Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Michelle Aikman





Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!


Michelle Aikman
Breakout Session Speaker – Friday, Sept. 19 (9:45 to 10:45 a.m.)
"Mind the Gap: Resume Strategies for People with Paid Work Gaps"

Michelle is originally from Denver, so she said she's interested in coming home to visit friends and family. As the spouse of an active duty military service member, Michelle has personal experience with a "very mobile lifestyle" as a military spouse -- one that lends itself to gaps in paid work employment.

She noted that employers do care about gaps -- they wonder about your client's motivation, fit with the job, and more... you want to help your clients avoid an employer thinking "You didn't do anything?"

Her strategies will apply for gaps due to any type of caregiving (for children, family, or aging parents), breaks due to "soul searching," personal medical issues, and more. She'll help you formulate the correct strategy to help clients -- whether it's appropriate to disclose the reason for the gap, the impact the gap will have on the candidate's selection, and when and how to disclose the information.

Questions to examine in developing the strategy are:

  • Will it (the situation) happen again?
  • Is it due to lifestyle?
  • Is it an ongoing problem?
  • Is any accommodation required?


Michelle will help you turn your client's "boo-boos" into "boo-yahs!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Louise Kursmark



Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!



Louise Kursmark, MRW, CPRW, JCTC, CEIP, CCM
Opening Keynote Speaker – Wednesday, Sept. 17 (2:30 to 3:45 p.m.)
"The Future of Resumes"

This will be the sixth NRWA Conference Louise has attended. She is going to "break down what it means to write a resume." Louise identified four trends she will examine:

  • Less is more. "Lean, clean, tight writing" that can be "skimmed and scanned." Kursmark says the first glance at a resume might get six seconds of the reader's attention.
  • More is more. "Write leaner resumes with rich detail, but allow people with more interest to learn more" by linking to LinkedIn, media appearances, or a portfolio.
  • Why resumes don't matter. Kursmark says the "resume is the second point of determination" nowadays with more people searching on LinkedIn for candidates.
  • Why resumes are vitally important. The "resume is the foundation, the work, the story" she notes. The information comes from the work to develop the resume and flows through to the rest of the career communication documents, such as LinkedIn profiles. It requires clear differentiation of the candidate, and a strong message.


Kursmark said there's a quote that she particularly likes: It's something like, "It's dangerous not to keep moving forward, because if things keep changing -- but we don't -- we are falling behind."

Find out more about the NRWA Conference here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Brenda Bernstein




Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!



Brenda Bernstein
Breakout Session Speaker – Wednesday, Sept. 17 (4:00 to 5:00 p.m.)
"Make Them Laugh, Make Them Cry: The Standout College Application Essay"

Brenda is the author of "How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Profile…And 18 Mistakes to Avoid." She is also the founder and senior editor at The Essay Expert. Brenda will be talking about how to create better applications in her presentation.

She says the two most important parts of the essay are the introduction and the last paragraph. Brenda says to never start an essay by talking about the weather.

Brenda's presentation will include practical exercises for attendees to work on.

"Everyone has a unique story to tell," Brenda says, and resume writers have to be willing to get "really personal" with their clients to uncover those stories.

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