Skills>Resume – Why building new age skills is better than just building your CV


How many classes is your teen taking right now? School, tuitions, entrance exams, maybe even some sports and extras on top of that, students today are caught up in the rat race to have the best resume. But do all the extra bullet points on their CV really make them more employable, more likely to get into their dream university or is it all just clutter that’s distracting from your teen’s real potential?

Universities care more about skills than CVs 

When you picture an average Ivy League student, you must think of a class topper with an extensive resume listing all their certifications, awards and achievements- and while that is a common conclusion, you would be surprised at the truth. Harvard admissions famously said there is “no typical Harvard student.” Even if your teen’s CV is perfect on paper, Harvard is more interested in their potential for growth, personal character and what they can contribute to the college community- when everyone applying to your teen’s dream school has a picture perfect resume, what can you do to help them stand out from the crowd? In a nutshell: focus on building their real, new age skills over just building their resume. 

Top universities like the Ivy Leagues aren’t looking for just someone who ‘tests well’, they’re looking for trailblazers, innovators and future leaders of society. Anyone can do an online course, or cram for an exam to show a perfect score on their resume, but real potential is displayed with what your teen does with that knowledge, how they build on it and use these tools to better themselves and society (instead of just their CV). These universities are looking for students who will go on to change the world, with clear directions and a plan to achieve goals that aren’t just getting into an Ivy League school.  

Building real skills increases employability

By shifting the focus to developing real skills over ‘CV skills’, you’re better preparing your teen to adapt and grow in their future careers. Think of their long-term goals before setting their short term objectives; for example winning at a MUN is great but if your teen is planning to study engineering in college this doesn’t demonstrate any relevant skills and won’t add anything to their applications. In fact, major employers like Google strongly encourage “job-specific” resumes exactly to cut through that unnecessary clutter. 

What are new age skills?

The P21, established by industry leaders including the National Education Association, Apple, Microsoft and more to promote the importance of 21st century skills internationally has listed 7C skills as: 

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • Communications, information, and media literacy
  • Computing and ICT literacy
  • Career and learning self-reliance

These skills are ones identified across industries, professions, and cultures as vital to future career growth. Irrespective of your teen’s 5, 15 or 25 year plan, harnessing these new age skills are integral to unlocking their real potential and assuring their success. In the 21st century, the workplace has been completely transformed into a global, technological system and your teens skills should reflect a proficiency in that.

How can teens build new age skills?

Now that you understand the importance of these new age skills, how do you help your teen develop them? Try to find resources that promote 21st century skills over resume skills, such as Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA. The JuniorMBA is designed for teenagers to explore different career options, and build creativity, confidence and business acumen. With programs in a variety of professional fields in everything from Marketing, Design and Branding to UX Design and Data Analytics, students have the unique opportunity to test drive their dream careers.

Working on professional projects with Industry leaders like Puma, Kelloggs, Domino’s, and more to get certified in skills that do more than just look good on their resume. Specifically designed to foster skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving, teens will undergo live teaching and apply their learnings to produce real tangible results. 

In today’s professional environment, the need for building new age skills is more important than ever before. Industry 4.0 requires a radically different skills set, and a study found that only 26% of Indian engineers are actually employable and prepared for careers in the next decade. Will you help your teen prepare for the future they’re dreaming of, or will they end up with a great resume-on-paper, but a career where they’re overqualified, underpaid and unable to adapt?  

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