This is part of our continuing series that examines the different resume writing certifications available to resume writers, career coaches, and career professionals who help professionals find new jobs.
NATIONALLY CERTIFIED RESUME WRITER (NCRW)
The Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) certification is obtained through The National Resume Writers Association (at times referred to as the National Association of Resume Writers/NARW). You will find the NRWA website here: thenrwa.com.
The NRWA organization is one of a handful of organizations that educate, motivate, and support a growing army of global resume writers. Another career organization includes the Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaching (PARW/CC).
Formed originally as an offshoot of the Professional Association of Resume Writers (the Northeast Resume Writers Association), the group evolved into the NRWA in 1997 and today boasts of more than 400 career professionals as members.
The NRWA offers an annual conference and a biweekly electronic newsletter for resume writers who want to grow their businesses through educational opportunities.
How to Become a Certified Resume Writer / NCRW Certified
Individuals wishing to obtain an NCRW certification are required to take an examination that covers resume writing, cover letter composition, proofreading, and electronic resume preparation. Unlike the CPRW certification, before taking the NCRW exam a prospective writer must first obtain 10 continuing education units (CEUs).
These can include outside courses, attending conferences, and performing self-study. Once received, the NCRW is valid for 3 years. Retaining the certification is based on continuous membership in the NRWA and obtaining 15 CEUs during each 3-year period.
The price structure for obtaining the NCRW certification breaks down like this:
- $175 fee to become a member of the NRWA
- $75 fee for submitting resume samples for review by colleagues
- $250 fee to take the exam that includes proofreading and cover letter/resume writing [Should you fail the exam, a $150 fee is required to retake it after 30 days]
Despite the $500 fee, the investment for becoming an NCRW is much less of an investment to other resume writing certification options. For example, becoming an ACRW through the Resume Writing Academy is $1,895.
This is in addition to whatever membership fees the organization charges and the costs of CEUs.
While the NCRW program doesn’t offer anything that isn’t included in the CPRW designation, the NRWA’s policy of requiring continuing education throughout the resume writer’s career does tend to provide some impetus for keeping up-to-date on the latest trends. This continuing ed requirement is a mandatory requirement for maintaining the resume writing certification.
Continued education does provide new resume writers the ability to learn their craft while ensuring seasoned resume writers keep their skills sharp as resumes change and hiring practices evolve.
On the other hand, some would object to the cost the Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) involves and say that true resume writing professionals will always keep abreast of changes to their industry and their certification shouldn’t depend on how many conferences are attended or CEUs are completed.