April 2024

Editor’s Message
by Ruth Sternberg, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

Hello, everyone!

Spring has finally come to Western New York. We at the NRWA are also “springing” into action with events and advice that will help you improve your practice and help your clients gain the advantage in their job searches.

In this issue, you will get the link to register for our upcoming annual conference. I’m looking forward to seeing you there! It’s always a fabulous event. Don’t forget that you can contribute a door prize! Details are below.

Ruth Sternberg 

In this issue, you also will find out how you can promote your expertise by becoming part of our Ask the Experts tip guide. When you respond to frequently asked questions, provided through the Midweek Memo and on our website, your answers can become part of a resource that can position you as an authority.

We also feature this month a look at how some of our members are using artificial intelligence to help power their work. There are so many tools available now, and they can help you ramp up your efficiency and better serve your clients.

Lastly, but importantly, check out information about Mental Health Awareness Month. We can no longer overlook the impact that our approach to our own and our clients’ well-being has on all of our success.

Have an idea for a Watercooler story? Want to write for us? Let me know at ruth@confidentcareersearch.com. As editor, I will help you shape your story to fit our format.

Ruth Sternberg

Hurry! Your Conference Savings Will Expire May 31!

You can now sign up for the NRWA’s signature event, the NRWA 2024 Reignite Conference, being held October 8–10, 2024, in Providence, R.I.

Don’t miss out! Early bird savings registration closes May 31.

Visit the conference website link to register.

The conference is a great chance for you to connect with colleagues and hone your skills. It features:

  • Powerhouse keynote speech
  • Post-conference session from an industry pro
  • Jam-packed breakout sessionstaught by career experts to help you improve your skills and grow your business
  • 2 evenings of fun: We build in time to network with new colleagues, reconnect with old friends, and see a few sites.
  • Earn 10 CEUs when you attend these information-packed sessions.

Keep an eye on the conference page to learn more as additional information is posted.

Contribute a Conference Door Prize!

Enhance your brand's presence and engagement by becoming a door prize sponsor. By supporting the NWRA annual conference in this way, you're not only boosting your brand but also contributing to a richer, more engaging industry event.

Our plan is to distribute more than 20 door prizes this year, and this can include a product service, book, gift card, or anything else of value. We will acknowledge each contributor in front of the entire conference, acknowledging your valuable support and enhancing your industry stature.

To learn more or to discuss your sponsorship, please get in touch at vincentvitale@twc.com. Join us in making this year’s conference not just an event but a memorable experience for all participants, while prominently featuring your brand as a pillar of the industry community.

Be One of the Experts

By Donna Tucker, CPRW, NCOPE

The NRWA is excited to share that the fifth edition of our Ask the Experts Career Tips e-book is now available for download. This annual publication is a celebration of the knowledge and experience that you, our cherished members, have so graciously shared with job seekers and colleagues alike.

It's not just a helpful resource for those navigating the job market, but also a showcase of the collective wisdom in our association.

By contributing to Ask the Experts, you're doing more than just lending a hand. You're enhancing your professional profile, sharpening your advisory skills, and establishing yourself as a leader in the career-development community. The questions you answer help you become a better advisor, boost your reputation, and position you as an expert in our field.

You can find the link to the newest monthly questions in each MidWeek Memo that comes to your inbox every Wednesday. Want to see some of the questions we have asked? Click here.

When our panel selects your insights, they don't just disappear; they live on. They're posted on our dedicated website and included in our annual e-book, reaching a wide audience of job seekers and career professionals. This exposure can lead to new clients and collaborations, helping you shape your own professional journey as you help others shape theirs.

As we proudly launch the 2024 edition of Career Tips, we want to extend our deepest gratitude for your contributions. Your involvement is what makes this guide possible, and we're eager to share this year's collection of outstanding advice. We encourage you to keep sharing your knowledge, and we can't wait to see the impact of your wisdom.

Donna Tucker is the owner of CareerPRO Resume Center in Phoenix, Ariz. She crafts impactful LinkedIn profiles and resumes, including for federal jobs. She is a founding member of the Resume Writers and Coaches Association.

On the Fence About Using AI? These Insights Might Help

By Ruth Sternberg, NCOPE, Watercooler Editor

NRWA member Gina Riley recently created a list of potential company targets for a client. She used ChatGPT, and the task, which easily could have taken a couple of hours, took only a few minutes.

She fed the artificial intelligence tool the name of a well-known firm as an example and asked it to find others in various size categories.

“There was Accenture, but there were also midsized firms,” said Gina, who owns Gina Riley Consulting. However, her goal was to show her client that there were different-sized operations for him to choose from and, therefore, lots of employment options.

You probably already realize that you can use AI to make your life as a career-industry professional easier. If you are still thinking about using it but are not sure what to use it for, here are some examples from NRWA members. Their chief takeaway is that AI tools save time and add a layer of technical polish that doesn’t require hiring an assistant or graphic designer.

Gina uses it for more than making lists. She uses prompts to help her consolidate and summarize client career information and synthesize it with her coaching insights.

“When I’m working on someone’s LinkedIn summary, I’m putting together things from their debrief and resume, fed into the tool in little bits. I include the language they have used, both in their coaching workbooks and the things they have said to me. Then I write an integrative narrative based on our insights from the sessions.”

Here are some of the ways other NRWA members use AI:

Jessica Visek, owner of Your Career Partner:

Tools: ChatGPT, Gemini, Microsoft Copilot, Yoodli, Slidesgo, Fathom

Uses: create content, research, take notes, and create presentations

Examples: Jessica used ChatGPT to prepare a pivotal career-management presentation, conceptualizing the presentation in outline form, and crafting a narrative. Yoodli and Slidesgo helped her create the visual presentations.

Fathom helps her capture and summarize her coaching sessions. “This tool allows me to maintain a clear and consistent communication channel with my clients, ensuring we remain aligned with our established goals and action plans. It's made me more present, concentrated, and a more effective career coach.”

Denise Bitler, owner of Resume-Interview Success, LLC

Tools: ChatGPT, Gemini, Perplexity

Uses: generate questions, consolidate information, research

Example: Denise generates industry-specific questions that can help her gather additional client resume details. She also uses it to identify up-to-date company goals, missions, and challenges and leverages that information to help clients write high-level 30-60-90+ plans.

Tom Powner, owner of Career Thinker

Tools: ChatGPT, Perplexity, Microsoft CoPilot

Uses: research; consolidation; and assistance with tasks such as writing emails, generating images from text, transcribing audio or video, and drafting documents

Dan Shortridge, owner of Results Resumes

Tools: ChatGPT

Uses: Brainstorming. “It’s helpful if my brain is stuck on certain words or phrases, or to make sure I’ve covered all my bases,” Dan said.

Example: “It's especially helpful if I'm working in a field I'm not personally familiar with. I might ask, ‘Give me a list of 10 skills for a cosmetologist’ or ‘What are 15 important points for a resume for a physical therapist?’ I won't use the language directly, but I will use the topics as a jumping-off point for my client discovery call. They often will catch me up to speed on the types of questions to ask more deeply about.”

Ruth Sternberg owns Confident Career Search, located in Rochester, N.Y., and helps mid- to late-career professionals across the country rethink their directions and adjust their career paths for deeper life satisfaction.

Mental Health Awareness Month: The Silent Workplace Epidemic

By Eustacia A. English, NCOPE

Every year in May, Mental Health Awareness Month aims to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and highlight the vital importance of mental health. But in the workplace, mental health issues are frequently hidden or spoken about in whispers. Workers often feel pressured to hide their difficulties out of concern that it will compromise their chances of promotion or affect their employment stability.

Untreated mental illness has profound impacts on the workplace. Undiagnosed or poorly treated illnesses can lead to higher absenteeism rates, decreased productivity, and an increase in errors. Employees facing these challenges might be more likely to argue with managers or coworkers, creating a toxic working environment.

The expenses associated with mental health disorders are significant from a business standpoint. Businesses may experience rising healthcare costs, declining staff morale, and higher turnover rates. If employers fail to implement the appropriate modifications required by disability laws for workers with mental conditions, they may also be subject to legal repercussions.

The good news is that creating a mentally healthy work environment can be done proactively.

Employers can establish flexible work schedules that promote work-life balance, offer mental health resources and benefits, teach staff about mental health awareness and stigma reduction, and cultivate an open culture that encourages staff to seek help. Organizations may foster a mentally healthy workplace that is advantageous to all parties by placing a high priority on employee well-being.

The month of May offers a chance to raise awareness of the frequently overlooked problem of mental illness in the workplace. By increasing awareness and taking action, we can eliminate stigma, dismantle obstacles, and foster work environments that put every employee's mental health first. Not only will this improve the health and happiness of individual employees, but it will also make organizations, as a whole, healthier and more productive.

Here are some tips that may help you to protect your mental health—in addition to seeking professional care:

  • Engage in regular physical activity. A daily 30-minute walk can enhance your mood and health. If you can't manage a continuous session, remember that shorter periods of activity are also beneficial.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and proper hydration. Eating nutritious meals regularly and drinking plenty of water boosts your energy and focus. Monitor how caffeine and alcohol affect your mood and health and consider reducing their consumption if necessary.
  • Prioritize your sleep. Adhere to a consistent sleeping schedule and ensure you get ample rest. Minimize exposure to blue light from electronics before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
  • Engage in calming activities. Check out apps or programs that promote relaxation, such as meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing techniques. Make time for these and other enjoyable activities such as listening to music, reading, being in nature, or participating in stress-free hobbies.
  • Set clear goals and priorities. Determine what needs immediate attention and what can be postponed. Learn to decline additional tasks to avoid overload and take time to appreciate your achievements each day.
  • Cultivate gratitude. Daily, acknowledge the things for which you are thankful. You can write them down or think about them reflectively.
  • Emphasize positive thinking. Recognize, confront, and counteract your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
  • Keep in touch. Connect with friends or relatives who offer emotional and practical support.

Eustacia A. English is the owner of Resumes on Demand in Cherry Hill, N.J. where she provides resume writing and career coaching services. She specializes in helping new graduates, nurses, and other HR professionals brand their careers. Connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/eustacia/

Professional Development 

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.

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Certification Programs 

NCRW - Nationally Certified Resume Writer
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NCOPE - Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert
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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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