Sharon Graham founded Career Professionals of Canada (CPC) in 2004 and served as the organization’s executive director until 2023. On Canada Day, 2022, CPC was incorporated as a national not-for-profit association. Currently, Sharon chairs CPC's board of directors, upholding the organization's national mandate with integrity.
A devoted advocate of purposeful kindness and human rights, she seeks to make a positive difference in every life she touches.
Sharon is committed to setting the standard for excellence in the profession of career development. She has personally trained, mentored, and developed hundreds of résumé writers, employment consultants, outplacement consultants, and other practitioners. With a superior reputation in the industry, she imparts over two decades of expertise spanning strategic résumé writing, interview coaching, employment counselling, personal branding, and career consulting expertise.
Sharon is the force behind the development of CPC’s membership programs, certifications, and courses. A firm believer in advancing the field, through CPC, Sharon has delivered cutting-edge innovations and strategies to career practitioners in the government, academic, not-for-profit, and private sectors. Elevating procedures and practices, she identifies innovations, tests theories, and drives new ideas.
A pioneer in the field, Sharon authored the first fully Canadian paperback book series on résumé writing – Best Canadian Résumés and Best Canadian Cover Letters. These national top sellers in the résumé category were a one-of-a-kind sample resource for practitioners across Canada. Soon after, Sharon wrote five textbooks, The Canadian Career Strategist Series. These five reference manuals form the foundation of career development practice in Canada.
An industry pioneer, she championed the creation of a Professional Certification Program to validate the expertise of career practitioners across the nation. She is the architect of CPC's robust and highly popular online courses, the Career Development Practitioner (CDP) Program and Self-Directed Learning (SDL) Courses, designing and developing all aspects of the course curriculum and associated online course technology. Sharon is also the force behind the Awards of Excellence Program program that recognizes outstanding proficiency and competence in the work of Canadian career development professionals.
Over the years, Sharon has instituted a wide variety of other programs including a unique social networking forum, where practitioners can share concerns, ask questions, and develop relationships in a “safe” environment. She has developed numerous webinars, tele-networking programs, and blended delivery courses to drive the field toward excellence in service delivery.
Sharon is the recipient of the following awards:
- Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Counselling and Career Development in Canada: This prestigious title is Canada’s premier honour presented annually by the Canadian Career Development Foundation. Leadership represents that rare combination of vision, dedication, commitment, ability to mobilize others, and willingness to work hard, and the Stu Conger Award is given to individuals who exemplify those characteristics. Sharon’s professional contributions, ongoing leadership, and body of work in the field are a testament to these qualities.
- Bridge Award: Career Management Alliance is one of the world’s leading professional association dedicated to linking all divisions within the careers industry. Sharon was recognized for the significant difference she has made to the field for connecting professionals from a wide variety of sectors within the careers industry, including government, academia, the corporate sector, nonprofits, and the entrepreneurial world. Acting as a “bridge” – offering practitioners opportunities to network and learn from one other as well as the chance to form long-lasting friendships – Sharon was honoured with this award, which exemplifies the generosity of spirit and commitment to one another as professionals and valued colleagues.
- Leadership Recognition Award: With a vision for excellence and innovation, Sharon has been recognized by her peers on numerous occasions. She received an exclusive award by her peers, in recognition for her work in instituting leading-edge resources, a supportive communication vehicle, and exceptional mentoring and support to Canadian career practitioners.
With a reputation for consistently demonstrating excellence, innovation, and purposeful kindness, Sharon has been recognized by her peers on numerous occasions. Her most cherished mementos received from members of CPC include a Leadership Recognition Award, a striking stone Inukshuk Circle of Friends sculpture by Simeonie Iqaluq, and a custom-made necklace by Canadian artist Sandra Paetsch, engraved with CPC’s logo and the words Purposeful Kindness.
Sharon has worked closely with leaders in the career development profession as board member of the Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD), Career Development Practitioners Certification Board of Ontario (CDBCBO), the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF), and the US-based Career Management Alliance (CMA). As part of the leadership team, her role as International Career Services Master was to ensure that the CMA maintained a global outlook and developed programs that supported practitioners worldwide.
Sharon is a Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP). She conceived and designed a Career Competence self-assessment and professional development planning tool, built on The Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S&Gs).
As a key influencer in the profession, the leadership excellence and counsel that Sharon provides instil utmost confidence. She has acquired a reputation in Canada and beyond that is reflective of her knowledge, integrity, dedication to client requirements, superior service, and outstanding product delivery.
In her earlier career, Sharon founded and built Graham Management Group, Canada’s leading résumé writing and career transition firm for six-figure professionals. She handpicked a consulting team of professionals also known for excelling in their craft. In addition to providing excellence and innovation in résumé, interview, branding, and career strategy, Sharon contributed her services as a senior executive and consultant to a range of organizations.