Setting the standard for excellence ~ Established 1997

Log in


Step 1: Sample Résumé and Cover Letter Review 


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. You will receive feedback from an NCRW commission grader that will help you prepare for the test or to submit another sample, if needed.


Your sample submission should contain three 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 résumé in Word
  2. The same self-authored ATS-compliant résumé in PDF
  3. A self-authored cover letter for the same client in Word

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

Before uploading your files, remove all identifying information from Word’s properties (i.e., your name and the client's name). If you wrote the documents for an actual client, feel free to revise the achievements to make them even stronger.


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).

The Certification Commission recommends that you read The NCRW Study Guide thoroughly before writing and submitting your sample résumé and cover letter 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 NCRW Study Guide (available only to members as an aid for studying to take the NCRW Exam).

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 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.



Advisory Board:

Sally McIntosh (Chair) 
Pat Kendall
Judy Friedler
Michelle Dumas
Kimberly Isaacs

Grading Panel:

Norine Dagliano
Nelly Grinfeld
Kimberly Isaacs
Kathy Keshemberg
Cheryl Minnick
Ashley Watkins

Please contact the

NCRW Advisors at with any questions.

The National Résumé Writers' Association
9 Newport Drive, Suite 200, Forest Hill, MD 21050

  flat_facebook32x32  flat_twitter32x32  flat_pinterest32x32  flat_linkedin32x32 

Member Services: 443.966.3851  or

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

Copyright ©  2019 The National Résumé Writers' Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software