June 2018

In This Issue

Executive Greeting

Pat Criscito, CPRW – NRWA Treasurer

I love writing…anything…but especially resumes. Think about it; we get the wonderful opportunity to interview a total stranger and get a look at their unique personality, knowledge, skills, and abilities. We get to learn a completely new job and even a new industry in many cases. That client might be a welder, nurse, construction foreman, teacher, Wall Street executive, doctor, researcher, or a nuclear power plant engineer. I can’t even count the number of new jobs I’ve learned about in 38 years! Who do you know that gets to do that every day? What fun!

You must be open to new ideas, though. If you find yourself turning down resumes because it scares you to think about how little you know about a new job, then you have to do a bit of research before you leap. It’s not as frightening as it sounds. If you were doing a bit of cliff diving down in Mexico, you wouldn’t jump off a ledge and just hope the water is deep enough. You would watch a few people do it first. You would ask people about how deep the water is, where the rocks are located, and how far out to jump. Once you have done enough research, then you take the risk.

In any writing project—whether it is a resume, cover letter, or even a book—you do research, research, and more research. I spent six months doing research before I even wrote the first word of any of my 16 books with Barron’s. When I am facing a new job title or industry for a resume, I ask my client to send me advertisements for jobs they see themselves doing, old resumes, performance evaluations, job descriptions, reference letters, or anything else they think might help me understand their jobs and accomplishments.

Once I have that information, then I do my own research. I dig deeper into the companies that advertised those job. I evaluate the keywords in the advertisements and job descriptions they sent to me. I regularly read magazines like Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and even my local newspapers and online newsletters for whatever industry I am researching at the moment. The research can even begin way before the challenge confronts you. Attend an NRWA conference or preconference workshop; participate in networking teleconferences or a webinar. Don’t wait until you are faced with a new project; be prepared.

Talk about lifelong learning…I am never bored. I think that’s why I find writing resumes so much fun. There is proven science that a continually inquisitive mind can ward off Alzheimer’s disease or age-related dementia. Why play card games and do crossword puzzles when you can learn a couple of new jobs or industries every week and keep your mind agile while making money at the same time?  I will never retire as long as my mind works, and our industry gives us the perfect opportunity to do that as long as we live. Aren’t you glad you became a writer?!

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Register today for The NRWA 2018 Annual Conference. Early Bird Registration ends June 30!

October 4-6, 2018

Seattle, Washington

Every fall, professionals from across the career industry gather for the NRWA’s Annual Conference. What keeps them coming back year after year? Is it the opportunity to sharpen their resume-writing skills, learn about the latest industry trends, or enhance their business management capabilities? Is it to reconnect with long-time colleagues and friends, make new connections, or soak up the culture and enjoy fun evening activities in exciting cities across the U.S.?

No need to guess… just read what past attendees have to say:

The Denver NRWA conference was THE pivotal point in my career that catapulted my business from a side gig to the real deal. I left Denver with new friends from around the country, an arsenal of resources, and a brand new mindset about my business.

Kate Madden, MBA, CPRW, President of Fresh Start Careers LLC and Fresh Start Résumés LLC

I love the collaboration and the energy of the conference. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my career, but the NRWA conferences are an ultimate 3 days of jam-packed learning with fun and laughter rolled up into one. I return from every conference reenergized and excited to close out the last quarter of the year with new ideas and ways to tweak my business.

Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, The Writing Guru®

I attended my first NRWA Conference in 1996 and was hooked! Everyone was so helpful and sharp and I learned so much! I was humbled yet encouraged at the same time.

Adelle J. Dantzler, M.S.Ed., CFJST, CFCC, Fed Jobseeker

Read more on our Conference Testimonials page! Then join us for this year’s conference on Oct. 4-6 in the heart of Seattle to find out for yourself what the buzz is all about. Register now through June 30 to take advantage of Early Bird Pricing!

We’ve already put together a value-packed slate of timely conference sessions presented by industry experts, kicking off with our Preconference Workshop focused on helping you master all aspects of the LinkedIn platform to guide your clients to success. For a full list of session topics, visit our 2018 Conference Agenda page.

And don’t forget – if you’re seeking certification, attendance at the conference provides a full 10 CE units to help you towards your goal!

We hope to see you in Seattle!

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Introducing NRWA Conference Presenter Wendi Weiner

In our ongoing series of interviews with the career industry experts who will share their expertise at the 2018 National Résumé Writers’ Association Conference this October, this month’s featured presenter is Wendi Weiner, Esq., NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, and Owner of The Writing Guru.

Wendi will present “How to Build an Online Brand through Social Media & Writing Viral Content” at the conference, scheduled for Oct. 4-6 in Seattle. Drawing from her experience growing a social media presence to thousands of followers and writing viral content that has received 50,000+ views on LinkedIn, Wendi will provide insights that show you how to incorporate social media into your marketing to help grow your brand to the next level.

Fellow NRWA member Nancy GrantMS, recently sat down with Wendi to learn more about her inspiring career journey from a practicing attorney to a leading resume writer and career industry expert. Following is context of their conversation:

Nancy: Was there ever a moment that you thought, “What am I doing leaving my law practice to become a resume writer?” And if so, how did you get through it?

Wendi: I’m pretty stubborn, so once I make my mind up to do something, there is no stopping me. At the time I left the practice of law, I had substantial credit card debt, despite having a six-figure career. My fear was going further into debt to have my business as a full-time venture. I was very driven by financial security and not having to worry about going back to law. I put in as many hours as humanly possible during the first two years of business to build my name, my brand, and a client roster that would continue to grow. It wasn’t easy. There were many days I would cry from frustration, but I was constantly open to evolving and changing things to improve my results. One thing I did was to stop giving free resume consults to everyone who approached me. Now I carefully screen all prospects and only speak to the ones who are my target clients, I no longer attend in-person events, and I have carefully crafted my schedule to work best for my life and my needs. I live frugally, despite being in the best financial position I’ve ever been in. I drive a Toyota Camry and shop at Old Navy. I was able to pay off all credit card debt within my first two years of going full-time into my business.

Nancy: You’ve done a great job making a name for yourself with recognition among multiple national media outlets in a relatively short period of time. How do you keep up the momentum and keep it all together?

Wendi: I try to stay on top of changing trends in the resume and careers space while also being very active on all social media channels. My presence on Twitter and LinkedIn has landed me media features and paid content-writing positions (some of it as a ghostwriter) for major publications, helping me build a large writing portfolio. There is a method to my madness. I don’t post every day on LinkedIn (3 to 4 times per week max) and I vary my content for each channel. If you’re constantly pushing resume and LinkedIn tips down people's throats and not creating a connective space, they’ll stop following and interacting with you. I try to share my personality in my posts so people engage with me authentically. I’ll be sharing these tips and more in my presentation at the conference.

Nancy: What would you say to someone who currently writes resumes as a side gig but wants to make it their full-time job?

Wendi: Definitely have a business and financial plan before you make the leap. I put a great deal of energy into my business for a good 12 months before making the leap (and ensured I had 6 months of savings as well). If you just jump without having a plan, you will find your stress at a higher level. Know who your target clients are, know how you want to brand yourself, and know what work you want to focus on.

Nancy: What stands out as your greatest accomplishment so far in your Writing Guru career and what’s next on your "bucket list" to achieve?

Wendi: My greatest accomplishments have been hitting more than 60 media outlets and getting hired to do paid content writing for Inc. Magazine. I have been approached by a few speaking agents, and I will be focusing my next few years on more public speaking, more paid content writing, and more corporate clients for writing projects.

For a complete list of presenters and their topics, go to our 2018 Conference Agenda webpage.

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The 2018 NRWA Conference: Become a sponsor. Grow your business.

Ashley Watkins, NCRW

Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair

Would marketing your product or service to 500 of the finest career services professionals on the planet positively impact your business results? Consider becoming a sponsor for the National Résumé Writers' Association 2018 Conference to generate exposure for you and your business. This year's conference will be held October 4-6 in Seattle, WA. 

By becoming a sponsor, you can showcase your business to 500 members via multiple advertising options, including banner displays, vendor tables, conference newsletter features, or the NRWA website placement. Contact Ashley Watkins (info@WriteStepResumes.com), Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair, to learn more about affordable sponsorship packages and benefits.

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Wendi Weiner, President-Elect

Interested in joining the NRWA leadership?

We’re collecting nominations for candidates for the NRWA board elections!If you have a desire to grow a visionary organization while adding to your professional toolbox and resume, come join our team!

The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 25, 2018, with elections held in July.

The benefits for these positions include free webinars and a 50% discount for the annual conference. The benefits to your business are immeasurable with the networking and recognition of being a leader in our national organization. 

The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 25, 2018. Elections will be held in July 2018. Terms of service will begin January 1, 2019, with training beginning in August 2018.

The following elected positions are turning over at the end of this calendar year and need to be filled:

If you have questions about the roles of the Executive Board positions, please contact our President-Elect, Wendi Weiner, at president-elect@thenrwa.com.

Before you send a nomination, please remember that the minimum qualification for members of the Board of Directors is one year of membership in the NRWA and the minimum qualification for nomination and election to the Executive Board is one year of service as a member of the Board of Directors. Please also confirm that the member is interested in serving before you nominate him or her.

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Writing Excellence Course Options


Whether you’re looking to write resumes that stand out from the competition, build your confidence as a resume writer, or prepare for the Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) exam, the NRWA Writing Excellence programs are designed to help professional resume writers boost the quality of their resumes and cover letters so their clients and students can land more interviews.

Choose from one of two training options:

Writing Excellence: On Demand Virtual Training

The industry’s most comprehensive on demand virtual training for both new and experienced professional resume writers.

Register any time. Complete the program at your own pace. Maintain lifetime access to all the modules!


Writing Excellence: Instructor-Led Accelerated Program

Complete the highly valued 11-week program in half the time!  Classes begin Tuesday, August 28 and meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST through September 27.

Register by June 22, 2018 and pay for the program in 3 monthly installments!


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Member Benefit - Questions & Keywords

By Sara Timm, President, DFW Resume

Membership Chair

I was thrilled to discover the Questions & Keywords writing resource on the NRWA website, so I am pleased to share this members-only benefit, which is brought to you by industry leaders generously sharing their expertise to help simplify the resume writing process. Not only did it simplify the process for me, I was able to:

Over 20 professions, including engineering, finance, and retail management are represented, with focused lists of questions for use in interviewing clients, keywords for resumes, and links that provide information specific to each profession. These tools help me to clearly convey client backgrounds, skills and capacities, along with the educational and work experiences that led them to where they are today.

You can find this invaluable contribution on the Writing Resources page in the members-only section of TheNRWA.com. This is just a smattering of a plethora of unique writing resources you will find there that are included in your membership in the National Résumé Writers' Association—resources you can’t find anywhere else!

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Member News for June 2018

By Kathi Fuller

Director of Industry – New Business Owners’ Representative (Western Region)

Our members continually inspire me. In addition to providing a wide range of career development services to their clients, members of the NRWA are active in their communities and dedicated to continuing education and development. They serve as experts and thought leaders, educating and informing the public while striving to elevate the professional reputation of our industry by adhering to the highest professional standards. They are also deeply committed to our organization. They serve on our board and in other leadership roles, working hard to continually enhance the value we provide to our membership. Here’s a glimpse at what some of our members have been up to recently:

Melanie L. Denny, MBA, CPRW, of resume-evolution.com, Kissimmee, FL, recently traveled to Colorado Springs, CO to share her expertise on job search strategies for LinkedIn with participants of the U.S. Olympics Committee FLAME program. The program is designed to inspire undergraduate and graduate students of color to pursue careers within the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

Kate Madden, CPRW, owner of Fresh Start Careers (an affiliate partner of The NRWA), Philadelphia, PA, and NRWA Board Member Debra Ann Matthews, M.A., Forbes Coaches Council, JCTC, JCDC, NWDP, CWDP, owner of Let Me Write It For You, Clarksville, TN, have completed the comprehensive Magnetize Your Federal Résumé (MYFR) online course, an online writing course designed to help job seekers navigate the complex process of applying for federal jobs on USAJOBS.gov. Kate won the MYFR program as a door prize at last year’s NRWA conference. Debra Ann took the course to address the #1 concern of job seekers – not getting an interview. Debra Ann and Kate are now eligible to take their knowledge and expertise to the next level and earn the Magnetize Your Federal Résumé Certified Writer™ certification so they can help their clients land federal jobs faster!

Jane Roqueplot, director of ProfilingPro (NRWA affiliate partner), has been contracted for the third year to provide The DISC Virtual Training Program for the HRD Graduate Program at Pittsburg State University (PSU), Kansas. The 6-week course begins in June 2018, under the direction of Dr. MeLisa Rogers, PSU Assistant Professor and Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst with ProfilingPro. Students completing the course and passing the final exam will earn their designation as a Certified DISCstyles Communication Consultant.

Ruth Pankratz, MBA, NCRW, MRW, CHJMC, of Gabby Communications, Fort Collins, CO, has had a busy year so far. In May, she collaborated with fellow NRWA member Roberta Gamza, JCTC, JST, CEIP, G3 Coach, Online Professional Networking Strategist of Career Ink, Broomfield, CO, to provide career consultations for staff in Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s office. Ruth also presented two recent resume workshops for executive MBA candidates, assisted a client with engineering-candidate interviews at the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) conference in Orlando, Florida, and authored an employee newsletter article for a Fortune 100 company. Ruth places a high value on ongoing professional development, recently completing an ATS webinar offered by the NRWA, as well as an Interviewing Boot Camp class with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Michelle Robin, NCRW, 360Reach Analyst, G3 Coach, CPRW of Brand Your Career, Buffalo Grove, IL, just relaunched her website, www.brandyourcareer.com in April. Michelle is also now blogging for IvyExec and was a guest on the new podcast, Career Uprising with host Lorraine Rise, discussing the importance of personal branding to get ahead in your career.

Robert Rosales of EZ Résumé Services, Kingsburg, CA, has been busy! In May, he joined the NRWA’s Board of Directors as Marketing Chair and has been busy settling into his new role and meeting new colleagues. Rob also recently registered to attend his first NRWA Conference in Seattle this fall and is looking forward to meeting everyone and learning from the best in the industry! Finally, Rob recently expanded his business services to include career coaching and completed his first six-session program to help a client identify career goals and develop a plan for achieving them.

Jason Stauffacher, PARW, of Razor Resume, Minneapolis, MN, recently relaunched his new website: www.RazorResume.com

Wendi Weiner, Esq., NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, of The Writing Guru, Miami, FL, was featured in an article in Time magazine in May – the topic wasn’t resume-writing though; it was her passion for Peloton stationary bike workouts!

We want to hear from you! Whether you’ve earned a new certification, published a book, launched a new website, collaborated with a colleague to introduce a new business service – or any other professional activity you’re proud of – please let us know. We love sharing your good news with our fellow members! Please email me your news at linkedinlifesaver@gmail.com.

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Education Report

Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP

NRWA Education Chair

While you’re making plans for summer, be sure to squeeze some time in for professional development!

You won’t want to miss next month’s webinar, so please be on the lookout for registration info:

Increasing Average Order Size Starts with YOU! Simply put...Define, Create, and Offer! by multicertified career strategist Ellen Steverson on Friday, July 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET.

If you missed webinars from earlier this year, it’s not too late! Past recordings can be purchased on demand. Here’s a sampling:

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Volunteer of the Month - Jane Roqueplot

By Robert Rosales, CPRW

Marketing Chair

We are pleased to announce Jane Roqueplot as June’s Volunteer of the Month. Jane currently helps on the Public Image Committee, coordinating the Ask the Experts subcommittee.

A recognized leader in the career services industry and Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, Jane specializes in providing services for career advancement and success. She is also a Certified Electronic Career Coach and Certified Workforce Development Professional.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is the name of your business? What types of clients do you typically work with?

I established JaneCo’s Sensible Solutions, a National Career Advancement Firm, in West Middlesex, PA in 1995. At JaneCo’s, we provide career services to job seekers of all levels of employment. I established ProfilingPro as a division of JaneCo’s and began making the DISC online assessments available to colleagues in the NRWA in 2001 and have earned the reputation as the premier provider of assessments for professionals in the career industry. ProfilingPro delivers materials, services, and support, with a customized process matching the unique needs of professional resume writers and career coaches, while continuing to use the assessments as the first step with every job-seeking client I serve through JaneCo’s. 

How did you first get involved with the NRWA?

After establishing JaneCo’s, I built a robust business helping job seekers identify their innate strengths through coaching using the DISC assessments. I was awarded a government contract with the Bureau of Employment and Training to serve hundreds of local job seekers with their career plans. I identified professional resume development as the next step necessary to job acquisition and career satisfaction. My research led me to the NRWA and becoming a member seemed to be the best solution for learning from successful resume writers. I have maintained my membership with the NRWA since that time.

What prompted you to get involved with the Public Image Committee?

I was drawn to the Public Image Committee and its mission because it closely matches my philosophy and area of expertise.

What do you wish others knew about the benefits of getting involved with the NRWA?

Since the NRWA is a volunteer-run organization, I can attest to the mutual belief that the more one helps others be successful, the more one helps themselves become successful.

What might someone be surprised to know about you? What do you do when you aren’t working or volunteering?

I have successfully utilized the concept of understanding self and others in my personal life. The concept is taught through the idea of using the DISC assessments to build effective relationships. This concept has been instrumental in my marriage lasting 45 years to the same man, who still describes my job as operating my business writing resumes for people, despite my efforts in having him rehearse a 30-second commercial!

I enjoy having my son, Joseph, working with me, as well as convertibles, dogs, crocheting, clowns, and Oreos. I am also a long-time fan of Paul McCartney and Sylvester Stallone.

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ROAR Submissions due July 20, 2018

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Coming in July: Industry Hero Award Nominations

Mary Jo King, NCRW


Career-services professionals come from all walks of life and have different areas of expertise. The most experienced among us can think back on how far this industry has come and who has been influential in promoting effective positive change. In 2015, the NRWA created an award to recognize our greatest leading-edge contributors to the growth and advancement of the career-services industry. We want to know who you think deserves this recognition and why. Get ready to nominate your hero in July!

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We Need Your Expertise

The Public Image Committee has been behind the scenes diligently planning several initiatives designed to increase awareness and enhance the image of our profession among the public, as well as with recruiting firms, employment agencies, university/military career centers, career coaches, and career counselors.

As part of this project, we are launching a “Virtual Ask the Experts Portal,” where members of the NRWA are asked to share their expertise and answer questions from job seekers.

The purpose of this endeavor is two-fold:

  1. it serves to provide a reputable resource for job seekers to have their pressing career-related questions answered by credentialed experts, and
  2. the NRWA further establishes its reputation as a credible resource in the marketplace while building visibility for our industry. 

At this juncture, we are looking for our members to answer up to three questions on various career-related topics once per month. This is an opportunity to share your expertise with job seekers while supporting our efforts to position the NRWA as a reputable resource for job seekers.

Some of the benefits of answering questions include:

Submissions will be limited to 400 characters or less and responses will be selected based on the level of clarity and value to the job seeker. If your submission is selected, it will be compiled into an article alongside other NRWA member answers. Your name will be displayed along with a link to your contact information on the NRWA site. We’re also planning on providing an “expert badge” that you can display on your website, signature line, and other marketing materials.

We are planning to launch the program within weeks. If you are interested in participating, please watch for our first set of questions and submit your responses via the link that will be provided.

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Certification Corner

Sally McIntosh, NCRW, JCTC

Certification Chair

This monthly column will provide information about NRWA procedures and training programs. For more information contact Sally McIntosh at CertChair@thenrwa.com.

Certification Sample Submission Change

The Commission voted to change the READY/NOT-READY rule for sample submissions. If the grader says your materials are ready, you may take the test as long as you have 10 CEs. If the grader gives the recommendation that you are NOT READY, you need extra training or more practice. The grader will provide several training options for you to consider. When you think you are ready, resubmit a new sample. We want a fictionalized sample of your work that may not necessarily be the exact same one you wrote for a client. We need to be able to see that you understand the Style Guide.

For more information on the NCRW Sample Review process, click here.

Writing Excellence – Moving from Mediocre to Magnificent (Instructor-Led)

There are two instructor-led programs remaining this year, each worth up to 25 CEs.

The 5-week accelerated live program begins on August 28 and ends on September 27. The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., ET. Register by June 22 to take advantage of the 3-payment option. Class size is limited, so sign up now before it is sold out.

The remaining instructor-led program for this year begins on October 11 and ends on December 20. It will be held on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., ET. Register by August 8 to take advantage of the 3-payment plan.

Give yourself an early Christmas present and take our premier course. For more details, see https://www.thenrwa.com/writingexcellenceprogram.

Résumé Writing 101: The Foundations

The newest version of these self-directed learning modules is available on our website. You can purchase and download all nine PDF modules or just the ones you need. Each module is worth 1 CE. Click here for details.

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New and Renewing Members

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of May 2018!  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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