What is a Certified Resume Writer?

The resume writer certification exam covers areas such as grammar, punctuation, and proofreading.

Of course, you can write your own resume or enlist the help of a friend or colleague, but sometimes you need the advice of a professional. A certified resume writer is a professional who has taken the necessary steps to become certified in their field by one of two professional organizations. The process to become a certified resume writer involves training and testing skills such as grammar, strategic thinking, professional knowledge, and resume and cover letter writing.

Certified resume writers have been tested on their skills, including grammar, professional knowledge and cover letter writing.

Many who seek certified resume writer status are self-employed or self-employed career resume writers. However, of the many other professionals who pursue certified resume writer accreditation, some work at employment agencies, college placement offices, or outplacement companies. The certification process itself is relatively new; the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches began their certification program in 1991, and the National Association of Resume Writers began a similar certification in 1997.

Both associations offer similar accreditations: Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) or Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW). Any of the certifications guarantees the client that the professional has met a minimum standard of qualification. Just because a professional isn’t certified, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of producing an effective resume for their clients. Some resume writers choose not to pursue certification and instead rely on customer testimonials, awards, and publication credits to prove their aptitude.

The NCRW Certification Program involves a study guide of important concepts and strategies for successful resume and cover letter preparation. Candidates for NCRW certification must also obtain continuing education units prior to the test. The certified resume writer candidate must also submit a sample resume and cover letter, which is criticized by the certifying committee members.

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The NCRW exam itself contains two components; the first component includes questions related to a sample resume. The second component of this certified resume writer specific exam consists of a writing exercise. Once a person earns NCRW certification, he or she can maintain the designation through 1) additional continuing education units or 2) passing another NCRW exam. The CPRW test consists of four components: industry knowledge; grammar, punctuation and proofreading; strategic thought; and a resume and cover letter writing test using hypothetical client information.

By using a certified resume writer rather than preparing the resume yourself, you benefit from the experience and knowledge that comes with the certification process. Certified resume writers claim that when an individual prepares their own resume, they tend to undersell themselves on accomplishments and not include enough detail about measurable accomplishments.

Certified resume writers set their own fees for writing the resume and cover letter. Some charge by the hour; others charge for the curriculum. Fees are generally based on the difficulty of the job; for example, a resume for a new employee is not as complex to create as it is for an executive with many years of experience or an individual who is trying to change careers.

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