Showing posts with label NRWA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NRWA. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Have You Ever Been to a Resume Writing Conference?

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about 2020 careers industry conferences!

I keep referencing this post from August 2011, “When Is the Omaha Conference?”, because it’s where I started tracking my conference attendance.

But since it’s 2019, it’s time to update the conference locations and my attendance!

Here’s the breakdown of where the national resume writing organizations have had their conferences in recent years. (I’ve bolded the ones I attended.)

The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA):
2020 - New Orleans, LA (scheduled)
2019 - NRWA Conference at Sea (Cruise to the Bahamas)
2018 - Seattle, Washington
2017 - Chicago, Illinois
2016 - Annapolis, Maryland
2015 - Charlotte, North Carolina
2014 - Denver, Colorado
2013 - Chicago, Illinois
2012 - Charleston, South Carolina
2011 - Portland, Maine
2010 - Fort Worth, Texas
2009 - Annapolis, Maryland
2008 - San Diego, California
2007 - Savannah, Georgia
2006 - Phoenix, Arizona
2005 - Stamford, Connecticut
2004 - Nashville, Tennessee
2003 - Seattle, Washington
2002 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2001 - San Antonio, Texas
2000 - Las Vegas, Nevada
1999 - New Orleans, Louisiana
1998 - Chicago

The NRWA is planning its 2020 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, which I’m excited about, since the NRWA conference in New Orleans was my first industry conference 20 years ago! It’s scheduled for Sept. 13-15, 2020. Details here.

Career Directors International:
2016 - Present: N/A
2015 - Entrepreneurial Success Secrets Live for Career Professionals: Orlando, Florida
2014 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: SOAR — Orlando, Florida
2013 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Your Big Breakthrough — Orlando, Florida
2012 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Blaze Your Trail — San Diego, California
2011 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Jump On Board the Success Express — Savannah, Georgia
2010 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: You Selected & We Delivered: The Most Outrageously Power-Packed Career Conference Yet — San Diego, California
2009 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Take Your Career to New Heights — Orlando, Florida
2008 - Annual Conference: Get Super with CDI — Seattle, Washington
2007 - Annual Conference: The Future is You! — San Antonio, Texas
2006 - Annual Conference: Live the Dream — Orlando, Florida (PRWRA)
2005 - Annual Conference: Play to Win — Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWRA)
2004 - Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWRA)
2003 - New Orleans (PRWRA)
2002 - Atlanta, Georgia (when the organization was still PRWRA)

(Thank you to Laura DeCarlo for help assembling the conference titles and locations!) I was never able to make a CDI conference (they were often in October and conflicted with my UNO Hockey obsession).

Career Management Alliance (no longer in business as of August 2011):
2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2010 - New Orleans, Louisiana
2009 - San Antonio, Texas
2008 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
2007 - Louisville, Kentucky
2006 - ??
2005 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (when it was still Career Masters Institute)
2004 - Atlanta, Georgia (CMI)
2003 - Kansas City, Missouri (CMI)
2002 - San Diego, California (CMI)

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
2019 - St. Pete Beach, Florida
2005-2018: N/A
2004 - St. Pete Beach, Florida
2003 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2002 - Dallas, Texas
2001 - Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
2000 - Toronto, Canada
1999 - Colorado Springs, Colorado

PARW/CC held conferences from 1999-2004 but then discontinued conferences in 2004. The organization held a conference from April 28-May 1, 2019 in St. Pete Beach but it’s unclear as to whether there will be a 2020 conference.

Want to read articles from previous career industry conferences? Join 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Want to Share Your Knowledge With Other Resume Writers?

— Proposals will be accepted through March 6, 2017 — 

Conference date: October 4-6, 2017
Conference location: The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Lombard, Illinois
Deadline for speaking proposals: March 6, 2017, 10 pm (EST)

The National Résumé Writer’s Association is accepting speaking proposals focusing on best practices and trends in the résumé writing industry for its 20th anniversary conference. Presenting at the conference is a great way to showcase your expertise and your business and generate interest in your services among potential partners and clients. 

You are invited to submit your proposal online:

(You may wish to download this MS Word version of the Call for Speakers form so you can take time and draft your response before filling out the online submission.)  

Please let us know if you have any questions.

About The NRWA
The NRWA is the only nonprofit, member-driven resume writers’ organization in the world. The mission of The NRWA is to increase the visibility of the industry, encourage ethical practices, promote excellence, and raise industry standards through peer marketing and training. The NRWA’s Certification Commission awards the highly sought-after Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) credential to résumé writers who demonstrate basic résumé knowledge, writing, and strategy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nine Takeaways From the NRWA Conference

There were a LOT of takeaways from the 2016 NRWA conference in Annapolis. You can read some of my tweets at the #theNRWAConf2016 hashtag, but I did a Facebook Live broadcast today with my top nine takeaways. You can watch them here.

Here's part one (takeaways #1-7):

And here's the second video (takeaways #8-9)

Takeaway #1: Jean Austin: Presenting Your Clients' Talents, or Answering the Big "So What" Question?

Sometimes we forget that accomplishments do not have to include numbers -- they can be things that can't easily be measured. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Did they complete a project ahead of schedule?
  • Did they satisfy an unhappy customer?
  • Do they go above and beyond the scope of their job?
  • What would others who worked with them say they contributed?

Takeaway #2: Thomas Powner: Cover Letters: Adding the Human Touch to Ignite an Interview

Thomas got us thinking about the reder of the cover letter. What do they want to know about the jobseeker?

He sent a cover letter survey to 190 recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers. One-hundred sixty people participated. Some highlights of his findings:

  • 63% read the cover letter
  • 49% read the cover letter after the resume

Powner developed what he calls the "Human Voice Cover Letter," which includes four elements:
  • Opening statements that connect the jobseeker to the company
  • 3-5 "human voice" snapshots
  • Answer any questions asked in the ad
  • Closing statement/call to action

Takeaway #3: Colleen McKenna: "LinkedIn: It's Not Social, It's Business"
  • 5.4 people are now involved in most corporate decisions -- including hiring. That means more than one person is looking at your LinkedIn profile.
  • The number one activity on LinkedIn is looking at people's profiles -- everyone's sounds the same. The ones that stand out talk about the "why."
  • 60% of people look at LinkedIn profiles from a mobile device -- keep it short and sweet.
  • If you're using LinkedIn Publishing, experiment with Sunday morning posts. One thing McKenna said is that she thinks browsing social media has replaced the old habit of reading the newspaper on Sunday mornings.
  • If you want to increase your chances of getting your LinkedIn Publishing posts picked up on LinkedIn Pulse, have great content. Publish frequently. Use hashtags. Include 5-6 images on video. And produce long content -- 750 to 1000 words.

Takeaway #4: Kimberly Schneiderman: Recruiters: Answers to Everything

I think my favorite session at the conference was Kimberly's. She took the initiative to conduct a survey of 273 recruiters and hiring managers (plus 10 one-on-one interviews) using the RiseSmart database. 

She shared the results with NRWA conference attendees -- including dozens and dozens of relevant takeaways. Some of my favorites:
  • 40.7% cited LinkedIn as an online source of candidates.
  • "Oneline job boards might results in an interview, but they are LESS likely to result in a job offer." Very interesting.
  • 67% of recruiters actually use their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). So it's particularly important for resume writers to make a strong tie between the client's job requirements and the position.
  • Some recruiters said an unnecessarily long resume will date you.
  • 84% of companies use in-person or phone interviews. Only 4% use recorded video Q&As.

NOTE: If you use any of these statistics, please credit Kimberly Schneiderman/RiseSmart

Takeaway #5: Pricing Town Hall

One of the neatest things about conferences is the opportunity to interact with other participants before and after sessions, and learn from them in the sessions. Conference chair Dawn Rasmussen added four concurrent "Town Hall" sessions this year to allow this kind of interaction among participants. I attended the one on pricing.

The content in this session was generated by participants. Here's some of my takeaways:
  • Several resume writers said they have trouble quoting high prices over the phone -- so they tell clients they will email them a proposal.
  • Remember that not everyone who calls you is a customer.
  • Ask questions before you quote a price. (This will help you determine if you're a fit with the client's needs, and if they're a fit for your process.) You can use the "First Call Questions" special report to help identify questions to ask.
  • If you're not rejected everyone once in a while (told your prices are "too high"), your prices are too low.

NOTE: If you are a Free or Bronze level member of, sign in and check out the Free Level Resources page for some additional pricing research and resources!

Takeaway #6: Robin Schlinger: Applicant Tracking Systems

I always love Robin's insight into Applicant Tracking Systems -- even if the information scares me a bit. ATS software is more pervasive than ever, and is probably the number one thing that will impact the resumes we write in the next 1-5 years.

Here's what she had to say:

  • Taleo ATS software is being used by 36.4% of companies -- or about 1/3 of jobs that are publicly advertised. How can you tell? The job posting may say "Powered by Taleo" or the URL of the job posting may include Taleo.
  • Robin likes to give clients ONE resume (not an ATS friendly one and a non-ATS-friendly one).
  • Font doesn't matter with the ATS. Standard bullets may not be read, but they don't mess up keywords if they're not read correctly, unlike text words. Robin pointed out that accented words will screw up keywords. This also applies to client names with an accent mark -- like José -- as one participant on the Facebook Live broadcast pointed out.
  • Tables, graphics, and columns CAN mess up fiends in the ATS -- "like big-time mess up" -- it can put data in the wrong fields entirely. Robin pointed out, however, that it won't "kick out" the resume -- that's a scam. But you won't know if a particular company's ATS software can overcome the formatting issues. So, better safe than sorry.

Robin also shared "Known ATS requirements":
  • Use standard header names to help the ATS categorize information (i.e., "Education," "Training," "Work Experience," etc.)
  • Do not put titles after the client's name -- i.e., MBA, CPRW, PE. These may cause problems with data field population too.
  • Here was an interesting one I'd never heard before: Did you know that Taleo has a setting that (if enabled), allows the hiring manager to reject all resumes without a physical address on it? So include the address, city, and state. Just in case.
  • Repetition is encouraged in ATS-friendly resumes, even if it duplicates information from work experience to work experience. Duplicate content can strengthen keyword density.

Takeaway #7: Modernize Your Resumes: Content, Format, and Design with Wendy Enelow

Following immediately after Robin Schlinger's session on ATS resumes, the logical question (one asked by audience member Thomas Powner and deftly answered by Wendy, was: How do these beautiful resumes fit into an ATS-friendly (ugly!) world? 

Wendy's answer: She would only do these types of resumes (with images, tables, charts, and other graphics) if the client's job search was focused primarily on networking and referrals. If you're not doing an ATS resume, graphics, tables, and images can communicate information effectively and succinctly.

One thing that hasn't changed with the "modern" resume format -- the importance of the top third of the first page of the resume. Wendy advocates "Start With the Wow" -- make every word count in this area. Consider including third-party endorsements and testimonials for additional impact.

Also, Wendy says to consider fonts and design choices on the modern resume -- they need to correlate with the client's desired industry and their personality.

Takeaway #8: So, Tell Me About Yourself … Translating Personal Branding Into Powerful Resumes and Interview Skills with Elaine Lien and Lucie Yeomans

There's no more powerful testimonial for the information that Elaine and Lucie shared than the fact that right before their presentation, Lucie swept the ROAR Awards (Recognizing Outstanding Achievements in Resumes) for Experienced Resume Writers. To me, that really communicated the value of assessments that they use in their branding work. Specifically, they focused on the Reach360, DISC, and StrengthsFinder assessments.

Lucie emphasized how having this assessment information helped her overcome writer's block -- the data gives her both concrete information and a point of view for her client, which makes the resume easier to write.

With the StrengthsFinder, she buys and sends the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book to clients. Each book contains a unique code for clients to go online and take the assessment. She then asks them to send the results to her. (Individual tests can also be purchased online here.)

Again, this strategy is obviously working for Lucie, as her award-winning resumes demonstrate. Assessments like these are things that more of us resume writers probably need to be using.

Takeaway #9: "5 Steps to Creating a Million Dollar Brand" with Dr. Brandi Baldwin-Rana

"Doctor Brandi" was hilarious, and I wish more of the attendees had been able to participate in her presentation. As is usually the case, though, attendees who departed the conference early to make a flight missed this fabulous closing session.

One of the things that resonated most strongly with me is her assertion that resume writers need to work on their own branding. "Perception matters," she noted. (I always say that resume writers/career professionals are like the proverbial "shoemaker's kids" -- they're always barefoot.)

Doctor Brandi suggests creating an Ideal Client profile and using that to attract your perfect clients. (I believe strongly in that too!) She also had attendees write down "3 words that describe your brand." This was a fun exercise.

Then, she encouraged resume writers to align their ideal client profile and personal brand and articulate it -- and COMMIT to it. She said "you never want to be off brand."  

There were a LOT more takeaways from the NRWA Conference, and I'll be sharing more of them, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Write Great Resumes Faster (CEU)

Looking for Continuing Education Units (CEU) for resume writing? 
Here's a free training that can earn you one CEU!

How long you spend on writing a resume depends on you — but what resume writer doesn’t want to learn strategies to write better resumes even a little more quicklywithout sacrificing quality? In this presentation, Bridget (Weide) Brooks, CPRW will give you tools and resources to help you reduce the amount of time it takes you to write a resume — while simultaneously improving the effectiveness of the resumes you write.

Are you ever stumped on where to start when writing a resume? Do you keep track of how long it takes you to write a resume? Would you like to shave 45 minutes, an hour or two — or more — off your writing time? Looking for ideas on how to create more effective resumes to win your clients an interview? How much more money could you make — or how many more clients could you serve — if you could write resumes even just a little bit faster than you do now — without compromising the quality of the work you produce? 

The premise of this training — “Write Great Resumes Faster” — is to help resume writers make more money, with less work! Designed for new resume writers and veterans alike, this presentation will address three main areas. 
  • The first is the “pre-writing process,” or strategies to implement before you sit down in front of your keyboard to actually write the resume. 
  • The second section is on technology and the tools that will help you with the writing part — and the “getting faster” part, which has a lot to do with research and client management. 
  • Finally, you’ll get some solid strategies that will help you when it’s just “not working” — when you get stuck. 

One of the hallmarks of Bridget’s presentations is you’ll get actionable tips and information you can put to use right away, including formulas, cheat sheets, and worksheets.

Watch the 30-minute teleseminar here (download the handouts below):

Here are the handouts:
Write Great Resumes Faster Handouts

Then, take the quiz! If you score 80% or above (8 out of 10 correct answers), you'll receive a certificate for one CEU.

Take the quiz here:
Write Great Resumes Faster CEU Quiz

Interested in learning more about how to "Write Great Resumes Faster"?
Visit the Write Great Resumes Faster website

Bridget (Weide) Brooks, CPRW, has been writing resumes with Image Building Communications in Omaha, Nebraska, for the past 16 years. She is editor of Resume Writers’ Digest, a trade newsletter for professional resume writers, and the founder of the resource site for careers industry professionals. Bridget has authored numerous information products, including “Feed the Media,” “Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with Recruiters,” and “Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor.” She is a prolific blogger and social media specialist. Bridget has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NRWA 2012 Conference Contest

To celebrate The NRWA's 15th Anniversary, the board of directors is giving away 15 prizes to paid registrants of The NRWA's 15th Annual Conference in Charleston, SC, Sept. 19-22, 2012.

To qualify to win one of the prizes, you must be registered for The NRWA 2012 Conference by March 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

With conference registration rates starting at $385 and multiple payment plans available, don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of cutting-edge continuing education and potentially win one of these great prizes.

Sign up for the 2012 Conference now to ensure your name is entered into the giveaway at Conference Giveaway

What Prizes Are Being Given Away?
The prizes include:

  • Four Future or Previously Recorded Teleseminars from The NRWA ($35 value each)
  • Three Sample Submissions to begin the NCRW Certification process ($50 value each)
  • Three 5-Packs of The NRWA Online Training Segments ($130 value each)
  • Two One-Year Memberships in The NRWA ($150 value each)
  • Two $100-off registrations for The NRWA's 2013 Conference ($100
  • value each)
  • One Free Hotel Room Night at The NRWA 2012 Conference Hotel ($175.00 value; tax included)
When Will The Prizes Be Drawn and Announced?
All prizes will be drawn on April 2, 2012 and winners will be announced in a separate email on April 4, 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Choosing a Professional Conference to Attend

A resume writer asked me yesterday about attending a professional conference. I believe that professional resume writers should be committed to their continuing education, and conference attendance is a part of that. I've attended a half-dozen conferences over the years, although it's been several years since my last one. I'm hoping to attend at least one in 2012.

With the cost to attend a professional conference now averaging $1300 ($400 registration fee; $350 hotel; $325 transportation, $125 food/beverage, $100 miscellaneous) -- not to mention income lost from being out of the office, you want to choose your conference wisely.

When evaluating conference attendance, consider these things:

Program: Is there a topic or program in particular that interests you? Review the conference program outline and decide which sessions you'd like to attend. Is there a particular area of your business or services that you want to learn more about? (i.e., LinkedIn profile development? Writing federal resumes?) See if there is a conference offering training on that subject area.

Organizer: Which organizations are you already a member of? As a member, you'll get a discount on their offerings. However, consider if you're going to get new ideas or information from this organization? If you’ve been participating in their other programs/offerings, you may find that the conference offers “more of the same” instead of new ideas and information.

Location: How easy/hard is it to get there from here? This can also be a factor in the cost. Can you drive? Flying? Airline travel can be unpredictable nowadays, so allow plenty of time to get to your destination in the event your flight is delayed or rescheduled.

Networking Opportunities. One of the strongest outcomes of conference attendance is the people you will be able to meet and connect with. Evaluate the speaker roster — are these folks within the industry who are sharing their expertise? How new is the information they are sharing (have you seen them presenting on this topic before at other conferences)? Then, consider the attendee roster. How many people typically attend the conference? What is the makeup of conference attendees? Are these the folks you want to connect with? For example, you might find that for one conference, attendees are 25% self-employed professionals, 20% military transition specialists, 40% career office staff (either government or educational institutions) and 15% “other.” Another might be 55% self-employed professionals, 30% career office staff, 10% military transition specialists, and 5% “other.” Consider who you want to connect with!

Consider attending a conference in 2012. Here are some of the upcoming offerings:

Monday, August 15, 2011

When Is the Omaha Conference?

Last weekend, I wrote about the NRWA Conference preview teleseminar I attended. I would be remiss if I didn't also point out that Career Directors International is having their 2011 conference in October. 

For several years now, I've been thinking that I need to organize a resume writer's conference in Omaha (where I live). We're located right in the middle of the country, we've got a fabulous airport, inexpensive hotels (the one I have in mind has a complimentary airport shuttle, 185 guest rooms, conference space for up to 150 people, and rates of around $79-$104/night), and we're the headquarters of the Gallup Organization (and five Fortune 500 companies), so I'm confident I could get some great guest speakers!

If I don't put together my own conference, I'd love to attend a conference in Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, or Denver (all are within driving distance...). That would require convincing one of the national resume writing organizations to schedule in one of these cities.

Here's the breakdown of where the national resume writing organizations have had their conferences in recent years. (I've bolded the ones I attended.)

The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA):
2011 - Portland, Maine
2010 - Fort Worth, Texas
2009 - Annapolis, Maryland
2008 - San Diego, California
2007 - Savannah, Georgia
2006 - Phoenix, Arizona
2005 - Stamford, Connecticut
2004 - Nashville, Tennessee
2003 - Seattle, Washington
2002 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2001 - San Antonio, Texas
2000 - Las Vegas, Nevada
1999 - New Orleans, Louisiana
1998 - Chicago

Career Directors International:
2011 - Savannah, Georgia
2010 - San Diego, California
2009 - Orlando, Florida
2008 - Seattle, Washington
2007 - San Antonio, Texas
2006 - Orlando, Florida (PRWRA)
2005 - Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWRA)
2004 - Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWRA)
2003 - New Orleans (PRWRA)
2002 - Atlanta, Georgia (when the organization was still PRWRA)

I haven't yet attended a CDI conference (although I've heard they are fabulous!). In my defense, Laura DeCarlo keeps scheduling them in October, which is during the UNO Hockey season (and Jon and I have never, ever missed a UNO home hockey game).

Career Management Alliance (no longer in business as of August 2011):
2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2010 - New Orleans, Louisiana
2009 - San Antonio, Texas
2008 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
2007 - Louisville, Kentucky
2006 - ??
2005 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (when it was still Career Masters Institute)
2004 - Atlanta, Georgia (CMI)
2003 - Kansas City, Missouri (CMI)
2002 - San Diego, California (CMI)

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
(discontinued conferences in 2004?)
2004 - St. Pete Beach, Florida
2003 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2002 - Dallas, Texas
2001 - Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
2000 - Toronto, Canada
1999 - Colorado Springs, Colorado

What do you think? Where would you be interested in attending a conference?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NRWA Conference Preview

Yesterday, I was on a free teleseminar call sponsored by the National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA), previewing their upcoming conference in September in Portland, Maine. While I'm unable to attend due to family commitments, I was interested in hearing what was planned -- and I'd like to share a couple of the highlights with you.

(You can listen to the call recording here).

The call was facilitated by Kathy Sweeney and featured several of the conference speakers, including Barbara Safani, Kimberly Schneiderman, and Norine Dagliano.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Barbara will present on "Social Media in Job Search: No Longer Optional."

  • "A resume isn't enough anymore," she says.
  • Social media profiles allow candidates to better compete.
  • Resume writers have a great opportunity to educate clients on what else is out there (in terms of social media profiles and tools) besides LinkedIn.
  • This session is important because "resume writers need to keep up with the times."

On Thursday, Sept. 22, in one of the concurrent breakout sessions, Kimberly Schneiderman will present "Boiling It Down: Marketing Your Most Accomplished Client Through a One-Page Document."

  • These one-page documents won't replace the resume, but are an additional tool.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Norine Dagliano will talk about "Same Client - Different Story: Tools and Strategies for Crafting Career-Change Resumes."

  • She's had numerous clients coming to her with the challenge that "what they had done, they may not be able to do anymore."
  • Traditional resume formats don't work for career changers.

Finally, Kathy Sweeney talked about the presentation she'll give on Friday, Sept. 23 on "Trademarks and Copyrights 101: How to Protect Your Business Name, Logo, and Intellectual Property." On the preview call, Kathy talked about how she's had her website content copied, her articles stolen, and her business name used by other people. She also talked about how she had unintentionally used the name of another business (despite conducting a trademark search). After she had invested time and money in creating a website, blog, and radio show, she received a cease-and-desist letter from another careers industry professional who, she soon discovered, owned that brand. She immediately changed the consortium name, but had to re-record 12 radio shows with the new name.

Sweeney said her talk will help resume writers:

  • Protect your business
  • Protect your reputation
  • Protect your intellectual property
  • Make sure you're not infringing on someone else (even accidentally).

For more information about the NRWA Conference, or to register, visit the NRWA website.
A two-pay conference registration option is available for one more week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Associations for Professional Resume Writers

I'm leaving up the original post (below), but I've updated the association listing.
Check out the updated post by clicking here.

Looking for networking opportunities, certifications, information, and more? There are several associations devoted to the professional resume writing and careers industry.

These include:
  • The Career Management Alliance. Originally founded as the Career Masters Institute (CMI) by Wendy Enelow, "The Alliance," as it is informally known, was purchased by Kennedy Information (which became BNA Subsidiaries LLC). Their annual conference is in Las Vegas in April 2011. The conferences are pricy, but well done. Memberships begin at $135/year.
  • Career Directors International (CDI). Originally founded as the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association (PRWRA), this association is run by Laura DeCarlo. They offer one of the best annual conferences out there. Dues are $150/year. They offer several certifications, including the Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), Certified Expert Resume Writer (CERW), Certified Resume Specialist (CRS), and Master Career Director (MRD) designations. They also offer an annual resume writing awards contest, the TORI (Toast of the Resume Industry) awards.
  • Career Professionals of Canada. With a subscriber base of 250, three credentials that are widely recognized by Canadians, and a rigorous training program, CPC is a valuable resource for Canadian practitioners.
  • Career Thought Leaders. The brainchild of Wendy Enelow, Career Thought Leaders Consortium bills itself as a "think tank" -- but is offering a conference and symposium in 2011 in Baltimore in March.
  • Not really a true "association," this is an online directory for resume writers that has morphed into an "information resource site" for resume writers as well. Maria Hebda puts together an impressive line-up of teleseminars. There is a one-time (lifetime) membership fee of $497. (Multiple pay-payment options are available.)
  • The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA). This is a member-driven organization, with a volunteer board of directors. They offer an annual conference (the 2011 conference is in Maine) and a rigorous certification -- the Nationally Certified Resume Writer credential. Dues are $150/year (2-payment and 3-payment options available for new members).
  • Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Founded by Frank Fox, PARW was the "original" resume writing association, from which many other associations branched off. PARW offers the most common resume writing certification, the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential. It also certifies individuals as Certified Employment Interview Professionals (CEIP) and Certified Professional Career Coaches (CPCC). Membership is $150/year.
  • Resume Writing Academy (RWA). Not an association, really, the Academy is a training program offered by Louise Kursmark and Wendy Enelow. Resume writers can earn the prestigious ACRW (Academy Certified Resume Writer) credential, which is the preferred certification for many resume contracting firms.
  • Arizona Resume Writers' Association. This small group maintains a website to market their services collectively to prospects in their geographic area.
  • Association of Online Resume & Career Professionals (AORCP). It offers a Certified Master Resume Specialist (CMRS) credential. Membership is just $50/year.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fall 2009 Issue Now Available

The cover story in this issue is an interesting one -- the results of the 2009 Recession Survey conducted by Resume Writers' Digest, the Career Management Alliance, and the National Resume Writer's Association. Also on page 1 is the article, "A Cover Letter is Really Just a Good Sales Letter."

Also in this issue: Ligaya Fernandez, of The Resume Place, Inc. talks about "The Art of Writing a KSA: Writing Effective Accomplishment Record Stories" in a story on page 6. And Dr. Katharine Hansen contributed an article on "How to Coach Clients to Handle a Poor Interviewer," with a sidebar on "Top 10 Executive Interview Pet Peeves from Hiring Decision-Makers."

I also write about "Using Conference Calls to Grow Your Resume Writing Business" in my letter from the editor on page 2. In this month's "Resume Writer's University," learn "The Strategies of Client/Career Branding: Getting It Right Every Time" in an article by Jane Roqueplot.

Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, writes about "How to Use Twitter for Business & Publicity" in her column this month. (Be sure to follow me on Twitter @RWDigest).

Subscriptions to Resume Writers' Digest are free -- subscribe here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Resume Writers Recession Survey Results

Last month, I was invited by the Career Management Alliance and National Resume Writers' Association to participate in a joint effort to survey resume writers about how their businesses were faring in the current recession. (Thanks to Don Goodman, of About Jobs, for suggesting the survey idea and initial questions.)

We finalized the questions and put the survey out there. We received 191 responses between Aug. 3-16. Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., Research Master for the Career Management Alliance, compiled the results and prepared a report, which was released today. (If you have signed up for a free subscription to Resume Writers' Digest and confirmed your subscription to the double-opt-in list, you received an e-mail from me this morning with the 8-page report.)

Here are some highlights:
  • Compared to a year ago, more respondents (48.4 percent) are doing better now than are faring worse (39 percent).
  • Twelve percent of respondents say they are doing the same as last year.
  • Six percent of those surveyed said their revenues were up 61 percent or more over last year; 3.2 percent said their revenues were down 60 percent or more. Twenty-eight percent said their revenues were up 1-20%. Twenty percent said their revenues were down up to 20 percent.
  • The top source of business is referrals (47.5 percent), followed by their personal website (25.6 percent), Yellow Pages ads (14.9 percent), and subcontracting (14.4 percent).
Speaking of subcontracting, it can be an excellent source of business (especially during slow times). Resume Writers' Digest offers a special report for resume writers looking to affiliate with firms that hire subcontract writers.

If you would like to receive a copy of the results, sign up for your free subscription to Resume Writers' Digest and then e-mail me at editor(at) with the subject line "Recession Survey Results" and I'll send it to you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

10 Years of Resume Writers Digest (1999-2009)

I didn't want this month to pass without acknowledging the 10th anniversary of Resume Writers' Digest. Our first issue was published in July/August 1999.

Here's what I wrote in my inaugural "From the Editor" column in that issue:

I'm sure the first question that crossed your mind when you opened your mail today was, "What's this?"

"This" is Resume Writer's Digest -- a new bimonthly newsletter for resume writers.

Another newsletter?
No, it's not just another newsletter. It's a resource for you, the professional resume writer. Whether you are a part-time resume writer or you've made it your career, this publication is for you.

We provide news and information about employment-related issues. But we're also about the "people" of the resume writing profession. Most of the articles in other resume writing newsletters are written "editorial style," by experts. We want to be the "Living Section" of resume writers. In future issues, you'll see pictures of people -- ordinary and extraordinary -- serving resume clients in the U.S. and abroad.

In the September/October issue, we'll explore what it's like to be a resume writer in exotic and isolated places ... as well as in large and small towns across the country. You'll meet some of the most well-known resume writers ... and some you've never heard from before.

Add Us To What You're Already Doing
We're not a substitute for continuing education or association memberships (in fact, you'll find information about joining the Professional Association of Resume Writers, the National Resume Writers' Association, or the Association of Business Support Services International) on page 8.

Coming Soon...
Later this summer, we'll be launching our website, providing you with online links, archives of articles and interviews, and more information than we can cover in an eight-page, bimonthly newsletter.

Give Us a Try
If you like what you have to offer, subscribe.

Some things have changed over time, but we remain committed to our mission statement:
"Resume Writers' Digest ... (helps) resume writers keep on top of changes in the human resources field, new developments in technology, and trends in the resume writing field. Each issue provides information about what successful resume writers across the nation and around the world are doing, along with concise, timely information culled from a review of select periodicals."

Here's to the NEXT 10 years of Resume Writers' Digest!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live Training Opportunity in San Diego

A Crash Course in Adding New Services and Greater Value to Your Clients

... and Bigger Deposits to Your Bank Account

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Preconference Seminar ~ 8:00-4:30pm
Town & Country Resort
San Diego, California

in association with the National Resume Writers Association
Registration: $225 (NRWA member) or $275 (nonmembers)

Looking for new profit centers for your careers business? What would your life look like if you were to increase your sales 10%, 20%, or even 50% in the next few months?

As part of a pre-conference program for the National Resume Writers' Association, Susan Britton Whitcomb will be teaching a live, one-day seminar on how to deliver add-on services that are critical to the success of your client's job search ... and help grow your skills, services, and success!

She'll cover:

* How to apply a blended coaching/consulting strategy to any phase of the job search ... without having to become an expert in each area!

* Secrets for presenting these services to prospective clients so that you can close each sale with confidence and professionalism.

* Templates for various career services that you can implement the day you leave the seminar!

* How to implement the "40 Ideas to Expand Your Brand and Build Your Bank Account"

Details here.

Registration here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

NRWA Conference to Feature 'Big Give'

From Oprah to the NRWA ...

The National Resume Writers' Association's 11th Annual Conference in San Diego (Sept. 24-27) will feature keynote speaker Cameron Johnson, winner of Oprah Winfrey's first "Big Give" competition.

Inspired by Cameron Johnson’s stellar performance on Oprah’s Big Give -- which aired in March/April, 2008 -- NRWA will host a charity event on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, CA. By a vote of the membership, proceeds will benefit the Wounded Marine Career Foundation.

The NRWA "Big Give" event will feature an auction of donated items. NRWA members are encouraged to solicit items and donations for the auction.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Resume Writers' Digest Special Report

I love attending careers industry professional conferences. I've been to more than a half-dozen over the years, and always came away with lots of great information. Whether you're new to the profession, or are a long-time resume writer, conferences provide networking opportunities, the chance to get away for a few days, and lots and lots of great ideas and techniques from the industry's biggest names.

One of the things the print version of Resume Writers' Digest was known for was our great conference coverage. From 2000-2005, we provided recaps (often with photos and handouts) from the conferences of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (they discontinued holding an annual conference a few years ago), the National Resume Writers' Association, Career Masters Institute (now Career Management Alliance), and the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association (now Career Directors International).

As I read through some of these back issues, I realized how valuable this information is -- so I re-edited and re-designed the information into what will be two special reports. The first one -- available now -- is a 60+-page special report, "Best of the Conferences: 2000-2002." It includes the 2000 PARW Conference in Toronto, the 2001 NRWA Conference in San Antonio, the 2001 PARW Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, the 2002 PRWRA Conference in Atlanta, the 2002 CMI Conference in San Diego, and two careers-related sessions from the 2002 AJST Conference in Orlando.

The second special report (release date TBA) will include 2003-2005 conference coverage.

You can download the 2000-2002 Special Report from and it will be delivered to you for immediate download as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

To give you an idea of how valuable this information is, I've prepared a "Best of the Conferences" Preview newsletter, which you can download for free. It's sponsored by the National Resume Writers' Association and Career Directors International.

Speaking of the NRWA, you have less than a week to take advantage of the special early-bird pricing for the 11th Annual NRWA Conference, scheduled for Sept. 24-27, 2008 in San Diego. Until March 31, registration is just $325 (or available in three payments of $112). After April 1, the cost is $385 (or two payments of $198). Visit for details.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NRWA Conference Early Registration Deadline Approaching

You have until March 31, 2008 to take advantage of $60 savings on your registration for the National Resume Writers' Association 11th Annual Conference. It will be held Sept. 24-27, 2008 in San Diego, California.

Early Bird Registration is just $325. Wait until April 1 or later and the price is $385. For more information, visit

The conference will feature sessions on website marketing, interviewing clients, assessment tools, minority job seekers, client agreements and more.

On a related note, I'm still looking for careers industry professionals to take my brief survey on conference attendance. Be sure to sign up for the Resume Writers' Digest mailing list (use form in the top right-hand corner of the blog) to be notified of future surveys. You can also receive our FREE "Best Of" Conference Preview newsletter (12 pages).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fake Career Associations

Well, I'm updating the Resume Writers' Digest database again, and my search for some of the careers professionals that have moved or left the business continues.

Along the way, I have come across some interesting things -- like a couple of associations for resume writers and career professionals which -- according to my research -- simply don't exist. Yet they issue membership certificates and apparently award a "Certified Professional Resume Writer" credential.

A search for "National Association of Career Professionals" on Google came up empty.

Likewise, a search for the "International Association of Professional Resume Writers" turned up no matches.

There are plenty of legitimate professional associations serving the careers industry out there, like:
You'll find all of those associations using Google.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NRWA Elects New Board

The National Resume Writer's Association has elected its 2008 Board of Directors.

President: Robyn Feldberg
First Vice President: Bonnie Kurka
Second Vice President: Kevin Morris
Treasurer: Donna Turner
Secretary: Tessa Weeks
Certification Chair: Abby Locke
Ethics Chair: Shauna Bryce

Region 1 Representative: Kimberly Schneiderman
Region 2 Representative: Eleanor Farmer
Region 3 Representative: Claudine Vainrub
Region 4 Representative: Josh Fields
Region 5 Representative: Lori Norris
Region 6 Representative: Melissa Bermea

Saturday, February 2, 2008

NRWA Returns to an E-List

The National Resume Writer's Association experimented with changing to a secure bulletin board format for facilitating member-to-member communication, but announced a change to a traditional E-List format (hosted by YahooGroups) last week.

Although bulletin boards can be a very effective way to encourage interaction, they require that a member seek out the forum ... while e-mail lists deliver the messages to your e-mailbox immediately.

The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International, and the Career Management Alliance all use e-lists for member-t0-member communication.