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2018 Recognizing outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR)

“The 4 ROAR awards I won in the first couple of years of the ROAR Awards competition, made a tremendous difference in not only my credibility with clients, but also my confidence in charging at the level I am continually told I should be charging. My referrals have soared since winning, to the tune of about 85% of my business; I think my clients get a kick out having award-winning résumés. Almost all of the new inquiries I receive mention the fact they reached out to me because of my awards. Last, but definitely not least, I place high value on my awards, given the caliber of judges on the ROAR panels. Thank you, NRWA, for providing this opportunity – it has helped me and my business grow in so many ways!”

Lucie Yeomans, Sick Résumés
ROAR winner, 2016 and 2017

“Besides being a great honor to win, earning the very first ROAR award was a huge boost to my confidence. Being recognized by my peers verified I knew what I was doing after being in the industry for just a couple years at the time. I raised my fees and still proudly tout award-wining resume writer in my bio.”

Michelle Robin, Brand Your Career
ROAR winner, 2015

"Winning multiple ROAR awards has been incredibly positive for my business and my confidence! When clients ask to see samples, I steer them to my award-winning online samples (e.g., on the NRWA website), which boosts my credibility tenfold! I’ve landed more clients and sales because of these honors and recognition! Plus, I’ve gained much more respect from my clients when it comes to strategies and advice on their career marketing materials!"

Sandra Ingemansen, Résumé Strategies
ROAR winner, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Resume Writers Get Ready to ROAR!

The NRWA will be officially accepting your submissions to our fourth annual resume writing competition – Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes (ROAR). 

Registration opens immediately and entries will be accepted through July 20.

Both members and nonmembers may submit entries in the following categories:

  • “EC”: Experienced Resume Writers (more than 5 years of experience): Creative Design
  • “EM”: Experienced Resume Writers (more than 5 years of experience): Modern Classic Design
  • “NC”: New Resume Writers (up to 5 years of experience): Creative Design
  • “NM”: New Resume Writers (up to 5 years of experience): Modern Classic Design

Step 1: Choose your experience level so your entries will be judged against your peers

- Experienced Writers (more than 5 years of experience)

- New Writers (up to 5 years of experience)

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the categories

Creative Design: Think color and formatting. Judges will be evaluating the visual elements as well as the content… Is your resume visually exciting to look at while still delivering solid content, strong strategy, and ease of reading? Use your imagination, but make sure the resume promotes the candidate’s talent, not just a fun design.

Modern Classic: This resume will have a familiar, yet strategic structure and layout. Fonts will be standard and sections will be in alignment broadly accepted best practices and layout should allow reader to immediately find information often looked for by recruiters. Judges will be evaluating strategy, content, ease of reading, and spacing/layout.

Step 3: Select up to three of your BEST resumes representing any industry or profession for each of the two categories (up to six entries per contestant). Fictionalize all names, addresses, and company names and prepare a strategy statement for each entry.

Step 4: Familiarize yourself with all the guidelines and judging criteria as outlined below and then register today! 



First-place winners in each of the segments and categories will receive:

  • FREE one-year membership/renewal in the NRWA ($175 value!).
  • Formal recognition at the 2018 Conference
  • Promotional exposure through the NRWA newsletter, website, social media, and more

By submitting entries to this contest, you agree to the following rules:

  • Entries will be accepted until July 20, 2018
  • Entries may be submitted by members and nonmembers
  • Contestants may enter up to three (3) résumés within each of your experience-level categories, for a total of six (6) entries
  • Entries may represent any profession or industry
  • Entries must be submitted in PDF format, failure to do so will result in loss of points
  • Entry file name must be in the following format, failure to do so will result in loss of points:
    • ROAR2018.CategoryCode.WriterLasName.WriterFirstName.ClientFirstName_ClientLastName.PDF”
  • Each entry must be one single document that includes the resume, followed by a page break and a strategy paragraph on the final page that explains your strategy for the candidate’s resume
  • Client names, addresses, and company info must be fictionalized, failure to do so will result in disqualification
  • Resumes that have won other contests do not qualify for this competition and shall not be submitted
  • Winning resume submissions may earn CEU’s at the discretion of the judging panel
  • By submitting an entry, contestants agree that their résumé submissions may be displayed on The NRWA website, conference and/or other marketing and social media channels used by The NRWA
  • Decisions of the judging committee will be final. Any ties will be broken by a vote of the Certification Chair
  • Winners will be announced at the Annual Conference (Oct. 4-6, 2018)

Submission Instructions

Entries may be submitted until July 20 via email to: When submitting your entry via email, please include the following information:

  • Contestant First Name and Last Name (your name)
  • Are you currently a member of The NRWA
  • Please provide the invoice number from your contest entry fee. Invoice number will be found in the upper left corner of the email confirmation you received after payment. (This helps us ensure your samples are matched with payment)
  • How long have you been writing resumes professionally - Less than five years OR more than five years?
  • Total number of samples you are submitting to the ROAR contest this year? (Contestants may enter up to 3 resumes within each of your experience-level categories, for a total of 6 entries)
  • The fictional candidate's name (First Last)?
  • The attached entry is being submitted to which category?

o "EC" - Experienced Resume Writers (more than 5 years of experience): CREATIVE Design

o “EM” - Experienced Resume Writers (more than 5 years of experience): MODERN CLASSIC Design

o “NC” - New Resume Writers (up to 5 years of experience): CREATIVE Design

o “NM” - New Resume Writers (up to 5 years iof experience): MODERN CLASSIC Design

Judging Criteria:

Each entry will be scored by a minimum of two judges, based on the following 8 criteria and point scale:

1. 5 Points: Compliance with entry rules (single document, PDF format, and correct file name)

2. 5 Points: Design, style, and originality

3. 10 Points: Positioning, strategy, and creativity

4. 10 Points: Layout and readability for both the human reader and the computer/ATS (ATS not applicable for Creative Design submissions)

5. 15 Points: Branding and unique positioning

6. 15 Points: Keyword optimization for the target

7. 20 Points: Technical writing accuracy and grammar

8. 20 Points: Value/sales focus with specific accomplishments

Refer to The NCRW Style Guide and The Gregg Reference Manual for resume-writing concepts and strategies

Note that you will lose points for incorrect file format and file name

Note that any entry that is not fictionalized will be disqualified

Contest Entry Fee:

The price for entering a resume in the competition is:

  • $20 (per resume) for members
  • $40 (per resume) for nonmembers

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