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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • January 06, 2023 5:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

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


    • Muhammad Bandesha - Key Resume LLC in Tampa, Florida
    • Mellonie Banks - iApply4U in Hazel Green, Alabama
    • Daniel Bowley in Bel Air, Maryland
    • Amanda Camarata in Wheat Ridge, California
    • Tracy Engstrom in Galesburg, Illinois
    • Courtney Long in Kannapolis, North Carolina
    • Molly McCoy - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Philip Myer - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Dali O'Neill - Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska
    • Sandra Saltibus Howard - Sandra Saltibus Coaching in Stonecrest, Georgia
    • Leanne Torres - Leanne Torres Life Coaching in Moline, Illinois
    • Roger Torres - HHUSA Bulverde, Texas
    • Vincent Vitale in Lexington, Kentucky
    • Paul Wagoner in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • Michelle Yestrepsky - Front Range Community College in Longmont, California


    • Uche Achinanya - Gelife Group in Fulshear, Texas
    • Dahlia Ashford - Ashford Career Consulting Company in Winchester, Virginia
    • Marian Bernard - The Regency Group in Aurora, Ontario, Canada
    • Ralph Brown - Rightway Resumes in Madison, Mississippi
    • Demetria Cooper - Iron Sharpens Iron 2717, LLC in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Adelle Dantzler - Dantzler Solutions LLC in Washington, D.C.
    • Shabrina Dew - Thee Happenings LLC. Professional Recruiting Agency in Killeen, Texas
    • Kathryn Dolphin - Dolphin Talent Scout in Renton, Washington
    • Laurie Feigenbaum - Feigenbaum Publishing and Resume Consultants, Inc. in New York, New York
    • Sadanyah FlowingWater-ONeal in Akron, Ohio
    • Gary Foster in Highlands Ranch, California
    • Virginia Franco - Virginia Franco Resumes in Matthews, North Carolina
    • Emma Geiser - Visual-Career-Guides, LLC in Dublin, Ohio
    • Nancy Hedrick - The Professional Edge Resume & Business Services in Lawrence, Kansas
    • Caroline Jagot - A Better Resume in Tallahassee, Florida
    • Crystal Johnson - Johnson Consulting Services LLC in McLean, Virginia
    • Gayle Keefer - TruMark Resumes in Martin, Georgia
    • Mary Jo King - Alliance Resume & Writing Service in Racine, Wisconsin
    • Beth Lovell - Employment Issues! in Millersville, Pennsylvania
    • Greg Marano - The Syracuse Pen in Liverpool, New York
    • Ferrell Marshall - Spotlight Coaching in Pasadena, California
    • Troy Reed - Tee, The Writer in Los Angeles, California
    • Kristen Schmidt - Wordschmidt Consulting LLC in Columbus, Ohio
    • Nina Scott in Pleasanton, California
    • Dan Shortridge in Dover, Delaware
    • Mary Ann Victor in Shelby Township, Michigan
    • Wendi Weiner, Esq. - The Writing Guru in Miami, Florida
    • Michelle Wright - Wright Writing Services, LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • January 06, 2023 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

    Editor’s Note: We will review essential sections from the NCRW Study Guide for the next several months. Members can access this guide for free at this link.

    If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

    We’re starting the New Year with an update to the NCRW Study Guide!

    The Certification Commission reviews new information and best practices pertaining to writing resumes all year long, keeping a list which we discuss at our quarterly meetings. There weren’t many items on the list in 2022, but we have made some changes to the updated version of the Study Guide (available here). Here are highlights:

    1.       Revamped letterhead section (page 20) to incorporate changes and better explain our thoughts.

    We addressed two best practices:

    • For many years, resume writers have agreed that the client’s street address shouldn’t be included on the resume.
    • As a general rule, we omit the http:// part of a web address and do not include guide words (i.e., email, phone number).

    When reviewing samples, we see letterheads that aren’t as eye catching as they could be, so we rewrote our guidance on layout and design of this important section of the resume. 

    2.       Advice on verb redundancies in the “Accomplishments and Contributions” section under Professional Experience (page 14).

    We added just three words to this section, but if you pay attention to these words, your resumes will be much more powerful: “Avoid verb redundancies.” Very often, on samples and tests, we see words like “develop,” “deliver,” or “manage” used multiple times. Using a variety of verbs will make your resumes more interesting.

    3.       Best practices on personal pronouns in the ATS section (page 30).

    In the ATS section, we added the recommendation not to include preferred personal pronouns (he/his; she/her; they/them) after the client’s name at the top of the resume.

    We encourage everyone to spend some time reading the Study Guide. We guarantee you will pick up tips that will improve your resume writing. 
  • January 06, 2023 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    Happy New Year! I'm writing this in December, reflecting on 2022 and thinking about what's coming in 2023. As I reflect on the past year, I think of diversity, particularly the diversity of thought in the workplace. Too often, I see people holding back their thoughts and not commenting for whatever reason. As I sit here, I think of what I would like to see collectively in the workplace in the new year.

    If you stop to think about it, the typical meeting or event is a haven for conformity and group thinking. According to studies, conversations at events and meetings often center on a small number of people discussing the same topics, with the talking points of the most senior individuals present. Let's try to reconsider how we handle meetings and events in 2023.

    In my opinion, the best meetings and events concentrate more on the ideas that people can contribute than on the identity or stature of their sources. Allowing anonymity during brainstorming sessions is one of the best ways to do this because it allows for the evaluation of ideas to be based only on their merits rather than being limited by conformity.

    In 2023, let's open the door to fresh thinking and honest dialogue. It's important to create cultures in your organizations that allow everyone to benefit from the full range of perspectives and skills. We often characterize a diverse group in terms of race and gender. However, it's important to encourage racial and gender diversity and inclusion at meetings and events, but these are just the beginning of what a truly diverse group means. 

    Different people have various viewpoints and ways of thinking. Everybody has encountered various influences throughout their lives. Smart leaders know that if they want to build, grow, and retain good teams, they need to use cognitive diversity, which is a mix of different ideas and experiences. This is the only way to effectively promote diversity and an inclusive culture.

    If everyone in the room is an analytical thinker, you may have a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, but you won't get the creative abrasion that comes from combining risk-takers, brainstormers, and analytical thinkers. Better outcomes occur when different ways of thinking are brought together.

    Here are some techniques to help ensure your organization encompasses diverse thinking styles, even though you might not be able to spot them right away.

    1.       Break down the silos. Establish interdisciplinary teams to promote varied thinking. You get better results when many different people look at a problem from many different angles. Each person's contribution is valuable, and when silos between teams are broken, great ideas result.

    2.       Analyze thinking styles. I fully support using personality tests like Myers-Briggs or Insights to distinguish between various thinking styles on teams. I have completed and administered these assessments over the years, giving you opportunities to put like-minded individuals together to foster more creative thoughts. Collaborations improve because people are better aware of the value that others can bring to problem-solving.

    3.       If your team lacks diversity in ideas, employ varied thinking tactics to fill in the gaps. Teams with similar thinking styles frequently arrive at the same solution quickly. When you add in varied thinking tactics, they must determine if they are examining all their options when asked to select the next best answer. Research suggests that teams approach issues from four distinct viewpoints: data and analysis, the human element, major ideas, and deadlines to meet. It's a terrific method to encourage individuals to think critically and outside their comfort zone.

    4.       Encourage everyone to speak up. No matter how accurate the assessment, it won't work if leaders don't value all thinking styles and allow everyone a chance to contribute. Leaders must encourage all viewpoints and ideas to create a space where everyone can feel heard and respected. 

    Diversity of thought is significant for decision-making because it introduces diverse perspectives. According to recent studies, diversity of thought can lead to higher revenues, more innovation, and lower turnover rates.

    But remember, skin color and gender aren't the only measures to consider when building a diverse organization. If business leaders want to leverage the full financial benefits of creating diverse organizations, they also need to seek out diversity of thought.

    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

  • January 06, 2023 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    Editor’s Note: I sat down with Louise Kursmark for an interview around Thanksgiving after I saw many of my LinkedIn connections sharing that they’d been featured in the updated Modernize Your Career series and upcoming Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates. This book series is a frequent reach on my personal writing desk.

    I also learned that Louise and Wendy Enelow just released an updated version of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring you an inside look at what goes into a book like this. Enjoy!

    Congratulations to the NRWA members featured in the upcoming Modernize Your Career titles: Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates and Modernize Your Resume, Third Edition:

    NRWA: Why did you write these books?

    LK: The principal audience for our books is job seekers. Many will not hire a resume writer, so we write these books to help them be more fluent in writing their resumes and managing their careers.

    I don’t worry about [the books] cutting into our market as professional resume writers. There is a huge need for our services, and what we provide is incredibly valuable. But the books help to create a benchmark for what makes a good resume. And, of course, we know that many resume writers use our books as resources, so we want to be sharing the best practices and best examples to help our colleagues as well as the general public.

    Each book in the Modernize Your Career series has a slightly different focus. The upcoming book for New College Graduates is written a bit differently, with more step-by-step instructions for every part of the job-seeking process from resumes and LinkedIn to letters, job search practices, and interviewing. We’re assuming a broader range of readers with more experience in the Modernize Your Resume book – that they have some understanding. We explain the why and how and give job seekers confidence.

    NRWA: What can resume writers gain from your books?

    LK: I’ve been a resume writer for a long time, and I still I find value in seeing how others do things. I get ideas from others’ work. It keeps my creativity alive. I expect that many writers can gain similar value from the books.

    NRWA: How did you get started as a resume writer?

    LK: I started doing secretarial services to work from home. I’ve always been a good writer, but I never knew I could make a living from it. (I should have consulted a career coach!) People were asking me to edit and write, and over time I shifted entirely to resume and career services. I learned the craft by doing, serving, attending training and conferences, reading books, listening to my clients, and refining it all into my own style.

    NRWA: What does your business look like today?

    LK: I’ve been in business since 1982, but I don’t have a high-volume practice. I probably take four new clients per month along with regular updates from past clients.

    I’m not a career coach; I’m a writer. I love the writing and strategy that’s involved in creating a resume. I enjoy positioning my clients and building their professional narratives. The vast majority of my clients are senior executives—more specifically, executives who know what they want and where they want to go.

    Most, if not all, of my business comes from referrals. Quite often my executive clients will ask me to work with their college-graduating children. I really like working with new graduates. They’re ambitious and hardworking. It makes me hopeful for the future generation.

    NRWA: What’s the most interesting resume you’ve written?

    LK: One of the most interesting was my first board of directors candidate, a European senior executive who was extremely accomplished and very fascinating. I had fun positioning him for board opportunities, and I enjoyed the challenge of doing something new and a bit different.

    Another was my son. He was trying to get into a competitive major in college, and I was wracking my brain to come up with accomplishments because he didn’t do anything in high school except play in a garage band! I ended up using his band experience as the value in his resume. He got into the program (thank goodness), and he’s been really successful as a U/X designer since graduation.

    NRWA: Why would you suggest a writer join a professional organization like The NRWA?

    LK: We have to always be learning. If we’re stagnant, our work will reflect that. Take advantage of having a group of colleagues to relate with, ask for advice, and share your struggles and successes. Our industry feels unique in that we share freely and don’t feel like we’re competing.

    NRWA: How do you select submissions for your resume books?

    LK: We do a mass invitation to submit resume samples. Our evaluation questions: Does it look good? Is it diverse in style? Does it fit our topic?

    I then go through and proofread the resumes and have editorial license to change some elements for the book. I will sometimes change a name or gender to ensure a diversity of samples. I might add design elements. I want the samples to look as good as possible. Because it is published in black and white, the glorious colors used by the writers won’t be visible. However, most of the edits are quite minor. I want the samples to showcase the different writers’ skills and strategies.

    If anyone is interested in hearing about future publishing opportunities and has NOT received past appeals, email to be added to the distribution list.

    NRWA: How did you get started in writing resume books? What professional gain have you experienced from it?

    LK: Way back when Jan Melnik (my co-author for Expert Resume & LinkedIn Strategies for New College Graduates) was writing a book on how to start a resume business. She recommended me to her editor, and I wrote my first book about running a home-based business. Later, at an industry conference I met an editor from the former JIST publishing company and proposed my first resume book: Sales & Marketing Resumes. I kept writing book proposals and kept writing books. I absolutely love the process—I would do it full-time if it paid well enough. (Writing resumes is much more lucrative.)

    The main benefit of writing books is that it positions you as an authority and helps you gain more frequent speaking and training opportunities. You become better-known in the industry. However, writing a book should be a passion project. You also need to be prepared to market the book. I’ve worked with publishers in the past, and now Wendy Enelow and I have a self-publishing company and do the marketing ourselves.

    NRWA: How can a professional resume writer build their audience?

    LK: I think libraries are an incredible resource. Propose a program there – where you teach people how to write a resume. Consider what are the local needs and just ask.

    NRWA: What other resources do you offer resume writers and job seekers?

    LK: We have an entire book on writing for executives in the Modernize Your Career series. It’s called Modernize Your Executive Job Search. In addition to resumes, the guide features examples of LinkedIn profiles, bios, cover letters, and board resumes and a detailed guide to conducting an executive job search.

    Another tool is the Modernize Your Job Search Letters. This guide gives you many examples of e-notes, cover letters, recruiter letters, networking letters, thank-you letters, job proposal letters, and letters for challenging circumstances

    NRWA: Where can we find your books?

    LK: Our books are available in many local bookstores and online at traditional booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, quite likely at your local library! We also have a website,, where we sell digital and print copies of our entire catalog.

  • January 06, 2023 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I reached out to our brilliant Facebook community to find out what our members will focus on in the first month of 2023. Great advice and ideas! Here’s what several members shared.

    1.       “I’ll be focusing on building my marketing infrastructure via web content and downloadable lead magnets. I have 100 ideas, but they always keep falling to the back of the to-do list!” ~Dan Shortbridge, NCRW, Dover, DE,

    2.       “In January (and beyond), I plan to focus on being more active in our line of work. Although I have 17+ years in our field, I have not spent enough time networking, attending events, and interacting with professionals. I aim to connect, network, and broaden my reach.” ~Danielle Powelson, CPRW, Williston, ND,

    3.       “I do NO social media whatsoever, but I intend to change that. That’s why I’ve enrolled in some self-paced webinars (through a monthly subscription) – including “How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel from Scratch” and “LinkedIn for Business.” ~Marian Bernard, CPRW, CEIP, CJSS, NCOPE, Ontario, CN,

    4.       “January is the month of new beginnings, reflections, and action plans. As a business owner, it is time for a seasonal tweak in service offerings on my calendar. I will focus on providing more flexibility in my calendar for career transition coaching and inserting nonnegotiable self-care time.” Gayle Draper, Collingwood, CN,

    Thanks for sharing with us! Got a tip for “What’s Saving My Life?” Send it to

  • December 09, 2022 10:02 PM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

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


    • Jenn Dorman in Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Karen Gill - Next Step College Advising in Santa Cruz, California
    • Jessica Goforth - Hire Heroes USA in Winter Garden, Florida
    • Courtney Imel McKim - Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    • Vinita Matta in New Delhi, India
    • Valerie Palmer - Higher & Hire in Corpus Christi, Texas
    • Araceli Patino Ortiz - Artistic Precise Translations LLC in Canton, Michigan
    • Tasha Penwell - Bytes and Bits in Vinton, Ohio
    • Kellie Weed in Belmont, North Carolina
    • Curtis Williams - CMW Consulting LLC in Turnersville, New Jersey


    • Amy Adler - Five Strengths Career Transition Experts in Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Kim Batson - The CIO Coach in Sammamish, Washington
    • Arnie Boldt - Arnold-Smith Associates in Rochester, New York
    • Carolina Borges in Howell, New Jersey
    • Casie Dingwell - Opening Doors Resume & Writing Services in Inwood, West Virginia
    • Kamee Gilmore - Paradigm Solutions in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    • Bea Hait - Resumes Plus in Holliston, Massachusetts
    • Sandra Ingemansen - Resume Strategies in Matteson, Illinois
    • Julia Kaukinen - Kaukinen Consulting Oy in Kauniainen, Finland
    • Monica Manney - Compass Career & Development Services in Charlottesville, Virginia
    • William Mitchell - The Resume Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Becky Neff - Zoetic Resume & Writing Services in Three Rivers, Michigan
    • Greg Palmer in Winterville, North Carolina
    • Lisa Rangel - Chameleon Resumes in Rutherford, New Jersey
    • Rachel Raymond (Vander Pol) - RVP Career Services in Santee, California
    • Katey Redmond - The Amiable Red Pen in Anchorage, Alaska
    • Nikki Ryberg - Ryberg Group, LLC in Oregon, Wisconsin
    • Laura Smith-Proulx - An Expert Resume in Arvada, Colorado
    • Wendy Steele - BluePrint Executives in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Stephanie Sullivan - Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas
    • Donnella Tilery - Careers with Donnella LLC in Raritan, New Jersey
    • Jill Walser - I got the job! in Bellevue, Washington
    • Angela Watts - MyPro Resumes in Eagle, Idaho
    • Dirk Welch - Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas

  • December 09, 2022 4:55 PM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    Editor’s Note: Our current president Sara Timm and I sat down for a Zoom before Thanksgiving to talk about her past year and the upcoming year for the NRWA. Sara also chatted with me about moving from Dallas to Colorado Springs and what that business transition looked like. Fun fact: Sara and I only live about an hour apart! So fun to have NRWA buddies nearby! I hope you enjoy this member spotlight as much as I did. Thanks, Sara, for serving as our fearless leader in 2022. 

    A Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Sara made the move from Dallas to Colorado in 2021. She still owns DFWResume and expanded her business to incorporate Colorado Springs to Denver with Colorado Resume. In addition to moving, she took on the immense role of leading the nation’s only nonprofit resume and career services professional association.

    DFW to Colorado

    Sara moved to Colorado after completing a seven-state vacation tour. “I had breast cancer and knew I needed a healthier lifestyle,” she says. “We visited Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Coming down Interstate 25, I asked my husband, ‘Can we move to Colorado? It feels like home.’”

    Getting Started in Resume Writing

    After running an employee transition center for a financial services company, Sara got her start in resume writing almost accidentally.

    “Someone from the bank asked me to help with his resume, and the rest was history. I secured a contract role with a resume firm and became their head writer. I decided to turn it into a business. This also allowed me to stay home with my young children.”

    For many years, Sara worked on building a business with her own sweat and tears. And through Bridget Weide Brooks’ website, she discovered the need to expand her education. That’s when she started looking at associations. She chose the NRWA because the nonprofit aspect of our organization appealed to her. She also saw the value in gaining certification as a solopreneur.

    Why the NRWA
    “I was only working on my strengths and hit a block where I could go no further by myself,” she says. “The minute I put my NRWA membership on my business website, I saw a big difference.”

    She says she got involved in 2015 and joined a boot camp with Jean Austin to start working on her NCRW certification. “This is how I got to know the leadership,” she says. “Jean asked me to join the conference committee and gave me a couple of things to do. She said that I followed up and did what I said I would do.”

    Then NRWA President, Michelle Dumas, reached out and said, “I hear you’re doing good things,” Sara says. “So, my NRWA board career began. I’ve served as an industry support representative, membership chair, conference chair (for a very short spell), and now president.”

    Why Sara Loves Her Job

    Sara won a ROAR Award in 2021 for her work on a resume for a breastfeeding expert who was looking to move across states and says this is one of her favorite projects to date. She also recently completed a resume for a fire chief and found it fascinating.

    “I learn something every day, a new skill, a new way to do something, and what people do for jobs,” Sara says about helping clients.

    “My process involves a personal interview, a DISC profile, and researching the industry by studying job descriptions. I fill in the blanks by taking all that back to the client and asking, ‘Where does this apply? Where did you do this? Research is the key.”

    Building Business Value with the 2022 NRWA Conference

    When asked how the NRWA has helped her business lately, Sara told me about a new feature she’s writing on LinkedIn called “Sara Says.”

    “At this year’s conference, I learned that I don’t need to be afraid to put myself out there,” she says. “I teach my clients to build engagement on LinkedIn and I knew I needed to practice what I preached, so I invented Sara Says.”

    “I introduced my avatar and its purpose during Breast Cancer Month. And then, I started offering advice almost daily. I have doubled my connections, and the engagement is incredible.”

    What Sara Can Teach the Next Generation

    Sara’s tips for newcomers to the resume writing world:

    1.       Follow the industry leaders and find a mentor so you can get support.

    2.       Tap into the network of an association. It’s been instrumental in growing my business.

    3.       Find your niche and write about what you know.

    What’s Next for Sara?

    As the immediate past president, Sara will still have a role in the NRWA leadership. She’ll be heading the ROAR Awards and a grant program for members to apply for financial assistance, such as free membership and attendance at the annual conference. She’ll be sharing more about these programs in the next few weeks.

    We’re so grateful to Sara for leading us this year – through our first in-person conference in two years and so much more. Reach out to her at sara@dfwresume.comor on LinkedIn at

  • December 09, 2022 4:53 PM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

    Editor’s Note: Our Certification Commission team is transitioning this column to a “tips” column. We will review essential sections from the NCRW Study Guide for the next several months. Members can access this guide for free at this link.

    If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

    The Professional Summary section is a crucial part of the resume. A well-written summary captures the reader’s attention and positions the client as a strong candidate while distinguishing the client from others in the job market.

    Section II of the NCRW Study Guide focuses on structuring and writing a good summary. 

    What are the key parts of a summary?

    • A headline that identifies your client’s current job or target job.
    • An optional sub-headline or skills line that showcases how the client excels or key areas of expertise.
    • A branding statement or tagline that tells the employer the value a client offers their company.
    • A paragraph summary with relevant job-specific skills, specialized experience, relevant training and degrees, willingness to travel/relocate, and industry-specific software.

    What makes a good resume summary?

    A good summary turns into an excellent summary when the writer includes relevant facts and metrics to showcase the client’s expertise.

    What will you learn from Section II of the NCRW Study Guide

    • How long a summary should be.
    • What types of metrics to use for positioning the client.
    • How to effectively add keywords to the summary section.
    • Common summary weaknesses and how to avoid them.

    We encourage you to review Section II closely for specific writing strategies and clear examples of writing a good summary.

  • December 09, 2022 4:52 PM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    Human Rights Day is observed each year on December 10th. This is the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is one of the United Nation’s major achievements and proclaims the inherent rights of every human, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or status.

    What’s in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

    Interest in and awareness of human rights has grown in recent decades. The UHDR stipulates universal values and a shared standard of achievement for everyone in every country. It has become the most important document of what should be considered the standard for basic equality and human rights.

    Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.  Everyone is entitled to these rights without discrimination.

    Why Human Rights Day?

    Despite the efforts to protect human rights, the hostility toward human rights and those who defend them continues to rise. Human Rights Day advocates for everyone to stand up for their rights and those of others' civil, economic, political, and cultural rights. Additionally, the day aims to enlighten us about how our rights are a foundation of sustainable development and peaceful societies. The day also acknowledges the advocates and defenders of human rights worldwide. While the UN holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most translated document (the UHDR), far too many people are still unaware of their basic rights as human beings.

    Why Human Rights Matter

     Let’s discuss 10 specific reasons human rights matter.

    1.       Human rights guarantee that people's basic needs are met.

    Everyone must have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter. Each individual has a foundational level of dignity thanks to the inclusion of these in basic human rights. Although millions of people still lack these basic needs, claiming that it is a matter of human rights enables activists and others to work toward ensuring that everyone has access to them.

    2.       Vulnerable groups are shielded from abuse by human rights.

    The tragedies of the Holocaust and World War II greatly influenced the creation of the Declaration of Human Rights. At that time in history, the most defenseless members of society, such as the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and the Jewish community, were targeted. Instead of overlooking those in society most susceptible to abuse from those in positions of authority, human rights organizations focus on them.

    3.       Human rights empower individuals to confront societal corruption.

    The idea of human rights empowers individuals to speak out when they encounter abuse and corruption. No society is flawless, which is why certain rights, like the freedom to assemble, are so important. The idea of human rights gives people authority and conveys to them that society, including the government and the workplace, owes them a certain amount of decency. They can stand up if they don't get this respect.

    4.       Human rights promote the right to freedom of speech and expression.

    This is related to what you just read, but it goes beyond to say that you should be able to express yourself without worrying about being brutally punished. Additionally, it protects those who desire to argue against particular views represented in their culture and goes both ways. No one should ever feel threatened by their government because of their opinions, even if they hold ideas and ways of speaking that not everyone will enjoy or agree with.

    5.       People have the freedom to practice their religion or none at all.

    Throughout history, there have been numerous instances of religiously motivated violence and tyranny, including the Crusades, the Holocaust, and current acts of terrorism. Human rights allow people to practice their religions and spiritual beliefs in peace and recognize the importance of those beliefs. A human right also includes the freedom not to practice a particular religion or any religion at all.

    6.       People can love whomever they want.

    The significance of this right cannot be underestimated. A fundamental human right is the freedom to decide how one wants to live their romantic life. When you consider nations where women are pushed into marriages they don't want or where LGBTQ+ individuals are repressed and abused, the effects of not guaranteeing this right are obvious.

    7.       Equal employment possibilities are encouraged by human rights.

    People can thrive in their society when they have the freedom to work and earn a living. People experience mistreatment or limited chances if they don't acknowledge that the workplace might be biased or even oppressive. The idea of human rights promotes equality and serves as a guide for how employers should handle employees.

    8.       Access to education is made possible by human rights.

    Societies where poverty is pervasive need education to help break the cycle of poverty. Organizations and governments concerned with human rights provide access to education and supplies. Everyone can obtain education if it is viewed as a right, not only the wealthy few.

    9.       Human rights protect the environment.

    As a result of climate change and its effects on people, there is a growing marriage between human rights and environmentalism. Since humans are a part of the earth and require land, it makes sense that environmental changes impact human beings. As important as the other rights on this list, the rights to clean water, clean air, and clean soil are equally important.

    10.   Governments can be held liable for their conduct if they violate human rights.

    When the UHDR was published, it had two purposes: to set a standard for the future and to make the world recognize that human rights had been seriously violated during World War II. This important document set a definition for human rights. It and other documents are crucial because they call attention to injustice and establish a precedent. With the standards set for what constitutes a human right, governments can be held accountable for their conduct in the case of a human rights violation.

    Where to Learn More About Human Rights

    If you want to learn more about human rights, you can access free courses on children’s human rights, international human rights laws, international women’s health and human rights, international humanitarian law, defending dignity, and human rights for open societies from Harvard University, UNICEF, or Amnesty International among others. Many of these education providers also offer a completion certificate.

    As 2022 comes to a close, let’s do our part to stand up for the rights and dignity of all individuals. Let’s go into 2023 with a mindset of peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

    Eustacia English writes the Perspectivecolumn, 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

  • December 09, 2022 4:48 PM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE – NRWA Newsletter Editor

    I put out a call for member spotlights on Facebook a few weeks ago. Thank you all for your responses! I have 5-6 lined up for the upcoming year.

    One of those replies started a fun conversation and a feature for “What’s Saving My Life This Month?”

    Claire Davis of Traction Resume shared a video I want to post all over social media and anonymously send to a few clients. Check out a unique way to answer the question, “Why wouldn’t I include 25 years of experience on my resume?” 

    Watch it here:

    Screenshot of linked video - woman in sunglasses discussing how to present experience on a resume

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