Setting the standard for excellence ~ Established 1997


Résumé and Cover Letter Review 


The sample submission is to help gauge where you are at with your current skills and if you need to prepare more to successfully pass the test. You will receive feedback from the graders that will help you prepare for the test or to help you with a retake of your sample submission if needed.


Your submission should contain four documents that are in compliance with NCRW Study Guide (available to Members Only) and The Gregg Reference Manual:

  1. A self-authored résumé (.doc format)
  2. A self-authored cover letter (.doc format)
  3. A justification explaining the client’s job search objectives and target industry, as well as the strategies incorporated in your documents.
  4. The completed Submission Checklist (also located within the Study Guide).

Please remove all identifying information from Word’s properties. Your initials, clients name, etc. If the résumé is from a client, now is your opportunity to embellish the achievements to make it even stronger!


While the sample submission process is not limited to members pursuing certification, part of the feedback is a “Ready” or “Not Ready” recommendation to help you determine if you are prepared to pass the NCRW Examination.

Two NCRW graders will review your samples using the same criteria used when grading NCRW exams. Within 2-3 weeks, you will receive written feedback and an invitation to schedule a phone call to answer questions or clarify any suggestions. 

A “Ready” recommendation is not required to move on to the NCRW Exam. However, some writers may find it helpful to submit multiple samples ($75 fee for each submission).


Registration Links:

Membership ($175)
Writing Sample Review ($75)
Continuing Education 
Exam Registration ($250)

Advisory Board:

Kimberly Schneiderman (Chair) 
Pat Kendall
Judy Friedler
Michelle Dumas
Kimberly Isaacs

Grading Panel:

Kimberly Isaacs
Sally McIntosh
Cheryl Minnick
Michelle Swanson
Norine Dagliano 

The Certification Commission recommends that you read the NCRW Style Guide (available to members only as an aid for studying to take the NCRW Exam) thoroughly before writing and submitting your résumé for grading. Too many certification candidates fail the writing segment on their first attempt – many because they disregard basic grammar rules and “strategy” concepts that are outlined in the Study Guide. 

Résumés that meet the grading criteria are:

  • Exceptionally well-written – Demonstrating the writer’s command of the English language (e.g., effective word usage, active verbs, appropriate keywords). Certification graders expect that sentence structure will have “integrity” and that writers will strategically present relevant data and exclude/edit non-relevant data.

  • Marketing-oriented– Demonstrating the writer’s ability to effectively “sell” the candidate by presenting qualifying information in the best light (based on candidate’s objectives), and effectively meeting employer’s expectations by focusing on skills and accomplishments that meet the employer’s requirements.

  • Thoughtfully executed – Demonstrating the writer’s above-average skill in document preparation, word processing and/or desktop publishing. Consistency is an important part of the grading criteria.

  • Technically correct – Demonstrating the writer’s skills in proofreading, attention to detail and accuracy in American mechanics, punctuation, grammar, spelling, syntax, etc.



The National Résumé Writers' Association
P.O. Box 482, Collingswood, NJ 08108

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