July 2022

Greeting
by Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hi NRWA friends! Can you believe we’re halfway through the summer? I’m on a working vacation as I write this, and excited to share this issue with you. Our What’s Saving My Life? and Pet of the Month columns will return in August.

Before I tell you what’s in store for this issue, I’m requesting some content contributions and topic ideas. What do you want to hear about most? Do you have a tip to share? Do you want to share your business or career with our readers? Please reach out to me at [email protected].

Amanda Brandon

Amanda Brandon

We have a new regular contributor—Ruth Sternberg! She’s a delightful addition to our team. She was a daily newspaper editor in a former career, and she has a real passion for feature articles. She’ll be writing our feature section in upcoming issues. Please help me welcome her to the newsletter team.

By the way, if you want to contribute, we’re always looking for writers – not just for the newsletter, but for marketing and other purposes. If you wish to contribute, please contact me or anyone on the boardHave a great July!

In This Issue:

Get Ready to ROAR! Earn game-changing recogntion from the NRWA's premier resume-writing competition!
Unveiling Strategies for Success - The 2022 NRWA Annual Conference - September 18-20, 2022, New Orleans - 25th Anniversary  Registration open - Click here for details!

Feature Article: Finding a Proofreader Is Easy If You Ask the Right Questions 
by Ruth Sternberg NRWA Staff Writer

You know the feeling: You have worked hard on a resume or copy for a profile, and after you have read it 12 times (even printed it out and read it), you find a typo.

It’s hard to proofread your own work. When crafting our clients' materials, there is a lot to consider: spacing, punctuation, spelling, verb tense, formatting…the list is long.

That’s why many professional resume writers also pay proofreaders as a second layer of defense.

So, how do you find a good proofreader?

First, note that a proofreader is not the same as an editor. Their job is not to correct your choice of words or phrases or check your accuracy but to ensure that what you have crafted is error-free. Proofreaders identify grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors. But they do not address syntax or make the writing concise, clear, consistent, comprehensive, and correct.

Next, realize that an English degree does not necessarily make someone a good proofreader. It takes practice to get good at finding errors.

Some of our NRWA members shared suggestions to help you find the right proofreader.

1. Start with your NRWA colleagues.

“The biggest factor in choosing a proofreader for me was getting recommendations from people I know and trust,” says Annette Richmond, owner of Career Intelligence.

Paula Christensen, owner of Strategic Career Coaches, agreed but added that you can sometimes find great proofreaders among your own friends and family. She suggests asking people who are great with grammar to help you. You can train them to meet your specific needs.

2. Check online resources such as marketplaces and professional associations:

3. When you find a viable candidate, here are some questions to help you vet them:

  • What style guides are you familiar with? The Chicago Manual of Style? The Gregg Reference Manual? The Associated Press Stylebook?
  • Have you written resumes yourself? This matters because resume writers leave out “the” or “an” before nouns. We have our own style designed to save space.
  • May I see a sample of your work? Ask for the pre-and post-proofed versions.

Alison King, a resume writer, proofreader, and owner of Copyedit Queen, suggests asking if the candidate has special training.

“For example, I have a copyediting certificate from the University of California’s San Diego's Division of Extended Studies,” she says. “It consisted of four core courses that involved lectures, assignments, and discussion board interaction, and it took me over a year to complete.”

Check out Alison’s webinar Needles in a Haystack: Tips & Techniques for Proofreading Your Own Work.

4. Next, consider their work structure and fees.

When are they available? What’s their turnaround time? How do they charge? Annette’s proofreader bills in 15-minute increments. But others bill by the hour or by the project length. Others will bundle a specific number of projects, which can help you control your costs.

Why You Need a Proofreader to Back You Up

Remember that typos are not always a sign of sloppiness. Psychologists tell us that we make them because we are focused on higher-order thinking—on the ideas, which are the most important aspect of writing, and not on the smaller details. So, take it as a sign that your brain is doing its job!

Just know that help is available to make sure all your “t’s” are crossed and your “i’s” dotted and your client’s name is spelled correctly! It can remove a lot of your stress.

Feel free to share your tips! What other considerations have helped you find proofreading help?

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Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, is a resume writer and coach who has also worked as a journalist, editor, grant writer, and copywriter during her 37-year career. She owns Confident Career Search, equipping people across the age spectrum with the confidence and tools to make meaningful career transitions. She has been a member of the NRWA for two years and serves on the Public Image Committee. She recently moved from Columbus, OH, to Rochester, NY. Find her online at LinkedIn.com/in/navcoach.

Perspective: Thank You for Being a Friend 
by Eustacia A. English NRWA DEI Columnist

Andrew Gold wrote the lyrics for the Golden Girls television series, “Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You're a pal and a confidant.” This theme song is befitting for this month's topic, the International Day of Friendship.

The United Nations General Assembly designated the International Day of Friendship in 2011. On July 30, we take a step back and give thanks for these connections around the world because they support and foster peace, joy, and harmony. The UN urges governments, community organizations, and other organizations to plan activities and events that honor the strong friendships that we cherish. Numerous gatherings emphasize making amends, building consensus and understanding, and finding solace in the bonds that make you feel at home.

Eustacia English

Eustacia English

diverse handprints

On July 30, the world celebrates friendship by celebrating friends that feel like family, close pals, and even adversaries. This day is dedicated to respect, inclusivity, and diversity. With a heavy focus on inclusivity, the International Day of Friendship encourages us to accept those who may seem different from us and involve everyone.

Our world is challenging. Prioritizing peace appears to have less of a presence in the global community due to misunderstandings, abuse, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural conflict. There is really no excuse for the world not to exist in some peaceful manner. We should all be grateful to the UN for helping to bring awareness to the fact that there is some good in the world.

Building connections and friendships goes beyond simply having something in common with someone else in terms of traits, characteristics, or interests. It also involves encouraging a worldwide commitment to and knowledge of diversity and inclusion. People should not be divided because of differences in appearance, attitudes, politics, interests, music, reproductive rights, or other factors. We can discover common ground despite our differences. Relationships are more important than that, and every July, the UN seeks to spread generosity and camaraderie.

We are more alike than we all think. You can find commonalities by celebrating friendships through small gestures like a quick note, a coffee date, attending a concert, Facetiming, or going shopping. Another focus of this day is to spread ideas that reduce hatred and contempt; we want to believe that there is something that unites us all.

The World Friendship Crusade, an international civil group that promotes peaceful culture through friendship, suggested the first World Friendship Day in 1958. Hallmark first launched friendship greeting cards in the 1930s, and to this day, many people, including me, celebrate their special connections with a card or note.

On the International Day of Friendship, we honor and celebrate the friends who stand by us, correct us when we're being stubborn, give up their time for us while everyone else is preoccupied with adulting, visit us in the middle of the night to lift our spirits, and even the long-distance friends whose friendship has endured across borders.

As I write this, I'm reflecting on my own friendships. I've had some of the same friends for nearly 30 years, and I will always value our friendship. Every person's definition of friendship is unique, as is the nature of the friendship bond. People we have known for a long time might not be close to us, yet we might regard someone we have only recently met as our best friend. It means a lot to me to have both in my life.

There are simple ways to observe the holiday, such as hanging out with friends and doing what you enjoy, as well as more complex ones, such as throwing parties, exchanging gifts, and telling people how much they mean to us. Reaching out and contacting people we haven't seen in a while is another custom on International Day of Friendship. Since conversations are the foundation of all friendships, you might want to reach out to someone new.

Use this celebration day to send someone a sincere note on the spur of the moment or go out to lunch with friends to catch up. Enjoy the month and strengthen your existing relationships, but don't hesitate to strike up new ones. As always, I wish you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

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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 LinkedIn.com/in/ecampbell05.

NRWA Member Spotlight:
Ruth Sternberg

by Anne Anderson  NRWA Staff Writer

We are fortunate that Ruth Sternberg has brought her unique brand of dynamism and creativity to the NRWA. She is currently serving as a Public Image Committee (PIC) member, is a contributing writer for The Water Cooler newsletter, and has helped develop social media posts.

For several decades, Ruth worked as a reporter and writer for newspapers and other media, including the award-winning Columbus Dispatch, national magazines, an R&D manufacturing company, and one of Ohio’s largest urban school districts (producing newsletter content for the teachers’ union). She has also served as a grant writer for the arts, social services, and education. She holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University and an M.A. degree in American Studies from Kent State University.

Ruth Sternberg

Ruth Sternberg

A few years ago, she decided to transfigure her storytelling and professional writing abilities to create powerful job search documents and coach clients to use the materials effectively. In her business Confident Career Search, she focuses on clients searching for positions in nonprofits, communications, marketing, sales, education, and operations. She embraces job seekers' challenges, such as career gaps, transitioning to a new field, or re-entry to the workforce.

Having changed careers twice herself, Ruth identifies with the challenges inherent in these moves and is driven to help others do it successfully. She also helps entrepreneurs communicate their value with marketing sheets and related materials useful for clients and presentations.

Ruth joined the NRWA because she wanted to keep learning and improving her skills. She says, “I’ve been a professional writer for more than three decades, but this is a very different kind of writing. I value having a professional network to call on when I need resources.”

She appreciates being able to share insights and advice, helping us all serve our clients better. She notes that the support of professional colleagues during the pandemic isolation was critical for her. And perhaps best of all, she has made many new friends in the organization.

Ruth chose to deepen her involvement in the NRWA by volunteering because it’s essential to raise the profession's standards and keep them high. She loves that it’s a member-driven organization and sees particular value in its nonprofit status.

“If the NRWA is offering something, it’s being done from the heart,” Ruth says. “I love the spirit of collaboration and collegiality that are hallmarks of the organization.”

When asked how we could support her committee work, she had a ready answer. She said the committee would love it if more members would participate in “Ask the Experts” and weigh in on some of the questions. She notes that it’s great PR for your business. You will receive marketing materials to promote your efforts if your response is selected.

Ruth is currently living in Rochester, NY, after recently relocating from Columbus, OH. Her husband, Sam, is an engineering project manager. They share their home with their cat, Charlotte. Find Ruth online at LinkedIn.com/in/navcoach.

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Anne Anderson is an HR Manager at Charter Spectrum and a professional resume writer. She has been a member of NRWA since 2013. Find Anne online at Linkedin.com.

The NCRW Corner: Liar, Liar Career on Fire 
by Dr. Cheryl Minnick, NCRW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Commission Grader

One way to torch your career is to lie on your resume. We’ve seen careers of high-profile professionals burst into flames by misrepresenting their educational accomplishments. When their mistruths were exposed, some were fired, some resigned, some lost promotions, or had to repay or sit-out bonuses. Their short-term gain (a job or promotion) was torched by a company’s long-term interest (credibility).

Let’s take a look at a few:

  • In 2007, MIT Dean of Admissions, Marilee Jones, resigned when a 28-year-old resume misrepresentation surfaced. She did not have undergraduate or graduate degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or Albany Medical College. In fact, she held no college degree at all.
  • In 2012, an activist shareholder group revealed Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s augmented resume, content included in the company’s annual report, a legal document that CEOs certify truthful. Scott’s tenure lasted four months when it was discovered he did not have TWO degrees, computer science and accounting, from Stonehill College; he had ONE in accounting.
  • While assessing Walmart Senior VP Communications David Tovar’s resume for a promotion in 2014, a third party uncovered a degree misstatement on his resume. David “walked” at the University of Delaware’s 1996 commencement shy credits for an art degree. After an eight-year tenure with Walmart, he was found out and stepped down. In 2015, he returned to school and finished his BA, and has gone on to work for Sprint, McDonald’s, and GrubHub.
  • What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. MGM Mirage’s CEO, J. Terrence Lanni, quickly retired in 2008 yet remained on the Board of Directors when questions about his resume surfaced, finding he did not have an earned or honorary MBA in finance from USC.

When resume errors come to light, professionals have quickly stepped down, repaid or forfeited a sizeable bonus, had severance packages cut, or been terminated.

In 2020, Checkster Research found that 78% of job applicants lie about skills, GPA, title, degree, university name, and achievements, while HireRight (2017) found that 85% of employers caught lies.

As resume writers, we can help clients avoid misstatements by reviewing their academic transcript for GPA, degree, and major. We can also include legal job titles with an equivalency title in parentheses and remind our clients that “embellishments” can cost them their job, promotion, bonus, severance package, and professional reputation.

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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 The Gregg Reference Manual updates. She has also served on past committees for Member Support and ROAR Awards. She 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 LinkedIn.com/in/cherylminnick.

New & Renewing Members 

Welcome to our new and renewing members for the month of June 2022! 
Click here to view the full list.

By the numbers for the month of June:

  • 28 new members.
  • 25 renewing members.
  • 1 renewing member who is speaking at our annual conference.
  • 2 renewing members who recently earned their NCRW certification.
  • 5 new members in a group membership from San Antonio, Texas.
  • 4 renewing members from New Jersey.
Feel free to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself via our members-only networking forums:
You can find colleagues in your area by searching here
Not yet a member of the NRWA? Click here to join!

Education 

electronic learning

The NRWA offers live and on-demand webinars, a self-paced Resume Writing 101 course, teleseminars, and more opportunities for learning throughout the year.

LEARN MORE

Certification Programs 

NCRW - Nationally Certified Resume Writer
LEARN MORE
NCOPE - Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert
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Resume Experts

ResumeExperts.theNRWA.org

Visit our public-facing companion site to access our directory of resume experts, learn more about how we help job seekers, and read our Ask the Experts blog.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RESUME EXPERTS SITE

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