Certified Master Resume Writer

(CMRW) Credential

The resume industry's oldest and most prestigious Master-level resume credential.

Certified Master Resume Writer credentialThere are actors...and then there is Robert DeNiro. There are cars...and then there is the Rolls-Royce. There are rock ‘n roll bands...and then there are The Rolling Stones.

There are resume writers...and then there are Certified Master Resume Writers.

Becoming a CMRW means that you are among the very best of the best. That you are a star in the resume writing industry.

As one of a select group of elite resume writers, your portfolio of work stands out for its innovation, for the advanced formatting that grasps the attention of the reader, and in the superior command of the language that makes every bullet point an unfolding story—a revelation for the reader and a triumph for your clients.

Certified Master Resume Writers have proven themselves by submitting a portfolio of work that has been judged by a panel of CMRW peers. Professionals who themselves are TORI Award Winners and worldwide leaders of the industry.

Clients looking for proven talents are looking for you. Executives, Consultants, Entrepreneurs and industry gurus aren’t looking for a standard resume. They are looking for a professional to create value propositions and to establish the vision. A professional who has business savvy, possesses a superior way with words, and can build a compelling case for hiring in a dog-eat-dog world.

Is that professional you? See what you can do to stamp your mark on the world. Become one of CDI’s elite writers here.

How the CMRW Process Works

To apply and qualify for the CMRW, you must meet the following credentialing requirement:

You must have already earned a recognized resume certification (e.g., CARW, MRW, NCRW, CPRW, CMRS, CRS, MCRS, ACRW).

You must submit the following materials for consideration:

1. Choose one of the following:

  • Essay of no less than 1000 words on your philosophy and approach to resume writing, and why you feel you are a qualified candidate to be awarded the CMRW credential. <or>
  • Article of no less than 1000 words on a topic about or relating to resume writing that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise.

2. Seven (7) professional resumes, one (1) ATS-friendly resume and two (2) cover letter samples along with a brief description for each one of (a) the project situation / challenge, (b) explanation of choices for document style and information inclusion and (c) job seeker results (if known). Preferred topics include*:

  • Executive Resume
  • Career Change Resume
  • New Graduate Resume
  • Technical Resume (e.g., engineer, scientist, technician, IT pro)
  • Professional Resume (e.g., manager, director, physician, account exec.)
  • Re-Entry into the Workforce Resume
  • Resume of Your Choice
  • ATS-friendly Resume of Your Choice
  • Cover Letters (2) of Your Choice

* Substitutions may be acceptable upon approval. Please contact us at info@nullcareerdirectors.com to evaluate your situation.

Upon registration, you will receive a copy of CDI's Resume Writing Guide, a $39.95 value.

Download CMRW Resume Evaluation form for a better understanding of the scoring process >>

Application Process

Pay the credential registration fee of $297.00 (register below).

Instructions will then be sent to you on preparing your submission via email.

Application Review Process

Upon receipt, your application materials will be submitted blind to members of the certification committee for review, analysis, and approval.

What the committee looks for in terms of big-picture criteria in blind review of portfolio samples:

  • Equal Strengths in Multiple Disciplines: The writer exhibits strengths in writing for all diverse disciplines in the portfolio.
  • Contextual Narrative: Experience and achievements are placed in context to tell a story, not just provide a result.
  • Branding Elements: Documents “humanize” the client by providing elements unique to the individual’s personal brand.
  • Strategy: Documents show that strategic thought has been taken in positioning information for optimum impact.
  • Advanced Visual Appeal: The document stands out due to its elegant or contemporary formatting (Industry specific).

This review and evaluation period is 4-6 weeks upon which you will be notified of the final status of your application. Portfolios not meeting the standards of the CMRW credential will be counseled on an individual basis to determine appropriate steps for remediation.

Should more than one additional submission (recognized as a second portfolio) be required to fulfill the needs of the CMRW credentialing process, an added processing fee of $95 will be applied.

Upon committee approval you will be conferred and awarded the CMRW designation, which will include use of the logo for print and web, sample press release and certificate.

Certification Timeframe

The CMRW process allow you to take as long as you need within one calendar year of registration. However, it should take a very short amount of time to gather together most of the required elements as it is primarily an administrative record-keeping process. Please be advised that you must maintain an active CDI membership to complete this certification.

Sample CMRW-Level Resume and Portfolio Documents

Why Job Seekers Pick CDI Certified Writers

View the Top 10 Reasons You Need a CDI Certified Resume Writer of reasons why job seekers choose to work with CDI certified resume writers.  Read It Now >>

Feedback from CMRW Certified Writers

Gayle Howard

I am convinced beyond any doubt that my CMRW has strengthened my reputation in the eyes of my clients. By promoting my expertise with my CMRW, I am able to command increasingly higher prices and I am in the enviable position of being able to choose who I want to work with. Additionally, the CMRW has most certainly elevated my reputation in the industry amongst my peers.

Anyone who has aspirations to command more dollars and is keen to build on his or her expertise should simply bite the bullet and do it. Some associations only have one credential — that’s not for me! My business branding is all about striving for excellence.

I don’t want to get into comparing certifications across the different associations but let’s just say that my preference is to apply the “Goldilocks” philosophy. Some are too time consuming and expensive, some don’t exist, and others are “Just Right”! I’d place the CMRW in the “Just Right” Category!

Gayle Howard

Top Margin Career Marketing
Gillian Kelly

Most of my clients are only too aware that there can be a wide variation of quality in the resume writing marketplace. When they are shopping around they are looking for confirmation that their hard earned investment will result in a quality product. I actively use my credentials, pricing and awards to do this and to build their perception of me as a credible writer.

My greatest business mentor (who also happened to be my Dad) told me ‘if you stand still in business you’ll fail!’ To succeed you need to keep driving to stay ahead of the pack, to extend yourself and to differentiate yourself from all the others in your field. To me the CMRW was a great tool for this. It pitches you as an “expert” in your field, pushes you to grow as a writer and surrounds you with peers all working towards the same goals.

Jill Kelly

Career Edge
(photo) Barb Poole

I have no doubt that my CMRW credential has raised my reputation with clients and contributed to my company’s growth and bottom line. The CMRW backs up the message I want to send — that I offer a blend of longevity and staying power built upon writing talent and cutting-edge industry knowledge-all of which are tested through the CMRW designation process. I’ve gotten to a point where I can be selective in choosing the type of clients I want to work with. There’s a sort of “radar” connection. My typical client today recognizes and values the services of a master-level writer-and is willing to make the financial investment to reap the benefits of my expertise.

I constantly market my CMRW credential beyond its being a feature. It translates to having earned status as an expert — one of the best in the world. THAT translates to a real find for the client-value, benefit and return on investment.

Barb Poole

Hire Imaging, LLC
(photo) Darlene Dassy of Dynamic Resume Solutions

Although I have been in the industry for many years honing and perfecting my resume writing skills, there was nothing more effective that I could have done to build confidence in selling my services than to have the CMRW credential behind my name. At that point I earned the CMRW, I stopped using my previous resume writing certifications to market my services because I knew that most people and job seekers could clearly understand the concept of ‘Master’ and what that means!

Darlene Dassy

Dynamic Resume Solutions
Barbara Safani

The CMRW is the first logo I display on my site’s “About Us” page because it is the highest level of certification I have obtained. Since it is listed first, I am frequently asked about it and its competitive value in the careers industry. If you already have a general resume certification, the CMRW is a logical next step. The CMRW proves your commitment to your craft and your ability to take on more complex writing projects. It instills trust in your prospects and is a contributing factor in closing the deal.

Barbara Safani

Career Solvers
female silhouette

I would definitely recommend moving onto the next level for anyone who has attained their CARW as to have two related certifications actually has ten times the whammy of one. Benefits are in how you are perceived by clients who know about the accreditations, in how much extra you are able to charge because of your perceived extra worth and, so important, in your own level of self-esteem and confidence.

Beverley Neil

d’Scriptive Words
(photo) Anne Cross

To achieve the CMRW echelon not only positions you as a true ‘MASTER’ to your potential clients, but also enables you join an elite group of resume writing professionals across the globe who are writing at a level that outshines all other certifications. As career professionals, I think this is something that we should all aspire to!

Annemarie Cross

Advanced Employment Concepts

Register Now!

Get on the fast track to certification now and start learning what the top professionals know while nurturing your talents, boosting your confidence, and securing your place among the industry leaders.

Sign up below to begin learning the insider secrets and wisdom from a guru with 22 years at the top of the profession.

PS…to ensure you get personalized, quality coaching, we limit the number of clients we coach at any one time. Once the limit is reached, new clients are placed on a waiting list until we have space available. We will notate here if there is a current waiting list.

Sign up now to start on your journey to certification and more satisfied clients.

*Not a Member of CDI? Membership is a prerequisite.

Non-member registration includes one year of individual membership ($347 value) to Career Directors International: Your Pathway to Success, rich with ongoing support, networking, and new information.

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

Update Requirements

In order to demonstrate your commitment to staying abreast of industry changes, the CMRW credential must be renewed every three years for a fee of $75.00. For consideration you must submit:

  1. Four sample resumes of your choice
  2. One cover letter sample of your choice.

Update requirements and active membership are a prerequisite of retaining the CMRW credential. CDI reserves the right to revoke this credential if these requirements are not met and maintained.

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!

The Certification Committee

The CMRW 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, CERM, 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

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

Gillian "Jill" Kelly, CERM, CMRW, MRWLAA, CARW, ATSC - Career Edge, Queensland, Australia

Erin Kennedy, CERM, CMRW, CPRW - Professional Resume Services, Lapeer, Michigan

Darlene Dassy, CERM, CMRW, CARW - Dynamic Resume Solutions, Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania

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

Michelle Lopez, CMRW, CRS+AF, CRS+ME, CARW - One2One Resumes, Western Australia

Dawn S. Bugni, CMRW, MRW, CPRW - The Write Solution, Atkinson, North Carolina

Carolyn Whitfield, CMRW, CERM, CARW, CEIC, CP-OJSRM - Total Resumes, Tasmania, Australia

Scott Nichols, MBA, CERM, CGRA, CPRW, CEIC, CEIP - Advanced Method Resumes & Career Services, Granite Bay, California

Revocation Policy

All requirements of CMRW certification, renewal, and CDI membership standards must be maintained in order to earn or retain a CDI credential. CDI reserves the right to revoke a CMRW 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 CMRW credential contact CDI at info@nullcareerdirectors.com.

Feedback from CMRW Certified Writers

View the Top 10 Reasons You Need a CDI Certified Resume Writer of reasons why job seekers choose to work with CDI certified resume writers. Read it now >>