August 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! Can you believe we’re already to August? We’re just a month away from our 25th anniversary and our first in-person conference in two years! This issue is mainly dedicated to the conference, with two articles on WHY you need to be there.

Another highlight for this issue is how your membership in the NRWA helps your business.

I was just looking at all of the opportunities the NRWA gives its members to grow as writers, advisors, and business owners. Here are five I found just in a quick review of the website:

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

  • Ask the Experts: This is an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge. Each month, we feature multiple questions related to job searching. You can answer three questions per month. Some of the benefits include increasing your web traffic, connecting with potential new clients, and helping establish your expertise.
  • Your Profile: When a job seeker searches our website, your profile is a key marketing tool. Your services are listed with a top-notch certification and industry resource. Wouldn’t you want to hire a resume writer from the NRWA?
  • The ROAR Awards: The deadline is Tuesday, August 9th. When you enter (and win!), you can shout all about it on your website and social media and get recognition at our conference in September.

If you’re interested in more ways the NRWA membership benefits your business, please check out one of our quarterly business calls. You can see the calendar and register in the Members Portal.

In This Issue:

Get Ready to ROAR! Earn game-changing recogntion from the NRWA's premier resume-writing competition!
Unveiling Strategies for Success - The 2022 NRWA Annual Conference - September 18-20, 2022, New Orleans - 25th Anniversary  Registration open - Click here for details!

Marketing Smarts: Grow Your Business by Attending the NRWA Conference 
by Ruth Sternberg NRWA Staff Writer

The 2022 NRWA professional gathering is finally in person after two years of virtual, and many of us are excited to see each other again or meet for the first time.

This time, if you have not heard, it’s September 18-20 in New Orleans. It’s our 25th anniversary, too! We’ve come a long way and have a lot to celebrate as North America’s only truly nonprofit, member-run professional organization for career services professionals.

More importantly, YOU have something to celebrate! You have been working hard on your business and attending the NRWA conference is a gift you can give yourself to help you move forward successfully and effectively. The NRWA’s goal is to keep ramping up the training for our members so that we can continue providing excellent service and guidance for our clients while growing our businesses.

This is why you pay your annual membership fee.

Here are a bunch of reasons why you should consider attending the conference:

The Knowledge and the Growth

“I learn so much—the latest and greatest with regards to resumes, LinkedIn, and running my business,” said Sara Timm, NRWA president and owner of DFW Resume. “Plus, I earn enough CEUs to certify and remain certified.”

Ellen Steverson, owner of StartingBlock Career Services and creator of the NRWA’s business development course, points to the conference as a catalyst for meaningful action.

“Action kills fears,” she says. “Attending the NRWA's conference is the perfect action that will minimize or eliminate any fears you may have about being successful as a writer, business owner, or entrepreneur. There will be so many opportunities to learn and grow, not only from the workshops and speakers, but from other attendees. You will be energized and motivated upon returning for a successful year ahead!”

This year’s meeting features some unique subject matter experts. Creativity is a major theme this year. And who doesn’t need a dose of that after the last two years?

Check out our keynotes:

Amma Marfo is a writer who loves to talk about integrating leadership, group dynamics, and creativity, and how you can infuse your work and life with your values in new and exciting ways.

Mason Gates is passionate about using data to improve the hiring process. He works for Indeed as a Recruitment Evangelist and will talk to us about trends, algorithms, and more, so we can stay on the cutting edge of the career industry.

Other sessions, conducted by our members, will help you improve your close rate, strengthen your business processes, sharpen your writing, and honor your clients’ diversity.

When you attend, Ellen advises: “Spend a few moments each day to write a few action-specific tasks or SMART goals to accomplish upon returning home so you can implement the most important things you learned.

“Remember not everything you learn will align with your business model or goals, so focus on your mission and implementing what works for you best. Conferences can be packed with great info, but you want to return and use the knowledge you gained to help you, your business, and your clients grow!”

The Collegiality

“This will be my first in-person conference,” said Rob Rosales, owner of EZ Resume Services, and NRWA’s president-elect and ethics chairman. “I am very excited to attend and meet everyone that I have been working with! I believe that the physical connection of being together in the same place, talking about our passions, work, joking, and having fun will do more to build and grow relationships in a way that you can’t do over the phone or on Zoom.”

Cathy Lanzalaco, owner of Inspire Careers, agrees. “As wonderful as technology has been to keep us connected during the pandemic, nothing can replace the value of spending in-person time together to build relationships, share best practices, and strengthen our professional presence,” she said.

Many NRWA members already have forged connections digitally and often consult with one another on business matters, and some of those relationships started at the conference!

Sara loves seeing her friends. “The camaraderie is second to none,” she said. “The activities are a lot of fun, and they let me get to know my colleagues better. So many laughs!

“This year you can take a dinner cruise or tour the city to learn about its haunted past. You can kick back at the opening reception on Sunday and have dinner locally with some of your NRWA peers.”

The Confidence

It’s always nice to feel validated by our peers. At the conference, you will meet a lot of people just like you, at various stages of business. You will see that we share the same challenges. At the awards luncheon on Tuesday, we will share our inspiration as we honor excellence in the profession with the ROAR awards.

The Climate

A change of environment can infuse your business with new energy. Just being in a different place can lead to a new mindset; maybe help you get unstuck. This is one of the key principles taught by thought leaders such as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, who preaches about change.

After the past few years, a change of scenery can be refreshing! New Orleans is one of those energetic places full of history and activity.

We hope to see you in September! You can register here and check out the agenda here.


Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, is a resume writer and coach who has also worked as a journalist, editor, grant writer, and copywriter during her 37-year career. She owns Confident Career Search, equipping people across the age spectrum with the confidence and tools to make meaningful career transitions. She has been a member of the NRWA for two years and serves on the Public Image Committee. She recently moved from Columbus, OH, to Rochester, NY. Find her online at

Perspective: Why Belonging Matters in DEI 
by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

What is belonging? Being a part of a group or place gives one the sense of security and support that comes with acceptance, inclusion, and identity. This is belonging. It is the motivation to establish and maintain meaningful, long-lasting relationships with people.

These connections can be made with the organization you work for and its principles, as well as the actual work itself. Everyone wants to work in a place where they feel like they belong, and the first step in building an inclusive atmosphere is to educate ourselves and have discussions with others. To fully participate in the discussion about diversity, inclusion, and belonging, organizations should make an effort to understand the value of listening, understanding, and learning from others.

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

diverse handprints

Most businesses actively aim toward having a diverse workforce, but many now try to ensure that all workers feel welcome at work. The essential element of inclusion is belonging. When workers feel fully included, they believe that the organization values them as people and allows them to be themselves. Employee well-being is enhanced, and ultimately, corporate performance is improved.

Fostering a sense of belonging offers leaders a valuable opportunity to reassess their goals and strategies for inclusion. “Do employees feel completely welcomed as members of the workplace?” is a question that leaders should consider.

If not, activities for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging need improvement. Greater on-the-job effort and good employee performance result from fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace. To create a sense of community, organizations should eliminate alienation, involve everyone, and show that they care through rewards and meaningful projects.

Let's talk about ways to foster a sense of community and accomplish DEI objectives:

1.Eliminate the feeling of being an outsider in the workplace: Despite improvements in DEI, many employees still experience this feeling, which leads them to further repress the aspects of themselves that set them apart from their coworkers. When an employee feels unwelcomed, it’s psychologically upsetting. This detrimental experience interferes with their concentration and performance. There shouldn't be a "one size fits all" office. However, the majority are still "one size fits some" with the assumption that everyone else will get on board.

2. Create a work environment where uniqueness is acknowledged and valued. Show consideration for each employee and offer many chances for check-ins. One is less likely to feel alienated at work if there is trust, understanding, and support.

3. Bring everyone on board. According to research, employees may believe that their company isn't providing them with enough information about how to advance inclusiveness in their regular job. Make everyone accountable for attaining DEI goals on a daily basis to more effectively convey genuine support of belonging.

4. Encourage employees to value what each person can contribute. Show your team that you care about them, fight for their rights, and invest in their futures. Include employee feedback in organizational values to empower people and demonstrate their significance in creating an inclusive workplace.

5. Show that you care by offering perks. Offering advantages that apply to all demographic groups, such as flexible work hours and mental wellness programs, shows employees that you are concerned about their individual needs and expectations at work and outside of it. Such expressions of gratitude fuel a sense of belonging.

Although there is still much to learn about how belonging affects people at work, adding belonging into any diversity and inclusion strategy holds enormous promise. Exclusion usually happens accidentally if people don't make a conscious effort to be inclusive. Even unintended exclusion might damage employees’ feelings of community. It is up to all of us to ensure that we are cultivating a sense of inclusion and belonging as part of our diversity programs.

As always, I send you all my best wishes for continued peace, love, joy, 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

NRWA Member Spotlight:
Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

by Anne Anderson  NRWA Staff Writer

Cathy Lanzalaco came to resume writing after enjoying two successful careers, first as a registered nurse, and then as an HR leader for 18 years. When the company she worked for closed, she helped employees transition into other jobs and was herself the recipient of outplacement services.

She realized this was the work she wanted to be doing and started her business in 2017. She offers resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, career development, executive coaching, public speaking, and brand consulting. She has also developed a program to help new college graduates launch their careers.

Ruth Sternberg

Cathy Lanzalaco

She began doing contract work for Beth Stefani, whose business was Inspire Careers (Beth is familiar to many NRWA members). Cathy was selected as Beth’s successor to carry on the legacy of the business before Beth passed away. Cathy is proud of its evolution during her tenure, crediting her time working with Beth as key to her success now.

Cathy reminds us that you never know where the opportunities will come from. She has found that buying an existing business was a great way to boost visibility and credibility. She’s been able to make it her own, applying her individual style to put her personal stamp on the business.

The NRWA is the first organization Cathy joined when she started her business—and she quickly became a ROAR winner!

She says, “The NRWA made a massive difference in my career and my business. The NRWA is such a crucial organization for our industry that really helps support new writers, coaches, and business owners, as well as more experienced ones. There’s something for everyone.” Cathy recently led a webinar on writing C-suite resumes (July 15). She has found many resume writers are skittish about writing for these clients and she has expertise to share, hoping to open this niche for her colleagues.

Cathy is interested in the Experienced Business Owners board position as a way of giving back to the organization that has given her so much. She enjoys being part of the community and appreciates its collegial nature. A frequent speaker, she loves to deliver webinars and participate in Ask the Experts.

She hopes to be able to support the newer folks coming into the NRWA. Cathy has made her business very successful, is eager to help others master the business side of things, and is a frequent coach for NRWA new business owners.

When she is not traveling or enjoying time with her three adult children, Cathy is home in beautiful Buffalo, NY. Contact her at or


Anne Anderson is an HR Manager at Charter Spectrum and a professional resume writer. She has been a member of NRWA since 2013. Find Anne online at

The NCRW Corner: Interested in Earning Your NCRW? 
by Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Commission Grader

Are you interested in earning your NCRW? There are many ways to prepare for the NCRW process and attending the NRWA conference is one of the best. Here’s why:

1. Earn 10 CEUs. The first step on the path to the NCRW is to earn 10 CEUs and attending the conference will provide you with what you need.

2. You Be the Grader. This is a scheduled session at the conference where I’ll provide participants with a fictitious profile, a written resume, and the test grading form. In small groups, you’ll review the document and grade that test sample just like our graders do. This exercise will give you great insight into what we’ll be looking for with your test submission.

3. Network with other NCRWs. You’ll have an opportunity to meet NCRWs and ask them your questions. How did they prepare? What steps did they find challenging? What advice do they have for you? What has earning the credential done for them and their business?

Having attended dozens of professional conferences over the past three decades, to me, the sessions, while valuable, aren’t the most important aspect of the event. Networking with my peers is where I find the most value. Meeting other writers and career service professionals during breaks, at a lunch table, at dinner gatherings, or even on a shuttle from the airport, is so beneficial.

Personally, I’ve met lifelong friends at conferences. I’ve learned pricing strategies, marketing ideas, general business operational processes, difficult client tactics, and so much more.

In our “regular” lives, our friends and family don’t always understand what we do or the challenges we face. Our fellow resume writers do, however, and it’s a blessing to be able to call on them when we need to vent or ask a question. To me, this is the single best reason to attend an in-person conference. I hope to meet many of you in New Orleans!


Kathy began volunteering with the NRWA as a member of the initial board of directors and continued contributing in various capacities, culminating with accepting the role of Certification Chair in January 2021. For three-plus decades, she has operated A Career Advantage in Appleton, WI. Find her online at

New & Renewing Members 

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

By the numbers for the month of July:

  • 20 new members.
  • 33 renewing members.
  • 2 renewing Board Members.
  • 8 new members in group memberships.
  • 1 new member from Australia.
  • 4 renewing members from Florida.
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.


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