What credentials should your executive resume writer hold?
Choosing the right resume writer for creating your new executive marketing materials can be challenging and confusing. There is not “the one” qualification or credential.
Many factors come obviously into play when assessing a potential match between you and your writer:
- professional background of your potential resume writer (e.g. real corporate world and board experience?)
- college education and degrees, and
- their resume writing credentials.
In this report, I am going to throw some light on the later and assume that we agree that your resume writer should have demonstrated their industry commitment by at least completing and holding one resume writing credential.
I. An overview
So, let’s look at some resume writer associations and organizations that you’ll most likely come across the most. We could call them the Big 4 of Resume Writing if you like.
1) THE NATIONAL RÉSUMÉ WRITERS' ASSOCIATION (NRWA)
The NRWA with its 600+ members is the only nonprofit, member driven résumé writers’ organization in the world. I am actually currently on the board of this association, so, yes, I might be a bit biased here.
Passing the NRWA’s “Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)” designation is quite a rigorous process and there currently are only about 60 writers in the nation who have passed this examination.
Taking the NCRW requires submitting a resume sample package and documenting 10 CE before being admitted to a two-part examination consisting of a proofreading as well as a resume and cover letter writing part.
2) CAREER DIRECTORS INTERNATIONAL (CDI)
Career Directors International LLC is a privately-run membership based business that offers various resume writing and career coaching certifications. Pre-requirements and specific testing depend on the specific level of certification.
There are several resume certifications offered by CDI include:
3) Resume Writing Academy (RWA)
Offered via the Career Thought Leaders Consortium (CTL), a think tank of career industry leaders run my Marie Zimenoff, the Resume Writing Academy offers an “Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)” certification as well as a specialized social media profile writing designation called “Academy Certified Profile Writer (ACPW) certification.”
Both certifications offered require 3-months intensive coursework training. One aspect to note is that the ACRW certification does not require membership, renewal, or continued education.
4) The Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC)
The PARW/CC was the pioneer in resume writing and career coaching’s industry early days and was established in the early 90s. With 1,500+ members including independent business owners and nonprofit career centers the PARW/CC is certainly an impressive organization. PARW/CC back in its early days developed a standard for testing resume writers and, since then, awards successful candidates with the Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) credential.
II. So which one is the “must have” for your resume writer?
Reviewing the different organizations makes it obvious that there are many ways to becoming a certified and credentialed resume writer. Choices of your resume writer for one certification and bypassing another one might come down to personal preference in learning styles (e.g. autonomous self vs. intense course environment) or desired client specialization fields.
In my opinion, you can therefore not fairly pick the one “must have” certification to look for when choosing your resume writer.
One thing I can say, however, is that I frequently see writers on the top of their game holding various resume certifications.
So, this might not be a bad thing to look for in a qualified resume writer. You can check out some of my credentials here.