November 2018

In This Issue

Executive Greeting

Virginia Franco, NCRW
NRWA Education Chair

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to take this moment to applaud our members for joining the NRWA and for recognizing the value offered by the only nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the resume writing industry. 

If you were able to join us in Seattle last month for our annual conference, you saw firsthand the camaraderie, collaboration, and dedication of our members to sharing knowledge and best practices around improving our craft, serving our clients, and growing our businesses.

While I’m personally counting down the weeks until next year’s conference, when we will cruise together to the Bahamas, you’ll find that advice and support are just a click away all year long.

Back to top

     2018 Conference Review

Adam Zajac, NCRW
NRWA 2018 Conference Program Chair

We added another excellent NRWA conference to the books! Our 21st annual conference in Seattle was attended by both longtime members and recent additions to our ranks. It was wonderful to see a wave of first-time conference attendees. The 2018 conference provided a great chance to mingle and catch up with colleagues, explore the Seattle area, and brush up on professional skills. The wide range of presenters also helped attendees learn about the most recent changes and advancements impacting our industry.

In addition, attendees learned about the advances our organization has made over the past year and were introduced to many of the members who will help steer the NRWA and its initiatives throughout 2019. For those of you who did not attend, the single biggest moment you missed was Mary Jo King’s epic unveiling of next year’s conference venue—a Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. Tom Powner was also instrumental in the unveiling. Feel free to check out the hilarious pictures Mary Jo and others posted on Facebook!

As I hand over the reins to next year’s Conference Chair, Nancy Grant, I want to take a moment to thank all of those who attended our 2018 conference, with special thanks to those of you who made it such a success: our presenters, board members, volunteers, keynote speaker, association management support team, hotel/venue staff, and devoted members of the 2018 Conference Committee. You were all a delight to work with, and I appreciate your many contributions (and sacrifices) that made this possible.

I look forward to seeing everyone on the high seas next year!

Back to top

    Conference Sponsor Thank You

Ashley Watkins, NCRW
NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair

On behalf of the NRWA Board of Directors, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 2018 conference sponsors. Together, we remained committed to “Forging the Future” by making this event a complete success.

Because of their generous contributions to the NRWA and the careers industry, we made our vision of providing professional development, networking, and fun for our members a reality.

NRWA sponsors and partners such as Jobscan, Haywood SBS, Redfin, and ResumeRabbit help us bring robust educational programs, events, and other benefits to our 500+ members while earning valuable exposure within our NRWA community.

As we grow as an organization, please know that these conference partnerships are vital to our continued success. Our sponsors are truly appreciated.

Please click here for a full list of 2018 Conference Sponsors and Affiliates.

Contact NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair Ashley Watkins for more information about future partnership opportunities.

Back to top

     Announcing the NRWA's 2018 ROAR Competition Winners

Michelle Dumas, NCRW
NRWA Past President

Congratulations to our 2018 ROAR competition winners! 

This year's winners in the fourth annual ROAR competition are:

New Writer, Modern Classic Design: Cathleen Lanzalaco

New Writer, Creative Design: Christopher Ward

Experienced Writer, Modern Classic Design: Marie Plett

Experienced Writer, Creative Design: Marie Plett

NRWA members earning Honorable Mentions for exceptional submissions were Cliff Flamer (for two submissions), Sandra Ingemansen, Peter Lavelle, Barbara Safani, and Arno Markus.

The winning and honorable mention entries were revealed as part of our awards ceremony during our annual conference in Seattle and on display for all to see and admire! The winning entries have been posted to the NRWA website and may be viewed by clicking here

Back to top

Highest Volunteer Honors, 2018

Mary Jo King, NCRW
NRWA President

Every year at our annual conference, our president enjoys the privilege of presenting the NRWA’s highest honors for organizational service. This year, I had the pleasure of presenting distinguished service awards to three long-term, highly revered volunteers.

Vivian Belen Award

As has sometimes occurred in the past, there were two recipients of the Vivian Belen Award this year. Both of these individuals superbly and selflessly demonstrated their commitment to the NRWA mission.

Past President Michelle Dumas was part of the original think tank that led to the creation of the Public Image Committee. This year, she led that committee to complete two major initiatives designed to enhance the visibility of NRWA members to the job-seeking public: The Resume Experts website and Ask The Experts panel. This groundbreaking effort represents an industry first that involved a score of volunteers and a tremendous personal investment from Michelle.

Sally McIntosh returned to the role of Certification Chair this year to support CEU-tracking automation for the industry-leading NCRW program. Her passion for the program—and the NRWA—is evident to anyone who speaks with her for more than a moment. Sally downplays her role in the development of the NCRW program, but she has been a critical contributor from the beginning and has given 14 years of dedicated service in helping NRWA members improve their craft.

Industry Hero Award

Our Treasurer since 2009, Pat Criscito was also a speaker at the first NRWA conference 21 years ago. Her topic was “Electronic Resumes,” and the room was packed with writers who had no idea what an electronic resume was. In the time since, Pat has become a leading expert on ATS systems, conducting regular research among software developers and HR professionals to keep resume writers abreast of trends and best practices. A nationally featured speaker and author on career and entrepreneurial subjects for 30 years, Pat was an easy choice to be recognized as the 2018 Industry Hero.

Please visit the Vivian Belen and Industry Hero award pages of our website to learn more about these remarkable women and their contributions. I feel certain they would appreciate hearing from any of you who wanted to express personal sentiments!

Back to top

Save the Date for the 2019 Conference

Save the Date!
September 23-27, 2019

Did you miss the big reveal at the NRWA conference this year?

Do not miss the boat on attending the next one!

Registration is already open, and the prices are as attractive as the setting for our next conference location.

Not only will you advance your professional skills with workshops on resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, personal branding, and social media marketing, but you will have the opportunity to connect and bond with fellow NRWA members like never before.

Click here to see all the exciting details. 

Back to top

Education Report

Virginia Franco, NCRW
NRWA Education Chair

We’ve got some exciting webinars planned for the rest of 2018 to help you improve your resume writing skills and grow your business!

Last Call for November Learning

INSIGHTFUL INFORMATION: How to Get It, How to Use It Beyond the Resume

November 9, 2018

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., ET

Resume writers today write much more than resumes. We are also creating LinkedIn profiles and other documents, which are substantially different from the resume in content, tone, and style.

Taught by Louise Kursmark, Best Impression Career Services Founder and one of the leading career experts in the U.S., participants will learn and/or see:

Click here to register.

Upcoming Webinars

We will close out the year with a December webinar on using Profinder. The webinar will be taught by CareerThinker Founder, NRWA Board Member, and ProFinder Power User Tom Powner on Friday, December 7, from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., ET.

Professional Development and CE Units On Demand

2018 webinars are available via the NRWA Education page and many offer CEUs. Check out past recordings!

Here’s a sampling:

Essential Microsoft Word® Shortcuts and Timesavers for Professional Resume Writers

ATS Two Part Webinar (2 sessions and 1 CEU per session)

Back to top

     Certification Corner

Sally McIntosh, NCRW
NRWA Certification Chair

This monthly column provides information about NRWA certification procedures and training programs. For more information contact Sally McIntosh, Certification Chair, at

This month, I’d like to address some of the more common questions NRWA members have about sample submissions, which is the first step in the NCRW certification process.

When preparing a sample resume, how should I address client challenges, such as employment gaps?

We want to see what you know about strategy, formatting, writing, and professionalism. Address challenges and limitations by embellishing the sample, which may include adjusting dates, changing job titles, and making the career history more relevant and succinct. Remember; graders are not going to research the candidate’s background or do any fact-checking.

What disqualifies a sample?

Samples are rejected it they have been previously used for another association's certification program, have been written by another party, were previously critiqued by the Writing Excellence instructor, or do not adhere to the submission instructions. It is recommended that you review the NCRW Study Guide closely and ensure your writing meets the standards of The Gregg Reference Manual.

What should I submit as a "Sample Package"?

A complete sample package includes:

  1. Self-authored resume, submitted in both MS Word (.doc or .docx) and PDF formats
  2. Matching cover letter, submitted in both MS Word (.doc or .docx) and PDF formats
  3. Justification explaining the candidate’s job-search objectives and target industry, as well as the strategies you incorporated in the documents
Back to top

Volunteer of the Month - Ashley Watkins

By Robert Rosales
NRWA Marketing Chair

We are pleased to announce Ashley Watkins as November’s Volunteer of the Month. Ashley currently serves as the Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair on the Board of Directors, where she has made a big impact in a short period of time.

Ashley is a job search coach and Nationally Certified Resume Writer who specializes in helping frustrated job seekers overcome common anxiety and fear related to their job searches. She teaches leading-edge job search and interview strategies to help clients articulately communicate their unique value to potential employers.

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

I’m a job search coach with Write Step Resumes, LLC and the only Nationally Certified Resume Writer in Alabama. By maximizing my 15-year career in corporate recruiting, I partner with frustrated mid-career to executive-level job seekers to teach them leading-edge job search strategies and how to overcome networking anxiety. I also help them communicate their career stories and showcase how they add unique value to potential employers on their resumes, on their LinkedIn profiles, and in interviews.

How did you first get involved with the NRWA?

I joined the NRWA after launching my business in 2012. One quick Google search changed my career outlook. I didn’t know much about resume writers and wanted to ensure I was doing all that I could to help my clients rediscover the impact of their careers, so they could market themselves to employers as top talent and command top-dollar salaries. I think I immediately purchased about 15 courses from the NRWA’s library of webinars and studied consistently to refine my writing and coaching strategies.

What prompted you to get involved as the Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair?

After taking the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship in 2016, I set a goal with my mentor to become more involved in the careers industry and gain more visibility among my peers. When I was approached about the opportunity to serve on the board, it felt like the perfect way to leverage my skills in recruiting, nonprofit fundraising, and relationship building to make a bigger impact with NRWA sponsors and affiliates.

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

Since joining, I have benefited tremendously from educational tools, such as webinars, forums, books, and the Writing Excellence Program. With the NRWA, you don’t just pay dues and attend boring training calls. Coaches and writers actually come together to share ideas and knowledge to consistently drive the careers industry forward. The networking opportunities and open Q&A sessions alone were enough to boost sales and efficiency in my business. Volunteering is an amazing way to have your ideas heard (and implemented) while giving back to an organization dedicated to presenting a positive public image and excellence in writing, coaching, and job search strategies.

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

When I’m not working or volunteering, I co-host a TV show. I’m on twice a week and discuss a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, and current events. I also collect shoe figurines and get lost for hours in coloring books.

Back to top

New and Renewing Members

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of November 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.

Back to top

Copyright © 2018 The National Résumé Writers' Association, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you opted in at

Our mailing address is:

The National Résumé Writers' Association

9 Newport Drive, Suite 200

Forest Hill, MD 21050