September 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! It’s September—we’re celebrating 25 years of serving job seekers. From September 18-20, our membership will gather at our annual conference in the "Big Easy" to celebrate this important milestone!

We’re working on a big issue for next month surrounding Disability Awareness Month and how we can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our industry and services. This month, we’re featuring the first of three articles on our DEI committee, its membership, and its work.

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

In addition to introducing our DEI team, we’re featuring a great piece from Eustacia on how to incorporate Hispanic Heritage Month into the workplace. She’s also exploring some key areas of how we can use these observances to produce a change in our thinking and organizations.

Finally, we’re reworking how the NCRW Commission communicates with you. They want to focus on tips and tricks for improving your resumes and cover letters. In this issue, our graders share how to help with client references and some keys to why the references need to align with the resume strategy.

I hope you find some insights and new ideas in our newsletter. If you have ideas, want to contribute, or want us to feature you in our member spotlight, please contact me at

Thanks for reading!

In This Issue:

Unveiling Strategies for Success - The 2022 NRWA Annual Conference - September 18-20, 2022, New Orleans - 25th Anniversary  Registration open - Click here for details!
Sponsored by our partners: WriteSea - Smart Writers Start Here

Perspective: Hispanic Heritage Month 
by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, and the fall season is approaching. In the U.S., September 15 through October 15 is recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The histories, cultures, and accomplishments of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America are honored throughout this month.

Commemorative months are essential to HR professionals and organizations because they allow us to celebrate diversity and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

diverse handprints

Leaders can assist their organizations in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and establishing fair career paths for people of color this month and every year around this time. The list below includes some tips and suggestions.

1. Act as a mentor. According to research, bias frequently affects how we perceive mentoring. It's crucial to maintain awareness of workplace bias through ongoing training. Technology can also be a benefit in this situation. Colleagues can develop stronger bonds by using a learning and performance management protocol that enables mentors and mentees to interact based on responsibilities and skills. As leaders who frequently design mentoring programs, we should check our procedures for unconscious bias. For instance, before launching a mentorship program, organizations can pilot the program with their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging team or employee resource groups to get meaningful input and suggestions. However, the majority are still "one size fits some" with the assumption that everyone else will get on board.

Commemorative occasions like Hispanic Heritage Month offer an additional chance at work to assess if we have meaningful ties of mentorship, allyship, or sponsorship with colleagues of color. Today’s employees want to interact with, share with, and learn from coworkers from various backgrounds and career stages. These kinds of partnerships need to be actively encouraged and supported by businesses.

2. We should rejoice together (in-person or virtually). Planning company-wide celebrations of significant milestones has historically been simple to do. In a post-Covid world, organizations should continue to observe these types of events both in-person and virtually. Hosting virtual celebrations with a representative from the Hispanic community is an opportunity for organizations to encourage learning and community involvement.

At my organization, we have celebrated by spotlighting our Hispanic team members. Organizations should also consider external partnerships such as the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and similar organizations to strengthen their community ties.

3. Let's address pay equity. The Economic Policy Institute says that more needs to be done to achieve equitable pay in the United States. Organizations should ensure that they regularly assess their pay equity policies and that they act to address any uncovered inequities. To identify further potential sources of pay discrepancy, rules, and procedures for hiring and recruitment should be examined.

It's crucial to set up and carry out frequent pay equity audits. Ensuring the organization's pay equity policy is covered in continuous training and communication is also crucial. Working toward pay parity at work requires involving hiring managers in the solution by educating them on aspects of the recruiting and hiring procedures that can result in pay discrepancy.

This month, as organizations take the time to celebrate their diverse workforce and commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, they can make meaningful steps toward building a workplace where employees are valued and can thrive.

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

NRWA Member Spotlight:
Three Members of the DEI Committee

By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

The NRWA DEI Committee has been meeting to bring a real focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to the organization. We are planning many communication strategies for the coming year. I thought we’d start with who contributes to this amazing team. Also, if you want to join the DEI Committee, please contact Kathi Fuller.


Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

As NRWA marketing chair, I’m deeply invested in ensuring the organization speaks clearly and candidly about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also care deeply about advocating for and empowering our members and, by proxy, their clients to be proudly and confidently themselves without fear or worry.

What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

I am transparent with clients about my commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to eliminating words that have racist, sexist, ableist, or otherwise oppressive or exploitative history. I recently completed a 12-credit-hour Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certificate at The Ohio State University. I’m also pursuing advanced coursework in sociology (social stratification) and comparative studies (intersectionality) to enrich my consulting practice.

Kristen Schmidt

Kristen Schmidt

Kathi Fuller

Kathi Fuller

Rob Rosales

Rob Rosales

Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

Let’s talk about it more! The hard stuff, not just the holidays or the months of recognition. Representation is important. I believe that fervently. We are having conversations about DEI (and the lack of it!) in the workplace with our clients. We owe it to our members to prepare them for these conversations and empower them to respond with empathy and action. Our clients face discrimination for so many reasons and so many types of status. We should be prepared to engage meaningfully in those conversations, even if to point them to more informed resources.

What is your biggest challenge in DEI – i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

I think it’s easy for DEI to become just another tagline or phrase, to become defanged. But it’s a radical idea, and it should remain radical! Diversity, equity, and inclusion means being actively anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-exclusionary, and anti-oppression all the time. It means calling bull when you see it—which is constantly—and trying to move entire systems to change.

How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

Conversations about diversity benefit from diversity of all dimensions. The theory of intersectionality tells us we have much more in common than we do in opposition, even while we remain so very different from one another. We can come together in common experiences, even if they are perpendicular, not parallel. This breeds empathy, and I believe empathy breeds community. Call me hopeful!

Kristen Schmidt, NCOPE, has been a member of the NRWA since February 2021. She is the marketing chair and contributes to multiple committees as needed. In 2021, Kristen, a former magazine and newspaper editor, founded Wordschmidt Consulting, an editing, writing, and personal branding studio in Columbus, Ohio. Find her online at


Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

As a member of the NRWA Board of Directors that voted to establish the DEI Committee, I want to ensure that our organization’s leadership is doing all we can to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all.

What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

In my NRWA board role, I strive to keep DEI issues on the radar screen across all functional areas of the organization – membership, marketing/communications, education, conference, and more. I have served as the leader of the DEI Committee this year, identifying key issues, setting the agenda for our meetings, facilitating committee discussions, and playing a key role in developing our DEI mission statement, web pages, and other initiatives.

In my business, I seek to understand the challenges that job-seeking clients from marginalized communities face, helping them navigate the complexities of the job search and hiring process to foster their success. I help other clients stay attuned to an increasingly DEI-aware workplace culture, helping them develop the knowledge and skills that prospective employers are seeking in new hires, assisting them with crafting DEI statements, and preparing for interview questions about their track record of contributions to DEI.

Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

I’d like to see a more formal board role focused on DEI issues, ideally filled by a DEI-trained and certified member. I took on my position on the DEI Committee while serving as President-Elect and Ethics Chair of the NRWA Board and have continued to be engaged as President and now Past-President.

A dedicated DEI board role would go a long way to demonstrate the NRWA board’s deep commitment to this work while enabling more consistent and impactful DEI efforts. Education/training for our leaders and members on DEI issues should also be a priority for the NRWA.

What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e. communication, buy-in, etc.?

I think our greatest challenge is member engagement and bandwidth. We have a very dedicated – but small – core group of members who contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the organization. However, we need more people to get involved for the organization to grow and thrive. This is the case across many facets of the NRWA, but particularly the DEI Committee – a new initiative that has not yet gained the traction that other committees/volunteer opportunities have developed over the years. We welcome ideas, insights, and active involvement from all NRWA members who care about this work. Formal training isn’t required (although it would be appreciated). We just need individuals who are passionate about these issues and want to make a difference. We are all learning together.

How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

As members of the organization, we need education – the opportunity to learn more about DEI issues and topics for our clients’ benefit. They look to us to understand the importance of DEI in the hiring process and workplace. As volunteers, we need the ability to demonstrate our passion and leadership in this increasingly important area.

Kathi Fuller, NCRW, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2017. A Nationally Certified Resume Writer, Kathi provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile (and company page) development, personal branding, career marketing, and other consulting services to clients in the US and abroad. Living in northwestern Vermont, just a few minutes from the Canadian border, Kathi enjoys alpine and Nordic skiing, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, gardening, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as volunteering and supporting civic and charitable causes in her community. Connect with Kathi online at


Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

I joined the DEI committee to actively support DEI initiatives across the NRWA to raise awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of us all.

What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

I am committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment where cultural diversity is welcomed and valued.

Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

The NRWA needs training on DEI topics as a first step. However, we must expand beyond traditional tactics to create a culture of equality and participation.

What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

While we face many challenges, I feel like our biggest challenge is enlisting the active support to drive our forward progress. As a volunteer-run organization, we rely on member volunteers with technical expertise who are willing to step up and contribute their time and expertise.

How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

For me, it starts with the saying, “Together, Everyone Achieves More.” Everyone can benefit from an engaged membership filled with active collaboration, members sharing unique perspectives, and respect and support for one another's individual needs. This will go a long way to helping each member reach their full potential, creating a better future for themselves, their families, and their customers.

Rob Rosales, NCRW, NCOPE, CDCC, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2018. He provides resume writing, job search strategies, career marketing, and career transition coaching to clients nationwide, from college graduates to senior-level professionals, through his career services firm, EZ Resume Services, based in Kingsburg, CA. Find him online at

The NCRW Corner: How to Help Your Clients with References 
Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

Editor’s Note: Our Certification Commission team is transitioning this column to a “tips” column. We’ll share an actionable item from them and feature articles when they have big news to share. If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

Is your client looking for support in creating a reference page? Here are some actionable tips on how to do this and advice on how to find quality references.

1. Create a reference page with the same heading you used for the resume and cover letter.

2. Include 3-5 business references with the contact information preferred by the reference. For example, they may not want to receive a phone call at work, so only include their cell number.

3. Make sure your clients know that they need references who know them well and can speak highly of their strengths. We suggest supervisors, colleagues, or coworkers. If they cannot find anyone from a previous company, here’s a list of potential contacts:

    • Executives from other areas of the company
    • Fellow members of a board, committee, or taskforce
    • People who worked for your client
    • Project team members
    • Strategic partners
    • Vendors
    • Mentors
    • Community leaders

4. There must be a direct correlation between the references and the resume. If your client lacks business references, have them select credible friends. Try to choose people who are accustomed to serving as references.

5. After your client has asked contacts if they will serve as a reference, be sure they share a copy of the resume. Your client wants the reference to be clear on their job duties and accomplishments to avoid miscommunication when someone from HR calls.

6. On the reference page, it’s crucial to include an explanation of how the reference knows your client. Names without a link to the resume are meaningless. The HR representative usually checks references in the order they appear on the resume, so put the best reference first.

New & Renewing Members 

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

By the numbers for the month of August:

  • 14 new members.
  • 30 renewing members.
  • 2 renewing Board Members (and 1 Past President).
  • 2 new members from the University of Montana.
  • 2 new member from Oregon.
  • 4 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.


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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