The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) is an organization that specializes in career-related certifications.
In this article, we will be talking about a specific certification called the CPRW which stands for Certified Professional Resume Writer.
We will also glance over their other two certifications which are the CEIP and CPCC certifications.
You can use our guide below to skip around in this article to the section that might be most relevant to you.
CPRW / PARWCC Guide
- Who is the professional association of resume writers and career coaches (PARWCC)?
- What is a certified professional resume writer (CPRW)?
- What is a certified employment interview professional (CEIP)?
- What is a certified professional career coach (CPCC)?
- Alternative resume writing certifications.
- Top 8 best certified professional resume writers.
We mentioned above an organization called the PARWCC, otherwise known as the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
The PARWCC is known for three main certifications: The CPRW, CEIP, and CPCC.
In the next section, we will dive into each of the certifications and what they represent. But for now, we’d like to talk a bit more about the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches.
The PARWCC was founded in January of 1990. The goal of the PARWCC was to create some standard around resume writing. Instead of the wild west, they wanted to create some organization around the industry.
Since then, they have accumulated almost 2,000 members ranging from small business owners to teachers.
In addition to selling certifications, the PARWCC also hosts an annual conference that is marketed towards resume writers, career coaches, career counselors, and other related professionals.
Here is the Thrive! conference schedule for 2019. The 2020 event was canceled because of COVID-19, 2021 was virtual, and 2022 is being planned for April 25 - 27, 2022, in Clearwater, FL).
Overall, if you are a resume enthusiast, there are probably very few conferences that would compare. The conference is available for members and non-members and can range between $695 - $895 (not including lodging, airfare, etc.).
Let’s talk about the certifications that the Professional Association of Resume Writers offers.
A certified professional resume writer is anyone who has received certifications around their resume writing abilities.
While there are dozens of certifications that can be received around resume writing, we will be discussing the CPRW certification granted by the PARWCC.
From our research, we have found nearly 1,600 individuals who hold this CPRW certification.
This is by far one of the most widely granted certifications in the resume writing industry.
Despite there being nearly 2,000 CPRWs today, it still can be extremely difficult to find a high-quality resume writer.
In order to become a certified professional resume writer, one must take a completely virtual, online test. The test essentially asks the not yet certified resume writer to write a randomly assigned resume, using “standards” that were originally put in place by the PARWCC in the 1990s.
You might be wondering if resume techniques stemming from the 1990s are still effective today, in which you would not be alone. Some writers have commented on the dated methods used for testing resume writers. But that is neither here nor there.
The CPRW certification is for writers to become “Certified Professional Resume Writers”.
The CPRW certification, while the most affordable, is also the biggest service offering for the PARWCC. This is by far their most popular certification that they offer.
When signing up for this test, you can expect to receive a Study Guide. Once you are finished studying, you can schedule a “test date” with the PARWCC. Upon completion of the test, you will mail the resume and cover letters that you created to PARW using UPS/FedEx three-day shipping.
Cost: $250 + $150 annual membership fee.
Keep reading for a detailed review of other resume writing certifications that might hold more merit.
This is for anyone who wants to become a Certified Employment Interview Professional.
When signing up for this program, you can expect to receive a 120-page PDF document (Yikes!) and an hour phone call with Jay Block.
As soon as you have reviewed the 120-page document and feel ready to take the test, you can contact PARW/CC who will then email you the test to complete and send back within 24 hours.
Cost: $695 + $150 annual membership fee.
This is for anyone who would like to become a Certified Professional Career Coach.
This program is a “study at your own pace” certification which allows someone to complete the program in 8 weeks or up to 12 months.
You will be given a self-guided manual filled with exercise that will help train you to coach clients and build confidence.
Cost: $1,195 + $150 annual membership fee.
While the PARWCC definitely offers one of the more widely spread resume writing certifications (CPRW), there are a couple of other organizations that you should consider.
Resume Writing Academy
Resume Writing Academy provides both resume writing and federal resume writing certifications.
RWA offers the following certifications:
Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) Credential
Academy Certified Federal Resume Writer (ACRW-Federal) Credential
Career Directors International
Career Directors International (CDI) provides a ton of certifications but for the purpose of this article, we will focus on the resume certifications.
CDI offers the following certifications:
Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) Credential
Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) Credential
Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM) Credentials
Certified Resume Specialist (CRS+X) Credentials
No Certifications has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. More and more resume writers are canceling their memberships and opting out of the certifications altogether.
Why? Simply because of the fact that very few people looking for resume writing services actually look for certifications.
While these certifications are well-known in the “resume writer community”, they hold very little significance outside.
Some writers feel they are better off saving the money and focusing on generating business, rather than taking the time to obtain certifications that may add little value.
Now that you know a little bit about certified resume writers, we thought you may be interested in reviewing our list of some of the best certified professional resume writers (see below).
Please keep in mind that the list is not maintained, and certifications that each individual may have had at the creation of the article, may no longer be active.
This list serves as who we believe to be some of the best certified professional resume writers:
- Lindsay Duston
- Andy Ricardo
- Bruce Hillman
- Cassie Hatcher
- Greg Faherty
- Kimberly Sarmiento
- Pam Duquette
- Rebecca Skov
For more detailed reviews of each writer, check out our best certified professional resume writers list.
Regardless of the active certifications, we are firm believers that a good resume writer's performance has little to do with their resume writing certifications.
We have seen resume writers with certifications, yet they have a terrible reputation/reviews. We have also seen resume writers who refuse to pay for certifications yet are the most brilliant and talented writers available.
If you are a resume writer considering a certification, don’t expect to receive an immediate influx of business because of the certification. Instead, expect to have access to a community of hundreds of other writers to help and support you.
If you are someone looking for a resume rewrite, we recommend you take a look at the best certified professional resume writers article linked above to see what factors are even more important in choosing a resume writer than their certifications.