Extracted from ChannelNewsAsia.com :

SINGAPORE: A JobStreet.com survey recently conducted with 480 fresh graduates and 150 employers suggests that the top concerns raised by fresh graduates on job search are uncalled for. 

Insufficient qualifications, often the top concern amongst graduates, was not listed as the top three hiring decisions from an employer's standpoint. 

Instead, employers acknowledged the value of good interpersonal and communication skills as well as a good command of the English language above qualifications when hiring fresh graduates. 

JobStreet.com added that among the fresh graduates who were hired, 40 per cent took between one to six months to secure a job whilst 32 per cent required more than six months to get employed. (not very encouraging IMO)

- CNA/ck 

2 issues popped into my head after reading this news article online.

Insufficient qualifications and good interpersonal and communication skills as well as a good command of the English language above qualifications.

Let's deal each point accordingly.

Insufficient qualifications

What does this mean? The first thing that came into my mind was, 'What then amounts to sufficient qualifications' ? 

We all know how the story unfolds, that Singapore is so tiny, that we have scarce natural resources, that we have only human resources to rely mainly on, that we are focusing on 2nd tier (manufacturing) and 3rd tier (tertiary) industries, that we are a knowledge-based economy no matter what. It is difficult to move away from this demographics of labour force. Thus, we need brains. Brains that will help boost the economy as a whole. Brains that can assist in research and development. Brains that can bring back more dough. Brains. Brains that work right. 

The intense competition in Singapore has never been so stiff compared to the past. It's either you have it or you don't. It's either you are in or out (maybe out of Singapore soon altogether). 

Degrees are now merely a fundamental requirement that one should possess when looking for jobs. It is now compulsory. It is now the norm. 

Perhaps job application forms may do away the 'everything up to Bachelor' option in the 'Highest Qualifications' section. No more O Levels, A Levels and Bachelors. Only postgraduate studies (Masters - how many? Doctorates - how many?)

Yes, I may agree with this news article to some extent, that qualifications aren't everything. Recall the IQ vs EQ inverse relationship, though no absolute.

Fresh graduates would mean 'graduated with a degree and insufficient qualifications would mean 'course of discipline/classification of honours/awards)

Take for example, public service jobs. Most applicants are required to have a degree on hand and life is made even more difficult when it states, 'At least a 2nd Upper Honours', 'Must be from NUS/NTU/SMU' or worse still, 'Only 1st Class Honours' need apply. The rest of the crops (perhaps rotten in their eyes - sorry but you are just not good enough) need not apply. 

'Insufficient qualifications' not their main focus when deciding which applicant to shortlist, hmm really?

Good interpersonal and communication skills as well as a good command of the English language above qualifications.

Of course, from the employer's perspective, having great interpersonal and communication skills as well as good command of English makes life easier when you are hired and when working together, no doubt. But in my opinion, I think it's time we come clean about qualifications. 

You are judged by your highest qualifications even before you turn up for the interviews and during the shortlisting period. Try printing this new article and attach it with your resume and certs, and see how many employers would actually shortlist you for an interview. 

Don't you think it is rather difficult to judge if one has great interpersonal skills (Definition : Interpersonal skills include not only how we communicate with others, but also our confidence and our ability to listen and understand. Problem solving, decision making and personal stress management are also considered interpersonal skills). 

How do you judge this based on qualifications and activities when hiring fresh graduates

How about communication skills? Notice it is inter-linked with interpersonal skills. Does it mean to say that students who major in communication studies are skillful in communications? How about joining the debate team? How about getting caught for talking in class causing distractions? :D

Good command of English language? Well, blatantly goes back to grades. 

This article deals with situations 'when hiring fresh graduates', so, my question again, how do you determine these 3 set of values even before you meet them one on one for an interview?  

Beats me, either.
Credits to  http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg

^5 Lynn Tan, I do express the same perspectives as you. 

All these while, I have always been habouring the thoughts where a common misconception that 'nerds/geeks' must look goofy and thought to myself, but who says so?

To have a high IQ and still look gorgeous is a bonus, but to inject high EQ into the equation is a blessing. These 3 variables usually have an inverse relationship and the reason is unknown. 

If you'd like, click on this direct link and you'll see that her statement is not very well-liked. The mood meter falls in between 'bochup' and 'ewww'. The usual senseless comments in stomp.

With only approx 2 decades of experience in breathing, I try to understand the society and culture better, especially in Singapore. 

Most ladies as we know, are vain. It is a characteristic that is innate. We want to look good in front of others, especially in the presence of men. And that is simply normal, although FYI, in the animal kingdom (excluding humans), it is the males who tend to possess a more feminine touch. Lioness are the ones who take care of the kids and hunt for food. Lions, well, merely just 'nua' the whole day long, waiting for food to be brought back. Male peacocks are the ones with the psychedelic feathers whilst the females have dull-looking feathers. 

But polluted by ancient history, dolling up = vain = cheap = low dignity. Can I say that? 
So, being vain = buay tak cek (incapable of good academic grades). Is it because spending too much time on beauty products will cause one to fail their exams? Or trying to look good would distract oneself as well as the others (men?) and perhaps attract unwanted attention?

Honestly, I am of the opinion that if you are the 'study material' (lent from the slang of 'boyfriend/girlfriend material'), you would excel in your academic, no matter what your other interests are. You can excel in sports and yet still do well in school. You can be a make up guru and yet still top your class/school. And lastly, you can fall deeply in love, get attached and still please your parents with your grades. I got to know my bf before Uni started and still managed to snag an honours for my Bachelor of Laws degree? I'm pursuing my postgrad studies in Masters of Laws and still managed to score extremely well for my 1st 4 mods (struggling with the other 12 now HAHA), whilst juggling with work and r/s and other interests. Not boasting here, but all I wish to say is that nothing can and will stop you if you have decided that you want to score well academically. The ultimate question is how well can you manage your time? How do you allocate time and priority to each and every interests you have? You need to know that while Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all left school, but being born/living in Singapore, we have involuntarily signed up for the paper chase and rat race and thus leaving school can never an option. And part-time studies is never easy. 

Because nobody said Life itself was gonna be easy. 

Got this from Facebook.
So, in conclusion, I've got to agree with Lynn Tan on her proposition, but to refine it further and tweak a little, that not all beauty queens are dumb = not all academically-inclined people are only good at academics, they can excel in other areas as well, in this case, being beautiful (of course, with the help of make up).  

What say you?

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