February 2023

By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! I thought this meme was funny as we head into the New Year.

I hope your days are getting a bit warmer in the second month of 2023! I also hope business is good for each of you.

Some exciting news from my neck of the woods – we’re buying a house! Our family has been looking for a new home for nearly three years.

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

We’ve had many setbacks, but I know that waiting for the right opportunity was the right move. And this is what I often tell my clients – waiting for the right culture and role is challenging.

Sometimes we have to take a step forward before we get all the way. For instance, last year, we signed a lease for our little cabin at 9,000 feet elevation. It didn’t feel great to do this again, but it was the right thing for right then. I’ve been educating my clients that a move in the right direction isn’t a failure; it’s a step toward progress. Progress always matters on the route to success.

I need to make a quick editorial correction to last month’s newsletter – I missed two contributors to Louise Kursmark’s new book in my list. Stacie Fehrm and Kaljah Adams have resumes featured in the third edition of Modernize Your Resume. Thanks to both of you for spotting the omission. Look for their stories in this month’s and next month’s Member Spotlight.

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 newsletter@thenrwa.org.

Thanks for reading!

In This Issue:

Perspective: Black History Beyond February 
By Eustacia A. English - NRWA DEI Columnist

February is Black History Month! This month-long observance in the US and Canada is a chance to celebrate Black achievement, provide a fresh reminder to take stock of where systemic racism persists, and give visibility to the people and organizations creating change.

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

I love a good theme, and this year's Black History Month theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how "African Americans have resisted historical and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings," since the nation's earliest days, according to History.com

Let’s dive into what you need to know about Black History Month and how to celebrate it this year.

Black History Month, which began as a week-long celebration in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, is an annual celebration of African American achievements and a time to recognize their central role in US history.

Black History Month was first recognized by
President Gerald Ford in 1976. In a speech, President Ford encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Since his administration, every American president has recognized Black History Month, and Congress passed National Black History Month in 1986

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Ireland, celebrate Black History Month in October. Black American history was the main emphasis of Black History Month when it was first observed in the U.K. in 1987. However, Black British history has gotten more attention over time, with the celebration now focusing on African achievements in the U.K.

After teaching Canadian Black history in her classroom, Canada’s first African Canadian Parliamentarian, Jean Augustine, led the charge to establish Canada’s Black History Month. She proposed a motion to Parliament in 1995 that passed with unanimous consent.

I urge everyone to commemorate Black History in February and all year long. Here are three ways to do so.

  1. Support Black-owned businesses. Many Black-owned companies are still affected by structural racism, threatening their ability to serve community needs. Becoming a customer is a great way to celebrate a Black-owned business.

    Don’t know where to start? Online marketplaces like Miiriya, Afterpay, and We buy black showcases Black-owned businesses in fashion, art, beauty, home decor, and more. You can also find companies by searching for the #blackowned hashtag online.

  2. Visit museums that center on Black history and culture. There are plenty of museums that you can visit in person or virtually.My personal favorites are the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. 

  3. Learn about Black figures and their contributions. Black History Month is associated with many well-known historical figures, such as Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and activist Rosa Parks. You can visit BlackPast.org for a list of other notable Black figures.

This column is a call to everyone to study the history of Black people and establish safe spaces where Black history can be honored, sustained, fortified, and respected. Peace, love, and blessings in 2023 and beyond.

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

The NCRW Corner: How to Expertly Present Professional Experience

Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

Editor’s Note: We will review 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

This month we’re looking at Section III of the NCRW Study Guide: Professional Experience.

  1. Start with the company name and location (city/state). You can also include a one-line description of the company. Remember to be consistent—if you describe one company on the resume, include a description for all companies.

  2. Add your actual job title. Keep in mind that in some cases, the actual job title might not be mainstream or correlate with the position your client seeks. Following the exact job title, you can include a more common job title in parentheses. See page 12 of the SG for an example.

  3. Present dates of employment. These dates can be presented in various formats, i.e., years only, months + years, placed next to the job title or company name, on the right margin, etc. Reasons for making this decision are explained on page 12. Be consistent with whichever method you choose and remember to use an en dash to separate dates with no space before/after the dash.

  4. Insert a brief job description paragraph. Writing job description paragraphs requires critical thinking to convey the key elements of our client’s duties concisely. Our clients often provide us with a company-written job description or a bulleted list of tasks. We must analyze the information provided and decipher key skills essential to the targeted job while avoiding irrelevant tasks. These paragraphs are also a great place to include keywords.

  5. Always write in the first-person implied voice. Use action verbs whenever possible and keep these paragraphs to no more than 5-6 lines of text. If the job is more complex, present the information in two paragraphs. 

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/eustacia.

Next month we’ll look at accomplishments – the cornerstone of a strong resume and why our clients hire us.

NRWA Member Spotlight: Stacie Fehrm

Member Spotlight: Stacie Fehrm

By Amanda Brandon, NRWA Newsletter Editor

Editor’s Note: Stacie Fehrm and I sat down for a coffee chat in January after I learned that she was featured in Modernize Your Resume, Get Noticed...Get Hired, 3rd Edition by Louise Kursmark and Wendy Enelow. With her 20+ year background in helping noncollege bound and GED students develop resumes and job searching skills, I thought her story answered the question: "What do you put on a resume when clients don’t have much experience, or they come from non-traditional backgrounds?” Here’s a little insight into how Stacie fostered success for thousands of nontraditional students.

Stacie Fehrm recently retired from over 20 years as a Program Administrator and Career Advisor for GED programs in Massachusetts. She also worked at the Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center, writing resumes for newly unemployed clients.

She has written hundreds of resumes for people with a wide range of personal, educational, and life challenges. It’s one of the reasons I invited her to share her story; it’s a question I often see in our field, “How do I help a client with a nontraditional background or gaps in their experience?” Stacie will share some tips on this question in an upcoming issue of The Watercooler.

“My first job out of college was as a career education teacher for students who were not going to go to college,” Stacie says. “It was my dream job! We spent the whole year conducting self-assessments, exploring careers, and learning job-seeking skills.”

“I went on to work with foster kids and got a job as a school adjustment counselor in a public high school. Just having a resume gave them an edge. I started teaching that and writing with them side by side.”

Later in her career, Stacie worked as a career advisor and administrator of adult GED programs. She helped her students set career goals, leverage effective job search skills, and find satisfying work. She was a frequent speaker all over Massachusetts and presented eight times at the Annual Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Educators (MCAE) Network Conference. She also facilitated the Southeast MA Learning Group for Career Advisors and played a crucial role in developing the state-mandated Massachusetts Adult Education and Career Plan.

Today, Stacie owns her own business – Stacie Writes Resumes where she works with professionals from all walks of life to tell their compelling career stories.

Leaning on her background in creating “challenging” resumes, Stacie has expanded her services to include nurses, state police officers, finance executives, attorneys, and CEOs.

“I love listening to people talk about their jobs, and I’ll go, wow, that’s an accomplishment,” Stacie says. “I help them see strengths, attributes, and qualifications they don’t even know they have!”

“My real specialty is career changers – people who have stayed home with kids for 20 years or have elderly parents or significant gaps in employment. I just did resumes for two moms who hadn’t worked for 20 years. They thought they had nothing going for them.

“I bumped into one of them at a restaurant, and she teared up and said, ‘You helped me get my job.’”

Stacie operates from the belief that part of our role is to help people realize they have more going for them than they think they do.

“I can put their story into words,” she says. “It’s all about listening and digging in and ensuring I understand what they do so I can put it into words.”

Stacie says her professional resume writing friends helped her see the value of joining the NRWA. She credits Shoni Bell and Cathy Lanzalaco for referring her to our organization.

“Shoni spoke highly of the Writing Excellence course, and Cathy says she loves the giving and generous nature of the nonprofit model and volunteer leadership.”

After attending the NRWA conference in New Orleans, Stacie said her passion for our industry ignited a fire to build her business. Paula Christensen’s workshop on video interviews, Angie Callen’s seminar on building your business, and the ROAR awards were some of Stacie’s highlights from the conference.

But she says the networking was the best part of the conference.

“I now know faces, and I feel like I have work friends,” Stacie says. “When you’re working alone, you need those connections. That’s the best part of it – the people. Everybody’s so giving and sharing and wants to support each other.”

Next month, Stacie wants to expand her professional expertise by earning the Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert certification. She’s signed up for the NCOPE course and looks forward to using this expertise in her new business.

“I think it’s a great profession,” Stacie says. “I’m excited to do it Monday through Friday.”

Stacie holds an M.Ed. in Counseling from Bridgewater State University and a bachelor’s degree from Providence College. Learn more about her and connect with her at LinkedIn.com/in/stacie-fehrm.

New & Renewing Members 

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of January 2023! 
Click here to view the full list.

By the numbers for the month of January:

  • 36 new members.
  • 64 renewing members.
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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