February 2018

In This Issue

Executive Greeting

Wendi Weiner, 2018 NRWA President-Elect and Ethics Chair

I am thrilled to serve the NRWA as its President-Elect and Ethics Chair for 2018 and am deeply committed to promoting our organization’s public image in the careers industry.  A few things that I am concentrating my energy on at the onset of this year include ensuring that there is accurate marketing on websites and social media channels from members, ensuring appropriate use of the NRWA logo and NCRW logo, and responding to all ethics concerns as well as addressing them with offending members and nonmembers.  Further, I am monitoring the e-list to ensure that members maintain compliance with the social media rules and policies.

Following are a few things you can do to best assist me in my role:

If you see a potential ethics concern, please do not send it to the elist. Instead, report it directly to my attention at: ethicschair@thenrwa.com. I will respond to the email within 24 hours of receipt.

Try to limit overuse or excessive responses on the e-list. If you are cross-posting to another organization’s e-list, be sure to include the phrasing “Cross-Post” or “X-Post” on the subject line. Some questions being asked on the e-list are ones that should be directed to our admin team or a specific board member. Think before you post. Remember, our members are inundated with client emails and other items, so the repeated “thank you” emails and generic responses that are not offering information should be minimized. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am excited to continue expanding the organization’s reach.

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Affiliate Spotlight

By Katrina Brittingham, 2018 NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair

Resume writers who want to take their business to the next financial and productivity level in 2018 should check out ResumeBiz.com (RBIZ). Containing a growing portfolio of advanced sales/marketing strategies, training, downloads, and “done-for-you” resources, RBIZ is fast becoming a go-to resource for resume writers. To learn more, check out this video and get a detailed look into what RBIZ offers: <https://nrwa--yoursuccess.thrivecart.com/rbiz-membership/>;.

The NRWA’s Affiliate Partners offer job search-related products that are not in direct competition with members, as well as services which could be valuable for members to share with their clients.

For more information, visit:

To learn more about becoming a part of The NRWA Affiliate Program, visit:

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By Jean Austin, 2017 NRWA Conference Chair

The NRWA conferences are known for their programming excellence, networking opportunities, and fun, and last year’s event was no exception! On October 4-6, 2017, resume writers from coast to coast gathered in Chicago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Resume Writers’ Association and to take part in an extraordinary lineup of speakers and events.


Present on this special occasion were several NRWA founders, as well as early members who were instrumental in developing our association’s structure, policies, and procedures. Marty Weitzman, the first president of the NRWA, addressed attendees during the Founder’s Banquet. His description of the founders’ vision for the association and how they worked together to make that dream a reality was inspiring. He said it never occurred to him that the association would be stronger than ever after 20 years, saying “Tonight, as I looked out at the audience, I thought — we did something good. We did something good!” Marty’s standing ovation showed that his audience agreed. The National Resume Writers’ Association remains the only national nonprofit organization specifically for resume writers, with the only comprehensive certification program that has withstood the test of time.


The annual awards ceremony followed the Founder’s Banquet, with the Vivian Belen Award being presented to Jean Austin, 2018 Conference Program Planning Chair. Norine Dagliano, who has been a passionate advocate for correct grammar as well as developer and instructor for The NRWA’s “Writing Excellence” program, was awarded the Industry Hero award — a well-deserved companion to the Vivian Belen Award she received in 2016.

One of the most enthusiastically received events of the 2018 conference was the ROAR Reveal. Winning ROAR resumes were blown up to poster size and individually revealed as the writers’ names were announced. Conference attendees spent time following the awards ceremony — and during the rest of the conference — studying, discussing, and learning from each document.


In keeping with the conference theme of “Celebrating 20 Years of Resume Writing Excellence,” the NRWA was fortunate to be able to bring together three keynote speakers with ties to the founding or the very early years of the association. Louise Kursmark, in her opening keynote address, “Celebrating the Past, Predicting the Future,” discussed changes in the resume writing industry and the workplace during the past 20 years and shared her predictions for the future and the challenges we will be facing. In her presentation “Ditch the pitch! Dance on the edge of vulnerability — and connect more than ever before!” Deb Dib, an NRWA founder and editor/publisher of the initial NRWA newsletters, talked about the brand authenticity and the power of embracing and revealing one’s own vulnerabilities to engage and assist clients. Pat Criscito covered an immense amount of material in her “ATS Update 2017.” Susan Britton Whitcomb’s closing keynote, “Who Do You Long to Be…Today, Tomorrow, in 20 Years?” was philosophical and inspiring, as she touched upon not only the NRWA’s history and future but that of attendees.


From the Welcome Reception to the final keynote speaker, the NRWA’s 2017 conference was a success, paving the way for this year’s conference, to be held October 4-6, 2018, at the W Hotel in Seattle, Washington, with a theme of “Forging the Future.” Adam Zajac, Conference Program Planning Chair, and the NRWA Conference Committee have been hard at work planning this year’s conference event. More than 50 speakers have submitted complete proposals on topics that will help attendees grow as writers, business owners, and industry experts. General registration will open the end of March, so be sure to check the NRWA website at www.thenrwa.com. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact admin@thenrwa.com.

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"Everything" You Want to Know About the ATS

Pat Criscito wants to help demystify Applicant Tracking Systems. Questions about the ATS are common, and this two-part NRWA webinar series is designed to help resume writers learn the latest strategies to help their clients’ resumes successfully navigate Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software.

The first part of the program, which was presented Wednesday, Feb. 21, covered “A Closer Look at Applicant Tracking Systems.” The second session, which will be presented Friday, March 16, will address “Keywords for Applicant Tracking Systems.”

The second session will teach you how to identify and track an industry’s common keywords, the difference between “hard” and “soft” keywords, how electronic applicant tracking systems read keywords and “score” resumes, and whether keyword placement can enhance your client’s chances of being selected.

You can still register and receive the recording to Part 1, and the information to join the live webinar for Part 2. The cost is $32.50 for members (includes both webinars) or $70 for nonmembers. If you are not able to attend the second live session, you will also receive the recording, slides, and notes from that webinar.

To register – or for more information — visit: www.thenrwa.com/education.

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Tom Powner Shares LinkedIn ProFinder Secrets

By Bridget Brooks, 2018 NRWA Marketing Chair

One of the benefits of NRWA membership is the Directors of Industry (DOI) program. These board members support specific segments of the NRWA population by providing targeted expertise related to the specific challenges of their constituents. The DOIs also offer quarterly calls to facilitate networking and share ideas and information. One of the Experienced Business Owner (EBO) Directors of Industry, Thomas Powner, offered a free webinar for NRWA members on Feb. 9, to share how he uses LinkedIn ProFinder as a lead generation tool.

Here are some highlights from his presentation:

Powner said he has paid the standard 15 percent referral fee many times in the past, but LinkedIn ProFinder provides a proven return on his time. He shared that he had 368 total clients in 2017, generating 866 “products” sold. Of those, 182 clients (49.4 percent) came from LinkedIn ProFinder directly.

Success with ProFinder requires a commitment of time and money. “ProFinder can be time-consuming and rewarding at the same time,” Powner added.

LinkedIn ProFinder features several categories for resume writers, including resume writing, career coaching, and interview coaching.

To sign up for LinkedIn ProFinder, visit:


Resume writers interested in trying ProFinder currently can bid on nine projects for free, but then are required to subscribe to LinkedIn Premium membership to continue receiving leads.

Before beginning, Powner advises resume writers to have an optimized LinkedIn profile, since that is what prospects see when you respond to them. He also suggests having a call to action in your profile — for example, a link to an online scheduler. Having Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile is also important, as those also show up. Another way to stand out is to write LinkedIn Publisher posts; these are also visible to prospective clients.

Powner shared some true insider tips on the webinar, saying that he wants to help “wash out inexperienced writing (companies) that outsource resumes” from LinkedIn ProFinder. He adds, “The better quality of people in ProFinder, the more we are worth.”

One of these insider strategies is to develop a set of prewritten messages to use in responding to inquiries, with the goal of scheduling a 15-minute phone call with prospects. He uses Microsoft OneNote to quickly copy-and-paste a bid response, whether he’s responding from his desktop or smartphone.

Powner said one of the most important factors in securing converted leads from LinkedIn ProFinder is responding quickly. Each inquiry can only receive five bid proposals, and in areas with multiple ProFinder members, those can fill fast. Powner said he had responded to more than 4,000 requests in the past four weeks, receiving 1-2 requests per hour during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. But with the increasing volume of prospects, there is also an increasing volume of LinkedIn ProFinder members. “Requests are getting filled much faster” — some within an hour, he noted.

Another “pro tip” is to quote an hourly rate instead of a flat fee/package. Powner quotes an hourly rate based on the prospect’s career level, which is identifiable in their ProFinder request for proposal submission. “People get scared” of package pricing, Powner said. “An hourly rate under $100 is attractive to most clients, and doesn’t scare them away.” Although he doesn’t actually charge clients by the hour, he knows about how much time it should take for jobs he’s quoting, based on job title and career level.

Another “pro tip” is to request to connect with the prospect on LinkedIn. That way, even if they do not accept the proposal, resume writers still have the opportunity to stay in front of potential clients. “A dead lead isn’t a dead lead until the person dies,” Powner joked. When business is slow, he’ll reach out to the “LinkedIn ProFinder Zombies,” as he calls them — prospects that haven’t yet booked a call or who didn’t select him.

“Following up on folks who turned you down works well,” Powner added. He has more than 12,000 contacts in his customer relationship management (CRM) software. “Anyone who accepts a sales call goes into the CRM,” so he can continue marketing his services and webinars to them.

With the webinar format, attendees could watch as Powner walked them through the strategies he was talking about.

If you are interested in receiving the link to the webinar recording, please contact Thomas Powner at TomPowner@CareerThinker.com.

Reminder: These types of calls are a benefit of NRWA membership. If you receive a registration link for a call — or the recording from a call — please do not share these with nonmembers.

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New and Renewing Members

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of December 2017!  Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself on our Facebook page or the elist

Be sure to take this opportunity to network via our LinkedIn Group with other members of The NRWA and nonmembers who are career professionals.

Find colleagues in your area by searching here.

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