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Selling Yourself: STAY READY!

December 24, 2023

A few years back, I worked as a Care and Support HIV/AIDS officer in one of Africa’s reputable Non-Governmental Organization; The Family HealthCare Foundation (FAHCI).

On a certain day, we had a supervisory visit from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The arrival of the USAID staff was hugely ceremonious; the impervious nature of the security details accompanying the three (3) representatives was palpable. The atmosphere grew tense. FAHCI was on her toes. LOL. We could not afford to underperform.

After the successful supervision, out of curiosity, one of the Harvard-trained staff in the entourage took a look at my ID card (I always hung it around my neck on ‘big’ days). 😀

The conversation below followed. (Well, let’s just call the guy James)

JAMES: WOW! Nice job role, do you have a first degree?

AARON: Yes sir. B.Sc (hons) Microbiology

JAMES: Hmm. Interesting. How much are you being paid here?

AARON: *** Naira Sir (Mind you, I was subjectively paid well)

JAMES: I See. Can I see your CV please?

AARON: Absolutely Sir.

The speed I used to print my 8-paged CV at that time was that of light. Within few minutes, he had my CV in his hands. Guys, I had a spare CV in my bag but on this occasion, a freshly printed CV needed to be presented (I am sure you can relate to how warm a CV feels when just printed?)😀

I watched him flip through the document, his smile increasing in girth and beauty as he read each page. Please note that the content of the CV was interesting and catchy to him that he was oblivious of how long it was. Well, lots of argument regarding the length of professional CVs abound but that is outside the discussion on this post (perhaps we will delve into that on a later date). My emphasis is on my CV being rich and convincing enough to trigger our next conversation.

JAMES: Have you been to Akwa-ibom before?

AARON: No sir

JAMES: Okay, would you like to work there?

AARON: Absolutely Sir ( I smiled more than my mum when she gave birth to me🤣)

JAMES: Okay Aaron, I will keep your CV, take my card, I will give you a call.

Interesting conversation, yeah? An indirect job offer right on the spot not because I was better than anybody around but simply because I was ready and I could sell myself through my CV.

Few weeks later, I left Nigeria and could not take up the offer.

Most times, we only remember our CVs when we want to apply for a job. This isn’t wrong though. Apparently, that seems to be the dominant role of a CV but how often do we update our CVs with our progress so that when the opportunity comes, they are rich enough to sell us? We also do not know what to include in our CVs. Hence, we lose out on great opportunities simply because we failed to include what we deemed ‘irrelevant’ (I am guilty too). Use the internet, talk to someone in your network and put yourself out there.

Now the big question is this; Do you think your CV can sell you positively?

Additionally, there are quite a number of other ways you can also sell yourself. I see people who can sing, dance and act put up skits about their art online and through that make a fortune.

I follow a graduate on Instagram who sells potatoes and she flood her page with her products.

I told you about a lady who did a personal volunteering project around menstruation and later got a job offer. This is what I didn’t tell you; the work she did was posted on LinkedIn and boom! The country director saw it and she got in. Imagine if her story was not sold?

My point is simple guys,

Whatever you do, SELL YOURSELF.

I will leave you with these words;

“In the professional world, we are all commodities, sell yourself or remain UNBOUGHT”.


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