At the time I started my resume writing business in 2010, it never occurred to me that there were any associations committed to the professionalism of resume writing and the careers industry. I didn’t search for them because perhaps I didn’t realize then just how much resume writing and career coaching is a true industry that is highly respected.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned about the myriad of professional associations for career professionals and resume writers. One that really stood out to me was The National Resume Writers’ Association (“The NRWA”). It offered an array of professional development through monthly teleseminars, quarterly mentoring calls, and even an annual conference dedicated to 3 days of mastery and skills training.
It didn’t take too long for me to be sold on The NRWA for its collegial mentality, stance on ethics, and professional devotion to bettering the resume writing world and setting apart the industry with the rigorous NCRW (Nationally Certified Resume Writer) certification.
Forgive me in advance for my brutal honesty, but today, in a world of internet marketing and virtual workplaces, anyone can call themselves a “resume writer” on a website or on LinkedIn. However, a true and dedicated professional resume writer maintains an arsenal of tools that are constantly revamping, updating, and being fine-tuned. This is done through a commitment to professional development — training, certifications, seminars, conferences, etc.
As the job industry changes, and new trends appears, the most talented writers and career professionals show their commitment to learning and expanding with the industry. Much like a lawyer who has to take continuing legal education (CLE) credits every 3 years to keep his/her bar license active, the NRWA stresses the importance of continuing education and professional development. It requires its NCRW writers to obtain continuing education credits through mastery courses, seminars, and the annual conference every 3 years. That is why the NCRW is so highly regarded in the industry for resume writing. It is not a one-and-done certification. Instead, you have to continue proving your commitment to the industry by way of advancing your knowledge every few years.
When I speak to prospective clients on a daily basis, the first place I tell them to research a resume writer is via The NRWA. With nearly 20 years in existence, The NRWA has set the precedent for professional development as the only non-profit association for professional resume writers. Since being founded, for-profit organizations have taken to the mentality of The NRWA, by boosting the credentials of resume writers through professional development seminars, alternative certifications in career coaching and writing, as well as annual conferences. Some of the for-profit professional associations that I am fond of (and hold memberships in) include Career Thought Leaders (CTL) and Career Directors International (CDI).
As I finish up my first year as a board member for The NRWA, and head into year two of re-elected leadership, I am also preparing for my third consecutive annual conference (held next month in Annapolis). Last year, the annual conference was held in Charlotte, and the year before, it was held in Denver. My first year in Denver was the catalyst that pushed my business and my passions into high gear. In 2014, my husband (who was then my boyfriend), traveled with me to the conference in Denver. I remember after 9 hours of breakout sessions, walking into the hotel room, and saying to him, “This is what I needed to attend to move my business into the next level.”
5 months after I attended my first NRWA conference, I left practicing law full-time, moved into the full reigns as an entrepreneur and never looked back. My passion for this industry has grown immensely through leadership in the Association, where I proudly partner with talented colleagues who are just as driven about their businesses, this industry, and the Association as I am. Life is certainly about the people you surround yourself with, and the leadership in The NRWA is truly top-notch.
In life, the only way to be great at what you to is to consistently challenge yourself to be better through advancing your own knowledge, skills, and education. A resume writer who attends conferences, summits, and other professional development seminars is committed to not just his or her career success, but yours as well.
The next time you are researching for a resume writer ask him/her these important questions during the consultation: Do you belong to The National Resume Writers’ Association and other organizations? Are you an active member? Do you attend annual conferences and summits to advance your knowledge and training?
At the end of the day, knowledge is power for you and your writer. Hold onto it, challenge it, and advance yourself.
Learn more about The NRWA and search for its professional resume writers here.