November 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! It’s only a few weeks until we close out this year! I hope you are thriving in your business and practices, assisting candidates in presenting their value.

A couple of our writers had some personal circumstances come up this month, so I decided to give you an overview of some of the technical training the NRWA provides. I consider this training the “secret sauce” to providing our clients value and great first impressions.

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

  • Resume Writing 101 – I’m personally finishing up this course. I learned a lot in Module 5 about Perfecting Punctuation and Capitalization. It’s such a good overview of the best practices for resume writing. You also get 1 CEU per module (that you can use toward the 10 CEU requirement for the NCRW certification).
  • NCRW “Secrets” to Effectively Format Resumes – This is another classic refresher course on how to maximize your skills in Microsoft Word – setting tabs, using margins correctly, adjusting paragraph and bullet spacing, and working with borders. It also covers common errors that can negatively impact your clients. (Qualifies for 1 CEU credit)
  • Unveiling the Superhero: Tips for Getting the Hidden Info with Client Intakes – I find client intakes so exciting! I get to hear their stories, find the hidden gems, and uncover that “superpower” that helps them stand out. Presenter Sharyn Grose says we can “empower the reluctant hero into a fully realized candidate that stands above the rest.” If you need a refresher on maximizing the intake session, this course is for you! (Qualifies for 1 CEU credit)

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:

  • Perspective: Eustacia’s 5-Year-Old Publishes Her Second Book!

Perspective: Eustacia’s 5-Year-Old Publishes Her Second Book!

Editor’s Note: Due to some unforeseen health circumstances, Eustacia could not complete her Perspective column this month. She’s on the mend, and we’re thankful she’ll return to us next month with a fresh column on how to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into our career services practices.

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

Since Eustacia has been a loyal writer for The Watercooler for over a year, I thought it would be fun to showcase a passion project of her 5-year-old protégé – Kennedi! Eustacia and Kennedi are working on their second children’s book!

Kennedi already published Kennedi Meets the Vice President (a kids’ book about Career Day at school) in 2021. Her newest book, Kennedy Goes to Kindergarten, helps boost self-confidence in children experiencing school for the first time. The launch date is December 1, 2022.

Learn more about the dynamic duo’s publishing project at their Amazon Author Page.

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:
Kelli Thomason, NCOPE

By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

Editor’s Note: I met Kelli Thomason through a networking conversation on the NRWA Facebook group. She asked about a career coaching certification, and I chimed in with the one I’m working on. We connected via phone, and I got a chance to mentor an HR industry veteran on breaking back into resume writing.

Kelli currently works as the senior director of operations for HireBetter. As the right hand to the CEO, she supports five functional areas of the executive search services provider. She says, “My main objectives are to create order from chaos, keep the train running on time, and put ducks in a row.”

Kelli Thomason

Kelli Thomason

Prior to her recent promotion to senior director, Kelli led recruiting operations for HireBetter. In this role, she championed many technical, professional development, and operational improvements related to sourcing candidates for HireBetter's clients. She also served as the company ATS administrator and transitioned the team to a more powerful ATS solution. 

Kelli has run a side gig resume and LinkedIn writing business since 2004, when she left recruiting and HR role at the Federal Reserve Bank. At Kelli Thomason Consulting, she elevates career marketing documents to help candidates attract more social views and interviews. She says this element of her career “fills my cup to overflowing.”

At HireBetter, Kelli has made personal branding part of the company culture. “I felt like my organization was not capitalizing on the opportunity to use our team as the face of our brand,” she says. “So, I explored how I could educate myself and my team about personal branding.”

After vetting a couple of competing certification programs and interviewing others about their experiences, Kelli earned her Nationally Recognized Online Profile Expert (NCOPE) certification this past July.

“My first thoughts were to focus my energies on strictly helping our team members optimize their LinkedIn profiles,” she says. “As I got more into it, I realized how closely connected the resume and online profile are. I decided at this point to jump back into resume writing and joined the NRWA to brush up my skills.”

Kelli has found an “abundance mentality” inside the NRWA as a whole. She finds the webinars, communications, and conversations valuable to her growing practice.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see that the members are very giving in sharing information,” she says. “They are willing to share, and when it’s not something they want to share, they have no problem saying, ‘That’s my secret sauce.’ I respect that!”

Kelli wants her clients to know that the resume and LinkedIn profile are just “tiny pieces” of the career search puzzle. She advises them to make sure they are findable and approachable on LinkedIn.

“People are going to Google your name when they meet you,” she says. “And wouldn’t you want to have your best foot forward with a nicely written, comprehensive narrative that you are driving?” 

Kelli is an avid volunteer with work as a Precinct Delegate and Secretary in West Union, SC, and served many years as a Band Booster board member. She has also worked with Onward to Opportunity (O2O) as a Panel Member to field questions for military spouses and service members transitioning to civilian careers.

Kelli graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Resources from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL. Find her online at

The NCRW Corner: Why Strategy Matters in Resume Writing 
Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

Editor’s Note: Our Certification Commission team is transitioning this column to a “tips” column. We will feature a preview of essential sections from the NCRW Study Guide for the next several months. Members can access this guide for free at this link.

If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

A Solid Strategy Makes the Resume!

The foundation of a good resume is a solid strategy, which is why it is the topic of the first chapter of the NCRW Study Guide.

In Section I, we learn the key elements that are important when developing a strategy for presenting your client, including positioning them for their target job, the relevant information to include (or exclude), and keywords.

We want the tone/writing to be appropriate for the client’s communication style, and the design should reflect the industry, occupation, and client.

Finally, think of the resume structure as an “inverted pyramid” – the most compelling qualifications, based on the match between their background and experience and the target position, should be on the top. 

We encourage you to open the Study Guide and review Section I – it’s just three pages long but will be a good reminder of why strategy is so important. 

And, speaking of foundations, the first module of the new Writing Excellence: Foundations class is all about strategy – learn why this step is vital, the critical information you need, and, most importantly, how to get that from your clients. Included with class instruction are valuable resources/handouts to aid you in info gathering. Click here for details and registration link.

Board Bytes: 3rd Quarter, 2022 

The third quarter of 2022 brought new educational opportunities to the NRWA. The board voted to offer Resume Writing 101 course as a member benefit to elevate membership value and the quality of work provided by resume writers. RW 101 is a self-paced learning program that delivers practical, ready-to-use resume writing tips to improve your skills, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in the field. NRWA members can access the course after January 1, 2023.

And then there’s a new class. Kathy Keshemberg, Certification Chair introduced Writing Excellence Foundations, six hours of instructor-led training that begins with how to execute the discovery process and plan the document strategy and culminates with best practices for developing and formatting modern resumes and cover letters. Find out more about this class at

The NRWA is excited to announce a partnership with Elizabethtown College which is now setting up a landing page with NRWA information. The NRWA will provide all Elizabethtown students with discounted (membership) pricing for its’ online webinars. (Amount TBD.) Elizabethtown College will provide a 10% tuition discount off the per-credit rate for all School of Graduate and Professional Studies undergraduate and graduate degree program offerings. Courses at the discounted rate are offered through the accelerated adult degree program and do not apply to programs outside of the SGPS. Classes are offered 100% online as well as blended course options at Elizabethtown College.

This fall, Immediate Past President Kathi Fuller and Past President Lorraine Beaman set up a partnership with Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, offering virtual review resumes through December. Many RWA members volunteered for these reviews.

Strategic planning for the next 3 years has also been a matter of focus for the board in the third quarter. Rob Rosales, President-Elect has been spearheading this initiative and when asked about the future, he sees distinct pillars of focus:

1st Pillar (focus area): Membership – We are a member-driven organization, our members are the foundation. We must address the needs of our diverse membership.

2nd Pillar: Identity – As the industry continues to evolve, so must the NRWA. To keep pace with the ever-changing needs of our members and their clients, we must consider the best option to position the organization within the greater career community. We must strategically meet the needs of our diverse membership so they can meet the needs of their equally diverse clients.

3rd Pillar: Infrastructure – To continue to stay relevant, we must reinvest in infrastructure. In doing so, we will strengthen our ability to deliver value and a quality experience to our membership.

Rob went on to say that since we have 3 member segments that have unique needs: entry-level members, experienced members, and older members who are winding down in their careers / businesses, we have to understand and meet their unique needs. We need more help to do it. As an example, Jean Austin, Education Chair, has revamped the educational programming for 2023 designed specifically to meet the needs of all our constituencies.

The board also welcomed Tanya King Floyd to fill the open position of Partnership Chair. The Partnership Chair promotes strong relationships with existing affiliate members and sponsors to ensure that each receives the benefits and value of their support of the NRWA. The role also identifies and solicits new affiliate members and sponsors and advocates for affiliate members and sponsors to resolve issues and enhance value, in collaboration with other board members and the administrative team.

New & Renewing Members 

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

By the numbers for the month of October:

  • 13 new members.
  • 16 renewing members.
  • 2 renewing Board Members and 1 Certification Grader.
  • 1 new member from the United Kingdom.
  • 1 new member from Singapore.
  • 1 renewing member from Canada.
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

Platinum Level: Distinctive Resume Templates, WriteSea; Silver Level: Indeed, Profiling Pro, Resume Products, Web Pages That Sell

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