Toss Your Resume, Polish Your EQ

Your ‘emotional intelligence’ could get you the job

This was a portrait I took indoors, while experimenting with natural window lighting. For this I used my 50mm f1.8 lens.This ima

Take a look at this picture. Is she happy, fearful, sad or surprised?

How you answer may mean getting a job, or being rejected.

The question tests your ability to recognize emotion. (The correct answers are based on general and expert consensus.) Other questions may be designed to identify a candidate's strengths and weaknesses, offer insight into personality, predict behavior on the job or ability to fit into an organization.

This sample question is adapted from one of a number of standard tests of emotional intelligence that are increasingly being used by employers to evaluate job candidates.

According to a new article for Knowledge@Wharton, the online journal of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, about 20 percent of organizations now use emotional intelligence tests as a tool to help decide who to hire or promote. Nearly three-quarters of human resource professionals surveyed said the tests are helpful in predicting behavior and organizational "fit."

In fact, some research indicates that your EQ is more important than your IQ. People with high EQs tend to make better decisions, and get along better with their bosses and their peers. They are top performers, keep their emotions under control and focus on the job.

In some cases, a "right" or "wrong" answers may depend on the position the candidate is being considered for. The Wharton article, for example, relates an anecdote about a company that rejected a candidate for chief financial officer because his test results showed that he was very optimistic, but had low self-esteem. Their ideal candidate for CFO, apparently, would be mildly pessimistic but have high self-esteem.

It's not only candidates for high-level jobs who are tested for EQ these days. Retailers, call centers and security firms are using short web-based tests as part of a pre-screening process for people applying for jobs that require dealing with the public.

They can be especially valuable for evaluating candidates for entry-level jobs. After all, they don't have a track record to show.

The test also may help separate the best candidate from the best interviewee. And, it can reduce the impact of a highly subjective factor-that is, whether the candidate just happens to "click" with the person conducting the interview.

Management consultants also are coaching people on how to use their emotional intelligence on the job. Susan David, of the Harvard Business School, has coached people on how to use emotional intelligence to have a difficult conversation with a colleague.

Because, in work as in life, suppressing emotions in yourself, or failing to recognize them in others, can lead to really bad results.

You can test your own emotional intelligence online. Here are two to try:
  • From the University of California, Berkeley: "How well do you read people?"
  • From Harvard University: "Test your social intelligence."

Can You Spot A Fake Resume?

By Jill Jacinto

account manager resume form...

You scour through resume after resume when you finally land a gem within the pile of candidates. It hits every point of your job description even the 10 skills you listed. It almost sounds too good to be it? Last week ABC News' 20/20 set up a segment to expose just that. The business behind fake resumes.

ABC interviewed the founder of fake resume resource site, William Schmidt. He'll create fake positions but also take it a step further by create fake degrees, companies (including phone numbers, addresses even websites). Schmidt says he has rarely been caught because few companies thoroughly check resumes and job references.

Schmidt thinks he is doing a public service by helping those job seekers who lost their jobs during the recession. He doesn't think he's selling a lie. He compares his business to that of a poker player's bluff...all about the illusion. He claims that half of the people who use his service are employed within 30 days.

But what's an employer to do if they think they found a great applicant but something isn't adding up? Marissa Klein, SVP of Choice Fashion & Media, weighs in with her expert advice.

Eyeing a Phony Applicant: How hard is it to find false information buried within a document that might have legitimate experience as well. Klein, says, "We specialize in an area that is very close knit. It is quite easy to catch a discrepancy due to our relationships and our own experience within the niche world of fashion and media. However, I have certainly discovered incorrect dates and falsified job description bullet points. Especially since the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009."

Catch a Fake: You've spotted a potential fake. What's the next step? Do you speak with the client, try and take another route or toss their resume in the trash? Klein, "We normally will outright challenge the candidate. Our "fakes" tend to be in the details – such as resumes not matching LinkedIn profiles. I tend to try to give people the benefit of the doubt. After the economy took a turn, many were forced to enhance or exaggerate their skill set in order to remain competitive, or valuable."

Go With Your Gut: What are a firm's options if think they found the perfect applicant but something within their work history isn't adding up. Klein says, "Certain things will always slip through the cracks. My advice to my clients is always the same. We can do all of the leg work to check, and double and triple check... but gut instinct, whether professional or personal, is usually infallible. If something doesn't feel right, it likely is not."

The Safety Net: How important is a background check? Klein says, "We do qualify candidates and I would say that most employers do too. However, specific background checks are costly (criminal, credit, etc) and we can provide these to our clients at a pass through cost. Most of our clients run these types of checks after an offer has been extended and accepted. Background checks in general fall into a truly gray area... traditionally, companies are not really supposed to disclose true editorial on a candidate, merely confirm a date started and a date ended. Ironically, as the liaison we are sometimes caught in the middle and must find a balance between what the client would like for us to "check" and what is legally permitted. Perhaps that is a whole other conversation!"

Résumés in 2014: What’s important (and what’s not)


Here at CareerBuilder, we’re always researching the latest trends in job search and career advancement. Recently, we read these two great pieces on Business Insider: “What Recruiters Look At During The 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Résumé” and “19 Reasons Why This Is An Excellent Résumé.” They offered some insight into the behavior of hiring managers and highlighted some things that made us go, “Now that’s interesting.”
We decided to have our career coaches Jill Hinrichs and Carlos Baldizon Martini sit down with our head of social media Justin Thompson for a conversation about these two topics. We wanted to find out if Jill and Carlos were hearing the same feedback from the job seekers they help.

Watch the conversation below: Click Here

What Recruiters Look At During The 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Resume

That's right: six seconds.

By Vivian Giang

Although we may never know why we didn't get chosen for a job interview, a recent study is shedding some light on recruiters' decision-making behavior. According to The Ladders research, recruiters spend an average of "six seconds before they make the initial 'fit or no fit' decision" on candidates.

The study used a scientific technique called "eye tracking" on 30 professional recruiters and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to "record and analyze where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task."

In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

The two resumes below include a heat map of recruiters' eye movements. The one on the right was looked at more thoroughly than the one of the left because of its clear and concise format:


With such critical time constraints, you should make it easier for recruiters to find pertinent information by creating a resume with a clear visual hierarchy. Don't include distracting visuals since "such visual elements reduced recruiters' analytical capability and hampered decision-making" and kept them from "locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience."