President-Elect (to serve as President in 2018)
Mary Jo King
Mary Jo King is a lifelong writer and marketing veteran. Early in her career, she started the Denver franchise of a national résumé writing company, where she was also recruited to direct regional operations in a 5-state area. As Regional Director, she opened branch offices, hired and trained résumé writers, and developed a termination assistance program for employers.
After seven years at Professional Résumé & Writing Service, Mary Jo pursued an opportunity in broadcast media, where she generated award-winning advertising solutions for diverse businesses and nonprofit organizations. This led her to small business consulting, with roles in strategic planning, branding, marketing, recruitment, and general management. She restructured operations for a staffing service, developed a new business model for a large independent bookstore, jumpstarted an historic Caribbean hotel, and guided the launch of several start-up business operations.
Determined to return to the work of writing, Mary Jo restarted her practice in 2010. At Alliance Résumé & Writing Service, the range of her experience supports job seekers and entrepreneurs, alike. She has conducted seminars in best practices for résumé writing and job hunting at Workforce Development, area colleges, and professional networking groups.
Mary Jo joined The NRWA in 2011. She was elected Region Representative in 2013, and Secretary in 2014 and 2015. She chaired the ad hoc Governance Committee and served on the inaugural committee for the ROAR résumé writing competition. Mary Jo is a Nationally Certified Résumé Writer (NCRW) and 2015 recipient of the Vivian Belen Award.
What interested you about the role?The NRWA and its individual members have contributed much to my professional development over the years, and board service is one way I can pay it forward. Having served as Secretary and Regional Representative (nka Director of Industry), I have a deep appreciation for The NRWA mission. As President, I would have the opportunity to build upon the fine work of my predecessors, and I would enjoy using my unique background in support of member success. Good résumé writers should make a good living, and I want to augment that.
What is your vision for the role?I believe that continuity in leadership is essential—to The NRWA mission and to the overall health of the organization. As President-Elect, I would support our ongoing initiatives in training delivery, technology integration, and process documentation. As President, I would make it a priority to increase industry visibility. If your experience is like mine, you regularly hear from people who just discovered the existence of professional résumé writers! I want to develop strategic initiatives that actively promote The NRWA writers to the job-seeking public.
How will you reach out / support The NRWA members / organization? A productive, customer-focused administration is the best support any board can offer its members. If we are fulfilling our mission, every member receives value from the relationship. In the case of deficit or outright failure, I would act promptly to find equitable solutions. On a personal level, I hope I have proven to be a good listener and supportive colleague. As a team leader and business partner, I believe everyone has something to teach me, and I offer the benefit of my experience for the asking.
Donna Tucker of CareerPRO Résumé Center in Phoenix is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer who has been part of the careers industry since 1988 after earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism.
She has served previously as a member of The NRWA executive board for five years as treasurer, first vice president and secretary, also presenting at the 2012 conference in Charleston.
Donna is particularly proud to be a founding member of the Résumé Writers Council of Arizona, serving as president for many years. Through collaborative leadership, Donna and the RWCA executive board strives to improve the quality of résumé-writing in Arizona.
Giving back to the community is extremely important to Donna, helping get the homeless back to work as a volunteer résumé writer at the nonprofit St. Joseph the Worker.
What interested you about the role?Having served on The NRWA board in many capacities in the past, I know that our organization needs volunteers to continue to offer value to the career services industry. I cannot simply enjoy the benefits of The NRWA without giving back.
What is your vision for the role?To document the activities of the board members toward board member accountability and an accurate history of the organization.
How will you reach out / support The NRWA members / organization? By attending Director of Industry calls and the annual conference, while continually promoting the organization to individuals in the career services industry.
Experienced Business Owners Representative
Bridget (Weide) Brooks
Bridget (Weide) Brooks wrote her first résumé at the age of 12, for her dad. It got him the interview - and the job! As a high school senior, she dusted off her résumé writing skills once again for the Future Business Leaders of America state competition, placing in the top three in the Job Interview competition (out of 100+ participants). Bridget went on to teach résumé writing and interviewing strategies to seniors competing in the event over the next five years, resulting in several winners in the Job Interview category.
In 1996, while a senior in college, she co-founded Image Building Communications with her now-husband, Jon. For the past 20 years, she has written thousands of résumés, cover letters, bios, and LinkedIn profiles for clients in professions from literally "A to Z" (accountants to zookeepers).
Bridget is the editor of Résumé Writers' Digest, a trade newsletter for professional résumé writers, and is the founder of the BeAResumeWriter.com membership site for careers industry professionals. She is a licensed facilitator for the "Get Clients Now!" program, teaching career professionals strategies to fill their appointment books.
A longtime NRWA member, Bridget has attended eight NRWA conferences, and has been a conference presenter twice. She has also presented numerous teleseminars for the NRWA. She is the inaugural recipient of the NRWA's "Industry Hero Award."
Bridget has a bachelor's degree in public relations from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is an avid UNO Hockey fan. Connect with Bridget on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/bridgetweidebrooks.
Answers to Questions:
I am interested in the role of Experienced Business Owners' Representative because one of the best things about being a résumé writer is the opportunity to help one another. I love talking with other résumé writers about their challenges and helping them find solutions that will not only benefit them, but that will help others as well. When Jon and I started our business in 1996, I was only 22 years old. There was a lot I wanted to know, and I quickly learned that ours was an industry of "colleagues," not "competitors." The answers, advice, and support I got from other résumé writers was invaluable, and I've always remembered that when I'm asked for help. I'm excited for this opportunity to continue to "give back" and serve on the NRWA Board in this position.
My vision for the role is to be a resource for résumé writers navigating the challenging time between start-up and retirement - which can be a LONG time! I know what I want from an Experienced Business Owners' Representative: Assistance identifying things that will help me be more efficient in running my business, and information and strategies that will help me serve my clients effectively while making a good living.
One thing I'd like to focus on in particular - that I haven't yet seen addressed in much depth or detail - is a transition plan for résumé business owners who are looking to retire in the next few years. I believe our industry is on the cusp of significant turnover as the first generation of professional résumé writers looks to semi-retire or retire. I want to help develop a plan for their business that doesn't involve simply shutting their doors.
My plan for supporting NRWA members includes more closely monitoring questions on the E-List, both to provide direct answers as well as identify opportunities for continuing education and professional development designed to address issues facing experienced business owners. If given the opportunity, I'd also like to survey experienced business owners within the NRWA ranks about their current challenges and what they'd like to learn more about. In addition, I'm planning on attending the NRWA Conference in Annapolis, and will ask attendees for their feedback in person about what issues they're facing. I would like to continue the quarterly conference calls, alternating learning and "open Q&As" on a particular topic to facilitate information sharing. I know I won't always have the answers personally, but I can find the right person or resource who does!
I started Virginia Franco Resumes several years ago after recognizing that my 20+ years of corporate communications, journalism and social work offered me a unique understanding of how people read, communicate and share information.
Prior to establishing my own company, I learned the ins and outs of resume writing as a subcontractor – which offered me invaluable insight into the many different models for running a resume writing business.
I have grown my business year over year through targeted marketing, social media and word-of-mouth – and learned the hard way about what does and doesn’t always work! If re-elected to serve as an Experienced Business Representative, I would love to further facilitate collaboration to share tricks of the trade and lessons learned.
I hold two resume-writing certifications, an NCRW and CPRW, as well as a Masters in Social Work and a B.A. in Journalism. In addition to the NRWA, I am a member of the PARW and CDI and Career Thought Leaders Consortium Associate. My writings are featured on Forbes.com, IvyExec, MedReps and Business2Community.com.
What interested you about the role?
As resume writers and career coaches, many of us work as solopreneurs. We don’t have the opportunity for traditional water cooler talk to share best practices, get advice or even just share good news with those that really understand and appreciate it! Serving on the board as an EBO rep has allowed me to facilitate these discussions.
What is your vision for the role:
Continue supporting experienced membership by fielding questions, getting answers from the experts and offering forums for discussions.
How will you reach out / support The NRWA members / organization?
I currently reach out by phone and by email to welcome people the fold and inquire when they may be consider leaving. I have co-hosted quarterly phone calls to discuss topics deemed of interest by my colleagues, and gathered their accomplishments for publication in the NRWA newsletter.
New Business Owners Representative
Wendi Weiner, creatively known as The Writing Guru, is an accomplished attorney, former college writing professor, 4X certified executive resume writer and career transition coach, and top published career expert. Wendi is recognized as being the only Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) who is also an attorney. Her winning combination of a legal mind and writing expertise has allowed her to quickly rise to the top in the resume industry. Wendi has been able to parlay her ambition and zest to help executive leaders feel passionate about their career growth. Wendi is a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council, and has been featured in national radio broadcasts, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fortune, Business News Daily, Monster, and CareerBuilder. Wendi is an acclaimed speaker at local and national conferences, and she has helped thousands of professionals in more than 30 industries with their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Wendi currently serves on the 2016 Board of Directors for the NRWA as a New Business Owners Representative where she provides continued mentoring and training to new resume writers and business owners. Additionally, she serves on the organization's Public Image Committee to bring positive awareness and ethics to the industry. When she's not writing or catching up on CNN, Wendi enjoys traveling, spending time with her rescue shih tzu, Riley, and embracing her newlywed life.
Contact Info & Social Media:
What interested you about the role?
I would like to continue serving as a Representative for New Business Owners for the 2016-2017 NRWA Board as it suits my entrepreneurial spirit and drive for business success. I possess a nurturing personality that coincides with a strong passion for the resume writing arena. I was able to grow my business exponentially in a very short period of time (from a part-time hobby to a full-blown business), and believe I would continue to serve new business owners in helping them through the highlights and lowlights of being a new business owner – from marketing and advertising, to structuring business plans, to even dealing with the tougher aspects of creating a value proposition to clients. My background as a lawyer and writing professor have contributed to formulating a stronger business platform and confirming credibility in the resume writing arena. I would like to continue to use my personal experience to help other resume writers maximize their potential.
What is your vision for the role?
My vision is to continue supporting the industry and continue creating an even stronger image for resume writers where we can cultivate top talent to represent the organization and its members. I am a very good listener with a passionate soul. I believe that my ability to connect with others easily and effortless has allowed me to serve in the current role and effectuate positive change for the organization through one-on-one communications as well as quarterly calls.
How will you reach out / support The NRWA members / organization?
By remaining transparent to the members, I have built a very strong rapport with new and experienced business owners, and I want to continue supporting the members and organization through mentoring calls and programs that have been put in place for 2016. I believe our organization continues to grow stronger each year and I would love to continue being a part of that process.
As a professional LinkedIn writer, coach, and branding/marketing strategist, I collaborate with executives and professionals to create powerful, personalized LinkedIn profiles that get results. I also arm my clients with the additional knowledge and resources they need to use their profiles effectively, enabling them to:
✓ Create an influential online presence to engage their target audience
✓ Build their professional brand
✓ Enhance their networking capabilities
✓ Promote sales and entrepreneurial opportunities
✓ Get their dream job!
At my core, I am a writer with endless curiosity, deep insight into what makes people tick and a passion for helping them tell their stories.
Over the past 25 years, I have amassed extensive multi-industry experience as a newspaper editor, nonprofit communications specialist, website content director, and marketing manager spanning financial services, healthcare, fundraising, and hospitality. I have led the full spectrum of traditional and digital marketing, created and executed online content and brand strategy, managed websites, and produced numerous articles for newspapers and other publications.
I formed LinkedIn LifeSaver in 2013 to work with executives and other professionals from around the world and across a wide range of industries. My mission is to enable my clients to reach their full potential by creating professionally branded LinkedIn profiles and providing the knowledge and resources to help them make the most out of their presence on LinkedIn.
What interested you about the role?
At my first NRWA conference in Charlotte last September, I made many meaningful and lasting connections with people across the industry. I am honored to be nominated as the New Business Owners’ Rep to serve in a larger and higher profile capacity within the organization to strengthen and expand these connections.
As a new business owner myself, I understand the challenges new career professionals face when breaking into the business. I have extensive experience working as a subcontractor with a wide variety of resume writers and career professionals (all with very different processes, business approaches, and LinkedIn philosophies). I have learned a lot by working with industry leaders, veterans, and newcomers and I am eager to share what I’ve learned with others who are just getting their start.
Furthermore, I have a somewhat unique business model that focuses exclusively on LinkedIn profile writing, optimization, and utilization coaching, which not only enables me to be deeply engaged in all that LinkedIn has to offer (which can benefit other members) but also provides a model for establishing a specialty niche within the career services field.
These are all experiences that I think would be of value in sharing with new members, new business owners, board members, and the NRWA at large.
What is your vision for the role?
I see this role as an opportunity to work with new business owners to support the NRWA’s mission of increasing the visibility of the career services industry, encouraging ethical practices, promoting excellence, and raising industry standards.
An important component of this role is providing value for new business owners through professional development and networking opportunities aimed at people new to the industry or new to operating their own professional career services business (or those looking to break into business ownership in the industry).
I envision working with other leaders within the NRWA to offer resources, advice, practical support, and feedback on a wide range of industry-related issues as well as more general business ownership issues -- from marketing, business planning, ethical practices, referrals and more to foster success in business and expertise in the industry.
I also see this role promoting deeper engagement in the NRWA organization among new business owners by providing a resource and forum for support, as well as reporting back to NRWA leadership on feedback from new business owners in order to retain and enhance membership for this constituency.
How will you reach out / support NRWA members and the organization?
College/University Career Services Representative
President, Juliet Murphy Career Development www.julietmurphy.com
Juliet is an expert in addressing challenges facing professionals in today’s multigenerational workplace. For more than five years she led an award winning millennial leadership development rotation program for a Fortune 500 company. She is especially skilled in branding and positioning clients for success and bridging their gaps and insecurities.
Juliet has a history of long standing relationships serving colleges and universities nationally. She Co-Chairs the Advisory Board at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall Undergraduate School of Business where she provides insights on curriculum design and career development for undergraduates. She received an MBA from USC and an MA in Career Development from John F. Kennedy University. She is also a Certified Executive Coach.
Juliet volunteers with wounded warriors and is a frequent speaker at corporate and university career events. She has been cited in multiple media sources for industry expertise.
Why are you interested in the role?
I enjoy working with the millennial generation and I see an opportunity to use my relationships with the universities to promote the goals of The NRWA and build partnerships.
In serving the college and university community most recently, I collaborated with Dr. Cheryl Minnick, from the University of Montana for free teleseminars on collaborating with employers to land internships, and best practices for getting powerful references and how to use them effectively. I have some additional plans for the Fall this year and would welcome the opportunity to meet with the college and university attendees at The NRWA conference this year. I see several additional opportunities to support this industry and would love to have another year to do so in 2017.
What is your vision for the role?
My vision is to strengthen The NRWA’s brand with the universities and colleges through collaboration for mutual benefit. I would also like to help The NRWA members who work with millennials to better understand their needs.
How will you reach out/support The NRWA members/organization?
I will use a variety of media, including social media, teleconferencing and the internet to demonstrate The NRWA’s relevance and value. Specifically, I would like to:
Workforce, Military, or Community Career Services Representative
Debra Ann Matthews
Debra Ann Matthews developed her business strategically serving her clientele from business owners, Veterans and their families, college graduates, 50+ workers, and those who have history within the prison system. Her business, Let Me Write It For You: Job-Winning Resumes and Career Services has helped hundreds to understand the nuances of job search, professional development, and targeted career communications.
Her passion to serve has culminated in working with her colleagues to serve on the board for two years as the New Business Owner Representative, championing those entering the business with encouragement, best practices, and needed policy changes. As a budding leader within the profession, Debra Ann continues to capture the best career tips and tools from her affiliation with Career Directors International, Career Thought Leaders, and Career Development Network.
Her expertise has been shared nationally with the American Psychological Association, the Mind Your Business Radio Show, The National Resource Society for Women’s Veterans, the Black Career Women’s Network and with the Small Business Association. In addition, she was recently quoted on NBC Chicago, Canada’s Calgary Sun, Monster.com Latin America and Yahoo UK.
She hopes to bring continued passion, fresh perspectives, and top of the line training in her role as the Military, Workforce, and Community Career Center Representative.