Go to contents

Expressive Power is the Best Weapon for Employment

Posted June. 11, 2004 21:35,   


“Learn ‘soft skills’ to become employed.”

Youth unemployment is a problem in Korea. It is also the same in the United States. American university seniors are troubled about finding a job.

Professor Bill Coplin at Syracuse University (public policy major) advised on the skills required for university graduates to become employed in his article, “Soft Skills Are the Secret Weapons for Job Hunting,” that he wrote in the USA Today. The following is the summary of his article:

When summer approaches, seniors who have not found an appropriate job for his/her level of education are frustrated. The job market is said to be better than it was two years ago, but the restlessness they feel has reached the level of an epidemic.

Employers give work ethic, communication, information collecting, and interpersonal relations top priorities. Analyzing ability and problem-solving ability follow those.

However, many university graduates are weak in those points. Personnel directors of corporations point out that students learned “technical skills” and not “soft skills.” Since they think they only need to learn skills for resume writing and interviewing in their final year at the university, they did not prepare for finding employment since their freshman year.

Students believe that their GPA and academic degrees will guarantee successes, however what leads to success are their “skills” and “characters.” For employers, a high GPA only indicates the student’s ability for hard work and time management. One personnel director said, “The GPA restriction of our company is above 3.0. So a GPA of 3.2 is no different from a GPA of 3.7.”

Students are not the only ones to blame for their lack of soft skills. Aimless, complicated, and confusing school curriculum disturb the students’ learning of soft skills. The curriculum tends to focus on historical knowledge. Simply storing knowledge does no good for one’s career as overdosing vitamins is unbeneficial for one’s health.

Students can be freed from the restlessness if they learn non-academic knowledge in addition to academic knowledge. They should make the most of their university lives. In today’s economic situation, the restlessness concerning employment will never disappear.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com