“So what are your plans after you get called?” I asked my pupil one evening as we smoked on the office balcony.
“Go for interviews. I am writing up my CV to send out to law firms,” she replied.
“And how is that going?”
“Hard. I revised my CV ten times already!”
“Why did you have to do that?” I asked, surprised.
“Each time I read my friend’s CV, I revise mine. Everyone seems to use a different format and include different things. It’s frustrating!”
“And these friends of yours, what are they doing?”
“They are also applying for a job like me.”
“It sounds very much like the blind leading the blind then.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean they are applying for a job like you. What would they know about being hired? What would they know about what an employer wants to see on a CV? The person you should be showing your CV to is me. I am an employer and even better I am happy tell you what helps and what doesn’t work in your CV. So my question to you now is why aren’t you consulting me about your CV?”
“I’m shy to show you my CV lah, Mr Fahri. It will look so pathetic compared to yours.”
“Well, what do you expect? I am twenty plus years in practice. If your CV matched mine, what would that say of me? Please do not compare yourself now with me now. I had a twenty year head start on you so don’t make such comparisons. Also there is nothing to be shy about. I want to help you improve your CV. I’m not going to tease or belittle you lah, please. Think about it, you have an employer with a lot of experience ready to sit down with you to improve your CV, how do you lose?”
“Thanks, Mr Fahri. I will revise it and let you have a look.”
I never did get to see the revised draft.
Those concerned more with how they appear to others will have difficulty making the most of their opportunities when it comes their way; their insecurities will make them shrink from it.
I would rather look ignorant today to avoid being ignorant tomorrow. Ignorance is the natural state of our knowledge so there is nothing shameful about being ignorant; the danger is in staying ignorant. And we grow best under the glare of the sun, not in the shade of other people’s expectations.