Resume Writer, Career Coach and Headhunter Credentials

Resume Writer, Career Coach and Headhunter Credentials

When choosing a professional resume writer, you should do it with care. I would suggest ask about membership in professional associations and professional credentials, because people who belong to professional associations are invariably more committed to professional development and take the time to earn professional credentials. These credentials are reasonable qualifiers of competence.

Here’s a comprehensive list of resume writing credentials. I’ve followed this with coaching and other related professional accreditations. The credentials that apply to resume writing are in the first section. Don’t get impressed by credentials, unless you know what they mean and see they actually relate to resume writing.


Offered through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches 
CPRW—Certified Professional Résumé Writer
Requirements For Certification

  •     Pass a 4-part examination testing a candidates:
    • Industry knowledge
    • Command of grammar, spelling, punctuation and proofreading
    • Strategic thinking skills through essay questions relevant to the résumé writing field
    • Develop a written résumé and cover letter based on provided client information

Offered through the National Résumé Writers Association (NRWA).
NCRW—Nationally Certified Résumé Writer
Requirements For Certification

  •     Meet continuing education requirements prior to and following the examination
  •     Pass the 2-part examination consisting of a written exam and résumé / cover letter writing exercise

Offered through the Career Directors Institute (CDI)
CRW—Certified Résumé Writer / CERW—Certified Expert Résumé Writer / CMRW—Certified Master Résumé Writer
Requirements For Certification

  • CRW—All résumé writers are good candidates for this credential
  • CERW—Experienced résumé writers and career developers should apply for this certification
  • CMRW—Experienced résumé writers, career developers and industry leaders who are active participants in CDI egroups and chats and who demonstrate commitment to service through community work may choose to apply for this credential.


These certifications have nothing to do with resume writing

Offered through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC).
CEIP – Certified Employment Interview Professional

Offered through the Career Planning and Adult Development Network
JCTC (IJCTC)— Job and Career Transition Coach (International Job and Career Transition Coach)

Offered through Career Coach University
CCMC—Certified Career Management Coach

Offered through Career Coach Institute
CCC – Certified Career Coach

Offered through the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE).
NCC – Nationally Certified Counselor
GCDF – Global Career Development Facilitator

Offered in association with Career Directors Institute (CDI)
CECC—Certified Electronic Career Coach

This certification is pursued by HR and T&D professionals and has nothing to do with resume writing

Offered through the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP).
CWDP – Certified Workplace Development Professional

These certifications have nothing to do with resume writing or career coaching. However because of the work they do these people can be assumed to know a lot about both resume writing, job search, interviewing and career management

Offered through National Association of Personnel Services
CPC – Certified Personnel Counselor
CTS – Certified Temporary Services Counselor

These certifications have nothing to do with resume writing or career coaching, although the holders can be expected to have some relevant background and experience

Offered through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
SPHR – Senior Professional in Human Resources
PHR – Professional in Human Resources


Beware of these certifications. They have nothing to do with resume writing or career coaching. The holder may or may not have experience with resumes or in fact any experience in the professional world.

Offered through the International Coach Federation (ICF).
ACC – Associate Certified Coach
MCC – Master Certified Coach
PCC – Professional Certified Coach

If you are told of credentials that do not appear in this list, ask which association awarded them and take the time to check that they do actually exist, it could save you time, money and anguish. If you come across bogus credentials let me know and we’ll investigate.

Final Thoughts
Confirm that your resume writer of choice has authentic resume writing credentials; if resume and coaching credentials, that’s even better. Just be sure that your choice isn’t someone qualified in an unrelated area of expertise. The only exception I would make to this rule of thumb, is the coach and resume writer who has a verifiable track record as a corporate headhunter; I make this exception because of the extensive front line experience they have garnered over years spent at the interface of employee selection; such real-world experience is enormously valuable.

Please note that although Martin Yate CPC, spent many years as an international technology recruiter and carries the exclusive CPC after his name, he didn’t earn it. Martin’s CPC is an honorary award (the only one ever made) made for contributions to the profession. Rest assured that everyone else who carries the CPC or CIPC, really earned their accreditation 😉

At we provide Premium Resume Services at sensible prices all resumes are personally assigned by Martin Yate CPC to an experienced resume writer chosen from a team composed exclusively of senior credentialed resume writers. We also a ton of free resume advice and tools and a series of cutting edge do-it-yourself resume writing tools ranging from $15 to $100.

Join Martin every week to learn more about writing a killer resume, getting more job interviews and turning job interviews into job offers at his free weekly webcast, Mondays at noon central. Details:

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