December 2022

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! 

It’s beginning to look a lot like the end of 2022! How did we get here so quickly?

I looked at the calendar today and realized this is my 24th issue of the NRWA Watercooler. It’s my favorite thing I write and edit all month!

In this issue, we have some amazing content for you:

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

  • Our current President, Sara Timm, tells us her story in this month’s Member Spotlight. I have enjoyed getting to know Sara (she’s kind of my neighbor) and loved putting this interview together.

  • I met a new friend who has a great take on the dreaded “25 years of experience…” question our clients sometimes ask. Check out Claire Davis’ response in “What’s Saving My Life This Month?”

  • Eustacia is back with an important read on human rights and how it impacts people. I especially liked points No. 7 and 8 because they apply so well to what we do in our industry.

  • The NCRW Certification Commission is continuing their coverage of what’s in the NCRW Study Guide. This month we’re discussing the Professional Summary section.

I’d love to hear your feedback on our newsletter and how I can make it more actionable and valuable. As always, if you have ideas, want to contribute, or be added to the member spotlight list, please drop me a line at

I hope your holiday season is filled with many blessings! Here’s to a great 2023.

Thanks for reading!

In This Issue:

What’s Saving My Life This Month?
By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE
NRWA Newsletter Editor

I put out a call for member spotlights on Facebook a few weeks ago. Thank you all for your responses! I have 5-6 lined up for the upcoming year.

One of those replies started a fun conversation and a feature for “What’s Saving My Life This Month?”

Claire Davis of Traction Resume shared a video I want to post all over social media and anonymously send to a few clients. 

Check out a unique way to answer the question, “Why wouldn’t I include 25 years of experience on my resume?”

Watch it here:

Still photo of a video with a woman discussing how to feature experience on a resume

Perspective: Human Rights Are Everyone’s Rights 
By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

Human Rights Day is observed each year on December 10th. This is the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

The UDHR is one of the United Nation’s major achievements and proclaims the inherent rights of every human, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or status.

What’s in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Interest in and awareness of human rights has grown in recent decades. The UHDR stipulates universal values and a shared standard of achievement for everyone in every country. It has become the most important document of what should be considered the standard for basic equality and human rights.

Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights without discrimination.

Why Human Rights Day?

Despite the efforts to protect human rights, the hostility toward human rights and those who defend them continues to rise. Human Rights Day advocates for everyone to stand up for their rights and those of others' civil, economic, political, and cultural rights. Additionally, the day aims to enlighten us about how our rights are a foundation of sustainable development and peaceful societies. The day also acknowledges the advocates and defenders of human rights worldwide. While the UN holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most translated document (the UHDR), far too many people are still unaware of their basic rights as human beings.

Why Human Rights Matter

Let’s discuss 10 specific reasons human rights matter.

1. Human rights guarantee that people's basic needs are met.

Everyone must have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter. Each individual has a foundational level of dignity thanks to the inclusion of these in basic human rights. Although millions of people still lack these basic needs, claiming that it is a matter of human rights enables activists and others to work toward ensuring that everyone has access to them.

2. Vulnerable groups are shielded from abuse by human rights.

The tragedies of the Holocaust and World War II greatly influenced the creation of the Declaration of Human Rights. At that time in history, the most defenseless members of society, such as the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and the Jewish community, were targeted. Instead of overlooking those in society most susceptible to abuse from those in positions of authority, human rights organizations focus on them.

3. Human rights empower individuals to confront societal corruption.

The idea of human rights empowers individuals to speak out when they encounter abuse and corruption. No society is flawless, which is why certain rights, like the freedom to assemble, are so important. The idea of human rights gives people authority and conveys to them that society, including the government and the workplace, owes them a certain amount of decency. They can stand up if they don't get this respect.

4. Human rights promote the right to freedom of speech and expression.

This is related to what you just read, but it goes beyond to say that you should be able to express yourself without worrying about being brutally punished. Additionally, it protects those who desire to argue against particular views represented in their culture and goes both ways. No one should ever feel threatened by their government because of their opinions, even if they hold ideas and ways of speaking that not everyone will enjoy or agree with.

5. People have the freedom to practice their religion or none at all.

Throughout history, there have been numerous instances of religiously motivated violence and tyranny, including the Crusades, the Holocaust, and current acts of terrorism. Human rights allow people to practice their religions and spiritual beliefs in peace and recognize the importance of those beliefs. A human right also includes the freedom not to practice a particular religion or any religion at all.

6. People can love whomever they want.

The significance of this right cannot be underestimated. A fundamental human right is the freedom to decide how one wants to live their romantic life. When you consider nations where women are pushed into marriages they don't want or where LGBTQ+ individuals are repressed and abused, the effects of not guaranteeing this right are obvious.

7. Equal employment possibilities are encouraged by human rights.

People can thrive in their society when they have the freedom to work and earn a living. People experience mistreatment or limited chances if they don't acknowledge that the workplace might be biased or even oppressive. The idea of human rights promotes equality and serves as a guide for how employers should handle employees.

8. Access to education is made possible by human rights.

Societies where poverty is pervasive need education to help break the cycle of poverty. Organizations and governments concerned with human rights provide access to education and supplies. Everyone can obtain education if it is viewed as a right, not only the wealthy few.

9. Human rights protect the environment.

As a result of climate change and its effects on people, there is a growing marriage between human rights and environmentalism. Since humans are a part of the earth and require land, it makes sense that environmental changes impact human beings. As important as the other rights on this list, the rights to clean water, clean air, and clean soil are equally important.

10. Governments can be held liable for their conduct if they violate human rights.

When the UHDR was published, it had two purposes: to set a standard for the future and to make the world recognize that human rights had been seriously violated during World War II. This important document set a definition for human rights. It and other documents are crucial because they call attention to injustice and establish a precedent. With the standards set for what constitutes a human right, governments can be held accountable for their conduct in the case of a human rights violation.

Where to Learn More About Human Rights

If you want to learn more about human rights, you can access free courses on children’s human rights, international human rights laws, international women’s health and human rights, international humanitarian law, defending dignity, and human rights for open societies from Harvard University, UNICEF, or Amnesty International among others. Many of these education providers also offer a completion certificate.

As 2022 comes to a close, let’s do our part to stand up for the rights and dignity of all individuals. Let’s go into 2023 with a mindset of 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:
Sara Timm, NCRW, NCOPE

By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

Editor’s Note: Our current president Sara Timm and I sat down for a Zoom before Thanksgiving to talk about her past year and the upcoming year for the NRWA. Sara also chatted with me about moving from Dallas to Colorado Springs and what that business transition looked like. Fun fact: Sara and I only live about an hour apart! So fun to have NRWA buddies nearby! I hope you enjoy this member spotlight as much as I did. Thanks, Sara, for serving as our fearless leader in 2022.

Sara Timm

Sara Timm

A Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Sara made the move from Dallas to Colorado in 2021. She still owns DFWResume and expanded her business to incorporate Colorado Springs to Denver with Colorado Resume. In addition to moving, she took on the immense role of leading the nation’s only nonprofit resume and career services professional association.

DFW to Colorado

Sara moved to Colorado after completing a seven-state vacation tour. “I had breast cancer and knew I needed a healthier lifestyle,” she says. “We visited Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Coming down Interstate 25, I asked my husband, ‘Can we move to Colorado? It feels like home.’”

Getting Started in Resume Writing

After running an employee transition center for a financial services company, Sara got her start in resume writing almost accidentally.

“Someone from the bank asked me to help with his resume, and the rest was history. I secured a contract role with a resume firm and became their head writer. I decided to turn it into a business. This also allowed me to stay home with my young children.”

For many years, Sara worked on building a business with her own sweat and tears. And through Bridget Weide Brooks’ website, she discovered the need to expand her education. That’s when she started looking at associations. She chose the NRWA because the nonprofit aspect of our organization appealed to her. She also saw the value in gaining certification as a solopreneur.

Why the NRWA

“I was only working on my strengths and hit a block where I could go no further by myself,” she says. “The minute I put my NRWA membership on my business website, I saw a big difference.”

She says she got involved in 2015 and joined a boot camp with Jean Austin to start working on her NCRW certification. “This is how I got to know the leadership,” she says. “Jean asked me to join the conference committee and gave me a couple of things to do. She said that I followed up and did what I said I would do.”

Then NRWA President, Michelle Dumas, reached out and said, “I hear you’re doing good things,” Sara says. “So, my NRWA board career began. I’ve served as an industry support representative, membership chair, conference chair (for a very short spell), and now president.”

Why Sara Loves Her Job

Sara won a ROAR Award in 2021 for her work on a resume for a breastfeeding expert who was looking to move across states and says this is one of her favorite projects to date. She also recently completed a resume for a fire chief and found it fascinating.

“I learn something every day, a new skill, a new way to do something, and what people do for jobs,” Sara says about helping clients.

“My process involves a personal interview, a DISC profile, and researching the industry by studying job descriptions. I fill in the blanks by taking all that back to the client and asking, ‘Where does this apply? Where did you do this? Research is the key.”

Building Business Value with the 2022 NRWA Conference

When asked how the NRWA has helped her business lately, Sara told me about a new feature she’s writing on LinkedIn called “Sara Says.”

“At this year’s conference, I learned that I don’t need to be afraid to put myself out there,” she says. “I teach my clients to build engagement on LinkedIn and I knew I needed to practice what I preached, so I invented Sara Says.”

“I introduced my avatar and its purpose during Breast Cancer Month. And then, I started offering advice almost daily. I have doubled my connections, and the engagement is incredible.”

What Sara Can Teach the Next Generation

Sara’s tips for newcomers to the resume writing world:

1. Follow the industry leaders and find a mentor so you can get support.
2. Tap into the network of an association. It’s been instrumental in growing my business.
3. Find your niche and write about what you know.

What’s Next for Sara?

As the immediate past president, Sara will still have a role in the NRWA leadership. She’ll be heading the ROAR Awards and a grant program for members to apply for financial assistance, such as free membership and attendance at the annual conference. She’ll be sharing more about these programs in the next few weeks.

We’re so grateful to Sara for leading us this year – through our first in-person conference in two years and so much more. Reach out to her at or on LinkedIn at

The NCRW Corner: What Makes a Great Summary? 
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

The Professional Summary section is a crucial part of the resume. A well-written summary captures the reader’s attention and positions the client as a strong candidate while distinguishing the client from others in the job market.

Section II of The NCRW Study Guide focuses on structuring and writing a good summary.

What are the key parts of a summary?

  • A headline that identifies your client’s current job or target job.
  • An optional sub-headline or skills line that showcases how the client excels or key areas of expertise.
  • A branding statement or tagline that tells the employer the value a client offers their company. 
  • A paragraph summary with relevant job-specific skills, specialized experience, relevant training and degrees, willingness to travel/relocate, and industry-specific software.

What makes a good resume summary?

A good summary turns into an excellent summary when the writer includes relevant facts and metrics to showcase the client’s expertise.

What will you learn from Section II of The NCRW Study Guide?

  • How long a summary should be. 
  • What types of metrics to use for positioning the client. 
  • How to effectively add keywords to the summary section. 
  • Common summary weaknesses and how to avoid them.

We encourage you to review Section II closely for specific writing strategies and clear examples of writing a good summary.

New & Renewing Members 

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

By the numbers for the month of November:

  • 10 new members.
  • 24 renewing members.
  • 1 new member from India.
  • 1 renewing member from Finland.
  • 2 new members from North Carolina.
  • 3 Renewing Members from New Jersey.
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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