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So, you’ve passed matric!?

It is the time of year when the results for the past matric exam is to be announced. All the candidates are waiting in anticipation to see their names on the list because that certificate should open the doors to employment or further studies.

But will it? It is not only the piece of paper that counts, the content thereof tells a lot about the person. Combined with the Curriculum Vitae (CV) you get a better picture of that person. Yesterday I read an article in a newspaper that encourage people to polish their CV’s to stand a better chance for a job. Now a neat CV may help, but the contents were written as a result of all the things you’ve done or participated in over the years. I know of a man who’s ten Comrades Marathons landed him the job. Why? As an employer I will reason that this guy must be a hard worker with endurance.

I told my children when they went to high school that at the end of matric they would like to get a testimonial from the school, but they will write it during the course of five years. The teachers / headmaster can only write about what you did.

With the Career Direct assessments that I do, I regularly test high school students to help them decide on subject or career choices. Sometimes it is sad to see how little some of them offer. The subjects they offer and their marks exemplifies the easiest route through school, but unfortunately it shuts most of the doors to higher education. Some of them also participate in very little or no extramural activities at all.

Perhaps scholars should also be taught good character principles such as hard work, endurance, responsibility, thoroughness, self-control, etc. In an era where television, play station, smart phones and video games are the order of the day, the many distractions perhaps necessitates that we once again teach children the virtue of thoroughness and hard work.

These are the things that are written between the lines on your matric certificate, CV and testimonial and employers usually know how to read there. Success and the possibility for employment is to a large extent influenced by these extras. Youngsters should always bear in mind that the matric exam is not only about passing it; it is the only exam where the quality of the pass makes all the difference.

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