There are several resume writing associations that offer certifications, advanced training, and other professional development to maximize the credentials of resume writers. A word of caution: If you see other articles out there written about these organizations or the certifications they provide, please first verify that the author is a member in good standing of the organization and actually holds the certifications he/she is discussing; otherwise, the information being portrayed is likely self-serving, promotional, and wholly disingenuous.
In an unregulated industry like resume writing, it’s imperative for consumers to do their due diligence, research, and know the pitfalls to watch out for. Self-ranked resume writing lists with inaccurate information about resume writers and resume writing organizations are on the rise, and in a recent lawsuit filed against an unlawful competitor, I have taken a strong stance for the entire resume writing industry to fight against deceptive advertising practices, negative SEO attacks, and other unethical tactics to boost the visibility and credibility of the resume writing industry. I am passionate about the resume industry as a whole and building collaboration from within.
Resume Writing Associations & Career Industry Organizations
There are several main resume writing associations based in the U.S. with national and global memberships:
The National Resume Writers’ Association (The NRWA)
The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC)
Career Directors International (CDI)
Career Thought Leaders (CTL/Resume Writing Academy)
There is also an additional organization geared to promote the industry called The Career Experts
The Career Professionals of Canada is an association that supports Canadian career practitioners in a variety of roles, including resume writers.
Career associations and resume writing associations offer different certifications, different professional development, and different facets for resume writers to enhance their continuing education and stamina in the industry. Some resume writers will join all of the organizations to stay on top of industry trends, learn from other industry members, and collaborate. As an active member of all of these organizations with multiple certifications (NCRW, CPRW, NCOPE, CCM, CCTC, and Reach360 Branding Analyst), I am able to give you first-hand perspective on how each one has collectively helped me grow my own personal network, friendships, and collaborations as well as advanced my writing credentials.
Certifications for Professional Resume Writers
Becoming a certified professional resume writer or obtaining any other certification in coaching or branding in the resume writing industry shows a deep commitment to your craft, but it doesn’t stop there. The best resume writers and top-rated resume writers will hold much more than just 1 or 2 certifications and active memberships under their belt. They will be committed to enhancing their professional development in numerous ways – attending resume writing conferences, speaking at resume writing conferences, attending continuing education seminars, participating in other industry consortiums and events, as well as continuously being featured for their advice and expertise in publications, podcasts, and other outlets.
Most professional resume writers and certified resume experts will not offer a guarantee. The reason for this is simple: a resume writer cannot guarantee the success of a resume and LinkedIn profile because there are many factors that go into the job search process: networking strategy, interview skills, personal background (criminal record etc.), and even the fair market value of the position and salary you are seeking. Think of your job search as a pie: one-third is your resume, one-third is your LinkedIn profile, and one-third is your strategy. All of those factors matter, but each one plays a separate and distinct role.
How to Become a Professional Resume Writer
In a world of internet marketing, unregulated industries, and virtual workplaces, anyone can drop the term “expert,” but a true “expert” maintains an arsenal of tools that are constantly being revamped, updated, and fine-tuned. This is done through a serious commitment to professional development — training, certifications, seminars, and conferences — not just arbitrarily terming yourself an “expert,” “wizard,” or “master.”
Through my years of board leadership for the National Resume Writers’ Association, I served as a mentor for new business owners, i.e. new resume writers who were looking to grow their business and experience in the industry. If you are new to the resume writing industry or you are interested in becoming a professional resume writer, I encourage you to join all of the resume writing associations out there and get involved. Find a mentor and start getting the training and collaboration you need. Our industry is extremely welcoming and through various memberships, you have the ability to maximize your professional development and professional activity.
I will write a follow-up article on growing your business and share authentic examples of how I grew my business organically to multi six-figures as a one-woman show in hopes that this can encourage and empower newer resume writers to grow their own.