Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) Credential

CARW SealThe world of resume writing has changed. The times when people sought out resume professionals based on geographical proximity to home are over.

The best way to market yourself is to prove your talent. Distinguishing yourself in the market by gaining international credentialing as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer provides you with a definitive point of difference from your competitors and allows you to market and capitalize on this achievement by showing that your skills have been industry scrutinized and tested, and found to be superior.

Also, with our new 25 Things to Do With Your CARW guide which you will receive upon successfully earning your credential, you will have ready-made strategies for promoting and getting the most return on investment from your accomplishment! Potential clients can be confident that as a CARW you:

  • Are ambitious in honing your craft and continuously maintaining contemporary knowledge of job-seeking trends and résumé writing strategies.
  • Are an experienced resume writing strategist; a professional who employs sound and tested knowledge to help jobseekers secure interviews.
  • Are dedicated to professional development by sustaining membership in the association and accumulating CEUs to maintain the credential.
  • Are a cut above your competitors. You can leverage your strengths by showing you are confident of your talents and willing to have them scrutinized by industry leaders.

Isn’t it time to set yourself apart from the rest? Isn’t it time to prove to clients what you’ve known for years?

*If you are not currently a CDI member, please select the Non-Member rate above as it includes mandatory membership. For more information on membership visit the Member Benefits page.

How the CARW Process Works


You will initially invest $50.00 for part one of the CARW, which includes the 50-page Resume Certification Guide and evaluation of your resume writing. Once you have reviewed the guide, you will submit a sample resume according to guide expectations to the certification committee for evaluation. Before submission you will need to first:

  • Read the Certification Guide and recommended reading. Includes ‘how to’ screen shots for both MS Word XP and Word 2007, 2010!
  • Review your sample resume to make sure it is accomplishment-oriented and keyword rich (use the check sheet in the guide).
  • Review your sample resume to ensure it is error-free (use the check sheet in the guide).

Once your sample resume has been reviewed, you will be advised as to whether you have been approved or denied to move on to the CARW exam phases.


If you are approved, you will be able to register for part two (of two) of the CARW for $150.00. If, however, your sample is denied, you will receive constructive feedback about your sample as well the options to pursue mentorship with an experience resume writer or complete our resume writing course at a discounted rate. You may also, at your discretion, continue with self-study until you feel you are ready to reattempt your application. An additional sample submission will be accepted at no added cost. Should additional submissions be required, a $25 fee will be incurred for each one. Here are the details of each module to be completed following sample approval and registration for part two (testing):

  • Resume and Cover Letter Creation: Certification candidates are sent notes in MS Word on two fictional candidates and asked to create a resume and cover letter for each one. One file contains client worksheets that have been completed and the other file contains raw notes. It is important that candidates can write effectively in both situations. Candidates have seven (7) business days to complete both resumes and cover letters.
  • Short-Essay Questions on Client Information Gathering Strategies: If the candidate passes Part Two of the certification process (resume and cover letter development as described above), they will be asked to respond to a series of short essay questions probing the methods used to gather the necessary information to write a winning resume. The answers to these questions help the committee to better understand the candidate’s target audience, and reveal how the writer translates the information culled from these questions into a superior marketing tool. Candidates have three (3) business days to submit their completed essays.
  • Final Exam: If the candidate passes Part Three of the certification process, they will be sent the final exam to determine their mastery of spelling and grammar and assess skills around client information gathering and interpretation, and writing and design strategy. Candidates have 60 minutes to submit their answers to the certification committee.

Review Answers to Commonly Asked CARW Questions.

*If you are not currently a CDI member, please select the Non-Member rate above as it includes mandatory membership. For more information on membership visit the Member Benefits page.


CDI’S expectation is that all candidates seeking CARW certification have previously studied and practiced the art of resume writing. The candidate’s knowledge of the necessary competencies may come from the books the committee recommends as preparation tools, or actual paid or unpaid writing experience. While there is no hard and fast rule concerning the years of experience a writer should have before taking the exam, the CDI certification committee recommends that the certification candidate has at least one year of writing experience prior to taking the exam.

CDI-Approved Resume Samples

Don’t be intimidated! The following resumes represent the pinnacle of performance in resume writing. While some of these demonstrate high-end formatting and graphics, which exceed that required for the CARW, we believe you should be aware of and strive for the best!

Renewal Requirements

The CARW Certification must be renewed every two (2) years by earning 30 industry-related continuing education units (CEUs). This can be completed through a variety of activities such as: employment-related book reviews, career-related community service, completing related coursework or study, publishing resumes, and/or authoring articles, blog posts, and related materials on resume writing.

The renewal fee is $50.00. Download the Renewal Form.

Why is renewal necessary? Because the craft of resume writing is dynamic and is swiftly changing with the advances in computer technology and applicant tracking / scanning as well as emerging legal issues involving resume fraud. These are just a few concerns that make it necessary for professionals to demonstrate ongoing education and knowledge of modern resume writing techniques.

Renew now!

Purchase Part II of the CARW

If you have received notification that you are ready for testing, then you can purchase phase II for testing.

Purchase phase II testing.

The Certification Committee

The CARW credentialing program was restructured under the guidance of the CDI’s highly-talented, global Certification Committee. Hand-picked to represent the best-of-the-best of the industry and its various resume certification procedures, the committee’s members include:

Certification Chair: Gayle Howard, CMRW, MRWLAA, MCD, MCPLAA, MRW, CPRW, CCM, BIC, HRCC, CWPP, CARW – Top Margin Resumes Online, Melbourne, Australia

Patricia Duckers, CMRW, CPRW, CEIP, CWPP, CFRW, CFRWC, MFCC, MFCC/T, MMRW – CareerPro Global, Inc., Edison, New Jersey

Annemarie Cross, CMRW, MRWLAA, CPRW, CEIP, CECC, CWPP, CCM – Advanced Employment Concepts, Victoria, Australia

Barb Poole, CMRW, CARW, CCMC, CPRW, PHR, BS – Hire Imaging, Maple Grove, Minnesota

Gillian “Jill” Kelly, CMRW, MRWLAA, CARW, ATSC – Career Edge, Queensland, Australia

Erin Kennedy, CMRW, CPRW – Professional Resume Services, Lapeer, Michigan

Darlene Dassy, CMRW, CARW – Dynamic Resume Solutions, Sinking Springs Pennsylvania

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, CMRW, MRW, CPRW, CEIP – CareerTrend, Gordonville, Texas

Revocation Policy

All requirements of CARW certification, renewal, and CDI membership standards must be maintained in order to retain a CDI credential. CDI reserves the right to revoke a CARW credential for any of the following: Renewal requirements are not maintained and completed within required timelines. Membership lapses due to non-renewal. Individual is found guilty in a court of law for a grievance within the industry (unprofessional, unethical, unlawful conduct and/or business practices).


For more information on the CARW credential, contact CDI at info@careerdirectors.com.