August 2023

by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends!

Happy August! Is life getting busier for you too? Take a break and see what’s going on with the NRWA.

Personal Note: I lost my dad in July, and I’d like to thank everyone who reached out with thoughts and condolences. 

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

I’d also like to thank the NRWA for recognizing my dad’s memory by donating to Limbs for Life. My dad was a double amputee, and this contribution will help someone gain access to mobility and a more independent life. My family and I are grateful for the care and support. 

A few things you’ll see in this Watercooler issue:

  • Feature Article: Norine Dagliano gives a great rundown of the vast training opportunities available to resume writers at every career stage.
  • Tech Talk is AI-Powered and super helpful this month. Lisa Dupras has created a more structured Tech Talk column this month, sharing tools, AI prompts, and industry news you can use.
  • NRWA DEI Awareness & Response: Kathi Fuller shares how we, as career services professionals, can continue to elevate women in the workforce with coaching, writing fantastic resumes, and raising awareness of unconscious bias.

As always, if you have ideas or want to be added to the Member Spotlight list, please drop me a line at

Thanks for reading!

Feature Article: Honing Your Skills as a Resume Writer

By Norine Dagliano, NCRW, NCOPE, NRWA Written Communication Chair

Whether you are just contemplating work as a professional resume writer, have some paid experience under your belt, or have been writing resumes for years, continuous self-learning is crucial to your professional growth and success.


  • Understanding industry standards: Formal training can help you familiarize yourself with current industry standards and best practices for resume writing. It can give you insights into the latest trends, formats, and strategies that employers and recruiters expect to see in resumes.
  • Gaining knowledge of diverse industries: Different industries often have specific expectations and requirements for resumes. Formal training can expose you to a variety of industries, enabling you to understand their unique needs and tailor resumes accordingly. This knowledge can make your services more valuable to clients from different sectors.
  • Developing writing and editing skills: Even if you consider yourself a good writer, training can help you refine your skills further. It can teach you how to write compelling, concise, and impactful resumes that effectively highlight a candidate's qualifications and achievements. Additionally, you can learn editing techniques to ensure accuracy, consistency, and clarity in your work.
  • Building credibility and trust: While you may have helped friends, relatives, and co-workers with their resumes, having formal training can boost your credibility in the eyes of potential clients. It demonstrates your commitment to professional development and signals that you have invested time and effort to become an expert in the field.
  • Networking opportunities: Through formal training, you may have the chance to connect with other professionals in the resume writing industry. Networking can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and potential referrals, helping you grow your business and expand your client base.

The NRWA provides year-round training options to fit individual budgets, schedules, and learning styles—and helps you earn CEUs (a requirement for pursuing NCRW certification).


  • Writing Excellence: Foundations is a self-paced, on-demand program that covers current standards and best practices for writing modern resumes and cover letters. Available year-round through the Teachable platform, you’ll have access to pre-recorded training modules, multiple handouts and worksheets, quizzes, and a follow-up call with the instructor. The cost is $595 for members and $770 for nonmembers.


  • Resume Writing 101 comprises nine downloadable PDF modules covering various topics to help you improve your resume writing skills, whether you’re an experienced professional or just starting out in the field. Customize your learning by selecting individual modules, or complete all nine. The modules are immediately available at no cost to NRWA members and can be purchased individually by nonmembers for $30 each or $198 for the full portfolio. 


This comprehensive, 45-page guide, available as a free benefit to members, covers industry standards, best practices, English composition rules, and guidelines for creating resumes and cover letters that meet Nationally Certified Résumé Writer writing excellence requirements and expectations. Members can download this guide by logging into their NRWA account from the following page:


Log in to the NRWA website to access an extensive video library of recordings of our live monthly webinars, as well as select conference sessions from our past virtual conferences, each presented by industry experts. Covering a wide range of topics, presentations vary in price from free for members and $19.99 for nonmembers (recordings older than 24 months) to $19.99 for members and $39.99 for nonmembers (recordings from the past 12 months). Topics fall within the following categories:

  • Resume and Cover Letter Basics: Covering everything from information gathering and planning the document strategy to developing concise, grammatically correct, and sales-focused documents, consider the following:
    • The Art and Strategy for Writing Impactful Resumes
    • Boost Your Resume Writing Efficiency and Speed
    • Information-Gathering to Write High-Impact & Concise Accomplishments
    • Needles in a Haystack: Tips and Techniques for Proofreading Your Own Work
    • Career Branding: How to Create Unique, Valuable, and Memorable Resumes
    • Cover Letters that Open Doors
    • The Resume Handshake: Creating Professional Summaries Hiring Managers Will Want to Read
    • Create Impact Bullets That Sell Your Clients
  • Document Formatting: The first thing a recipient notices about a resume or cover letter is how it looks. Learn techniques for formatting documents that capture attention, generate interest, and inspire positive action.
    • Simplify Resume Formatting with Microsoft Word Styles
    • NCRW “Secrets” for Effectively Formatting Resumes
    • Formatting Secrets to Eye-Appealing Resumes
  • Applicant Tracking Systems: Like it or not, the reality is that computer software is scanning our documents and ranking our candidates. Stay up to date with the latest technology with these presentations:
    • ATS Resume Writing Updates
    • The ABCs of the ATS
    • How to Create Graphically Beautiful, Yet ATS-friendly Resumes
  • Industry-and Occupation-Specific Topics: Take a deep dive into one or more topics that cover the diverse pake-up of our client base. Recent topics include
    • Aligning Your Board Resume Focus and Language for Maximum Impact
    • Resume Writing Strategies for the New College Student Majority
    • How to Craft Resumes for the High-Tech Industry
    • Demystifying C-level Resumes for Writing Expertise and Business Revenue Growth
    • Spinning Straw Into Gold: Resumes and Cover Letters for the Inexperienced Job Seeker


With so many options from which to choose, wouldn’t it be nice to receive some custom recommendations? Well, that is also a possibility! Send an email to us at and attach a sample resume and cover letter that you wrote. A member of the Certification Commission will review your work and suggest the best training for you based on your current skill level. Please note, specific feedback will not be provided, just a recommendation as to which training will be most beneficial to move you to the next level.

Stay ahead of the learning curve and the competition by making NRWA training an ongoing priority!

Tech Talk: News & Tools You Can Use to Amplify Your Career Services Business
By Lisa Dupras, NCOPE, CPH

The summer is flying by, and the number of AI tools is multiplying like the mosquitos in my backyard! It’s an exciting/sometimes frustrating time to be an entrepreneur, especially with all the AI and technical innovation. I’m trying out a more organized format for my article this month.  


  • Plagiarism Checker – Do that last-minute free check on your client’s resume to confirm there isn’t any lingering AI-formatted language.  
  • Target Company Research – Help your job search clients learn how to evaluate target companies with Perplexity. You can ask Perplexity questions about the company’s financial health, hiring trends, sustainability record, diversity efforts, and layoff information. The application provides summarized information as well as data source links. 
  • Unsplash for Images – The site has millions of easily found, beautiful, royalty-free images.  


  • Build Website-to-Website Backlinks – Backlinks demonstrate to Google that your website is authoritative and credible. Websites rate with domain authorities of 0 (a new website) to 99 (Amazon), so try backlinking to the websites with the highest ratings. You can build backlinks by guest blogging, participating in forums, submitting your website to directories, and being a published author.  
  • Standardize your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) – Consistent information is important to potential customers. It also enables Google to provide relevant and accurate search results. Mismatches will hurt your Google ranking. Your NAP should be consistent across all listings (Google My Business, Maps, your website, and social media).

These switched back and forth between italics and no italics. I started changing them and then stopped. Decide your preference and make sure they are consistent throughout.


  • Market Research for Your Target Market – You can use Bard AI to access and apply 2020 census data against your target client profile to improve your marketing messages. Here is an example of how I used Bard as a research tool.
    • I asked Bard to store data about my target client and product/service (age range, salary, gender, location, resume, and career services).
    • Then, I asked Bard to cross reference my target client with the 2020 census (occupation, education, household income). The result was an understanding of the number of optimal clients who are in my geographic area.
    • Next, I asked Bard to cross reference my target client and census information with likely media habits and social media use.
    • I asked Bard for recommendations on social media topics that would resonate and solve the problems of my target market population. The result was a great list of focused topics!

You can also use this same strategy to solve your client’s pain points for the products you offer, your business processes, or customer service practices.  


Watch for AI to soon be much more strongly integrated into business productivity tool suites. 

  • Microsoft Office – MS Co-Pilot will integrate Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (and other applications) with ChatGPT to help edit, create, compare, and summarize documents. “Clippy” (the paper clip) will be replaced with many improvements like scheduling meetings and finding files. The tentative cost will be $30/user with no rollout date.
  • Google Workspace – Duet AI has been introduced as a generative AI tool that integrates with Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Meet to create, summarize, and brainstorm text. You will be able to use Duet to create audio files and videos. There is no tentative cost and no planned rollout date. 


Stripe, one of the leading payment processors for small businesses, will increase its fees beginning November 1, 2023, for anyone on the “Invoicing Starter” plan. Invoices are no longer free and will cost .04% per paid invoice. The workaround is to create your invoice in Word and cut-and-paste a Stripe payment link onto the document. Note: Honeybook invoices integrate with Stripe, so if you use their CRM, watch out for new fees!

I’m happy to assist anyone who needs more information about using suggested tools. Contact me at

Lisa Dupras is a resume writer, career coach, and owner of Elev8 Resumes and Coaching in Lanoka Harbor, NJ. She specializes in helping folks pivot into IT careers. She is NCOPE-certified and offers job search coaching and interview preparation services. Connect with her at

NRWA DEI Awareness & Response: Empowering Women in the Workforce
By Kathi Fuller, NCRW, NCOPE, NRWA DEI Committee Member

With the significant strides women have made in the business and professional world over the past few decades, it can be easy to forget that women were not always free to pursue the personal, professional, and civic endeavors they so freely participate in across much of the world today.

Women's Equality Day, celebrated on August 26 each year, is a powerful reminder of how far women have come, commemorating their hard-fought battle for women's suffrage. On this day in 1920, U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the 19th Amendment, giving women the Constitutional right to vote.

Why is this moment in history relevant to us 120+ years later? Because we, as career services professionals and entrepreneurs in the resume-writing and career-services industry, have the knowledge and expertise to help women gain even more ground by addressing the unique challenges they still face in the workforce – including the gender pay gap, lower representation in executive leadership roles, unconscious bias, work-life balance, and workplace discrimination.

As we acknowledge this important day in history, here are some thoughts on how we can empower women to achieve career success through the services we offer and the work we do:

  • Tailored, Value-Driven Resumes and Career Coaching: Crafting resumes that highlight the value women bring to the workplace through their achievements and skills, while also mitigating against potential biases, is essential. Providing personalized career coaching can help women identify and build on their strengths, making them better equipped to face challenges in the job market.
  • Support & Advocacy for Equal Pay: Empowering women to know their worth, articulate their value, and negotiate effectively for equitable pay is an invaluable service we can offer to help create a more level playing field for women in the workforce.
  • Promoting Leadership Development: Consider offering leadership development programs and workshops aimed at preparing women for leadership roles. Helping women strengthen these necessary skills and build their confidence can help bridge the gender gap in leadership positions.
  • Raising Awareness of Unconscious Bias: Are you educating your clients on the existence and potential consequences of unconscious bias in the job search? Are you ensuring that the resumes and other career documents you provide for your clients help mitigate against these biases?
  • Flexible Work Solutions: Advocate for flexible work arrangements and remote work options by providing coaching, consultation, and resources that help job seekers achieve greater work-life balance. Flexible work solutions can enable women to pursue their careers while fulfilling family responsibilities, completing their education, and/or engaging in volunteerism and community service.


Workplace Fairness

Provides legal information and resources related to workplace rights for women seeking to understand their legal protections and options.

The Women’s Network on LinkedIn

A LinkedIn group aimed at empowering women professionals and providing a platform for networking, sharing experiences, and accessing career development resources.


A resource offering guidance, support, and job opportunities for women seeking to re-enter the workforce and resume their professional careers after a career break.


A platform designed for women to share company reviews, salary information, and career advice. It's an excellent resource for job seekers to gain insights into company cultures and support each other in their professional journeys.

Women for Hire

Women For Hire hosts various career expos and job fairs across the United States, connecting professional women with top employers seeking diverse talent.

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you as a career services professional? How has the struggle for women’s equality shaped the work that you do? How do you plan to acknowledge and celebrate this important day? Do you have a related story you’d like to share with us?

Share your feedback at or on our Facebook page.

New & Renewing Members 

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

By the numbers for the month of July:

  • 20 new members.
  • 14 new members from the West coast
  • 37 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!

We’ve done land, we’ve done sea, and we’ve gone virtual. In response to popular demand, this year the NRWA is going hybrid! We invite you to join us as we Ascend to New Heights in Colorado Springs, CO.

Taking on our biggest challenge yet, the National Résumé Writers Association will be hosting a variety of educational programming, both in person and virtually. As always, join us live for the best experience, which includes in-depth workshops, featured presentations, and extensive opportunities for networking. For those who are unable to join us in person, we will be live streaming selected presentations featuring our most popular topics and trending discussions.  

Highlights to this years’ conference include our keynote, featured speaker, and preconference presentation. Additionally, we are bringing our conference to life by joining our in-person and hybrid audiences together through an event app that will promote engagement and networking to a larger audience.

In-person attendees can earn up to 10 CEU's, while virtual attendees can earn up to 5 CEU's. Remember: pricing goes up on August 14, 2023, so be sure to register today!


Professional Development 

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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