Meet CPC Member Adrienne Tom
By Cathy Milton.
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer
If Wayne Dyer had ever had the privilege of meeting Adrienne Tom, this quote may have been written with her in mind. When you read her story, you’ll understand how fitting a quote it is.
Adrienne is a Certified Resume Strategist (CRS) and Interview Coach at Career Impressions in Calgary, Alberta. Calgary’s first Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), she has now added the Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP) to her credentials.
Adrienne founded her first company – Resume Reviewer – in 2007, after deciding to resign from her full time job at the University of Calgary following the birth of her daughter. The focus of Resume Reviewer was to provide resume critique and feedback. In 2008, her company expanded to offer complete resume-writing services for all types of job seekers.
After three years and another baby, Adrienne made the decision to further develop her expertise and expand her company’s offerings. The re-branded venture – Career Impressions – was launched in 2010. Due to growing client demand, Adrienne hired additional resume writers to assist her. Together they delivered leading-edge resume solutions. Today, Adrienne’s clients include rising leaders, experienced managers and directors, and emerging or established executives.
Recalling what it was that attracted her to this line of work, Adrienne says that she has always enjoyed reading and writing. As a child, she was a voracious reader as well as an author of poetry and stories. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, not knowing exactly what type of career she wanted. Adrienne definitely knew, however, that the degree was calling her name due to her love of literature. She felt that she was meant to work as a creative writer. She was right.
Imagine her delight at discovering that she could combine her love of words with a practical career as a resume writer. Adrienne says, “I don’t just write resumes. I write career stories.” She loves her work. It makes a positive difference in peoples’ lives and she is the independent, creative writer she always wanted to be.
The work provides other rewards, too. Adrienne derives immense satisfaction from positioning job seekers as a top choice with employers. When a client tells Adrienne that she’s made a positive impact in their job search, it is extremely heartwarming and validating for her.
A fun fact about Adrienne revolves around her special attraction to engineers. She really likes them. In fact, she likes engineers so much that she married one. Not only that, but many of her good friends are also engineers. After graduation, Adrienne successfully applied for a job in the Engineering Internship Program (EIP) office at the University of Calgary, working closely with engineering students and employers. The opportunity helped Adrienne transition into the University of Calgary’s Career Services office. Eventually she became the very first dedicated Career Advisor to engineering students and employers. Years later, Adrienne leveraged the immense expertise she gained during her time with Career Services to launch her own independent practice. Working in Calgary – the oil and gas mecca – Adrienne continues to assist a variety of engineers with their resumes. There is no doubt that this industry holds a special place in both her life and her work.
Adrienne’s Advice to New Career Professionals
When asked what her advice would be to new career professionals, Adrienne recalls a quote by Stephen Covey: “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, and unapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”
Adrienne believes that if the career industry is calling to you as that bigger ‘yes’, and you are attracted to the opportunities within it, you will find a way to make it work for you. Sometimes this means sacrifice, especially if you want to break out on your own, but it is important to remember that there are so many career professionals out there willing to help. “The career community should be tapped; they can give you the confidence you need to succeed and learn how to pursue that burning ‘yes’ inside.”
Adrienne is a strong believer that self-education should be a constant part of life and work; there is always something new to learn, adapt to, or refine. This belief keeps her in active pursuit of learning through books, industry resources, professional association events, online chats, and social media.
In addition, Adrienne establishes business and professional goals for herself each year. These goals focus on further education or stretching herself to do something outside of her comfort zone. In 2013, for example, she successfully completed her Certified Resume Strategist designation through CPC.
When asked how she started her association with CPC, Adrienne says that when she first started working independently, she researched various resources and associations online. She found CPC and for a few years she followed the organization from a distance. Sharon Graham, CPC’s Executive Director, really stood out as an industry leader and skilled career strategist.
Realizing that this growing Canadian association had a wealth of resources to offer, Adrienne become a Professional Member and began to involve herself in the CPC community. She is now a CRS Certification Assessor and an expert blog contributor on CareerProfessionals.ca.
The greatest benefit that CPC has provided Adrienne is the opportunity to connect with some of the very best Canadian career professionals. Adrienne believes that there is no other industry organization with such truly talented members who also happen to be warm, friendly, positive, and helpful. The Career Club Forum and the CPC LinkedIn Group each provide awesome opportunities to connect and share with others in the industry.
Adrienne says that joining a CPC’s Experienced Practitioners Mastermind Group this year was one of the best decisions she has ever made. The Mastermind group provided her with invaluable mentorship and resources. Through the group’s support, Adrienne was inspired to implement service changes at Career Impressions. The group members instilled a greater sense of confidence in Adrienne – they helped validate some of her concerns while also providing resources to help.
Adrienne says, “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people in the industry, and to know that so many CPC members have an open door policy – they are happy and willing to share their wealth of expertise whenever asked, and they support one another so commendably.”
Adrienne knows what she’s talking about. She has personally benefited by asking for help, and she’s also more than willing to generously share her own accumulated knowledge and wisdom.
Adrienne’s passion for her work clearly shines bright. No one can deny that she does, indeed, have abundance in her life.
Cathy Milton is a CPC board member who loves to write: fiction, non-fiction, and, of course, resumes She is currently working towards a Certified Resume Strategist designation, and, in the meantime, enjoys pursuing several volunteer activities with CPC. Cathy lives in a 77-year old log cabin on a lake in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario with her husband, three dogs, and one rescue cat named Lucky.