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Personality vs Diploma : Six Things You Should Know

27/08/2014 15:45 BST | Updated 26/10/2014 09:59 GMT

Is it better to have a great diploma or a great personality?

We all know it. Having a Degree doesn't mean you are an interesting person, and there are really fascinating people that don't have any diploma. But when looking for a job, it looks like it is the snake biting its tail.

1 - You are detestable and unsexy...

Let's start. What are your worse defaults? For sure you know what to answer, or rather what recruiters like to hear. But is this conformity what will really make you hired? At least it won't get you dismissed, but it will never be a game changer between you and any other candidate. With a hint of personality, you could just be yourself and assume what makes you professionally "detestable" and "unsexy".

2 - You are unprepared...

While diplomas used to be a very efficient bulwark against unemployment, it is not that true anymore. According to a French survey carried out in May 2014 by Opinion Way, only 12% of employers believe that the diploma is a "safe criteria" for hiring a young person. "Personality" accounts for 53%... Even worse, another report from January 2013 underlines the lack of relevance between classes and reality: only 17% of graduates feel prepared for their first job. Isn't school about preparing young people for real life? I mean, shouldn't it be so?

One simple example is the use of computers. Nowadays, when a company suffers a general blackout of its Internet, office employees are sent back home, as without a connexion it is nowadays barely impossible to work in an efficient way. Facing this frightening reality, there is another even more frightening reality: 70% of the young graduates were not given the basic IT training: Word, Excel, Powerpoint. And about 100% were not given any practical management training.

3 - You are nothing but a clone...

Not only school does not provide with basic skills required in any modern job, but also school does not encourages students to develop their personality. There are classes on how to write a standard CV, on how to behave during a job interview, etc. Classes are more and more about how to be like anyone else. But what about being ourselves, and dealing with what we can and what we can't do? Not anyone is made to be a manager.

People management is about personality, as corporate integration is. Some graduates from top schools are forced to leave their first job after a few weeks because they won't fit with the team, with the manager, or with the corporate culture. Personality is what makes someone an incredibly conscientious person, or the most amazing extraverted person ever, or even the mysterious person in cold blood, able to deal with any situation. But it is before all what makes you different from the other persons, from the average.

4 - You will fail...

Companies want to recruit great people, and to do that, they're used to trust diplomas. But things have changed, and diplomas do not prepare anymore for a specific job. There is now a major gap between schools and companies, and more and more young people fall into this gap. Schools are not the only ones accountable for this gap. Let's talk about the incredible amount of job titles that exist nowadays. Back in the 50s, people were farmers, workers or businessmen, and it was clear for everyone. In 2014, there are over 80,000 different job titles, and people can hardly describe their day-to-day job. My point is that school as we know it cannot be an efficient way to train people for that many jobs. It is the role of companies to train people for the tasks they need to be done.

5 - You are a deadweight for the society...

Education is key, and if we waste huge amounts of time and money (it represents more than 120 billion Euros for France, which is 7% of the national GDP), it should be for an education system up to date, and adapted to the modern needs of organisations, either they are companies, administrations or associations.

6 - BUT YOU ARE THE KEY FOR CHANGE

Let's promote an education system that encourages young people to grow and assume their personality. Let's promote a system where a difference is an asset. Let's promote a system where people are proud of themselves, not of their diplomas. Personality versus diplomas: who wins ?