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Why An Academic-Only CV Is Incomplete

9th June 2021

Our MD’s eldest son, George, is with us at the DMA offices at the moment. He’s manning the phones and putting calls through to the appropriate advisors, getting a little taste of how hectic life in a busy recruitment agency can get! (We might also take him for coffee at some point.)

George is seventeen and planning to head off to university this coming September. He’s selected the University of Exeter, where he’ll be studying Business and Economics –which should set him up for a great career in business moving forwards.

Of course, working in recruitment his dad Charlie knows that academic qualifications are only one part of a person’s CV. There’s no doubt that they matter, and can demonstrate acquisition of a whole slew of skills and knowledges which can make a person invaluable. But on their own they’re not enough in and of themselves.

For many employers, “soft” skills are critical – and often these aren’t taught on academic courses. Building rapport with customers and colleagues alike, making connections and showing leadership: these social aspects of a CV shouldn’t be overlooked … and it’s pretty hard to teach them in the seminar room.

Part of George’s time with us at DMA ahead of heading to university, then, will be about beginning to scope out what these skills are. Often, work experience is about understanding what is required in the workplace much more than it is actually developing the skills needed. Knowledge of how the world of work operates is so important to building a competitive CV early on.
Business and Economics – George’s chosen degree course – are crucial disciplines for understand how business works. But they are also sciences which study how humans work and interact. The cliché is that the most academic of people can be the least skilled at relationship-building. But employers know that this really matters. So when you’re building your CV – and especially if you’re young and just starting out –you should definitely spend time demonstrating that you know how important social skills are … and have done the work outside the classroom to develop them. This will make you a lot more competitive – and attractive to employers.

George’s time with us is going to be a great opportunity to start to do just that – our phone lines are busy enough that he’ll be building a rapport with an awful lot of people over the next weeks! We’re also confident he’s going to do brilliantly at university …and with the two experiences together, we’ll be eager to shop his CV around ourselves!