Are you looking for a professional resume writer to help you craft the perfect resume?
Or maybe you are a resume writer hoping to obtain a resume writing certificate.
Either way, this article will provide the necessary information.
Does resume writer certification really make a difference?
A certified resume writer undergoes a testing process to ensure they have the skills to craft successful resumes.
There are several associations where a professional resume writer can seek certification.
In this article, you’ll find 12 resume writer certifications available from 5 different associations.
If the professional resume service you choose is connected with one of these associations, that can make all the difference in getting a job!
Find out more about the requirements for each certificate below.
1. Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
The Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential is offered by the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC). This is one of the most recognized and prestigious certifications in the resume writing industry. The association also offers certifications for career coaches and interview professionals.
Year Founded: 1990
Resume writers will need to be active members of PARWCC to take the exam and use the certification.
Upon registration for the exam, writers will receive a study guide to prepare for the test. The test must be scheduled within a year of application.
Prospective resume writers will receive the test document by email on a scheduled date and they’ll have three days to complete the test and mail the documents back.
Tests are evaluated anonymously by the members of the Certification Committee, and results are available within 6-8 weeks.
As a resume writer with PARWCC, you will get a personalized CPRW certification to display in your office.
You will also be able to:
- Use the CPRW logo on your website and other marketing material
- Use the CPRW credential after your name
- $150 for membership
- $250 for certification enrollment
2. Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)
The Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) certification is issued by The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA). They have one of the most challenging certification processes. Certificate holders also need to offer proof of their continuing education efforts to maintain certification. The NRWA also offers another certification for online profile writers.
Year Founded: 1997
The candidate needs to become a member of the NRWA to apply for the resume writer certification.
They also have to earn 10 Continuing Education Units (CEU) from the association. CEUs can be earned by participating in conferences and workshops, and also by writing book reviews.
The certification process consists of three steps:
- Earning CEUs
- Passing a quiz and sample submission based on the NCRW Study Guide
- Passing the NCRW examination
People can search for NRWA certified professional resume writers from the NRWA website.
The certificate holder will be able to use the NCRW designation after their name. They will also be able to display NCRW logos on their website and other marketing materials.
- $175 for NRWA membership
- $75 for writing sample review
- $250 for exam registration
The Resume Writing Academy (RWA) is one of the most resourceful professional development organizations for professional resume writers and other career professionals.
The RWA offers three certifications for resume writers:
- Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)
- Academy Certified Federal Resume Writer (ACRW-Federal)
- Academy Certified Career Storyteller (ACCS)
Year Founded: 2009
Unlike the Professional Association of Resume Writers and National Resume Writers' Association, RWA certifications are achieved after undergoing training programs associated with each certification from the academy.
You will find a detailed description for each of the certifications below.
The RWA certification programs offer a great opportunity to learn plenty about professional resume writing, including info on the latest industry trends and other vital insights, along with getting the certificate.
You will also get a digital badge to display across your online portfolio.
All the resume writing certificates come with lifetime validity. As an added bonus, the writer will also get to attend an RWA E-Summit for free after completion of ACRW and ACRW-federal programs.
3. Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)
Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) credential is achieved after undergoing a 3-month resume training program from the academy. There’s also a self-paced version of the program available.
The training program consists of:
- 5 web classes on grammar, formatting, writing, and homework assignments
- 3 independent industry-specific resume and cover letter writing projects
- Hands-on feedback on all assignments
Cost: $1895 or 3 payments of $650
4. Academy Certified Federal Resume Writer (ACRW-Federal)
Academy Certified Federal Resume Writer (ACRW - Federal) program is specifically designed to train and certify resume writers on the intricacies of resume writing and the job application process for federal jobs.
The training program consists of:
- Eight hours of instructor-led training
- Writing sample resumes and example applications
- Analyzing federal job postings and gathering content
- Quizzes to confirm understanding
- Projects to refine writing
- Receiving personalized feedback on quizzes and writing assignments
Cost: $2195 or 3 payments of $735
5. Academy Certified Career Storyteller (ACCS)
The Academy Certified Career Storyteller (ACCS) training and certification program helps career professionals master the art of career storytelling through resumes, cover letters, bios, and online profiles. This is an advanced-level certification from RWA. It requires writers to already have an industry-recognized certificate or complete a separate grammar assignment and evaluation of a sample resume.
The program consists of 4 sessions and homework assignments and a final project:
- Write a bio
- Write LinkedIn “About” and employment sections
- Write a “tell me about yourself” script and a letter
- Write a resume
- Write a portfolio of documents
Cost: $669 for members and $869 for non-members
Career Directors International (CDI) provides numerous professional development opportunities for career professionals, including resume writer certifications and courses.
The six CDI certificates focus on specific resume writing niches, including:
- Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW)
- Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
- Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM)
- Certified Resume Specialist (CRS+X)
- Certified Graphic Resume Architect
- Certified Career Storyteller (CCST)
Year Founded: 2000
CDI adopts a tiered approach to resume writing certifications, based on the experience level of the candidates.
As there are a variety of resume writing certifications offered by CDI, you will find a description of each of them below.
Along with getting the CDI seal, the resume writers will get all the free tools and resources as a CDI member.
CDI also organizes the yearly Toast of the Resume Industry Awards (TORI) competition.
So, getting aligned with their best practices can give writers a headstart in achieving the TORI award.
Below is a brief overview of all the resume writing certifications offered by CDI.
6. Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW)
The Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) certification program is for entry-level resume writers looking to get their first industry certification. It is also the most affordable resume certification offered by CDI.
The CARW certification process consists of four parts:
- Resume sample submission
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Short-essay questions on client information gathering
- Final exam on spelling, grammar, resume writing, design, and related skills
Cost: $200 plus the $97 membership fee
7. Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) is a higher-level certification program offered by CDI to experienced resume writers. The candidate must already possess the CARW certification or any other recognized industry certification (such as the CPRW or ACRW).
The certification process involves submitting the following materials:
- A 1000-word essay or article to demonstrate philosophy, skills, and expertise
- A portfolio of seven professional resumes
- One ATS-friendly resume
- Two cover letter samples
Cost: $297 plus the $97 membership fee
8. Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM)
The Certified Executive Resume Writer (CERM) certification is exclusively designed for executive resume writers. Consider it a high-level certification program for experienced professional resume writers. As of the date of this article’s publication, there are fewer than 25 CERMs worldwide.
The writer will need to:
- Have or obtain any other recognized resume writing certificate
- Submit four examples of real-life executive resumes
- Take part in a 10-question Competency Review test
Cost: $297 for members and $564 for non-members
9. Certified Resume Specialist (CRS+X)
The Certified Resume Specialist (CRS+X) allows resume writers to get certification in their specific field of specialization or niche. For example, if you are a resume writer specializing in IT professions, you can get certified as a Certified IT Resume Specialist (CRS+IT). CDI offers this certification in 20 areas of specialization. The candidate must hold any other recognized industry certification for which testing was required.
Candidates will need to submit:
- A portfolio of four industry-specific resume samples
- A one-page essay about their specialization
Cost: $197 for each specialization plus the $97 membership fee
10. Certified Graphic Resume Architect
As the name suggests, the Certified Graphic Resume Architect credential is for professional resume writers who also want to get recognized as graphic resume designers. Graphic resumes predominantly use visual elements, which contrasts the style of traditional “plain” resumes. Just like other advanced level certifications from CDI, this one requires that the candidates already possess any of the recognized certifications.
The writer will have to submit:
- Five resume samples with visual elements
- An explanation of the project details for a selected resume
Cost: $297 for members and $564 for non-members
11. Certified Career Storyteller (CCST)
The Certified Career Storyteller (CCST) is a certification that accompanies a training program...similar to the ACRW certification from the RWA above. This course from CDI aims to train resume writers in the practices of how storytelling elements can be infused into resume writing and personal brand development. The course consists of 17 modules within a 6-part program. It’s a self-paced learning model requiring from 18 to 40 hours of total work.
The process includes:
- Each of the 6 parts involves lesson completion and a review process
- After all lessons are approved, the candidate will submit their final story-based portfolio
- The final portfolio is reviewed within 3-4 weeks
Cost: $2997 plus the $97 membership fee
12. Master Resume Writer (MRW)
The Master Resume Writer (MRW) credential is offered by Career Thought Leaders Consortium (CTL). CTL is owned by Marie Zimenoff, also the CEO of the Resume Writers Association above. CTL also provides certifications to career coaches, job search specialists, and digital branding specialists. Career professionals get many other tools and resources, like free guides, training, and webinars from CTL.
Year Founded: 2009
The candidate must have at least five years of experience to apply for the MRW credential. They also have to pass an English Language & Grammar Examination administered by CTL.
After that, the professional resume writer will need to submit five resume samples if they already have an industry-recognized certificate or 10 resume samples if they are not certified.
The certification has to be renewed every two years.
MRW is an advanced level certification that will project you as an expert in your field. There are only 27 MRWs out there.
You don’t have to become a member of CTL to get this certification. However, becoming an associate will get you a discount.
As a job seeker, you have every right to seek as many assurances as you can about your resume writer.
Getting your resume written by a certified resume writer is one of those assurances that should translate into a high-performing resume.
If the writer that you choose happens to be certified, that's a great bonus. But more important than a writer's certifications are the writer's skills.
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