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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • April 05, 2022 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Anne Anderson – NRWA Staff Writer

    Crystal Johnson is a welcome addition to the healthy contingent of members hailing from the Washington, DC, area. Although her family has roots in Omaha, NE, she grew up in Arlington, VA, and now lives in McLean, where she shares her home with her fiancé and two dogs, Kobe, a boxer-lab mix and Julius, a Jack Russell terrier.

    As an undergraduate at George Mason University, Crystal studied psychology with a minor in criminology, law, and society and obtained a master’s degree in criminology, law, and society with a focus on policy and practice. Her particular interest was research in advancing/fixing current policies within the criminal justice system. After serving in several internships, she landed a federal government internship with the Pathways Internship Program, which allows graduate students to begin their federal careers while being a full-time student.

    During her time in this internship, her supervisor realized that she had a talent for writing and superior analytical skills. This started her career as a contract specialist. She has worked for the Department of Education, United States Coast Guard (USCG), and Department of Transportation (DOT). She currently works at the Department of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

    Crystal formed her professional resume writing business in 2019, serving various clients, especially in IT, federal, and administrative positions. She is seeing more entry-level clients and those transitioning from entry-level into strategic career positions.

    Crystal joined the NRWA in 2020 to expand her knowledge, stay current on the latest trends, and benefit from the organization’s network of professionals. She is gearing up to begin the certification process, aiming, she states, not just for a credential but to become a better resume writer. She especially appreciates getting to know colleagues from across the country and hearing about the latest trends. She participated in the 2021 conference and found it “super beneficial.” Wanting to expand her business and add subcontractors, she is finding NRWA to be an excellent resource for guidance and support of these efforts.

    Crystal assists the NRWA’s Director of Membership. She is interested in helping to expand the group’s member base and enrich the knowledge of current members. The committee meets monthly to brainstorm ideas. She has helped with polling on the Facebook forum, as one example. She says, “I love bouncing ideas off people who are just as passionate about resume writing as I am.”

    Contact Crystal at or [email protected].

    Anne Anderson is an HR Manager at Charter Spectrum and a professional resume writer. She has been a member of NRWA since 2013. Contact Anne at [email protected].

  • April 05, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Dr. Cheryl Minnick, NRCW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Committee Member

    digital book

    Editor’s Note: This is not our typical content for the NCRW Corner, but we thought it was such an important topic that applies to resume writing; we’re featuring it here. This will be helpful to all NRWA members and those seeking the NCRW certification.

    College career professionals are often asked to write students a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, internship, or graduate/professional school. To avoid writing a letter of minimal assurance, four content areas should be covered:

    1. Describe your relationship to the applicant.

    2. Define their focus and success (academic, research, work, teaching, and/or service).

    3. Evaluate their accomplishments.

    4. Share personal traits only to the extent they predict growth or performance.

    Even well-intentioned writers unconsciously embed bias in recommendation letters. To write stronger, nonbiased letters, use:

    1. A gender bias calculator: or

    2. Titles for ALL candidates (Dr. Smith — not Sarah Smith or Sarah).

    3. Standout words for ALL candidates, that are most often used for men (excellent, superb, unparalleled, unique, professional, best, most, terrific, wonderful, remarkable, unmatched, amazing, quick learner).

    4. Ability traits (talented, smart, able, capable, brilliant, aptitude, innate, expert, proficient, competent, natural, inherent, instinct, analytical, insight).

    5. Compare candidates to scholarship or job requirements referencing research, publications, and needs; avoid irrelevancy (… is well-published, an excellent educator, and great skier!)

    To write nonbiased letters, avoid:

    1. Grindstone adjectives that are more often used for women, implying success from effort, not ability (hardworking, dependable, thorough, diligent, dedicated, conscientious, careful, effort, work ethic).

    2. Gendered adjectives (compassionate, sensitive, enthusiastic, tactful, caring, warm) which stall women’s success, especially those in science/medicine.

    3. Using stereotypes (Sarah is emotional) and typecasting (Dr. Sarah Smith is a caring physician). Rather, use neutral adjectives and labels (Dr. Smith is a skilled physician).

    4. Faint praise (Although the grant was not funded, she worked hard on the project … His publications are scant … She requires minimal supervision). A strong endorsement (She is made for this job!) is better than minimal assurance (He’ll do the job).

    5. Doubt-raisers (it appears, it seems, perhaps, I think, I feel, I believe) which are more often used in recommendation letters for women. (I believe She will no doubt excel.) Research indicates one doubt-raiser decreases an applicant’s chance.


    Dr. Cheryl Minnick, NCRW, NCOPE, has been a member of the NRWA since 2005 and has served on the Certification Commission since 2013. For the past five years, she has ensured the NCRW Study Guide aligns with best practices and Gregg Reference Manual updates. She has also served on past committees for Member Support and ROAR Awards. Cheryl regularly presents at NRWA conferences on ATS, implicit bias, new grad resumes, and college career center services.

    A veteran of the higher education career development space, Cheryl works as the Senior Career Coach at the University of Montana-Missoula and provides executive career consultations and resume writing for executive career development firms, as well as her own boutique business The Paper Trail. Find her online at

  • April 05, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English –  NRWA DEI Columnist

    In November 2021, we discussed The Hiring Process: What Bias Looks Like. We discussed the challenges of unconscious bias, which could be intentional or unintentional, and also touched on 13 different types of unconscious bias in hiring.

    Recruiting diverse talent is a challenge for many organizations. The focus is usually on finding new talent pools rather than addressing other barriers to building a more inclusive hiring environment. Today, we will bring the topic full circle and discuss ways to develop a more inclusive hiring process for diversity recruiting efforts.

    Increasing diversity hires and removing unconscious bias goes beyond just sourcing from more diverse pools. Candidates from underrepresented talent groups face barriers that may prevent them from successfully completing the hiring process. The hiring process must be reevaluated to address any hidden barriers and biases. Let’s discuss changes organizations can make to support inclusive hiring.

    Define Job Requirements Based on Work Outcomes, Not Credentials
    Most hiring leaders define hiring needs based on traditional profiles of educational backgrounds and prior work experience. However, this approach excludes candidates who would otherwise be capable of performing the job. Many diverse candidates get screened out of the process as a result. Recruiters and hiring leaders should adjust their job descriptions to describe the outcomes a job must achieve rather than define the qualifications needed to achieve them.

    Create More Inclusive Job Posts
    Neutral wording within job postings is essential. Certain language can attract candidates of a particular gender, race, or other backgrounds, making other candidates feel like they shouldn’t even bother applying. Biased language in job posts could unintentionally discourage women, racial minorities, and people with physical disabilities.

    For example, dominant wording such as “seeking a competitive and driven candidate” often appeals to men, while wording like “cooperation and teamwork” more often appeal to women.

    Job posts can inadvertently exclude disabled applicants through words such as “speak” or “carry.” Ensuring that your job postings are gender-neutral in wording will assure great candidates across the board to apply.

    Implement Blind Resumes
    I love the idea of implementing blind resumes during the interview process. A blind resume includes removing the candidate’s name and address and also withholding social media checks (LinkedIn) prior to the first interview. This prevents the outward appearance—such as name, address, and any personal interests—from playing a role in the hiring process before the hiring manager can assess more important criteria, such as skills and experience.

    Lead with Skills Tests
    Leveraging technology to reduce bias is an excellent way to see which candidates will succeed in a given role — no matter their past education or work experiences. Reputable companies all conduct skills tests to remove bias toward personality traits or physical characteristics. My company has been doing this for a few years, and the outcome has made a difference in our hiring practices.

    Tailor the EVP for Underrepresented Talent Segments
    As companies continue to compete for the best talent and work toward becoming more diverse and inclusive, it’s important to understand a candidate’s employee value proposition (EVP). Inclusive branding is key to ensuring an inclusive company culture is front and center for potential candidates to see. Candidates from underrepresented groups are looking for organizations with an authentic and inclusive company culture.

    Create a Diverse Hiring Panel
    People tend to want to hire people they like and who are similar to them. By lacking diversity in interview panels, companies are more susceptible to the panel being impacted by their biases and hiring people just like them. Having differences of opinions in an interview panel will allow companies to hire the best people because they truly are the best, not just because they are similar to themselves.

    As a recruiter and a woman of color, I make it my duty to incorporate these things within my own organization. I’ve seen too many candidates not given an opportunity for one reason or another. If you would like to introduce any of the suggestions mentioned, stakeholder buy-in is really key to eliminating any roadblocks. I have been fortunate to work for organizations that held the same passion as I do.

    As always, wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at

  • April 05, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    When I heard about this course, I thought it would be valuable to get feedback from our instructors – Kyle Elliott and Ruth Pankratz – on how this new course will impact resume writing and career coaches. This course starts TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 5th so you need to register here stat if you want in.

    Why does a resume writer or career coach need Business Growth Lab?

    Kyle: Between identifying your ideal client, marketing your services, and deciding how much to charge, running a business can be overwhelming. Whether new in business or an industry veteran, Business Growth Lab will provide participants with a welcoming, supportive, and inspiring environment to take their business to the next level.

    Ruth: The Business Growth Lab is more than a business course. It’s a supportive four-week program with mentoring and actionable business takeaways. The course size is limited to focus on each participant’s unique business.

    How can a resume writer or career coach benefit from this course?

    Ruth: You will gain business perspectives, set goals, learn how to improve your business, enhance customer engagements, boost your confidence, reveal potential business blind spots, and empower yourself to elevate your business revenue, customer engagement, and operational efficiency.

    Kyle: You will learn how to nimbly improve your customer experience, enhance your business marketing and sales skills, and increase your revenue. We combine live group coaching, peer connections, and individual activities to ensure you are geared for long-term success. You’re also getting feedback from two instructors with distinct perspectives and experiences.

    What makes you excited about leading this “lab”?

    Kyle: I began my business on Fiverr, charging $5 for resume reviews and LinkedIn profiles. I now run a multi-six-figure practice while working the fewest hours ever in my career. I am eager for fellow resume writers and career service providers to see that their wildest dreams can come true.

    Ruth: I’m excited to share my 12+ years of business knowledge to help NRWA colleagues thrive. I’ve owned five businesses, and three have been in the careers industry. I may have a few helpful tips to share.

    More About Business Growth Lab

    Rather than telling you how to run a “successful business” as defined by someone else, Kyle and Ruth will guide you through a framework of best practices and show you how to apply them to your business.

    In this four-week course, with six hours of hands-on instruction time, you’ll:

    • Define your business why.
    • Map your customers’ journey.
    • Develop SMART business goals.
    • Learn how your network can ignite your business — and how you can return the favor.
    • Implement tactics that can positively impact your business immediately.
    • Receive accountability and ongoing support by connecting between sessions with industry peers.
    • Engage with award-winning instructors who have been there and who get it.

    About the Instructors

    Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, is the founder and career coach behind Kyle never imagined his college side hustle – charging five dollars for resume reviews and LinkedIn profile summaries on Fiverr – would transform into a multi-six-figure coaching practice serving senior managers and executives in Silicon Valley and high tech. A trusted career expert, his words have been featured in CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Glassdoor, The Must, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications and media outlets. He is an official member of the invitation-only Forbes Coaches Council and an active member of the Gay Coaches Alliance. When not coaching Silicon Valley’s top talent, you will likely find Kyle at Starbucks or Disneyland; he is a proud Disneyland Magic Key Holder.

    Ruth Pankratz, MBA, NCRW, is the founder of Gabby Communications LLC, providing expertise in career advising and writing services. Her 12+ years in business have been focused on marketing professionals, helping each person achieve their unique career goals. Before starting Gabby Communications, Ruth held various corporate leadership positions at Konica Minolta, Hewlett Packard, and other companies. Ruth holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a BS in Communications from Kennesaw State University. She serves as a resume subject matter expert and career advisor at Lee Hecht Harrison International CEO Team in New York. When not working, Ruth practices yoga or enjoys family time.

  • April 05, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    If you struggle with the procrastination bug, as I do sometimes (like a day of 65° and sunny weather), you’ll love this month’s lifesaving tips I gathered from our Facebook group.

    1. Buy an iced latte and reward yourself with a sip each time you write a sentence.

    2. Take a long walk to brainstorm and consider the project notes.

    3. Complete just one easy step—headings, company names, locations, dates—to get the work going.

    4. Set a timer and commit to working for just 25-30 minutes.

    5. Take a few hours off to focus on something else.

    Have a “What’s Saving My Life…” tip? Email us at [email protected].

  • March 01, 2022 6:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of February 2022!

    Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums: the Member Forum on our website, Facebook group, and LinkedIn group.

    You can find colleagues in your area by searching here.


    • Kaljah Adams - The Career Advising Hub in New York, New York
    • Victor Follis - Wichita Workforce Center in Wichita, Kansas
    • Charisse Green in Antelope, California
    • Amanda Jackson in Fort Washington, Maryland
    • Traci Killen in Bellingham, Washington
    • Marion Liszkowski in San Diego, California
    • Soad Mahfouz - Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust in Nottingham, Maryland
    • Jan Moppert - Auburn University Auburn, Alabama
    • Dan Shortridge in Dover, Delaware
    • Michelle Traino in Kent, Washington
    • McKayla Wooldridge in Stanardsville, Virginia


    • Sandra Allison in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    • Marcia Baker - MOS Career Services in Waldorf, Maryland
    • Jeannine Bennett - Vision to Purpose in Virginia Beach, Virginia
    • Carla Deter - LinkedIn Profiles and Resume Writing Service in Winchester, Virginia
    • Liz Doyle - Career Forward in Tarpon Springs, Florida
    • Cynthia Estalilla in Daly City, California
    • Gail Frank - Frankly Speaking - Resumes That Work! in Tampa, Florida
    • Stephanie Gammon - Career Vantage in New Richmond, Ohio
    • Lezlie Garr - in Plano, Texas
    • Sharon Gibson in Fairfax, Virginia
    • Denise Hemphill, PharmD - Confident Career Moves, LLC in Houston, Texas
    • John House in Seattle, Washington
    • Sarah Jewell - A Remarkable Resume in St Augustine, Florida
    • Billie Jordan - Advantage Resumes and Career Services in Maysville, North Carolina
    • Milton Kiang - Channel Resume in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Joyce Lee in Waldorf, Maryland
    • Rebecca McCarthy -Bright Career Branding in Vista, California
    • Jonathan Nugent - All★Star Career Services in Florence, Kentucky
    • Russell Podgorski in Horseshoe Bay, Texas
    • Michelle Riklan - Riklan Resources in Freehold, New Jersey
    • Patti Rock - Hoff Resumes & Career Counseling Services in Clinton, Iowa
    • Robin Schlinger - Robin's Resumes in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Amy Schofield - Schofield Strategies, LLC in Hollywood, Maryland
    • Rachel Shelton in Leander, Texas
    • Tammy Shoup - Breakthrough Resume Writing Service in Decatur, Indiana
    • Ashley Watkins - Write Step Resumes, LLC in Moody, Alabama
  • March 01, 2022 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE - NCRW Certification Chair

    digital bookThe NCRW Certification Commission works hard to ensure we are providing the most up-to-date information to our members. We are continually looking for new trends or information that can be presented more succinctly. Our goal is to publish updates twice a year in January and July.

    Here are some of the topics we revamped in the most recent version:

    Hyperlinked Table of Contents: One of the most convenient features we’ve added to this version is a hyperlinked table of contents. Scroll to the topic you want to learn more about and click on it – like magic; you’ll be whisked to that heading within the document.

    Professional Summary Makeover: Within Section II: Professional Summary, we revamped the b) Summary content subsection. Previously we advised that a Headline is optional, but current trends point to including a Headline along with optional items such as Branding Statement, Tagline, or Skills line. We also included a descriptor of what information to include within the Summary body and an optional Core Competencies section.

    ATS Clarifications: Another section with significant rewrites is Section VIII: Electronic Documents/ATS. The advice we include are best practices, as we’ve been able to ascertain. However, we know that no guidance on this topic is definitive. For example, what does the “S” in ATS stand for – “systems” or “software”? Internet research revealed that both are used, sometimes within the same article. For our Study Guide, we’ve chosen to simply use “ATS.”

    Please understand that this section isn’t an in-depth guide on this topic. We’ve included advice that should allow you to prepare an ATS-friendly resume for your clients. Perhaps you have a different understanding of the “rules,” which is certainly up to you.

    We needed to develop the best approaches as we understand them – at least for the next six months – to use when reviewing samples or grading exams. If you are pursuing the NCRW certification, please use our advice at least while taking part in our process.

    Submit Your Sample! Speaking of pursuing the NCRW, is 2022 the year you will tackle this goal? I encourage you to give it a try! Submit a sample to find out if you are ready to sit for the exam or which areas you need to work on. Our graders will provide you with a lot of advice to improve your writing skills. Our goal is to educate and support resume writers to achieve excellence!

    Want to learn more about the NCRW Process & Study Guide? Visit this link.


    Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE, is the NRWA Certification Commission Chair and served on the original NRWA board of directors. For several years, she has been an NCRW grader and collaborated with a team to revamp the NCRW Study Guide. Her company, A Career Advantage, serves job seekers in all industries and at all levels, primarily focusing on mid-management, blue-collar, and entry-level candidates. Find her online at

  • March 01, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Anne Anderson – NRWA Staff Writer

    Hello! Please welcome new member, Kathleen McGrorty, to the NRWA.

    Kathleen McGrorty

    As managing partner of her firm, NewView, Kathleen focuses on personal branding and increasing her clients’ competitive career advantages. She offers individual and group career coaching, interview preparation, and professional writing services.

    NewView became a global firm as referrals and international opportunities grew, and she added Canada-based staff to her 100% virtual team in 2014. In 2016, she joined the team at Shaffer Psychological Institute as a senior coach, delivering customized coaching services for targeted industries.

    Kathleen often remarks to clients that she is proud of having built a professional business career on a double major in American history and political science. After graduating from college (Rutgers), she began her career in banking project management. During the next two decades, she transitioned into technology project management for Bank of America mergers and acquisitions.

    Working in post-merger environments, she found that much of her work involved facilitation and coaching, a thread that runs through her working life. She spent 10 years at Deloitte Consulting and other consulting firms, honing her management consulting skills and learning the consultative business model. She has worked in many industries, from retail ready-to-wear to oil and gas production. Her breadth of experience strengthens her ability to connect with clients across the spectrum, and she points proudly to a 90% client closing rate.

    Kathleen coached and facilitated private advisory boards for executives and business owners for several years through Vistage, a peer mentoring membership organization. Vistage brings executives across industries in a confidential environment to exchange ideas in planning, finance, business growth, and other strategic issues.

    She has successfully cultivated international client relationships. In conjunction with Mandarin Consulting, she worked with (primarily young) people from foreign countries who sought education and work in the United States. She began with Chinese students and eventually added students and executives from Europe and Asia. The experience has deepened her understanding of multiple cultural viewpoints and what drives individuals to aspire to work in the U.S. She helps them reinforce their motivation and often opens their eyes to options to keep them from veering off their path. To her surprise, she found that students were chatting about her on social media, which led to referrals.

    Kathleen joined the NRWA for the community, collaboration, and educational opportunities. Having just joined in January, she notes how helpful everyone is and says the organization's coaching and mentoring aspects are evident.

    She has found the NRWA Facebook group helpful and has learned a lot by reading the responses. She loves finding individuals who share her passion for helping people thrive and is excited to have this group to engage with and gain perspectives on diverse issues. Kathleen is always thinking about ways to give back and to spread the richness of the information she has gathered through her professional journey; she will be an excellent resource on topics ranging from executive coaching to growing a service business.

    Kathleen lives in southern California with her “chief security officer,” a Norwich terrier named Wagner. The oldest of eight children, she says her coaching career started with her family life. She loves to travel and has planned a trip to Portugal this year. Contact Kathleen at [email protected] or

    Anne Anderson is an HR Manager at Charter Spectrum and a professional resume writer. She has been a member of NRWA since 2013. Contact Anne at [email protected].

  • March 01, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English –  NRWA DEI Columnist

    Happy Women’s History Month!

    Women's History Month

    “She believed she could, so she did.” This short quote holds so much power and meaning. Nothing is too big or too small for women. Women can truly do anything, if they just believe.

    Women’s History Month (WHM), observed since 1987, was created to highlight the often-overlooked contributions of women in United States history, culture, and society.

    The 2022 theme for WHM is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This theme is "both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history,” according to

    While we celebrate women’s history for all of March, we also celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 each year. According to the University of London, “IWD was created to recognize the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women, to raise awareness of discrimination and bias, and to inspire and empower us all to take action for equality. This year’s timely theme is “Break the Bias.”

    Breaking bias is everyone’s responsibility because we are all responsible for our thoughts and actions every single day. We can empower and break the bias in our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges, and universities. I look forward to the day when the world is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination – a world where there is true women’s equality.

    Now, what would this blog be if I didn’t acknowledge icons in history who have fought for equality and paved the way for me and all women? The following women are true trailblazers and helped shape the United States:

    1. Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist who fearlessly fought for gender and racial equality. In the 1860s, she often rode streetcars in Washington D.C. to promote desegregation and publicly protest racism.
    2. Susan B. Anthony was a social activist and icon in the early women's rights movement. She believed and stated that no more men should be allowed to vote until women and men of all races could also vote. She was arrested after she attempted to vote, and her trial led to the 19th Amendment.
    3. Ida B. Wells was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After being born into slavery, Wells spent most of her life as a teacher and investigative reporter, documenting lynching and racial violence in the U.S. during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
    4. Frida Kahlo, an artist, was born in Coyocan, Mexico, in 1907. She used her art to express taboo subjects surrounding women such as abortion, miscarriage, birth, and breastfeeding, and to open up conversations.
    5. Simone de Beauvoir paved the way for modern feminism. In 1970, Beauvoir helped launch the French Women's Liberation Movement by signing the Manifesto of the 343, which argued for abortion rights.
    6. Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese American, fought a lifelong battle against racism and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
    7. Dolores Huerta is a Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist who fights for the rights of many, especially farmers and agricultural workers. She is the founder of the United Farm Workers of America and still fights for workers' rights, immigrants' rights, and women's rights.
    8. Ruth Bader Ginsburg used her Supreme Court seat to change the course of history. She served on the U.S. Supreme Court and was lead counsel for the ACLU Women's Rights Project. She was known for being the voice of all women.
    9. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She started Sally Ride Science, which helps to tackle misconceptions about women in STEM and to "inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to promote STEM literacy."
    10. Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman to serve as vice president of the United States. She built her career for the people, has broken barriers, and continues to fight for working families.

    This list is not inclusive of all the women who have paved the way. However, I encourage you to research and find those women leaders who continue to fight the good fight and make good trouble for women’s rights. To commemorate International Women’s Day, many people wear the official color of purple to stand in solidarity. Let us all do our part by breaking bias and helping fight for gender equality. As always, wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at

  • March 01, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Kristen Schmidt –  NRWA Marketing Chair

    audienceAs the editor of two radically different publications in the same city, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the “how” of storytelling. At the alt-weekly-ish publication, aimed at people in their early 20s with lots of time and not a lot of money, we pushed the envelope on music, art, and culture. Profanity passed muster. Free fun and cheap eats ruled.

    At the city magazine, we talked up $35 entrees and did photo shoots with thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from local boutiques. We invested in deeply reported feature stories. The demographic was affluent, white-collar professional, and college educated. They had lots of money but not a lot of time.

    Knowing the people in your audience is critical to understanding how to speak to them. I’m doing a lot of looking and listening here at the beginning of my tenure as the NRWA marketing chair. Who are we speaking to? What are they trying to accomplish? And how does the NRWA fit into helping them achieve those goals?

    We have a few audiences:

    Members: You’re resume writers, recruiters, career services pros in nonprofit organizations and higher education, career and life coaches, coaches of other resume writers. Some of you are solopreneurs. Some are entrepreneurs. Some work in small agencies. Others work for Fortune 500 corporations or enormous universities. You’re complex, diverse, and dynamic! I’m so interested in learning more about you.

    YOUR Clients & Potential Clients: Through our website and social media, we’re also speaking to a few external groups. One key group is clients and potential clients. We need to project feelings of trustworthiness, credibility, authority, reliability, and intelligence so job seekers who discover us want to learn more and, eventually, reach out to one of you.

    Career & Workforce Professionals: We’re also building a reputation among the broader career services, recruiting, workforce development, and education sectors. When professionals in those industries perform work that brushes up against the NRWA universe, we want to be top of mind, so they reach out to us as an organization or to our members as subject-matter experts.

    What’s Next?
    In the coming weeks and months, I’m eager to think and act more strategically about how the NRWA is speaking to you and our external audiences. You know the marketplace is loud and crowded! It can be challenging to be seen and heard and for your message to be understood clearly. I got involved in the NRWA because I see that it’s built on a foundation of ethics, community, purpose, and mutual support. Let’s work together to make sure everyone who wants to be part of the NRWA knows who we are and can harness the power of what we do.

    How’s the NRWA doing at speaking to you, your potential clients, and your peers in the open market? Email me at [email protected] to share your thoughts and constructive criticism.

    Kristen Schmidt is the new Marketing Chair for the NRWA. She is also an independent editor, writer, and branding consultant at Wordschmidt Consulting, LLC. She works with clients in the higher education, arts, and construction industries. Her affinity for creatives and communicators is fueled by a strong career in community journalism. Local to Columbus, OH, you can find Kristen online at

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