A few months ago, I had applied to an opening in a reputed animation broadcaster. The opening was for a copywriter for TV programs. I thought it might be interesting. I had sent across my CV and a compelling cover note highlighting my interest and skill in the role (had also sent along a sample script). A few days later I got a call from an unknown Mumbai number and turned out it was an HR person from that company.
I stopped doing what I was doing (sniffing my baby’s diaper) and perked up. And then she started talking.
She offered me an interview for the role of a Digital Marketing Manager. I told her I hadn’t applied for that role and would love to be considered for a copywriting position instead. I could write sample articles and she could assess my prowess. But she flatly refused. ‘You aren’t qualified for this role, we will hire someone with a copywriting experience’ she said and continued to rave about the marketing role. I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t find any merit in looking beyond the words printed on a CV.
Because CVs are simply made for jobs that give the best financial returns for your educational investment and not necessarily intellectual satisfaction etc.
I have personally always been uncomfortable in trying to define my abilities and desires on a one-page ‘template’, left aligned with 4 lines printed in bold to emphasise my amazing skills and leadership qualities.
Having read dozens of CVs as we went about on campus interviews while at my last company, most were quite repetitive and mundane.
95% of most CVs are filled with synonyms of ‘responsible’, ‘lead’ and ‘team-player’, ‘success’ and such. The remaining 5% depict the human side of individuals with statements such as ‘passionate collector of dry leaves’ or something equally dull.
I can never picture a human being when I read a CV and I guess no one is looking for one either. People are looking for ‘resources’ who can get a certain job done and hence there is no space in this coveted document for any mention about what this person would want to be, if they had a choice.
Just as most things in life, a CV is also a document drawn out from the past to shape the future.
When it comes to career shifts though, previous experiences don’t count. Just like in this case, my 9 years of marketing experience equalled to zero for a copywriting job where even a fresher would be concerned.
Its a bit of an equaliser to be honest.
A starting point at the end of the journey. A slide down the ladder to a place from much before, where only efforts and initiatives are rewarded and pride has no role.
So as I stare blankly at my Linkedin profile, and at qualifications which really don’t seem to be valuable at this stage in life, I’m compelled to think of new ways to grow and learn so that I can be seen as a credible professional, trying to make it on her own.
This year should shake things up a little.