Want to Start a Home-Based Résumé Service? Meet CPC Member Marian Bernard

By Cathy Milton.

Marian Bernard is one of the founding members of Career Professionals of Canada. Throughout her long association with the organization, Marian has been an enthusiastic participant and volunteer, generously sharing her knowledge and experiences. She is an active contributor to CPC’s Social Media Team and the Tele-networking Team.

Here’s your opportunity to get to know Marian a little better.

Please tell us about your business and the services you offer.

Capitalizing on my executive secretary training, I opened my home-based business, The Regency Group, in 1985 to function as a remote secretarial service for those who couldn’t afford full-time administrative help. In pretty short order, clients began asking me to type their résumés. Upon perusing their documentation, I thought, “I can showcase my clients in a much better light.” Hence, my résumé writing profit centre was born.

The secretarial side of my business quieted down, but the résumé writing side exploded. My services now include:

  • Résumé writing and cover letter composition.
  • Interview coaching.
  • Helping clients tap into the hidden job market.
  • LinkedIn profile writing.

The four keys to my long-term success are: 1) a keyboarding speed of 127 wpm, which allows me to offer while-you-wait service to my global clients, 2) geek-level knowledge of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, 3) my vow to answer incoming calls “live” and promptly respond to email queries, and 4) keeping abreast of professional developments via tele-networking classes, webinars, and podcasts.

What led you to pursue this line of work?

I opened Regency as a part-time “side hustle” while working full time. Three months later, my employer downsized, and I was devastated to be one of the employees who was let go. I can empathize with my clients because I know how it feels to lose a job.

What part of your work do you enjoy the most?

I love unearthing above-and-beyond contributions that job-seekers have made in their past work and then showcasing that data on their résumés as “nuggets of gold” that make prospective employers salivate.

Do you have a client story that is really memorable for you? If so, would you share it with us?

I partnered with an executive who needed to submit his résumé and meet a later-that-day deadline. After sending the finalized documents to him, he wrote me a glowing email a few days later. He got a call from the hiring decision-maker 30 MINUTES after sending off his résumé and he GOT HIRED!

Can you please tell us about your association with Career Professionals of Canada?  How and when did it start?

I met CPC’s Executive Director  Sharon Graham in 2003 (the year before CPC’s conception) at an event attended by local professional careerists. Sharon compellingly articulated to the group the need for an organization with a unique Canadian flair. Although I now belong to three other professional groups (all U.S.-based), CPC, from day one, offered invaluable support to its Canadian members. I am proud to be one of its 13 co-founders.

What “fun fact” or anecdote about yourself would you be comfortable sharing?

I possess encyclopedic knowledge of pop music in each decade from the 1950s through to the end of the 1990s and have won numerous radio station contests for guessing a song’s artist/group and title in 3 seconds or less. Some of my prize winnings have been theatre passes, a $200.00 gift card to a local upscale grocery chain, and concert tickets to Phil Collins, Paula Abdul, Rod Stewart, and Elton John.

As an aside, I held a part-time job while working full-time. As a retail sales associate at Simpsons, I sold records, 8-track tapes, and cassettes. To me, this job was like a paid hobby! I could effortlessly sell three times the amount of product compared to my co-workers. Between that and garnering “Employee of the Month” accolades more than once, I was promoted to the first-ever part-time manager in Simpsons’ history.

Who would have guessed that listening to Top 40 radio would pay off so handsomely?

What do you do to relax and unwind?

As I get older, I pledge to maintain my overall health by exercising regularly and watching what I eat. Between twice-weekly Zumba classes, dancing once a week, and speed-walking/running, I shed over 50 pounds in just 1 year!

Based on your own experience, what is your best advice to new career professionals?

  • Maintain your professionalism when interacting with clients. You are the expert.
  • Keep your promises to clients to deliver the best service possible.
  • Embark on a learning journey to stay current on career developments.
  • Join an organization like CPC where you can tap into – and benefit from – an extremely supportive community.

 

Comments

  1. Marion you are an inspiration to Career Professionals like myself embarking on developing an independent business.

Leave a Reply