Gena Gibson – CareerJoy Certified Resume Coach

GenaFor more than 20 years, I’ve been telling other people’s stories as a reporter at community newspapers (and now owner of my own newspaper, The Lanark Era). Helping people create new resumes, or update their outdated ones, is a natural extension of that background. I graduated from Algonquin College in Ottawa with a diploma in print journalism, and have worked at newspapers around Lanark County and the Ottawa area since then. Along the way, I got married and had two daughters, who have inherited my love of country life and my love of reading (okay, the 10-year-old resists it, but we’ll force her to come around eventually). As I tell people’s professional stories as their resume coach, I find out about their diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and tie those varied skills and experiences into resumes that will help them get noticed.


“If only I could…have a little more financial security and stop worrying about the little things – and lose a little weight!…I’d be the happiest person alive.”

Top 5 favorite movies?
I’m going to be honest – television shows are my screen vice of choice. The Office, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Mr. D, Community – I watch these, and more, regularly.

For movies, ones that stick out on my head are My Life Without Me, a very depressing movie starring Sarah Polley; Wayne’s World, which was vital to my teenage development (and what that says about me, I’m not sure); and really, that’s it!

If you could be a character from Star Wars, who would you be and why?
Star Wars. My most enduring memory of Star Wars is watching it “as a treat” in public school, and finding the Stormtroopers a little creepy. I have no Star Wars cred.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a hot summer day?
Spend the day at my family’s cottage on a private lake, reading and swimming (and eating!) and enjoying time with my family.

What’s your most endearing quality?
My sarcasm? No, that’s not endearing, that’s frustrating and maddening, or so I’m told. Okay then, my sense of humour?

What’s one of the most daring things you’ve done?
I left my job and bought a small community newspaper. It didn’t seem daring at the time, but looking back, I guess it might have been a little risky.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
First, an astronaut. Then in my early teens, a rock singer. Then when I realized I couldn’t sing, I wanted to be an actress. And through it all, I wanted to be a writer.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Ohh, it depends on the day…. But grammar mistakes, and the incorrect use of apostrophes, can really set me off.

Under what conditions would you shave your head bald?
None. I don’t think I have a very pretty head!

What’s your idea of a great vacation?
Getting away from the world at the lake – no telephone, no internet, no television, no power aside from a generator in the evening. And I get to do it every summer!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had for breakfast?
This is a hard question to answer. I usually just have cereal, and occasionally toast. I’m a creature of habit.

What’s your favorite unhealthy snack?
Too many to count! I love to bake, and unfortunately, I love to eat what I bake. I’m working on it!