When applying for a job opening, candidates typically place a lot of importance on their resume and cover letters, presuming that these 2 are their one-way ticket to getting hired. Relevant industry experience: check; Related academic degree: check; Additional certification which would be considered an asset: check, check, check. Add to that a well-articulated and convincing cover letter and you’re in for the win.
While all of the above are, indeed, important, and can, in fact, set you a part from applicants who do not take those technical details into consideration; what ultimately makes it or breaks for employers has increasingly less to do with academic credentials and I.Q, and more to do with likability and Emotional Intelligence. In sum, employers don’t only hire people who are qualified on paper anymore, but people who they like in person, and who they think the other members of their team will like as well.
There was a time when recruitment was based mainly on academic credentials.
A time when the right schools, programs, and technical training were sufficient to land you your dream job; regardless of whether or not you were qualified on a more interpersonal level. However, in a world that is becoming increasingly connected, both virtually and globally, the success of certain careers will highly be built upon relationship-building and the ability to interact with others. For those particular careers, academic orientation and industry-experience will have less weight, and the ability to network, connect, and build rapport will become inevitable assets.
While the I.Q (short for Intelligent Quotient) is the score obtained on one of many intelligence tests which include different mathematical, logical, and problem-solving equations; E.Q, on the other hand, is defined as an individual’s Emotional Intelligence. As one’s ability to identify, control, and express their own emotions, those of others, and of groups. At one point in time, I.Q was viewed as the primary determinant for success. People with high I.Qs were known to perform better academically, earn more money, and be generally healthier than people with lower I.Qs. However, much like the shift in recruitment trends (probably initiated by this very change in perception), experts began to realize that the Intelligent Quotient wasn’t any more responsible for one’s success than any particular human skill or ability.
While the notion of Emotional Intelligence initially seems to go completely against that of standardized intelligence tests, it is actually simply a modified, modern, humanistic version. One that recognizes the importance of human relations, and includes an individual’s ability to build interpersonal relationships as part of the standard of excellence, and a very valuable skill to possess in the workplace. Contrarily to the Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Intelligence leaves room for a larger variety of people to fall under the “intelligent” category. People whom, for example, absolutely suck at math or computer programming, but are pretty darn good at making (and keeping!) connections.
Organizations have changed, and have been required to adapt their recruitment practices accordingly. Don't get me wrong - productivity and profitability are still the primary objectives of companies. However, these are increasingly starting to understand that, like any other human system, they are run and maintained by humans. Humans with skill, talent, and drive; but also with emotion, feelings, and an inherent need to socialize. Recruiters are therefore not only tasked to bring on talent and skill, but also to detect personality and sociability.
Because where your c.v will cut you short, your personality will get you the job.