Log in
NRWA: National Résumé Writers Association
Log in

Ready to Join? Click Here!

Need to Renew? Click Here!


NCRW - Nationally Certified Resume Writer 

Step 2: Sample Submission 



You must be a member of NRWA to begin this process. The sample submission is required to start the certification process. It helps gauge where you are with your current skills and if you need to prepare more to successfully pass the test, as well as ensuring candidates have reviewed NRWA resources on resume writing standards. You will receive feedback from an NCRW commission grader that will help you prepare for the test or to submit another sample, if needed.

The Certification Commission recommends that you read the NCRW Study Guide thoroughly before writing and submitting your sample resume and cover letter for grading. Too many certification candidates fail the writing sample segment on their first attempt—many because they disregard basic grammar rules and “strategy” concepts that are outlined in the NCRW Study Guide.

The NCRW Study Guide is a resource created by the Certification Commission and updated annually with details on best practice in resume writing and strategy. 


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

  1. A self-authored ATS-compliant resume in Word
  2. The same self-authored ATS-compliant resume in PDF
  3. A self-authored cover letter for the same client in Word
  4. A brief (2-3 paragraph) strategy statement. The statement must include the job target, any challenges the client faced, and resume and cover letter strategies used to market your client.

Our graders require all four documents to perform a fair review of your materials. If you don’t include all four files, you will be asked to re-submit and the review process will be delayed. 

Before uploading your files, remove all identifying information from the properties in Word and the PDF (i.e., your name and the client's name). 

So that we are able to effectively evaluate the following criteria, we strongly suggest that your sample be written for a client with 10-15 years of work experience. Using a new graduate or career changer resume won’t result in our graders recognizing that you have the technical skills we are evaluating. If you don’t have an appropriate candidate, click here for a sample profile we have prepared. Regardless of who you choose to write about in your sample, feel free to embellish the history or add accomplishments.


While the sample submission process is 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.

One NCRW grader will review your samples using the same criteria used when grading NCRW exams. Recommendations are returned within four weeks from the date of submission.

A “Ready” recommendation is required to move on to the NCRW Exam. However, some writers may find it helpful to submit multiple samples if the grader recommends that the writer is "Not Ready" (a $75 fee applies to each submission).

Resumes 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 nonrelevant 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 formatting. Consistency is an important part of the grading criteria.

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



Certification Commission

Kathy Keshemberg (Chair)
Vacant (Incoming Chair)
Sally McIntosh (Past Chair)

Grading Panel
Nelly Grinfeld
Kimberly Isaacs
Rebecca McCarthy
Cheryl Minnick
Rachel Morse

Pat Kendall (Program originator)
Michelle Dumas
Kimberly Isaacs

Please contact
with any questions.

Click here to download The NCRW Study Guide

The National Résumé Writers' Association
North Grove Corporate Park, 8120 Lehigh Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053

Click here to join our mailing list!

Site Map

  flat_facebook32x32  flat_twitter32x32  flat_pinterest32x32  flat_linkedin32x32  Instagram

Member Services: 847.647.8919 or

This site uses cookies to enhance the user experience. Click HERE to review our Privacy and Security Policy.

Copyright ©  2021 The National Résumé Writers' Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software