Executive Greeting 

Ashley Watkins, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Incoming Certification Chair

Dear Colleagues,

I am thrilled to be serving as the 2020 NRWA Incoming Certification Chair. As I reflect on my career in resume writing, becoming a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) was by far the biggest game changer in improving my writing and earning potential.

Ashley Watkins

Before earning this elite certification, I had no doubt that I needed to step up if I wanted my work to align with the NRWA's standards of resume excellence. As an NCRW, my resume writing must reflect sales-focused, relevant, succinct career search documents that are quality-oriented and visually appealing.

To prepare for certification, I:

  • Invested in the Writing Excellence Program and began fine-tuning my writing per the NCRW Study Guide.
  • Found a mentor who was willing to review my work, provide feedback, and offer support throughout the certification process.
  • Enrolled in webinars, purchased books, and asked tons of questions.

While not a prerequisite, in our experience, those with the greatest chance of NCRW exam success have had at least two years of experience writing resumes and cover letters as either a new business owner or as a staff member of a college career, workforce investment, or military transition center. To earn your certification as an NCRW, you must be a member in good standing with the NRWA and complete the NCRW certification process:

  • Submit a sample to help gauge where you are with your current skills and if you need to prepare more to successfully pass the test.
  • Obtain 10 in-house Continuing Education Units (CEU) within the three years prior to taking the NCRW Exam.
  • Register to take the 2-part exam. Part 1 covers proofreading; part 2 covers resume and cover letter writing.

Please join me in welcoming our newest NCRWs: Georgia Adamson, Jennifer Czerniak, Julia Mattern, and Paula Scott Gross. Will you be next?

To learn more about the NCRW certification process, check out our FAQs!

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2020 Conference: Pre-Conference 

Jean Austin, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Education Chair

Graphic Design Boot Camp

Presented by Marie Plett

September 13, 2020

8:00 a.m. CT - 12:00 p.m. CT

Ten-HUT! All attendees are expected to bring their laptops at 0800 with Microsoft Word* installed!

Marie Plett will be your gentle drill sergeant, easily guiding you to create all the most common design elements of modern graphic resumes. You'll march step-by-step with Marie, learning practical design methods as you go along. She will be there to answer your questions, pull you through obstacles, and show you how to tap into your unique creative potential.

Through this basic training, you will learn how to design ATS-friendly headers, sub-headers, call-out boxes, smart art, and graphs.

Detailed hard-copy guides will also be by your side to help you keep up with the rest of the recruits. They will be yours to keep, ensuring your success will be repeatable long after the conference.

* This course simply requires any modern version of Microsoft Word that can produce a .docx document (2007+).

For additional conference information, which will be updated as it becomes available, please visit the NRWA annual conference page.

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Affiliate Highlight 

Candace Barr
NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair 

Seeking Sponsors for the NRWA 2020 Conference

Are you interested in marketing your product or service to 500 of the finest career service professionals on the planet? Considering becoming a sponsor for the National Resume Writers’ Association 2020 Conference to increase your business exposure and brand value.

This year, we are headed to the heart of NOLA’s vibrant French Quarter—and we want you to "let the good times roll” with us September 13–15, 2020. By becoming a sponsor, you will support our mission to deliver cutting-edge education on resume, employment, market, and hiring trends. You can build credibility and advertise your products or services to some of the most successful professionals in our industry.

We have options for all marketing budgets. Packages range from our Bourbon Street Sponsorship, which includes two free conference registrations, to à la carte offerings that allow you to sponsor specific sessions. If you are not planning to attend the conference, you can still bring your message to our members. Choose from a suite of virtual sponsorship opportunities, including logo placement in communications for our educational programs, conference newsletters, or the Midweek Memo. The deadline to sign up is August 1, 2020.

Contact Candace Barr (candace@strategic-resume.com), the NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair, to learn more about sponsorship packages, vendor benefits, and other affordable options.

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Upcoming Education 

Jean Austin, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Education Chair 

Mastering the Resume Writing Process: Writing Better, Faster, and More Efficiently
Presented by Freddie Cheek, MS Ed., NCOPE, CWDP, CCM, MCD, CPRW, CARW

Part 1: March 13, 2020
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Gathering all the details you need for complete and impactful job search documents

Part 2: March 27, 2020
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m., ET

Reviewing, organizing, and using submitted materials in an expedient manner.

You will not want to miss the NRWA’s 2-part webinar, “Mastering the Resume Writing Process: Writing Better, Faster, and More Efficiently.” These in-depth presentations will cover every aspect of the resume writing process, from intake, information organization, and client positioning to document creation. Each presentation is a standalone webinar, so you can take one or both.

Pricing for this 2-part webinar:

NRWA MembersSingle Webinar: $19.99 | Both Webinars: $32.50

NonmembersSingle Webinar: $39.99 | Both Webinars: $70.00

Each presentation will be recorded and distributed to all registered participants. Each presentation is eligible for 1 CEU.

Visit the NRWA website to learn more and register.

About Freddie Cheek:

Freddie Cheek is an engaging speaker who has presented workshops for job seekers, career changers, and job search professionals at state and national conferences in the United States and Canada. She has 30 years’ experience in resume writing, job search training, and career coaching, and has operated a successful career services practice. Freddie’s articles, reviews, and resume and cover letter examples have appeared in several publications and 20+ books.

Sneak Peek: Be sure to mark your calendars for Tom Powner’s webinar, “Jobscan for ATS/Keyword Optimization–Why it’s Worth It,” on April 17, 2020, 12:30 p.m. ET–1:30 p.m. ET.

Have you missed a webinar or heard about a terrific one from a colleague?

Unless a presentation recording is out-of-date, they are still available to you on our On-Demand Webinars page. I just viewed Michelle Dumas’ very helpful presentation, “Formatting Secrets to Eye-Appealing Resumes–Graphs, Charts, Graphics, Tables, and More Using Microsoft Office Tools.” Members also have the advantage of older, but still valuable teleseminars, including Susan Whitcomb’s “Asking Zinger Questions” and Greg Wood’s “Standing Out to be Outstanding: 5 Tools to Help Your Clients Achieve Critical Differentiation.” Check them out!

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Certification and Training Programs

Annette Richmond 
NRWA Director of Member Relations: Experienced Business Owners

Certification Programs

The NRWA offers two powerful certification programs to give you the tools you need to stay abreast of trends and best practices in writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

NCOPE Certification: The Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE) program is designed to help you understand best practices, craft powerful LinkedIn profiles, and expertly navigate LinkedIn's back end.

Developed and taught by Tom Powner, this interactive program will help you unleash the power of LinkedIn and give your clients a competitive edge. Upon successful completion of the program, attendees earn the NCOPE Certification.

The next NCOPE program starts on April 2 and runs through April 20 with live 120-minute sessions every Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., ET.

Watch the NRWA site for more details and registration information

NCRW Certification: The Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) program is recognized as the premier resume writing certification. Becoming an NCRW means that you have achieved the highest standards of excellence in resume writing. Your NCRW designation will help you attract higher-caliber clients, raise fees for your services, build your brand, and grow your business. Make 2020 the year you become an NCRW!

Visit the NRWA website for more details

Writing Excellence Certification Preparation Program: The NRWA's comprehensive writing excellence program has helped resume writers across the industry polish their writing skills, prepare for career-advancing industry certifications, and charge higher rates for their services.

Last year we added even more valuable benefits to the program—more educational resources, greater professional opportunities, and a clear path to help you advance your career!

Wondering if the Writing Excellence Certification Preparation Program is right for you?

The answer is yes!

Each session attracts a variety of participants, from new and experienced business owners to workforce development center staff to HR professionals.

The current 9-week live program runs through April 8. Stay tuned for dates of the next session.

Visit the NRWA site for more information and to register.

Sales Mastery Course: The NRWA’s Sales Mastery is a powerful interactive program providing modern sales techniques that will help new writers and established career professionals overcome common objections and close more sales.

Developed and taught by Ellen Steverson, professionally trained salesperson, the Sales Mastery course will help you generate more sales with techniques that match your own voice and personal style.

Have questions about the course? Click here to access the recording of a lunch and learn session with Ellen Steverson covering the course.

Due to the success of the first program, the Sales Mastery Course will be back this year! The next 6-week live program will run from March 10 through April 14, 2020 and meets every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., ET.

Visit the NRWA site for more information and registration.

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Member Benefit: NRWA Career Experts 

Sara Timm
NRWA Membership Chair 

In addition to the NRWA’s industry-leading training and certification programs and monthly webinars, we offer opportunities to elevate your professional status, business visibility, and social media presence by publishing your subject matter expertise on our Ask the Experts job-search advice website.

Answer questions about resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, and job search tactics from readers, and your advice may be selected to be featured in our next blog post and shared across our social media pages.

Benefits of being an NRWA Career Expert:

  • Boost your website SEO.
  • Expose your business to potential new clients.
  • Elevate your reputation.
  • Make a positive contribution to help job seekers.

All published experts earn an Expert Contributor badge to display on their website, in their signature line, and in other marketing materials.

Explore this benefit and more in our member portal.

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NRWA Volunteer of the Month - Kathi Fuller 

Paul Bennett
NRWA Conference Committee and Marketing Committee Member 

Wendi Weiner

Hello everyone!

I’m very excited to present our Volunteer of the Month, Kathi Fuller, a one-time for-profit and nonprofit communications and marketing manager who entered our industry in 2013. After joining the NRWA in 2015, Kathi soon joined the Board, serving as a Director of Industry (now called Director of Member Support) in 2017 and 2018, Secretary in 2019, Ethics Chair and President-Elect in 2020—and for 2021, as President!

Tell us a bit about yourself, your business, and the type of clients you typically work with.

As a resume, LinkedIn, and branding/marketing specialist, I serve a wide variety of clients–ranging from recent graduates and mid-level managers to directors and C-level executives–across many industries. Before this, I spent 20+ years performing a broad range of traditional and digital marketing activities (developing and executing online content strategy, managing websites, and researching/writing articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications, etc.) in the financial services, healthcare, fundraising, hospitality, and journalism sectors. At my core, I’m a writer with endless curiosity, deep insight into what makes people tick, and a passion for helping them tell their stories.

When I started out in 2013 as a subcontractor working exclusively on LinkedIn profiles, I had a LOT of very talented resume writer colleagues (who didn’t like writing LinkedIn profiles or struggled to find time for “switching gears” to the more conversational LinkedIn approach) for whom I enjoyed developing content, graphics, and strategy as the “LinkedIn Lifesaver.” Today, I still render these services, and I’m diversifying by taking on more and more resume projects.

How did you first learn about the NRWA? In other words, what brought you to the organization?

Michelle Dumas (a long-standing member who served as President in 2017) introduced me to the NRWA, and with her encouragement I attended the 2015 NRWA Conference in Charlotte. There, I was excited to find a friendly, supportive, collaborative community that unselfishly shared expertise and insights so that we could all achieve our best. Since then, I haven’t missed a conference, and I’ve intensified my NRWA involvement a little bit each year.

You’re our President-elect and Ethics Chair, and you've been hard at work updating bylaws, policies, and standing rules. What prompted you to get involved in these very important roles?

I’ve loved participating in the inner workings of the NRWA and contributing my skills and expertise toward our mission, building our reputation and visibility both internally and externally. Despite learning a lot about our organization and history, I feel like a relative newbie compared to the many Board members who bring years of rich experience. I’ve learned the tremendous value of having people ranging from newcomers to industry veterans at the table when making decisions about our mission, goals, objectives, programs, and membership benefits. We need those fresh perspectives and historical insights! I’m excited about the new members who join daily and the contributions they bring.

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

NRWA membership has many tangible benefits including educational and career development resources, the annual conference, and the NCRW Study Guide and certification program. Beyond that, there are the intangibles, the many ways that we’re like family: providing incredible support and camaraderie, caring deeply for each other, and enthusiastically sharing knowledge and resources for the good of our industry and our clients. That’s the real added value that comes with membership.

Another NRWA benefit is the opportunity to learn from the diverse groups (self-employed resume writers and coaches, military transition and campus career counselors, recent graduates, and other job seekers) that our membership comprises. As we grow and evolve, I’m looking forward to collaborating with fellow leaders, expanding our reach, and finding new and increasingly meaningful ways to support our members.

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

For more than a decade, I served in the U.S. Army Reserve and Rhode Island National Guard. A Press Officer for the last 6 years, I participated in hands-on training exercises in South Korea, learning how to interact with local and national news media during wartime scenarios. I also served in Germany (Mannheim and Stuttgart) as an Army photojournalist covering joint military police training exercises. On that trip, I visited Switzerland, Austria, France, Lichtenstein, and the Azores. An avid alpine and Nordic skier, I enjoy introducing the sport to first timers–so come on up to northern Vermont if you’d like to learn! Last summer I moved from New Hampshire to Vermont, and now I live only 15 minutes from the U.S./Canada border!

Kathi, you've contributed to the NRWA in many ways. We're delighted to have you leading us next year, and congratulations on being our Volunteer of the Month for March!

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Share your expertise. Job seekers have questions. You have answers. Questions are awaiting your answers right now! Go to our

New and Renewing Members 

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of January 2020!  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.

  • Sandra Allison in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Angelina Arlia in New York, New York
  • Laura Bashore - Anew Resume and Career Services in Escondido, California
  • Sheryl Bernardo in San Jose, California
  • Alisha Brown - Alisha D Brown Career Consulting in Warner Robins, Georgia
  • Matt Carboni - VERLYNK in Lakeway, Texas
  • Kirsten Cole in Rocklin, California
  • Joyce Diaz - Diaz Resume Company in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Cynthia Estalilla in Daly City, California
  • Rebecca Francoline in Fort Mill, South Carolina
  • Gail Frank - Frankly Speaking: Resumes That Work! in Tampa, Florida
  • Audie Fridstein - Your Call To Action in Highland Park, Illinois
  • Kathi Fuller in Saint Albans, Vermont
  • Lezlie Garr - ResumeLezlie.com in Plano, Texas
  • Allison Gregg - Next Term Coaching in Daphne, Alabama
  • Paula Hawks - Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Denise R. Hemphill, PharmD - Confident Career Moves, LLC in Houston, Texas
  • Alana Henry - The Writique, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Carla Hudson - The Purposeful Career in Grapevine, Texas
  • Sarah Jewell - A Remarkable Resume in St. Augustine, Florida
  • Alexa Marcus in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Amy McDaniel in Channahon, Illinois
  • Anna McKay - Parents Pivot in Houston, Texas
  • Jacquelyn Myers-Wellik - RESUMEVISION in Leclaire, Iowa
  • Alecia Ore - Career Business Bar, LLC in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Stevie Pope in Maple Grove, Minnesota
  • Brie Reynolds - FlexJobs in Boulder, Colorado
  • Patti Rock - Hoff Resumes & Career Counseling Services in Clinton, Iowa
  • Nancy Rozum - Moon River Writing & Resume Services in Commerce Township, Michigan
  • Robin Schlinger - Robin's Resumes in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Amy Schofield - Schofield Strategies, LLC in Hollywood, Maryland
  • Barbara Schultz - The Career Stager in Homer Glen, Illinois
  • Deborah Schuster - The Lettersmith in Troy, Michigan
  • Jeff Serventi in Oakmont, Pennsylvania
  • Rachel Shelton in Darien, Connecticut
  • Elizabeth Southers - The Fine Print Writing Services in Stuart, Florida
  • Liz Strom - Creative Calm Solutions LLC in Oakton, Virginia
  • Lisa Tascione in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
  • Sara Timm - DFW Resume in Garland, Texas
  • Ashley Watkins - Write Step Resumes, LLC in Moody, Alabama
  • Jennifer Wirshing - Info by Design in Sanford, Florida
  • Lynn Wolfbrandt in Lafayette, Colorado
  • Lucie Yeomans - Your Career Ally in Queen Creek, Arizona

Find colleagues in your area by searching here.

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