Do not look at my CV.
“I can do everything that’s required for this position, but what will they think, when they see my CV?”
Have you ever had this feeling, when you want to apply for a new job and you think that you have all necessary skills, however, you can’t really convince yourself that you are suitable for this role. Not because you are not good enough, but because your previous positions were nothing like this one.
My story started in my hometown in Russia, where I worked part time in sales and advertising since I was in uni. Multiple startups gave me one simple understanding that I need to work, as if it was my own business.
What does that mean? It means I cared about every single detail, starting with the colour of the logo, finishing with the whole marketing strategy. I learned everything: design, copywriting, sales etc. My position was simple, to be aware about all processes inside the company.
Self motivation, creativity and personal involvement always helped me to act without supervision, which worked great at any company.
By the time I was 22 years old, I worked in advertising company, magazines, restaurant chain, marketing and event agencies. Among my professional responsibilities were: sales, advertising, graphic design, copyrighting, marketing, business research, team coaching, event planning etc. What is said in my CV? “Sales manager” or “Event Specialist”.
Around 4 years ago I moved to Portugal, where I was working mostly with travel events and freelance graphic design. However, several companies were interested in me as a sales representative. When I informed aforementioned companies that I would like to be more of a project manager or marketing specialist, they answered something like “Why? You have never tried it before.” And, of course, I would explain my story but no one really believed it.
Going forward, it never affected my way of working. I stayed interested and proactive.
When I moved to Australia, for the first time in my life I was truly scared. Maybe because of the fact that this country is insanely far from everything I knew before or that it was my first English speaking country, who knows, but I was terrified.
That’s why I’ve decided to skip the “I will only do what I truly love” phase and started with “I don’t really care but I need to start immediately”. And it worked. I picked one great restaurant brand and went there to be a waitress, even though I have never ever held a tray in my hand before.
It took me three months to become a supervisor. From the very beginning I challenged myself, I was curious if I could become a manager. Well, working on special events, staff training and service quality control, I was promised a management position…and not only in my restaurant. So I changed my work place. After starting as a waitress, I became a manager in around 10 months.
This time was enough for me to gain some knowledge about hospitality plus I never actually stopped practicing graphic design.
At some point, it came to me that I would like to be involved in marketing and business development again. While going through several interviews, I was asked various questions about marketing, sales, events. My interviewers were mostly surprised by my answers, I mean they were surprised that I had answers…all of them. Some of them even asked me, where do I knew it all from and if I studied it in uni. Those were some funny questions.
After landing myself my latest job in sales, I was interested not only in my direct responsibilities, but took care of some marketing, design and communication strategy. And every single day it seemed that was craving more influence and more involvement.
The question is though, if there is a job description for people like me. For those, who care about every single detail. For those, who can be valuable in achieving multiple goals. For those, who hope to give all they can to their brand.
So, if sometimes, while reading a job description, you think that you would like to do it but you are not too sure about your previous “official” work experience, do yourself a favour and be passionate about what you want. Write this honest cover letter, explaining what you are able to do and what you really want to do and topic of this letter might be even “Do not look at my CV.”
Upd: After finishing an online course, which helped me upgrade my previous design knowledge, I am currently working as a freelance graphic designer. Through last several months I worked with some well-known Australian brands. However, I do miss team work. So, I guess, it is time to send out my interesting CVs again.