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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • 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

  • March 01, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I’m bringing back this column with a big tip this month—audit your links!

    I kept getting these weird Zoom meeting requests on my calendar for 30-minute consultations. This only happens when I book a session with a client. I pondered it for a couple of days, and then it dawned on me—I forgot to update my scheduling link in my LinkedIn profile!

    I recently switched over to a new system for scheduling and invoicing, and I missed a link! This led to an audit of all my links. I realized I needed to update content on my website, LinkedIn profile, and marketing touches.

    So, a random appointment saved my life this month! I challenge you to review your links, social profiles, and NRWA member profiles. We resume writers get so busy we forget to check our own professional brand.

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

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

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


    • Lydia Aponte in North Potomac, Maryland
    • Marie Barberet in Alexandria, Virginia
    • Ralph Brown - Rightway Resumes in Madison, Mississippi
    • Karen Chontofalsky - Nerdy Girl Career Coach in Belleville, Illinois
    • Jennifer Delatte - U.S.VETS in Los Angeles, California
    • Victor Follis - Wichita Workforce Center in Wichita, Kansas
    • Rachel Galindo in Grayson, Georgia
    • Nancy Hedrick - The Professional Edge in Lawrence, Kansas
    • Chelsea Kaled in Manchester, New Hampshire
    • Rosa Lopez-Zenoz in Vero Beach, Florida
    • Lauren Miller - Tesla in Austin, Texas
    • Kris Niklawski - Blue Sky Resumes in Cumming, Iowa
    • Timothy Rymer in Rochester, New York
    • Dan Shortridge in Dover, Delaware
    • Agnieszka Sypniewska - Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust in Boulder, Colorado
    • Tania Velazquez in Marina del Rey, California
    • Andy Watkins - Advise Your Biz in Bentonville, Arkansas
    • John Williams - Devicore in Mount Arlington, New Jersey
    • Jaime Yarosh in Kathleen, Georgia


    • Anne Anderson - Flagiron in Medford, Oregon
    • Jean Austin - Talents Presented Resume Writing & Job Search Strategies in Melbourne, Florida
    • Douglas Barnes - Résumé-Success in Miami Shores, Florida
    • Laura Bashore - Anew Resume and Career Services in San Marcos, California
    • Teri Bickmore in Midland, Michigan
    • Camille Carboneau Roberts - CC Career Solutions, LLC in Idaho Falls, Idaho
    • Kathryn Dolphin - Dolphin Talent Scout in Renton, Washington
    • Laurie Feigenbaum - Feigenbaum Publishing and Resume Consultants, Inc. in New York, New York
    • Toni Frana - FlexJobs in Boulder, Colorado
    • Kathi Fuller in Saint Albans, Vermont
    • Liz Helton in Walnut Creek, California
    • Alana Henry - The Writique, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Bob Janitz - Bob Janitz Resume Writing and Career Services in Sherburne, New York
    • Anne Kern - ReachHire Resume Service in Voorhees, New Jersey
    • Alison King - Copyedit Queen in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
    • Myriam-Rose Kohn - JEDA Enterprises in Baltimore, Maryland
    • Frost Krist - Datatype Inc. in Hebron, Connecticut
    • Marsha Leap - New York Life Insurance Co. in Lakeland, Florida
    • Julie Maahs - Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota
    • Greg Marano - The Syracuse Pen in Liverpool, New York
    • Edwina Martindale in Azle, Texas
    • Meg McCormick - HRMeg in Gaithersburg, Maryland
    • Kentia McLemore in Sanford, North Carolina
    • Jan Melnik - Absolute Advantage in Sarasota, Florida
    • Juliet Murphy - Juliet Murphy Career Development in Tustin, California
    • Russell Podgorski in Horseshoe Bay, Texas
    • Jessica Rosado - coachcontec in Miami, Florida
    • Heather Rothbauer-Wanish - Feather Communications in Colfax, Wisconsin
    • Emily Salazar in Austin, Texas
    • Syril Salel in Lakewood, New Jersey
    • Barbara Schultz - The Career Stager in Homer Glen, Illinois
    • Melanie Thompson - First Impression Career Services in Billings, Montana
    • Lauri Transtrom in Chesapeake, Virginia
    • Donna Tucker - CareerPRO Resume Center in Phoenix, Arizona
    • Jessica Visek - Your Resume Partner in Media, Pennsylvania
    • Ann White - The SonnyBeck Group in Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Karen D. Wrigley - AMW Resume Service, LLC in Granbury, Texas

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

    By NRWA Certification Commission Member

    As writers, we love creative language and masterful wordsmithing. But when hiring managers are at their job, scrolling through stacks and stacks of resumes, they’re not looking for a Nicholas Sparks novel. They’re giving each resume a six-second chance to win a second date, and that’s if it even gets past the ATS (applicant tracking software).

    During this initial screening, they care far less about the client’s effervescent personality and far more about their skills, qualifications, and competency to do the job. We must be the best matchmaker between our clients and the job they deserve.

    Use keywords found in the job ad to maximize the resume’s chance of getting through the ATS. It filters out unqualified applicants by scanning for keywords the hiring manager has programmed into the system. If it does not find enough keywords, it rejects the application.

    The ideal keywords include hard skills, soft skills, and certifications the candidate has that are also mentioned in the job description. For example, a construction worker’s resume may include OSHA, NCEES, ACI, and LEED. A software developer’s resume may include C++, Java, Python, and Linux.

    Note: Be sure to use synonyms of the keywords on the resume. A “project manager” can also be a “project administrator.” Those two titles refer to the same job, but we don’t know exactly which word the hiring manager programmed into their ATS. It’s best to cover all of our bases.

    To look for resume keywords, search for job postings similar to the position your client is targeting. Do a cross-analysis to find which words are repeated over multiple postings. Scan the words and phrases in the “qualifications” and “responsibilities” sections, focusing on specific abilities, knowledge, and skills—the more industry-specific, the better.

    For example, here are some keywords for the field of transportation and logistics:

    Look for these:

    Not these:

    Vehicle Maintenance


    Commercial Driver’s License


    Route Planning


    Account Retention


    Keywords are the key (pun intended) to help your client show up as the perfect match for what their target employer is seeking. Sprinkle them organically throughout the resume—no keyword stuffing! Recruiters recognize tricks and do not appreciate attempts to fool the ATS. If the candidate is truly qualified, it should not be difficult to include a smattering of specific keywords when showcasing their credentials.

    It may not feel attractive or creative. It may feel dry and mechanical, but in the potential employer's eyes, it provides clarity and confidence in moving forward with the applicant.

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

    By Anne Anderson – NRWA Staff Writer

    When you feel a fresh breeze blowing through the NRWA, it’s probably Sandra Allison stirring things up at a board meeting! Clearly a force of nature, Sandra currently serves on the NRWA Board of Directors as the Partnership Committee Chair.

    Sandra Allison

    Interior designer. Museum director. Tour guide. Tea shop owner. Avid gamer. Chigiri-e artist. Executive resume writer. Board member. SCORE advisor. Chamber of Commerce Legislative Director. Sandra calls her history “quirky,” but it seems pretty dazzling to me. Self-taught and self-made, she has repeatedly transformed little acorns of jobs into mighty oaks of careers. At 19, Sandra began working at JCPenney designing retail displays. This entry-level role developed into a high-end interior design career.

    After starting as a tour guide, Sandra moved into the assistant director role at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts in Cape May, NJ. She expanded the organization to be one of the largest employers in the area, with 120 employees and a $1.2 million budget.

    Because Sandra joined the workforce before finishing college, she coaches clients that success is attainable despite perceived disadvantages (like not having a degree).

    artwork depicting an orange flower

    Figure 1: Morris flower, a sample of Sandra’s Chigiri-e art, made with layers of paper, creating a watercolor effect.

    Seven years ago, after experiencing post-retirement job hunting rejection, Sandra turned her attention to resume writing, initially to improve her own documents. She came to see how her experience in recruiting and managing employees and advocating for disadvantaged people, combined with her creativity and her lifelong passion for writing came together in writing resumes.

    Her early clients were typically entry- and mid-level professionals, but she drifted toward clients who are at a disadvantage for finding jobs, perhaps because of age, disability, or ethnicity. She tested the waters by working as a resume-writing contractor and then formed her own company. Today, she specializes primarily in executive and corporate board resumes.

    Sandra credits LinkedIn for the growth of her business. Resume clients find her there, and she has been recruited by several firms, which helped both expand and focus her own business. In addition to her own clients, she writes for the Azuri Group and Women2Boards, an organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women on corporate boards.

    Sandra joined the NRWA for outreach and learning opportunities. As a board member, she sees many possibilities for the NRWA’s future. She is sensitive to industry trends and wants to ensure that the organization adapts to the demands of digital media. She would like to see the membership double and an increase in volunteer activity. She is in a unique position to impact that goal because the Partnership Committee, in managing affiliate relationships and sponsors, can help grow these revenue sources with more offerings.

    Sandra notes that she is impressed by the NRWA’s education, mentoring, and collaborative spirit. She says, “I am very grateful to the people I've met and worked with at the NRWA, including Lorraine Beaman, Pat Criscito, Nancy Grant, and, especially, Kathi Fuller – who gave me the opportunity to join the board in the first place. I know it takes a team to move forward, and I have learned A LOT from the hardworking volunteers I have had the honor to work with.”

    A Pennsylvania native, Sandra lived and worked in Cape May for many years and is now based in Mechanicsburg, PA. Her husband of 40 years, Greg, is a contractor. They have a son, Tim, and two granddaughters, Claire and Emily, ages 7 and 9. Contact Sandra at [email protected].com or find her online at

    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].

  • February 01, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English –  NRWA DEI Columnist

    Black History Month

    It’s Black History Month, and I’m here to give a brief history lesson on how it all started. Let’s start with five fun facts:

    • Black History Month began as a one-week celebration.
    • Dr. Carter G. Woodson is known as the father of Black history.
    • February was specifically chosen.
    • A week-long celebration turns into a month.
    • Black History Month was created to honor the achievements of Black men and women.

    Now, let’s dig a bit deeper. Black History Month was created to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans, both men, and women. Initially, Black History Month started as Negro History and Literature Week and was created by Harvard University historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In 1912, Woodson was only the second African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard, after W.E.B. DuBois.

    Dr. Woodson wanted to do more to celebrate Black history and bring awareness to anyone who would listen. Ultimately, his goal was to educate because he believed young students were not taught enough about their ancestors' deep heritage and accolades. In 1926, Woodson and his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, were the creators of Negro History and Literature Week.

    I often wondered why February, the shortest month in the year, was chosen. February is the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and Douglass was an African American abolitionist. Black people celebrated their contributions to African American civil rights. Dr. Woodson chose February to honor their legacy and the achievements and history of Black people.

    Organizations and schools across the country embraced this initiative. However, one week wasn’t enough, and Dr. Woodson sought to raise awareness of Black Americans’ contributions to society in a greater way. In the 1960s, the Black Power and Civil Rights movements were on the rise. Black students across college campuses were becoming more and more aware of the history of Black people. Because of this awareness, the Association for the Study of African American History pushed for change.

    In 1976, on the 50th anniversary of the first Negro History and Literature Week, the Association officially made the shift to Black History Month. The entire nation had come to understand and recognize the importance of Black history in America’s overall story.

    This February, think of ways you can celebrate Black History Month, such as:

    • Support Black-owned businesses.
    • Learn about the history and impact of Black culture.
    • Purchase, read, and share books by Black authors.
    • Volunteer with a Black nonprofit.
    • Watch a documentary on Black history.

    I hope you find this enlightening and informative. Black history is deeply rooted in the structure of our country and should go beyond February. As you continue to educate yourself, I encourage you to share with others. Start a dialogue that will help others understand the importance of the historical contributions of Black people. As always, I wish 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 veteran of HR and talent acquisition 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

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