Quiz: What's Blocking You?
    Which of the following best describes you?

    Career Professional Award:
    Career Innovator Awards Competition

    CDI Career Innovator Award winner logo

    The Career Innovator Awards are now closed

    To innovate (definition from Dictionary.com): “To introduce something new or make changes in anything established.”

    You’re a career industry leader and you’re ready for the world to know about it. We’ve got you covered! After five years on hiatus, CDI brought back the Career Innovator Awards in 2018 and has held them every two years since. Participation in each award cycle determines whether it continues on this timeline. (Based on 2024 participation we project that the awards will not reopen again until 2031).

    Are You a Career Innovator?

    Let’s face it, innovation is sexy.

    It’s also very necessary in today’s world where everything changes so rapidly.

    Winning a Career Innovator Award tells the world that you are a leader who is making a difference. The awards are an endorsement of your creativity, passion, and expertise. This seal of approval provides winners with an enormous opportunity for visibility, credibility, and growth.

    Innovation is a proving ground where you show prospective clients, employers, partners, and the media that you’ve “got what it takes” as an expert authority.

    If you’ve brought a product, service, resource, program, initiative, or information tool to the career marketplace and want to showcase its excellence, then the Career Innovator Award competition is for you. (Your innovation(s) can serve job seekers or career professionals).

    View prior Career Innovator Award Winners >>

    Possible Innovation Areas

    • Career Assessment
    • Book or e-Book
    • Training Program
    • Software, Technology and/or Web Tools/Web Resources/Website/Blog/App
    • New Methodology

    CDI’s goal is to allow career professionals a platform to demonstrate their expertise, innovation, and commitment to the careers industry.

    Our Award Committee will select up to five of the most innovative and effective of the entries for recognition. All awards will be considered equal designations of innovation and excellence as contributions to the industry.

    Benefits of Participation

    Demonstrate your innovation as a career professional by being selected as one of the most innovation implementations.

    Distinguish yourself as an expert who is committed to making a difference to job seekers and the industry.

    Stand out in your target market with a product, program, or tool that has been recognized with an award for innovation and excellence.

    Winning a Career Innovator Award is an outstanding way to gain press and recognition — positioning you to grow either in your current job as a career professional or in expanding your business as you build further awareness for your level of excellence. Who wouldn’t want to work with or promote a career professional who is recognized for innovating in the industry?

    Award Categories

    There are no award categories or segmentation to avoid limiting the areas in which people are innovating and creating.

    Evaluate the suitability of your program, service, tool, or site using the four following questions:

    • Do you have the right to the innovation? Is it solely your innovation or are you willing to recognize everyone who has contributed to your innovation? Can you attain signatures from contributors agreeing to the submission for the innovation? This is required for entry.
    • Is your innovation unique or a variation of something that already exists? Either is acceptable if you can demonstrate how your entry is different and innovative.
    • Are you willing to make your full innovation available for evaluation by 5-7 judges? (Judges have signed agreements to limit their use to the innovation to this evaluation only). Unwillingness to allow full access such as login to an online system or a copy of a book for up to seven judges makes it impossible to consider your entry. Judging cannot be done based on marketing materials or outlines alone.
    • Do you have evidence that your innovation has had a positive impact on the industry/target market? You will need to provide at least three testimonials from end users.
    • Is your innovation around career services or employment? Tools around recruitment, job search, interviewing, salary, assessment, career change, career management, resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, and the like are all acceptable. Tools around the business of resume writing and career coaching such as selling, pricing, packaging, marketing, or anything to do with starting, growing, or managing a practice will not be considered.

    If your innovation is an idea and has not been completely brought to market, it is not suitable for entry. (Think Shark Tank and how they want to know about sales history. If your innovation hasn’t gone to market, even if it’s a free resource, it is not ready for entry.

    How the Process Works

    • Select the innovations you wish to enter (you can enter as many as you want as separate entries, simply make sure that each is unique from the others).
    • Register online for the number of entries you plan to submit. Each entry is $49.95.
    • Follow the instructions provided after registration (you will be emailed a link) for submitting each innovation which includes completion of a questionnaire about the innovation.
    • Submit the innovation by the deadline.

    Rules and Regulations

    The competition is open to CDI members only. (Learn about membership). If you aren’t currently a member, if our member registration is closed then your only option to join will be through the bundle on this page.

    Members can submit as many innovations as desired but must pay registration fees for each one and submit them separately. Make sure each entry is unique from the others you submit.

    Entries which have previously received a CIA award are not eligible for reentry.

    All entries must meet the guidelines listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. No refunds will be provided.

    Instruction Questionnaires that are supplied upon registration must be filled out in their entirety.

    Entries must be self-contained and complete. The judges will not be available for live tours or other demonstrations. Full access to the product, tool, or materials must be available for up to seven judges. Supplemental marketing material or demo videos may be included but do not replace access to the actual innovation.

    Entry content should be either: (1) attached to an email, (2) shared via a Dropbox link, or (3) point to a URL with appropriate password info. We cannot accept hard copy innovations unless you are willing to pay to ship copies to CDI and then to our seven (7) judges potentially worldwide.

    If you have previously entered an entry two times in the past, unless there has been substantial redevelopment, you may want to reconsider entering it a third time.

    No refunds will be made available for registrants not submitting their entries.

    Failure to follow these and other submission guidelines will result in elimination from the competition.

    Submissions should not be in direct conflict or competition with CDI’s courses, certifications, programs, or other offerings. Topics for job seekers are acceptable but not topics sold to CDI members. If you are unsure, please send your questions to info@nullcareerdirectors.com.

    Additional Information

    All judges sign confidentiality agreements that state that they will not reuse or share information found in the entries.

    A one-time registration fee of $49.95 per entry is required to participate, which will assist us in covering the expense of the award administrative process such as shipping packages to judges.

    Registration is now closed.

    Registrants will be able to login to your dashboard to access all submission instructions and guidelines once registered.

    This competition is not anonymous as we believe it is impossible to control anonymity when judging existing products that might be highly visible in the marketplace or have a name / company name affixed to them.

    The volume of submissions makes it impossible for the Award Committee Director to grant special provisions for those not following instructions.

    Winners will be announced via email and social media, and also listed on our website winner’s page.

    Winners will also be provided with a logo to display on print or virtual mediums.

    Ready to register?

    This award competition is
    for current CDI Members.

    Please purchase one category for each entry.

    Innovator Award Registration
    with Membership Bundle

    Enter the Career Innovator Award Competition today by purchasing an annual membership with your registration.

    Along with member pricing, you will also receive reduced prices on most CDI programs and all the benefits of an association membership.

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