The Driving Force Behind Top Margin

The Resume Expert You’ve Been Searching For

gayle howard

Meet Gayle Howard, Founder of Top Margin

Certified Master Resume Writer, Certified Executive Resume Master, and Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist.

Gayle Howard specialises in crafting impactful resumes for executives and high-level professionals. Leveraging decades of expertise since founding Top Margin in 1990, she’s not only a multi-award-winning writer but also a respected industry authority. Gayle shares her mastery by training resume writers globally, empowering them to deliver the same potent blend of action, style, and effectiveness that has marked her impressive career longevity. 

Gayle sets standards for success

Clear, Authentic Writing

With Gayle Howard at the helm, your resume becomes a masterful case study of your unparalleled value. Delving deep into your accomplishments, Gayle surfaces what truly sets you apart. Her resumes aren’t just pieces of paper; they’re meticulously curated narratives that capture the essence of your best self. Get ready to be presented to the world, not just as a candidate, but as an undeniable asset.

Facts Speak

In a world flooded with buzzwords, Gayle Howard zeroes in on the undeniable “ring of truth” that comes with factual accomplishments. She has mastered the art of probing questioning, designed to unearth your unbroken chain of achievements. The result? Resumes that don’t just tell but prove your value, elevating your credibility and setting you apart in a marketplace that craves authenticity and substance.

Credible, Knowledgeable Advice

Think you know resumes? Think again! The resume landscape is cluttered with outdated advice, well-meaning friends, and obsolete web resources. But when you partner with Gayle Howard, you’re tapping into a reservoir of up-to-date industry insights and unparalleled expertise. With her guiding hand, you’ll navigate the complexities of the resume world with ease and confidence—leaving no room for second guesses.

Process is Everything

In the crowded world of resume writing, Gayle Howard stands head and shoulders above the rest. Thanks to her proprietary information gatherer workbooks, she delivers the kind of deep-dive context that elevates resumes from good to extraordinary. Trust Gayle’s unique process of forensic questioning to make sure your resume grabs the attention of the decision-makers who matter most.

Resume Writing Awards

56 Nominations. Winner, 20 First Place Awards, 5 Second Place, 5 Third Place. Second and Third Place Awards in the World’s Best Resume Competition

  • Best Resume 2000, Best Resume Content, Best Resume Format, Best Chronological Resume, Annual Resume Writing Awards 2000, Career Directors International
  • Best New Graduate Resume, Best Re-Entry into the Workforce Resume, Best International Resume 2002 TORI Awards (Toast of the Resume Industry) Career Directors International
  • Best Military Conversion Resume, Best Executive Resume, Best New Graduate Resume and Best International Resume, 2003 TORI Awards
  • Winner, 2003 Australian Achiever Award for “Excellence in Customer Service”
  • Highly Recommended Certificate, 2004 Australian Achiever Awards for “Excellence in Customer Service”.
  • Best Executive Resume, Best Professional Resume, and Best New Graduate Resume, 2004 TORI Awards.
  • Best International Resume, Best New Graduate Resume, 2005 TORI Awards.
  • Nominee 2007 TORI Awards. 6 Nominations from 8 Categories: Best Executive Resume, Best International Resume, Best Professional Resume, Best New Graduate Resume, Best Career Re-entry Resume, Best Creative Resume.
  • Best Career Re-Entry Resume, 2007 TORI Awards.
  • Winner, Master Resume Writer Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by Career Directors International 2007.
  • Best Career Re-Entry Resume (2nd Place), Best Technical Resume (3rd Place), 2008 TORI Awards, Career Directors International
  • Top 3 Placegetter, 2009 World’s Best Resume Competition, Career Directors International. Second place public vote, third place industry vote.
  • Winner, Master Career Director Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by Career Directors International 2008
  • Nominee, 2009 TORI Award in four categories: Best Executive Resume, Best Graduate Resume, Best Technical Resume, Best Creative Resume
  • Third Place Winner, 2009 TORI Awards: Best New Graduate Resume and Best Creative Resume
  • President’s Choice Award for Career Excellence, TORI Awards 2010
  • Second Prize, Best Cover Letter; Third Prize Best Sales and Marketing Resume, 2011 TORI Awards, Career Directors International
  • Nominee, Best Cover Letter and Best International Resume, 2012 TORI Awards, Career Directors International
  • Third Place Winner, Best International Resume, 2012 TORI Awards, Career Directors International
  • Three-time Nominee, TORI Awards 2013, Career Directors International: Best Creative Resume, Best Sales Resume, Best Re-Entry Resume
  • Second Place, Best Re-Entry Resume 2013 TORI Awards, Career Directors International
  • Three-time Nominee, TORI Awards 2015, Career Directors International: Best Graduate Resume, Best Executive Resume and Best Accounting/Finance Resume
  • First Place, Best Graduate Resume 2015 and second place Best Accounting/Finance Resume 2015.
  • President’s Choice Award for Excellence, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Career Directors International
  • The “Kick Butt” Award 2022, Career Directors International


  • Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) examined by Career Directors International
  • Certified Executive Resume Master, Career Directors International
  • Certified G3 Coach: Get Clear, Get Hired, Get Found! The Academies
  • Certified Resume Analyst, Career Directors International
  • Certified Graphic Resume Architect
  • Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Communications
  • Certified Tough Transitions Coach, The Academies
  • Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach
  • Certified IT Resume Specialist (CRS+IT) examined by Career Directors International
  • Master Career Director (MCD) examined by Career Directors International
  • Certified Online Networking Professional (Linked in), The Academies
  • Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer
  • Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 1997-2008 examined by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
  • Certified Web Portfolio Practitioner (CWPP) examined by Career Directors International
  • Certified Master Resume Specialist (CMRS) examined by the Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals
  • Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), examined by Career Directors International
  • Certified Job Search Strategies training (completed, not certified)
  • Human Resource Concepts Certificate, Brainbench
  • Behavioural Interviewing Certificate, Brainbench
  • 360 Reach Certified Analyst, Reach Communications

Resume Writing Books

  • Author, PS…You Need a Resume!
  • Author, PS…You’re a Resume Expert (for professional resume writers)
  • Author, A Satisfying Career, Starting and Running Your Own Resume Writing Practice (2010)
  • Author/Trainer and Mentor: Training Course, PS…You’re a Resume Expert: Resume Mastery for Professional Resume Writers
  • Featured resume author in 22 major international career books.
  • Contributing Author, Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) Certification Guide (2007, 2014, 2021)
  • Contributor, resume samples featured in Resumes for Dummies 7th Edition 2015

Resume Writing Industry

Directorships, Advisory Roles and Memberships

  • Director of Certifications, International Certification Committee, Career Directors International (2008-Present)
  • Director, TORI Awards 2010, 2020, and 2021–Present, Career Directors International
  • Judge, TORI Awards 2018 and 2019, Career Directors International
  • Associate Member, Career Thought Leaders
  • Career Advisor, Going Global
  • International Advisor, Certification Committee, Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals
  • International Resume Expert, and Virtual Business Expert, Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals
  • Charter Member, Career Directors International
  • Associate Member, Career Development Association of Australia
  • Member, Association of Online Career and Resume Professionals

Resume Writing Trainer and Mentor

  • Trained and mentored three professional resume writers to secure TORI award nominations and win on the first attempt
  • Trained and mentored more than 150 professional resume writers to enrich their professional development. Numerous students progressed to become accomplished writers, Certified Advanced Resume Writers, and TORI nominees through the Resume Mastery training.
  • Conceived, wrote, developed, presented and narrated the video training course for jobseekers in, and immigrating to, Australia: the Great Aussie Resume training course

Industry Recognition

December 2022: Job Mob’s Top Job Search Articles for 2022 

December 2019: Top 50 Job Search Articles for 2019

October 2018: Featured in Feedspot’s Top 50 Resume Writing Blogs, Newsletters and Websites to follow in 2018

December 2016: Listed in the Top Job Search Articles for 2016 from JobMob.

November 2016: Acknowledged as one of the Top 27 Resume Writers of 2016 by Careertoolkit.

Spring 2016 Volume 27 Issue 3: Featured in Australian Career Practitioner—the national magazine of the Career Development Association of Australia, in “Top Ten Tips for Creating a Winning Resume” 

September 2016: Quoted in 5 Tips to get Your LinkedIn profile job-search ready by Michael Page recruiting

June 2015: Award Recipient of eCollegeFinders’ Awards for “Best Career Blogs of 2015″

November 2014: 2014 President’s Award Winner, Career Directors International. Award recognises voluntary contributions as a Director of CDI’s Certification Committee

September 2014: Recognised by CareerRocketeer as one of the Top 150 Career and Leadership Blogs for 2014

September 2014: Trained and mentored professional resume writer to secure two TORI award nominations with just two submissions entered on first attempt

September 2014: Recognised by Your Personal Brand Name as one of the top personal brand experts internationally for 2014

October 2013: Interviewed and quoted in the BBC Capital article for global CV writing

February 2013: Acknowledged by LinkedIn for being in the Top 1% Most Viewed LinkedIn Profiles

December 2012: Listed in the Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers Must Follow in 2013 by YouTern

December 19, 2012: Listed in CareerCoPilot’s “Top 101 Career Experts all Job Seekers Should Follow on Twitter

December 2012: Listed in the 56 Best Job Search Blog Posts for 2012 for Job Search: The Emotional Rollercoaster

November 4, 2012: Recommended by Under30Careers as on of the “Top 60 Career Experts to Follow on Twitter”

IT Resumes/Executive Resume Writing Specialties

Executive resumes, Tough Transitions (post-redundancy, entrepreneur-to-employee, consultant-to-permanent senior-level manager, cross-country transitions); IT resumes (CIOs, Group Manager Infrastructure, IT Executives, senior network engineers, business analysts, project managers, program managers), Australian resumes, US Resumes