I attended a professional resume writing conference last week in Annapolis, Maryland, hosted by the National Resume Writers’ Association. It was my first conference with this particular organization, and now, (as far as I am aware) I have attended conferences from all the major career coaching/writing associations. You didn’t know there was more than one? Yes, I work in a fractured industry with 5 major associations (NRWA, PARW, CDI, CMA, AORCP) that represent and coach us. Add to that the Resume Writers Academy which teaches resume writers tips and tricks of the trade. Scattered among these associations, there are 16+ certifications, and a handful of awards bestowed. The NRWA is the only non-profit group, the rest are for-profit.

Now I’m not advocating which one is better than the other. Each has its own attributes and deficits. But for professional resume writers trying gain visibility and credibility, it can be awfully confusing to the public. My case in point: Professional Organizers are represented by one organization: NAPO. We have 5! And the issue with that is that there are countless other fakes with similar names and alleged certifications that fraudulent resume writers post on a website. Buyer Beware! I’ve already heard the horror stories of job seekers ripped off by those claiming credentials as a professional resume writer on Craig’s List.

One of the often heard complaints I heard at the NRWA convention was there are too many associations for our industry, and there needs to be consolidation. It would certainly be helpful to us. Peruse the member listing of any of these organizations, you’ll notice that more than 60% overlap with memberships in at least one other association. Is all this duplication really necessary?

Bottom Line: If you are seeking a professional resume, the following sites are helpful and credible: CareerDirectors.com, PARW.com, TheNRWA.com, and CMInstitute.com. And no, I don’t belong to all of them (anymore).