniversary  Registration open - Click here for details!

What’s Saving My Life This Month?
The Four-Day Workweek & Call Your Clients!

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

I have two tips for you this month – Explore a four-day workweek and call your clients!

Why I Decided to Work Four Days Per Week

When I had a regular full-time job, I asked my employer for a four-day workweek. They didn’t love it and said I could work at home when needed. That helped some, but as an introvert and new mom, this really didn’t solve the problem. I needed a day to do all the things. You know—grocery shopping, personal development, and appointments. I was also a writer sitting in a cubicle. The distractions were endless. When you need to read complex reports and whitepapers to derive value, you need more than earbuds.

This was one of my biggest drivers for creating my own career at home. However, I’ve realized that I still need that day, even though my schedule is flexible. So, I’ve been experimenting with taking one day off a week to focus on my kids and me. It’s life-changing!

What do you think of the four-day workweek? Have you tried it? Let me know your stories, and I may feature them in an upcoming issue. Send your thoughts to newsletter@thenrwa.org.

Call Your Clients! They Need a Personal Connection

I just got off the phone with a young lady I would hire for any sales role I had open in my company. She’s creative, tenacious, and dedicated to her customers. She reached out to me a couple of months ago to coach her on her next career path, after spending the past eight years in supply chain sales. I LOVED working on her resume and LinkedIn profile.

I remembered today that I needed to respond to a compensation question she asked me. I asked her via email how her search was going, and she listed off six upcoming interviews. She also mentioned that she had a meeting with her manager and HR. I picked up bad vibes from that email.

She quickly responded and told me she’d been let go. I immediately picked up the phone to check on her. It’s soul-crushing to get laid off, and I know that call of “I understand” and “You’ve got this!” helped her in some small way. This is why we do this—to better people’s lives and give them hope. I know a personal connection like that would mean the world to me if I faced this situation.

What do you do in this type of scenario? How do you help your clients keep their heads up when they get hard news? Send an email to newsletter@thenrwa.org so that I can share responses in a future issue.

Perspective: Celebrating Black Joy 
by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

Happy Juneteenth! The 19th of June or Juneteenth is a day to commemorate, educate, and connect. Juneteenth commemorates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in all 50 states after the Civil War ended, abolishing slavery. While the holiday is now a national holiday, it has gained more popularity due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Whether you've always celebrated Juneteenth or have never heard the term, chances are you've heard more about it recently than ever.

    Read on for some interesting facts about Juneteenth:

    1. Juneteenth is the United States' oldest national commemoration of the abolition of slavery. “On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, VA, Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, TX to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended,” according to The New York Times. “General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.”

    Eustacia English

    Eustacia English

    diverse handprints

    2. The festival's name is a combination of June and the nineteenth century. Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day are all names for the same day.

    3. Although Order No. 3 was issued on June 19, the almost 250,000 individuals enslaved in Texas did not immediately gain freedom. Many plantation owners/enslavers waited until after the harvest to announce the news, and many enslaved people who acted on the information faced severe repercussions.

    4. Texas hosted the first Juneteenth celebration in 1866. Freed Texans began commemorating Juneteenth with parades, cookouts, prayer meetings, musical performances, and historical/cultural readings. Every community today has its own distinct traditions.

    5. A Juneteenth tradition is to eat and drink red foods. Juneteenth festivities commonly include red velvet cake and strawberry soda, as the color represents perseverance. Red dishes are customary at Juneteenth cookouts and barbecues, as red is "a symbol of inventiveness and tenacity in bondage," according to The New York Times. Red honors the blood that African Americans shed.

    6. President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021, making June 19th a federal holiday. This month, let’s celebrate! Take some time to reflect and learn more about Juneteenth. Many companies now give employees the day off and observe Juneteenth as a business holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated by many families and towns with parades, concerts, cookouts, and other activities. Shop at black-owned businesses, share history, or rest at home.

    Juneteenth celebrations are tough for some African Americans to enjoy because Black people are still working for equal rights in labor, health care, housing, education, and other areas. Some believe it is insufficient to increase public awareness of the holiday and provide time off from work until there are actual regulations enacted in this country to defend the underprivileged and uplift the marginalized voices.

    While the decision to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday is a step forward, realize that it is only a tiny win in the grand scheme of things, and there is still much more to be done. Take the day off to learn, educate, relax, refuel, reflect, and recommit to creating a sense of belonging, dignity, justice, and joy for all. And as always, wishing 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 LinkedIn.com/in/ecampbell05.

    NRWA Member Spotlight:
    Kyle Elliott, CaffeinatedKyle.com

    by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I recently reached out to Kyle Elliott of CaffeinatedKyle.com about his comment on our Facebook group regarding “getting started in resume writing on Fiverr.com.” This intrigued me because Kyle recently presented the Business Growth Lab course 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 Elliott

    Kyle Elliott

    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 CaffeinatedKyle.com or connect with him at LinkedIn.com/in/kylecromerelliott.

    The NCRW Corner: The Nuts & Bolts of a Winning Summary Section 
    by Nelly Grinfeld, NCRW – NCRW Certification Commission Member

    As you work on creating a strong summary section, remember that you should include the client’s most impressive and relevant experience here. Since recruiters and hiring managers spend very little time reviewing each resume, the summary section is a key component in capturing the reader’s attention.

    An objective statement used to be the norm on resumes—it told the reader what the job seeker wanted and their goals. Today, the objective has been replaced by a summary section. This is your first opportunity to sell the reader on why your client is the answer to the company’s needs.

    The summary section can consist of a headline, a skills line, and/or a branding statement that communicates the client’s unique value to the future employer. Follow this with a brief paragraph, no more than six lines or four bullet points, that provide details, facts, and metrics to summarize the client’s relevant expertise.

    Don’t fill space with empty phrases such as “hardworking professional,” “responsible for,” or “proven—demonstrated—track record of success.” For example, a sentence such as “Team manager with excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and teamwork” provides no details and no value to the reader.

    In addition, make sure that any claims you make in the summary section are supported elsewhere in the resume. If the summary mentions that the client is a “B2B sales leader who is an expert in team leadership, new market penetration, and consultative selling,” make sure details and examples of this are spelled out in the experience section.

    Remember that every word on the resume must have a solid reason for being there. Instead of filling the summary with overused phrases that could appear on anyone’s resume, convey the client’s unique qualifications and specific abilities to solve the employer’s problems. Here are some examples of this (first phrase is generic and meaningless, what follows is much more effective):

    • Top performer in division à #3 performance standing in division of 100 sales managers
    • Strong communicator à 100% “excellent” customer satisfaction rating based on 250 client surveys
    • Problem solver à Prevented 12 facility shutdowns and saved $120K by leveraging resources

    Remember that a resume’s purpose is to effectively market your client’s skills, abilities, and expertise to secure an interview. Starting off strong with an effective summary section will put your client on the track to success.


    Nelly Grinfeld has volunteered for the NRWA since 2018 and serves as a grader on the NCRW Certification Committee. She really values her NRWA membership for all the fantastic learning and growth opportunities offered. She owns Top of the Stack Resume LLC in Cincinnati, OH. You can find her online at Linkedin.com/in/nellygrinfeld.

    New & Renewing Members 

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

    By the numbers for the month of May:

    • 14 new members.
    • 30 renewing members.
    • 1 new member who joined by registering for our Writing Excellence training.
    • 2 renewing members who are speaking at our annual conference.
    • 2 new members who joined by registering for the NCOPE course.
    • 3 renewing board members.
    • 2 new members from Michigan.
    • 6 renewing members from California.
    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.


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

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