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The Watercooler
Articles from the NRWA Newsletter

  • October 07, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)
  • September 06, 2022 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

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


    • Whitney Alvarez in Austin, TX
    • Traci Beighle - University of Montana in Missoula, MT
    • Keniesha Fields in Mobile, AL
    • Cassandra Hatcher - Career Confidence in Howard, CO
    • Erika Klics in Van Nuys, CA
    • Debra Manente - Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT
    • Chelsea McMillan - Sweeter Knowledge Consulting LLC in Albany, GA
    • Kari Michael in Lebanon, TN
    • Kiri Rawson in Lexington, SC
    • Kathleen Ruxton in Derwood, MD
    • Daniel Scotton - Equus Workforce Solutions in Medford, OR
    • Stacy Ulery - University of Montana in Missoula, MT
    • Vee Vo - Portland Community College in Portland, OR
    • Amy Britta Watt - Career Marketing Centre in Orillia, Contario, Canada


    • Cathy Alfandre in Easton, CT
    • Maria Barroso in Coral Gables, FL
    • Brenda Bernstein The Essay Expert LLC in New Haven, CT
    • Denisha Bonds - Career and Résumé Designs in Port St. Lucie, FL
    • Kathleen Brogan -Brogan Communications in Minneapolis, MN
    • Dawn Bugni - The Write Solution in Atkinson, NC
    • Melissa Carvalho in Kenilworth, NJ
    • Michelle Dumas - Distinctive Career Services, LLC in Sanbornville, NH
    • Cliff Eischen - Eischen's Professional Resume Service in Fresno, CA
    • Jennifer Fishberg - Career Karma Resume Development & Career Services in Highland Park, NJ
    • Joyce Harold - Resumes By Joyce in Norcross, GA
    • Devian Harris in Columbus, MS
    • Beverly Hendley in Mobile, AL
    • Julia Holian - Holian Associates in Walnut Creek, CA
    • Kelly Hood in Dallas, TX
    • Camille Jackson - ResumeSpice in Houston, TX
    • Laura Krueger - ELK Solutions in Fulshear, TX
    • Terry Leja in Chicago, IL
    • Dianne Millsap - Di4Resume® in Oceanside, CA
    • Thomas Munoz in Honolulu, HI
    • Kenna Murison in Sandwich, IL
    • Ruth Pankratz - Gabby Communications in Fort Collins, CO
    • Erica Reckamp - Job Search Like a Pro in Crystal Lake, IL
    • Jennifer Reule Precision Writing Services LLC in Orlando, FL
    • Rosalinde Rosado - URLaunchpad in Wellington, FL
    • Christina Scott in San Francisco, CA
    • Brenda Smith - Resume & Career Services in Baltimore, MD
    • Daphne Valcin - Daphne Valcin Coaching in Atlanta, GA
    • Jennifer Wegman in Fleetwood, PA
    • Adam Zajac - James Drury Partners in Park Ridge, IL

  • September 06, 2022 3:00 AM | 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’ll share an actionable item from them and feature articles when they have big news to share. If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email

    Is your client looking for support in creating a reference page? Here are some actionable tips on how to do this and advice on how to find quality references.

    1.      Create a reference page with the same heading you used for the resume and cover letter.

    2.      Include 3-5 business references with the contact information preferred by the reference. For example, they may not want to receive a phone call at work, so only include their cell number. 

    3.      Make sure your clients know that they need references who know them well and can speak highly of their strengths. We suggest supervisors, colleagues, or coworkers. If they cannot find anyone from a previous company, here’s a list of potential contacts:

    • Executives from other areas of the company
    • Fellow members of a board, committee, or taskforce
    • People who worked for your client
    • Project team members
    • Strategic partners
    • Vendors
    • Mentors
    • Community leaders

    4.  There must be a direct correlation between the references and the resume. If your client lacks business references, have them select credible friends. Try to choose people who are accustomed to serving as references.

    5. After your client has asked contacts if they will serve as a reference, be sure they share a copy of the resume. Your client wants the reference to be clear on their job duties and accomplishments to avoid miscommunication when someone from HR calls. 

    6. On the reference page, it’s crucial to include an explanation of how the reference knows your client. Names without a link to the resume are meaningless. The HR representative usually checks references in the order they appear on the resume, so put the best reference first.

  • September 06, 2022 2:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor

    The NRWA DEI Committee has been meeting to bring a real focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to the organization. We are planning many communication strategies for the coming year. I thought we’d start with who contributes to this amazing team. Also, if you want to join the DEI Committee, please contact Kathi Fuller.


    Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    As NRWA marketing chair, I’m deeply invested in ensuring the organization speaks clearly and candidly about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also care deeply about advocating for and empowering our members and, by proxy, their clients to be proudly and confidently themselves without fear or worry.

    What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    I am transparent with clients about my commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to eliminating words that have racist, sexist, ableist, or otherwise oppressive or exploitative history. I recently completed a 12-credit-hour Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certificate at The Ohio State University. I’m also pursuing advanced coursework in sociology (social stratification) and comparative studies (intersectionality) to enrich my consulting practice.

    Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    Let’s talk about it more! The hard stuff, not just the holidays or the months of recognition. Representation is important. I believe that fervently. We are having conversations about DEI (and the lack of it!) in the workplace with our clients. We owe it to our members to prepare them for these conversations and empower them to respond with empathy and action. Our clients face discrimination for so many reasons and so many types of status. We should be prepared to engage meaningfully in those conversations, even if to point them to more informed resources.

    What is your biggest challenge in DEI – i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

    I think it’s easy for DEI to become just another tagline or phrase, to become defanged. But it’s a radical idea, and it should remain radical! Diversity, equity, and inclusion means being actively anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-exclusionary, and anti-oppression all the time. It means calling bull when you see it—which is constantly—and trying to move entire systems to change.

    How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    Conversations about diversity benefit from diversity of all dimensions. The theory of intersectionality tells us we have much more in common than we do in opposition, even while we remain so very different from one another. We can come together in common experiences, even if they are perpendicular, not parallel. This breeds empathy, and I believe empathy breeds community. Call me hopeful!

    Kristen Schmidt, NCOPE, has been a member of the NRWA since February 2021. She is the marketing chair and contributes to multiple committees as needed. In 2021, Kristen, a former magazine and newspaper editor, founded Wordschmidt Consulting, an editing, writing, and personal branding studio in Columbus, Ohio. Find her online at


    1. Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    As a member of the NRWA Board of Directors that voted to establish the DEI Committee, I want to ensure that our organization’s leadership is doing all we can to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all.

    2. What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    In my NRWA board role, I strive to keep DEI issues on the radar screen across all functional areas of the organization – membership, marketing/communications, education, conference, and more. I have served as the leader of the DEI Committee this year, identifying key issues, setting the agenda for our meetings, facilitating committee discussions, and playing a key role in developing our DEI mission statement, web pages, and other initiatives.

    In my business, I seek to understand the challenges that job-seeking clients from marginalized communities face, helping them navigate the complexities of the job search and hiring process to foster their success. I help other clients stay attuned to an increasingly DEI-aware workplace culture, helping them develop the knowledge and skills that prospective employers are seeking in new hires, assisting them with crafting DEI statements, and preparing for interview questions about their track record of contributions to DEI.

    3. Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    I’d like to see a more formal board role focused on DEI issues, ideally filled by a DEI-trained and certified member. I took on my position on the DEI Committee while serving as President-Elect and Ethics Chair of the NRWA Board and have continued to be engaged as President and now Past-President.

    A dedicated DEI board role would go a long way to demonstrate the NRWA board’s deep commitment to this work while enabling more consistent and impactful DEI efforts. Education/training for our leaders and members on DEI issues should also be a priority for the NRWA.

    4. What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e. communication, buy-in, etc.?

    I think our greatest challenge is member engagement and bandwidth. We have a very dedicated – but small – core group of members who contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the organization. However, we need more people to get involved for the organization to grow and thrive. This is the case across many facets of the NRWA, but particularly the DEI Committee – a new initiative that has not yet gained the traction that other committees/volunteer opportunities have developed over the years. We welcome ideas, insights, and active involvement from all NRWA members who care about this work. Formal training isn’t required (although it would be appreciated). We just need individuals who are passionate about these issues and want to make a difference. We are all learning together.

    5. How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    As members of the organization, we need education – the opportunity to learn more about DEI issues and topics for our clients’ benefit. They look to us to understand the importance of DEI in the hiring process and workplace. As volunteers, we need the ability to demonstrate our passion and leadership in this increasingly important area.

    Kathi Fuller, NCRW, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2017. A Nationally Certified Resume Writer, Kathi provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile (and company page) development, personal branding, career marketing, and other consulting services to clients in the US and abroad. Living in northwestern Vermont, just a few minutes from the Canadian border, Kathi enjoys alpine and Nordic skiing, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, gardening, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as volunteering and supporting civic and charitable causes in her community. Connect with Kathi online at


    1. Why did you join the NRWA DEI committee?

    I joined the DEI committee to actively support DEI initiatives across the NRWA to raise awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of us all.

    2. What is your personal commitment to DEI in your role, business, and membership?

    I am committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment where cultural diversity is welcomed and valued.

    3. Where do you want to see the organization expand on DEI?

    The NRWA needs training on DEI topics as a first step. However, we must expand beyond traditional tactics to create a culture of equality and participation. 

    4. What is your biggest challenge in DEI - i.e., communication, buy-in, etc.?

    While we face many challenges, I feel like our biggest challenge is enlisting the active support to drive our forward progress. As a volunteer-run organization, we rely on member volunteers with technical expertise who are willing to step up and contribute their time and expertise. 

    5. How do you think our members can benefit from the work of this committee?

    For me, it starts with the saying, “Together, Everyone Achieves More.” Everyone can benefit from an engaged membership filled with active collaboration, members sharing unique perspectives, and respect and support for one another's individual needs. This will go a long way to helping each member reach their full potential, creating a better future for themselves, their families, and their customers.

    Rob Rosales, NCRW, NCOPE, CDCC, has been a member of the NRWA since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2018. He provides resume writing, job search strategies, career marketing, and career transition coaching to clients nationwide, from college graduates to senior-level professionals, through his career services firm, EZ Resume Services, based in Kingsburg, CA. Find him online at

  • September 06, 2022 1:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, and the fall season is approaching. In the U.S., September 15 through October 15 is recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

    The histories, cultures, and accomplishments of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America are honored throughout this month.

    Commemorative months are essential to HR professionals and organizations because they allow us to celebrate diversity and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.

    Leaders can assist their organizations in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and establishing fair career paths for people of color this month and every year around this time. The list below includes some tips and suggestions.

    1.      Act as a mentor. According to research, bias frequently affects how we perceive mentoring. It's crucial to maintain awareness of workplace bias through ongoing training. Technology can also be a benefit in this situation. Colleagues can develop stronger bonds by using a learning and performance management protocol that enables mentors and mentees to interact based on responsibilities and skills. As leaders who frequently design mentoring programs, we should check our procedures for unconscious bias. For instance, before launching a mentorship program, organizations can pilot the program with their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging team or employee resource groups to get meaningful input and suggestions.

    Commemorative occasions like Hispanic Heritage Month offer an additional chance at work to assess if we have meaningful ties of mentorship, allyship, or sponsorship with colleagues of color. Today’s employees want to interact with, share with, and learn from coworkers from various backgrounds and career stages. These kinds of partnerships need to be actively encouraged and supported by businesses.

    2.      We should rejoice together (in-person or virtually). Planning company-wide celebrations of significant milestones has historically been simple to do. In a post-Covid world, organizations should continue to observe these types of events both in-person and virtually. Hosting virtual celebrations with a representative from the Hispanic community is an opportunity for organizations to encourage learning and community involvement.

    At my organization, we have celebrated by spotlighting our Hispanic team members. Organizations should also consider external partnerships such as the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and similar organizations to strengthen their community ties.

    3.      Let's address pay equity. The Economic Policy Institute says that more needs to be done to achieve equitable pay in the United States. Organizations should ensure that they regularly assess their pay equity policies and that they act to address any uncovered inequities. To identify further potential sources of pay discrepancy, rules, and procedures for hiring and recruitment should be examined.

    It's crucial to set up and carry out frequent pay equity audits. Ensuring the organization's pay equity policy is covered in continuous training and communication is also crucial. Working toward pay parity at work requires involving hiring managers in the solution by educating them on aspects of the recruiting and hiring procedures that can result in pay discrepancy.

    This month, as organizations take the time to celebrate their diverse workforce and commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, they can make meaningful steps toward building a workplace where employees are valued and can thrive.

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

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


    • Salam Akhnoukh - Elevate Career Services in Erskine Park, New South Wales, Australia
    • Brittney Ambrose in Mobile, Alabama
    • Jaswin Banks in Flowery Branch, Georgia
    • Christopher Barnes - University of South Alabama Career Services in Mobile, Alabama
    • Tomeika Bennett - Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Kenyetta Choice-Ellis - Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Raul Delgado III - Carolina Resume in Summerville, South Carolina
    • Christopher Erle - Chris Twist in North Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Lori Gastin - Kenyon Colleg in Gambier, Ohio
    • Allyson Glover in Irving, Texas
    • Christel Grissett in Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Ruth Hurtado in Germantown, Maryland
    • Johari Leaks in Richmond, California
    • Ileka Leaks in Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina
    • Lori Norris - Get Results Career Services in Glendale, Arizona
    • Hannah Oswalt - University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama
    • Melanie Shorts - M Resumes and Career Consulting, LLC in Washington, D.C.
    • Kristin Vinson Wright - Tarrant County College - Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas
    • Natalie Weston - University of South Alabama - Career Services in Mobile, Alabama
    • JaHanna Wilson - JW Custom Writing Services LLC in Southfield, Michigan


    • Teegan Bartos - Jolt Your Career in Schaumburg, Illinois
    • Kara D. Bell - Kara D. Bell Careers in Austin, Texas
    • August Cohen - GetHiredStayHired® in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    • Catharine Craig in Lamoni, Iowa
    • Lisa Dupras - Elev8 Career Coaching in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
    • Cherise Elliott - C. Elliott Resume Writing in Powder Springs, Georgia
    • Eustacia English in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
    • Robyn Feldberg - Abundant Success Coach in Little Elm, Texas
    • Nadine Franz - APEX Career Services, LLC in Overland Park, Kansas
    • Cathleen Garner in Pearland, Texas
    • Katie Gaskill in Elgin, Illinois
    • Wendy Gelberg - JVS in Boston, Massachusetts
    • Nancy Grant - Regional Career & Employment Services in Canandaigua, New York
    • Fred Hairston - National Able Network in Oak Park, Illinois
    • Rachel Horan - Career Cultivation LLC in Clayton, Missouri
    • Emily Kapit - ReFresh Your Step in Miami, Florida
    • Laurel A. Kashinn - Write Stuff Resources, LLC in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
    • Ginger Korljan - Take Charge Coaching in Phoenix, Arizona
    • Scott Kraun - Scott Kraun Healthcare Consulting, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Heather Papovich - Resume Kitchen in Baraboo, Wisconsin
    • Annette Richmond - career intelligence Resume Writing and Personal Branding in Norwalk, Connecticut
    • Paula Scott Gross in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Laura Spawn - Virtual Vocations, Inc. in Eugene, Oregon
    • Meredith Tseu - MLT Career Services LLC in Ellicott City, Maryland
    • Stacy Valancy - Next Level Career Coach in Miami, Florida
    • Sarah Vallieu in Tukwila, Washington
    • Vivian VanLier - Advantage Resume & Career Services in Los Angeles, California
    • Rosa Elizabeth Vargas - Career Steering in Maitland, Florida
    • Kara Varner - A Platinum Resume in Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • Towanda Wall-Palmer - Coach for New Life LLC in New York, New York
    • Stephanie Walsh - ARES HR Services in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    • Linda Woodard - LDW Group LLC in Jacksonville, Florida
    • Christine Wunderlin - Wunderlin Consulting in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • August 05, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

    By Anne Anderson, NRWA Staff Writer

    Cathy Lanzalaco came to resume writing after enjoying two successful careers, first as a registered nurse, and then as an HR leader for 18 years. When the company she worked for closed, she helped employees transition into other jobs and was herself the recipient of outplacement services.

    She realized this was the work she wanted to be doing and started her business in 2017. She offers resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, career development, executive coaching, public speaking, and brand consulting. She has also developed a program to help new college graduates launch their careers.

    She began doing contract work for Beth Stefani, whose business was Inspire Careers (Beth is familiar to many NRWA members). Cathy was selected as Beth’s successor to carry on the legacy of the business before Beth passed away. Cathy is proud of its evolution during her tenure, crediting her time working with Beth as key to her success now.

    Cathy reminds us that you never know where the opportunities will come from. She has found that buying an existing business was a great way to boost visibility and credibility. She’s been able to make it her own, applying her individual style to put her personal stamp on the business.

    The NRWA is the first organization Cathy joined when she started her business – and she quickly became a ROAR winner!

    She says, “The NRWA made a massive difference in my career and my business. The NRWA is such a crucial organization for our industry that really helps support new writers, coaches, and business owners, as well as more experienced ones. There’s something for everyone.” Cathy recently led a webinar on writing C-suite resumes (July 15).  She has found many resume writers are skittish about writing for these clients and she has expertise to share, hoping to open this niche for her colleagues.

    Cathy is interested in the Experienced Business Owners board position as a way of giving back to the organization that has given her so much. She enjoys being part of the community and appreciates its collegial nature. A frequent speaker, she loves to deliver webinars and participate in Ask the Experts.

    She hopes to be able to support the newer folks coming into the NRWA. Cathy has made her business very successful, is eager to help others master the business side of things, and is a frequent coach for NRWA new business owners.

    When she is not traveling or enjoying time with her three adult children, Cathy is home in beautiful Buffalo, NY. Contact her at or

    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

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

    By Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, NCOPE – NRWA Certification Commission Grader

    Are you interested in earning your NCRW? There are many ways to prepare for the NCRW process and attending the NRWA conference is one of the best. Here’s why:

    1.  Earn 10 CEUs. The first step on the path to the NCRW is to earn 10 CEUs and attending the conference will provide you with what you need.

    2.  You Be the Grader. This is a scheduled session at the conference where I’ll provide participants with a fictitious profile, a written resume, and the test grading form. In small groups, you’ll review the document and grade that test sample just like our graders do. This exercise will give you great insight into what we’ll be looking for with your test submission.

    3.  Network with other NCRWs. You’ll have an opportunity to meet NCRWs and ask them your questions. How did they prepare? What steps did they find challenging? What advice do they have for you? What has earning the credential done for them and their business? 

    Having attended dozens of professional conferences over the past three decades, to me, the sessions, while valuable, aren’t the most important aspect of the event. Networking with my peers is where I find the most value. Meeting other writers and career service professionals during breaks, at a lunch table, at dinner gatherings, or even on a shuttle from the airport, is so beneficial.

    Personally, I’ve met lifelong friends at conferences. I’ve learned pricing strategies, marketing ideas, general business operational processes, difficult client tactics, and so much more.

    In our “regular” lives, our friends and family don’t always understand what we do or the challenges we face. Our fellow resume writers do, however, and it’s a blessing to be able to call on them when we need to vent or ask a question. To me, this is the single best reason to attend an in-person conference. I hope to meet many of you in New Orleans!

    Kathy began volunteering with the NRWA as a member of the initial board of directors and continued contributing in various capacities, culminating with accepting the role of Certification Chair in January 2021. For three-plus decades, she has operated A Career Advantage in Appleton, WI. Find her online at

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

    By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist

    What is belonging? Being a part of a group or place gives one the sense of security and support that comes with acceptance, inclusion, and identity. This is belonging.  It is the motivation to establish and maintain meaningful, long-lasting relationships with people.

    These connections can be made with the organization you work for and its principles, as well as the actual work itself. Everyone wants to work in a place where they feel like they belong, and the first step in building an inclusive atmosphere is to educate ourselves and have discussions with others. To fully participate in the discussion about diversity, inclusion, and belonging, organizations should make an effort to understand the value of listening, understanding, and learning from others.

    Most businesses actively aim toward having a diverse workforce, but many now try to ensure that all workers feel welcome at work. The essential element of inclusion is belonging. When workers feel fully included, they believe that the organization values them as people and allows them to be themselves. Employee well-being is enhanced, and ultimately, corporate performance is improved.

    Fostering a sense of belonging offers leaders a valuable opportunity to reassess their goals and strategies for inclusion. “Do employees feel completely welcomed as members of the workplace?” is a question that leaders should consider.

    If not, activities for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging need improvement. Greater on-the-job effort and good employee performance result from fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace. To create a sense of community, organizations should eliminate alienation, involve everyone, and show that they care through rewards and meaningful projects.

    Let's talk about ways to foster a sense of community and accomplish DEI objectives:

    1. Eliminate the feeling of being an outsider in the workplace: Despite improvements in DEI, many employees still experience this feeling, which leads them to further repress the aspects of themselves that set them apart from their coworkers. When an employee feels unwelcomed, it’s psychologically upsetting. This detrimental experience interferes with their concentration and performance. There shouldn't be a "one size fits all" office. However, the majority are still "one size fits some" with the assumption that everyone else will get on board.
    2. Create a work environment where uniqueness is acknowledged and valued. Show consideration for each employee and offer many chances for check-ins. One is less likely to feel alienated at work if there is trust, understanding, and support.
    3. Bring everyone on board. According to research, employees may believe that their 

    company isn't providing them with enough information about how to advance inclusiveness in their regular job. Make everyone accountable for attaining DEI goals on a daily basis to more effectively convey genuine support of belonging.

    • 4.      Encourage employees to value what each person can contribute. Show your team that you care about them, fight for their rights, and invest in their futures. Include employee feedback in organizational values to empower people and demonstrate their significance in creating an inclusive workplace.
    • 5.      Show that you care by offering perks. Offering advantages that apply to all demographic groups, such as flexible work hours and mental wellness programs, shows employees that you are concerned about their individual needs and expectations at work and outside of it. Such expressions of gratitude fuel a sense of belonging.

    Although there is still much to learn about how belonging affects people at work, adding belonging into any diversity and inclusion strategy holds enormous promise. Exclusion usually happens accidentally if people don't make a conscious effort to be inclusive. Even unintended exclusion might damage employees’ feelings of community. It is up to all of us to ensure that we are cultivating a sense of inclusion and belonging as part of our diversity programs.

    As always, I send you all my best wishes for continued peace, love, joy, 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

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

    By Ruth Sternberg, NRWA Staff Writer

    The 2022 NRWA professional gathering is finally in person after two years of virtual, and many of us are excited to see each other again or meet for the first time.

    This time, if you have not heard, it’s September 18-20 in New Orleans. It’s our 25th anniversary, too! We’ve come a long way and have a lot to celebrate as North America’s only truly nonprofit, member-run professional organization for career services professionals.

    More importantly, YOU have something to celebrate! You have been working hard on your business and attending the NRWA conference is a gift you can give yourself to help you move forward successfully and effectively. The NRWA’s goal is to keep ramping up the training for our members so that we can continue providing excellent service and guidance for our clients while growing our businesses.

    This is why you pay your annual membership fee.

    Here are a bunch of reasons why you should consider attending the conference:

    The Knowledge and the Growth

    “I learn so much—the latest and greatest with regards to resumes, LinkedIn, and running my business,” said Sara Timm, NRWA president and owner of DFW Resume. “Plus, I earn enough CEUs to certify and remain certified.”

    Ellen Steverson, owner of StartingBlock Career Services and creator of the NRWA’s business development course, points to the conference as a catalyst for meaningful action.

     “Action kills fears,” she says. “Attending the NRWA's conference is the perfect action that will minimize or eliminate any fears you may have about being successful as a writer, business owner, or entrepreneur. There will be so many opportunities to learn and grow, not only from the workshops and speakers, but from other attendees. You will be energized and motivated upon returning for a successful year ahead!”

    This year’s meeting features some unique subject matter experts. Creativity is a major theme this year. And who doesn’t need a dose of that after the last two years?

    Check out our keynotes:

    Amma Marfo is a writer who loves to talk about integrating leadership, group dynamics, and creativity, and how you can infuse your work and life with your values in new and exciting ways.  

    Mason Gates is passionate about using data to improve the hiring process. He works for Indeed as a Recruitment Evangelist and will talk to us about trends, algorithms, and more, so we can stay on the cutting edge of the career industry.

    Other sessions, conducted by our members, will help you improve your close rate, strengthen your business processes, sharpen your writing, and honor your clients’ diversity.

    When you attend, Ellen advises: “Spend a few moments each day to write a few action-specific tasks or SMART goals to accomplish upon returning home so you can implement the most important things you learned.

    “Remember not everything you learn will align with your business model or goals, so focus on your mission and implementing what works for you best. Conferences can be packed with great info, but you want to return and use the knowledge you gained to help you, your business, and your clients grow!”

    The Collegiality

    “This will be my first in-person conference,” said Rob Rosales, owner of EZ Resume Services, and NRWA’s president-elect and ethics chairman. “I am very excited to attend and meet everyone that I have been working with! I believe that the physical connection of being together in the same place, talking about our passions, work, joking, and having fun will do more to build and grow relationships in a way that you can’t do over the phone or on Zoom.”  

    Cathy Lanzalaco, owner of Inspire Careers, agrees. “As wonderful as technology has been to keep us connected during the pandemic, nothing can replace the value of spending in-person time together to build relationships, share best practices, and strengthen our professional presence,” she said.

    Many NRWA members already have forged connections digitally and often consult with one another on business matters, and some of those relationships started at the conference!


    Sara loves seeing her friends. “The camaraderie is second to none,” she said. “The activities are a lot of fun, and they let me get to know my colleagues better. So many laughs!

    “This year you can take a dinner cruise or tour the city to learn about its haunted past. You can kick back at the opening reception on Sunday and have dinner locally with some of your NRWA peers.”

    The Confidence

    It’s always nice to feel validated by our peers. At the conference, you will meet a lot of people just like you, at various stages of business. You will see that we share the same challenges. At the awards luncheon on Tuesday, we will share our inspiration as we honor excellence in the profession with the ROAR awards.

    The Climate

    A change of environment can infuse your business with new energy. Just being in a different place can lead to a new mindset; maybe help you get unstuck. This is one of the key principles taught by thought leaders such as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, who preaches about change.

    After the past few years, a change of scenery can be refreshing! New Orleans is one of those energetic places full of history and activity.

    We hope to see you in September! You can register here and check out the agenda.

    Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, writes our Marketing Smarts column each month. She 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

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