November 2019

In This Issue

Executive Greeting


Sara Timm
NRWA Membership Chair

Hats off to Nancy Grant and her team for a fabulous conference! The breathtaking Caribbean sunrises and sunsets provided the perfect backdrop for a fantastic week of learning, networking, and relaxing.

Hailed by a long-time and active member, Rebecca Bosl, as “the best I ever attended,” she continued her praise by saying “the presentations and side conversations at dinner were the best and have inspired me to transform my business again.”

Like Rebecca, most of us arrived home from the conference with visions of implementing ideas and strategies inspired by the exceptional line up of presenters contributing their expertise. But if you are like me, you found yourself getting bogged down with working IN the business, and no time to work ON the business.

Recognizing that running a small business, as well as refining a craft, is demanding, the NRWA has continued to roll out programs that make it easier for small business owners to readily access cutting-edge resources to maintain skills, build credibility, and stay on top of the industry's dynamic trends all year long.

As the only nonprofit dedicated to supporting resume writers and career professionals, the NRWA launched the powerful and interactive Sales Mastery Course designed to guide industry newbies and established career professionals in effectively promoting their products, quality, and value.

The revamped Writing Excellence includes live, instructor-led webinars that focus on effective resume and cover letter writing strategies. Weekly homework assignments and in-depth feedback reinforce skills, and sessions are recorded for easy reference to key concepts.

Our On-Demand Webinars provide relevant learning opportunities for both new and experienced career professionals. Each webinar is recorded, enabling you to access the content on your own time.

Also available is an exclusive archive of teleseminars covering simple to complex topics, from correcting common grammar errors to outperforming the competition with sales strategies that work.

I urge you to capitalize on these offerings as we await the 2020 conference in New Orleans. We are going to laissez le bon temps rouler!

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    2019 Conference Review

Nancy Grant, NCOPE
NRWA Conference Program Chair

Click here to view a slideshow of some of the highlights from the 2019 Conference at Sea!

Thank you to all who attended our 2019 conference at sea. This conference proved to be the experience we anticipated. Initial reviews indicate we accomplished our goals to deliver valuable educational workshops and extended networking opportunities—all while enjoying a relaxing and adventurous vacation. In true NRWA fashion, we also rallied and contributed to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, collaborating to bring much-needed items to the Bahamas.

Kicking off our conference was author and Career Director for the MBA Program for Executives at The Wharton School, Dawn Graham, PhD. She shared her wisdom and how she came about writing her book, Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success, as well as hosting a live weekly national call-in radio show, “Career Talk” on SiriusXM. Dawn expressed her gratitude for being introduced to our organization, and rumor has it some of our members are of interest to her as future guests. Networking at its greatest!

Announced at conference closing was our 2020 reveal, and the excitement was overwhelming. Next year we are bringing our conference back on land to New Orleans, September 13–15, 2020. We will be Unmasking Strategies for Success.  I am excited to have Rebecca Metz joining me as Co-Chair and partner in crime. We have already begun laying the groundwork for what will be an amazing conference experience.

It is never too early to start planning and saving to attend conference 2020. And, if you are ready to take your engagement with the NRWA to the next level, consider presenting a workshop, sponsoring an event, or contributing to a committee.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the people involved who made our conferences possible. It truly takes a village and I am grateful from the bottom of my heart. Planning, proofing, marketing, sponsoring, and executing an event such as ours would be impossible without a great team and I humbly thank you. 

Looking forward to seeing you in the Big Easy next year!

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    2019 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 2019 conference sponsors and affiliates. Together, we remained committed to “Charting a Course for Success” by making our first conference at sea an event to remember.

Because of our sponsors’ 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 Web Pages That Sell (Rebecca Metz), Interview2Work (Lorraine Beaman), and Inspire Careers (Cathy Lanzalaco) help us bring robust educational programs, events, and other benefits to our 500+ members, while earning valuable exposure within our NRWA community.

As our organization grows, 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 2019 Affiliates, including Cognito Forms, EnhanCV, Indeed, ProfilngPro, and Stewart, Cooper & Coon.

Don’t forget to check out our Virtual Book Nook and Virtual Ad Book.

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

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    Save the Date for the 2020 Conference

Jean Austin, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Education Chair and Conference Committee Member

If your feet have been tapping, and you’re already thinking of beignets and gumbo, you’re probably looking forward to the NRWA’s 2020 Conference, “Unmasking Strategies for Success,” in New Orleans! Don’t miss another chance to have a great time, learn, and connect with colleagues. We’ll keep you informed so you can make plans well in advance, but for now - save the date by marking your calendar for September 13-15, 2020!

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    ROAR Competition Winners 

Mary Jo King, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Immediate Past President 

This summer, NRWA members competed in several industry categories to demonstrate their resume writing expertise. Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR) winners were announced last month at our annual conference and we present them officially to our entire membership here.

Please join me in congratulating our winners, who each rose to the top in multiple categories:



Well done, ladies! Each winner will receive two years of free NRWA membership and promotional exposure via national press release and our social media outlets. Winning documents will be published on the NRWA website for all to view.

Many thanks to all those members who participated in the 2019 ROAR competition, and a special thank you to the ROAR Committee—all NCRWs—who dedicated their time and expertise in an exemplary judging effort, including Jean Austin, Denise Hemphill, Ellen Steverson, and Tim Windhof.

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    NRWA Industry Hero  

Mary Jo King, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Immediate Past President 

The Industry Hero Award was created in 2014 by the Board of Directors at the behest of Donna Tucker, who correctly asserted that other NRWA award programs did not address unique and selfless industry heroics on the part of individuals who advance our work, the way we practice, and the results we are able to achieve on behalf of our clients.

We would have been proud to name any one of this year’s five Industry Hero nominees, who distinguished not only themselves, but the NRWA organization and the career services industry. In the end, however, our choice was both easy and unanimous.

Thomas (Tom) Powner was nominated by several members and selected by the Executive Board, recognizing his innovative and transformational contributions to business practices, client services, and the craft of developing career documents. He is a ready contributor across our social media outlets and delivers instruction to our membership via webinars,conference presentations, and the ground-breaking NCOPE certification program.

A few remarks from those who nominated Tom:

“I nominate Tom Powner for his dedication to helping everyone be better. He’s often the first one to respond to someone’s question on the NRWA list despite running his thriving business.One of the reasons I joined the board was to work with Tom.”

Tom is recognized as the go-to for all things LinkedIn. His NCOPE certification is an industry first, and as such will be the gold standard for all LinkedIn certifications going forward.” 

The value of my work is elevated by Tom’s contributions to the NRWA. I have been continually inspired to tweak my resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles for my clients.”

Tom makes continuing education effortless. His workshops are easy to follow, informative,and engaging. His insight into what clients want and need is invaluable.”

“Inspiration from Tom can be found woven into my business processes, resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. I think this is amazing, considering that I only met Tom three short years ago.”

Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for your generous service to the NRWA, our members, and our industry. You truly are a hero!

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    Mary Jo King, Vivian Belen Award Winner, with Tom Powner, Industry Hero Award Winner
Mary Jo King, Vivian Belen Award Winner, with Tom Powner, Industry Hero Award Winner

    Vivian Belen Award 

Virginia Franco, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA President 

This year’s recipient of the Vivian Belen Award was presented to Mary Jo King by NRWA President Virginia Franco at the 2019 Conference at Sea. The Vivian Belen Award honors and recognizes those who have given selflessly to our organization and carried on the work of Vivian Belen, one of the NRWA’s original founders.

Mary Jo King has dedicated countless hours to our organization over the years – sometimes up front and center, but often behind the scenes and out of the spotlight. She has served on our Board for seven years in a variety of roles including secretary, president elect/ethics chair, president, and past president,as well as on countless committees. Many of the tools we provide to our members, and several education and certification programs offered today, were developed as a direct result of her tireless leadership and hard work.

Please visit the Vivian Belen and Industry Hero award pages of our website to learn more about these honors and the remarkable contributions these NRWA members have made to the organization and industry. We feel certain they would appreciate hearing from any of you who want to express personal congratulations!

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Upcoming Education

Jean Austin, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Education Chair and Conference Committee Member

As 2019 draws to a close and we look forward to 2020, we continue to provide webinars that will make a lasting difference in your business. You won’t want to miss the following speakers or topics:

2020 goals

Less Stress, Better Results: New Mindsets for the New Year
Presented by Anne Marie Segal, JD, CCMC, CPRW and NCOPE

November 15, 2019
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET

In this webinar you will learn how to:

technology options

How to Create Graphically Beautiful, Yet ATS-Friendly Resumes
Presented by Marie Plett, CERM, CPRW

December 13, 2019
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET

In this webinar, you will learn:

NRWA webinars are an excellent way for you to share your knowledge and expertise while gaining recognition within the resume writing industry. Click here for details on all of our upcoming webinars. If you are interested – or even considering – giving a presentation, please contact me at Suggestions for topics and speakers are always welcome.

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Congratulations to New NCOPEs!

Sally McIntosh, NCRW, NCOPE
NRWA Certification Chair

Congratulations to the most recent graduates of our Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE) program! Having completed a rigorous five-week training program, the following resume writers, career coaches, and other industry professionals are poised to unleash the power of LinkedIn to boost success for their job-seeking clients:

The next NCOPE course is now open for registration. It will be offered on Thursdays from November 7 through December 12, 2019, (skipping Thanksgiving week) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., ET. Click here for more details and registration.

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    Affiliate Spotlight 

Ashley Watkins, NCRW
NRWA Sponsor/Affiliate Relations Chair

Let’s extend a warm welcome to Cognito Forms, one of the NRWA’s newest affiliate partners.

Cognito Forms

Whether you’re a tech expert or a bit tech hesitant, Cognito Forms empowers you to easily create custom online forms. Embed your forms into your website and email them to new clients for onboarding (or former clients for satisfaction surveys).

Use Cognito Forms to:

Easily create a variety of custom forms:

The robust styling and automation make it easy to create responsive multipage forms that feel more like conversations. This gives your clients a welcoming and personal experience—even online.

Then, use Cognito Forms to capture signatures, process payments (even installment payments), and create automated email alerts to keep your business running efficiently and your clients happy.

As an NRWA member, you get a free 30-day trial of Cognito Forms. Claim your free trial today!

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

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     Certification and Training Programs 
Annette Richmond
NRWA Director of Member Support: 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 final session of the year runs November 7th through December 12th, every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. All sessions are recorded and can be viewed for 90 days. Classes fill up quickly; don't miss your last opportuity to earn your NCOPE this year!

Visit the NRWA website to register.

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 2019 the year you become an NCRW!

Visit the NRWA website for more details.

Professional Development and Training

The NRWA's dedication to professional development is one of the biggest benefits of membership. In addition to live educational webinars, a library of webinars and teleseminars is available online 24/7. Visit the recently revamped Webinars & Teleseminars page to learn how to write faster and more effectively, create and market webinars, grow and protect your business from liability and more.

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Volunteer of the Month - Cheryl Minnick

Paul Bennett
NRWA Director of Member Support: New Business Owners (Eastern Region)

Although Cheryl Minnick, Ed.D., NCRW, has been a grader on the NCRW Commission for many years, she does much more for our organization than that! She’s also helped NCRW candidates one-on-one, through countless phone calls and email exchanges. Despite her busy schedule, Cheryl’s willingness to cheerfully pitch in wherever she’s needed makes her a highly valuable member of the NRWA team.

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

Like Superman, I hold one role by day and another by night. By day, I’m a University of Montana college career counselor/academic advisor with 20 years’ experience. By night, I’m a career consultant/resume writer for mid-level to C-suite professionals and a CV writer for higher education administrators and faculty. Both audiences bring different types of challenges, but tremendous joy. I’m blessed to have opportunities to work with people on first careers, mid-level career pivots, and promotions.

How did you first become a member of the NRWA?

In 2004, I read a news article about NCRW certification (which I thought was ridiculous because “anyone can write a resume!”) So, I decided to use my annual training and development funds to attend the NRWA’s conference in Arizona (and lay by the pool). I told myself I’d just attend a few workshops and then swim. But I ended up attending so many workshops – one every hour – that I never saw the sunshine again!  Although I’d learned career theory and counseling skills, I wasn’t properly trained in coaching, resume writing, career development, and interview techniques.

After the conference, I took the NCRW exam cold; after all, “anyone can write a resume,” plus I had a master’s degree and nearly finished earning a counseling doctorate – and I failed!  So, I stomped away from “those NRWA crazies who don’t recognize my talent.” A year later, I crawled back and for 12 months studied best practices in resume writing; took webinars presented by Louise Kursmark, Wendy Enelow, Deb Dib, and other leading industry professionals; studied the NCRW Study Guide and reviewed NCRW samples; attended workshops at the next conference; and received mentoring from Sally McIntosh. By this point, I realized the power of the NRWA and the kindness and talent of its members.

What prompted you to get involved as an NCRW grader?

In 2013, Michelle Swanson (certification chair at the time) invited me to become a grader. I was honored and proud of myself from going from “utter failure” to a “grader.” When I grade an NCRW sample submission or an exam, I remember my own early failure and how my NCRW grader kindly encouraged me toward excellence, while holding the bar high and keeping me accountable. I hope I do the same.

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

That learning never stops; technology and workforce changes influence resumes and application processes. The bar of excellence continually rises; each of us in the industry should endeavor to elevate our talent and skills and not become stale. We can learn from each other, and caring, sharing, talented NRWA members are eager to support colleagues. There are best practices in the resume writing industry that lead to success. The NRWA offers opportunities to market your business and publicize your talent through certification.

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

Hmmm … I love shoes and Motown. My favorite singer is Donny Osmond (no judging). My real name is “Cherie.” I have two birthdays, my real one and the one my mom doctored on my birth certificate to enroll me in kindergarten a year early (after which she lied to me about my age until I wanted to get my driver’s license, when she said, “Surprise, you’re actually 15!”).

When I’m not working at the University or writing resumes (which rarely happens), I’m baking cookies and doing laundry (two of my favorite things) while watching “fluff” television.

Cheryl, we’re proud and fortunate to have you in the NRWA family! Congratulations on this latest honor.

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What's New Find out with Board Bytes! Check out Board Bytes for a summary of the NRWA Board's quarterly activities, new and ongoing initiatives, changes to our bylaws, important decisions affecting our members, a glimpse of our plans for the future, and more! The latest Board Bytes is now available on our website. 

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Share your expertise. Job seekers have questions - you have answers. Questions are awaiting your answers right now! Go to our Ask the Experts portal and help job seekers with your knowledge and insights as a credentialed career expert. Establish yourself as a reputable resource, earn an Expert Badge, get exposure in published articles, and enhance the reputation of our profession!

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New and Renewing Members

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of August 2019!  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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