Master Resume Writer Requirements

To apply and qualify for the MRW, you must meet the following stringent requirements, and judged based on the following criteria:

  • Proof of your ability to strategically focus each resume on each client’s objectives and precisely position that job seeker for his/her targeted goals.
  • Proof of your ability to write documents that are deep and rich in content.
  • Your success in competitively distinguishing your clients from other candidates by showcasing unique qualifications, achievements, projects, contributions, and other best-in-class information.
  • Demonstration of your excellent command of the English language, with specific emphasis on writing and usage, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and related masterful techniques.
  • Diverse, distinguishable, and polished resume formats that differ from resume to resume.
  • Creation of interview-friendly resumes that focus the interviewer’s attention in precisely the right direction based on each candidate’s current objectives.
Already an MRW? Click here to renew. MRWs stay on top of trends! Renewal is every 2 years and includes a detailed review of your current work.

Requirement #1:

Years of Experience


A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the resume writing, careers, or employment industry. If you have a question about the applicability of your experience, please contact Marie Zimenoff at marie@careerthoughtleaders.com to discuss.

 Verification: Submit a copy of your business incorporation documents, business license, advertisement (with date), client receipt (with date), membership certificate, or any other documentation that verifies your active engagement in the careers industry for at least 5 years.
Requirement #2:

Resume Writing Certification (Optional)


Although not required, having earned another professional resume writing certification reduces the number of resumes you must submit in your MRW Portfolio. See Requirement #4 below for details.

Resume writing certifications and credentials that we recognize are the ACRW, CARW, CFRW, CMRW, CPRW, CRS+X, MMRW, and NCRW. If you have a certification other than these, contact Marie Zimenoff at marie@careerthoughtleaders.com to discuss.

 Verification: Submit a copy of your resume writing certification certificate or diploma.
Requirement #3:

English Language & Grammar Examination


When you complete the MRW registration process, you will receive an English Language & Grammar Study Guide. We recommend that you review this document very carefully because you must earn a grade of 80% or higher to pass the examination. You can take the exam at any time during your MRW application process … prior to, during, or after submitting your MRW Portfolio (Requirement #4).

If you do not pass on your 1st attempt, you may take a 2nd version of the exam after a period of no less than 2 weeks. If you are not able to pass after the 2nd attempt, you are no longer qualified for your MRW for a period of 12 months and your money will not be refunded. It will, however, be applied if you choose to re-register after the 1-year waiting period.

  This is not a trick test! All of the answers you need will be provided in the Study Guide and it can be used while you take the test.
Requirement #4:

MRW Portfolio

Option A: Certified Resume Writers

If you are already a certified resume writer, you must submit 5 client presentations. Each must include:

  • Statement of client needs and objectives.
  • Summary of resume writing strategy and rationale.
  • Client’s original resume (and cover letter, if one was provided to you).
  • Final resume and cover letter that you wrote.


The resume submissions for your MRW portfolio must include 5 different resumes, as outlined:

  • 1 resume for an industry or profession that’s new/relatively new to you.
  • 1 resume for a senior manager/executive ($100K+ candidate).
  • 1 resume for a client in a technology profession or industry.
  • 2 of your very best resumes.

Be sure that the resumes you submit are different in format and visual presentation. No templates; no boilerplates; no common look for all of your resumes.

Option B: Non-Certified Resume Writers

If you are not a certified resume writer, you must submit 10 client presentations. Each must include:

  • Statement of client needs and objectives.
  • Summary of resume writing strategy and rationale.
  • Client’s original resume (and cover letter, if one was provided to you).
  • Final resume and cover letter that you wrote.


The resume submissions for your MRW portfolio must include 10 different resumes, as outlined:

  • 2 resumes for industries or professions that are new/relatively new to you.
  • 1 resume for a senior manager/executive ($100K+ candidate).
  • 1 resume for a client in a technology profession or industry.
  • 1 resume for a graduating student with unique experience and/or qualifications.
  • 1 resume for a client in sales, marketing, retail, or customer service.
  • 1 resume for a client in education or health care.
  • 1 resume for a client who has been out for work for at least 6 months.
  • 2 of your very best resumes.

Be sure that the resumes you submit are different in format and visual presentation. No templates; no boilerplates; no common look for all of your resumes.


How do I apply for my MRW?

1. Submit the following materials electronically.

  • Documentation of your 5 years of paid professional resume writing experience (copy of your business incorporation documents, business license, advertisement with date; client receipt; membership certificate, or any other documentation).
  • Copy of your resume writing certificate or diploma.
  • Your MRW portfolio with the resumes you've created in Microsoft Word format. Presenting a well-organized, clearly documented portfolio will enable us to review your materials much more quickly and with fewer questions. It’s to your advantage as well as ours!

2. Take and pass the English Language and Grammar Examination, which will be emailed to you at your request.

3. Submit payment. PAYMENT MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE WE WILL REVIEW YOUR MRW PORTFOLIO OR GRADE YOUR EXAMINATION. CTL Associates receive a $20 discount. Log in to the Associate's page for the discount code.


How is my MRW portfolio reviewed?

Your English Examination will be graded by the MRW Committee and returned to you by email. If you receive an 80% or better, you will have passed the exam and qualify for your MRW based on a satisfactory review of your MRW Portfolio. If you do not pass, refer back to the detailed description of Requirement #3.

Your completed portfolio will be submitted to the Review Committee for a comprehensive evaluation to determine if your resumes and cover letters meet MRW standards for quality and excellence based on:

  • Proof of your ability to strategically focus each resume on each client’s objectives and precisely position that job seeker for his/her targeted goals.
  • Proof of your ability to write documents that are deep and rich in content.
  • Success in competitively distinguishing your clients from other candidates by showcasing unique qualifications, achievements, projects, contributions, and other best-in-class information.
  • Demonstration of your excellent command of the English language, with specific emphasis on writing and usage, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and related masterful techniques.
  • Diverse, distinguishable, and polished resume formats that differ from resume to resume.
  • Creation of interview-friendly resumes that focus the interviewer’s attention in precisely the right direction based on each candidate’s current objectives.

The Review Committee will make every attempt to review each portfolio within 3 weeks of receipt, with either approval or denial. Any denials will be accompanied by a written statement outlining the Committee’s concerns about your MRW Portfolio. You may resubmit a revised portfolio within 60 days at no additional charge. If your portfolio is still not accepted, your money will not be refunded and you will need to wait 12 months to reapply to allow sufficient time to focus on areas necessary for improvement. When you reapply, you will need to pay an additional $139 to cover the cost of your 3rd portfolio evaluation.

Upon final approval by Committee members, your MRW will be awarded and a certificate forwarded to you. In addition, we will announce your MRW on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and several key Career Thought Leaders online groups and forums.


Maintaining & Renewing the MRW

The MRW must be renewed every 2 years. Renewal is NOT automatic. It is your responsibility to prepare and submit an updated portfolio for review and feedback. What a great way to ensure you're staying on top of trends!



MRW Revocation Policy

The Career Thought Leader Consortium reserves the right to revoke your MRW if:

  • You do not meet the biennial (every 2 years) renewal requirements.
  • You demonstrate unprofessional, unethical, or unlawful conduct.
  • You are found guilty in a court of law for unlawful or unethical business practices.


Copyright 2017 Career Thought Leaders
1706 Ruteldge Court, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software