No, emotional intelligence (EQ) is not a line item on your resume. But EQ impacts all of your interpersonal interactions (and their impact on you) as well as how you interview and promote yourself to others. Employers may not be looking for emotional intelligence directly in your resume or letters of reference, but your ability to manage yourself and get along with others will nevertheless come across loud and clear.
For example, if you can’t work well with others, it may show as a lack of productivity since so much of what we do requires teamwork and cooperation. The tone of letters of reference will also reflect whether you are emotionally intelligent, since if you cannot manage yourself or others, that deficiency is likely to come across specifically or in the tone of the letter. Lack of EQ will especially come across loud and clear in the job application and interview stage. Those with good EQ will seem the type others wish to work with and the interview is likely to go smoothly. They will demonstrate that they respond effectively and appropriately across various situations in school, at work and during the application and interview stages. A good EQ is also required of good managers and leaders.
That’s not to say that those who lack emotional intelligence are doomed to a lifetime of unemployment. But if I’m lacking EQ then my talent and productivity will have to be considerably higher to make up the deficit. The level of EQ required also will vary depending on the position and the person doing the hiring. And a high EQ is no substitute for actual competency or hard work. However, the ability to know and manage emotions is a basic life skill that provides the baseline for success in our personal and professional lives.
Not high on EQ? Don’t worry – unlike IQ, EQ can be learned and developed. It takes some introspection and some work, but it can be changed. If you are already high in EQ, then good for you! Keep growing your EQ skills, they can only serve you well.
Note: Some websites such as Webucator offers free training to improve your technical skills that you can use to supplement the array of soft and technical skills that you can use to market yourself to future employers.