Last time, we looked at the idea of certifications for resume writers and whether or not it’s a good idea to obtain one. [If you missed the first post from this series, you can read the kick-off about resume writing certifications here.]
Today, we’ll begin our examination of the different credentialing agencies and the certifications they offer.
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL RESUME WRITER (CPRW)
The CPRW certification is obtained through the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). This is the oldest credentialing organization for resume writers, founded in 1990. Prior to their formation, there were no associations for resumes writers or career professionals. The organization was formed to achieve several purposes, the most important of which were to set quality standards in resume writing and to help resume writers share information about their craft. Today it is the most widely-held certification among resume writers and (depending on who you talk to) either the Number One or one of the Top Two most respected certifications a certified professional writer can hold.
Prospective professional resume writers must pass a multi-part test comprised of multiple choice questions and essay questions, all dealing with the different aspects of resume writing. There is a study guide that applicants have several days to learn, and the final part of the exam involves creating a resume and cover letter from a mock client’s raw data. The examination is timed, and the applicant can obtain and return the test via email or fax. Tests and sample resumes are reviewed by a team of resume writing/industry professionals, and then a grade issued.
The price of the study guide and examinations is $225, and applicants must demonstrate basic skills in resume writing before being approved to take the examination. An active membership with the PARW/CC is required to take the exam and subsequently "keep" the CPRW credential once obtained.
Because the CPRW is both the most recognized designation in the industry and the most highly regarded, more resume writers pursue this certification than any other. This is both a good and bad situation for new CPRWs, because it means having a true industry-standard certification but may also mean not standing out from the crowd anymore.
In addition to the CPRW designation, the PARW/CC also offers the following certifications:
Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)
Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC)
These will be discussed in future blogs.