Tag Archives: Needed job skills

Do Hiring Managers bypass Introverts for Extroverts?

A Huffington Post article entitled “13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People” (http://tinyurl.com/psczejd) listed these characteristics:

  1. They ask questions
  2. They put away their phones
  3. They are genuine
  4. They don’t pass judgment
  5. They don’t seek attention
  6. They are consistent
  7. They use positive body language
  8. They leave a strong first impression
  9. They greet people by name
  10. They smile
  11. They know when to open up
  12. They know who to touch
  13. They balance passion and fun

Most of these habits could be found in extroverts; some align with introvert personalities. Clearly all of these habits are highly prized by many if not most hiring managers. In fact, personality factors appear to account for 20 to 30% of the variance in work performance according to occupational psychological research.

I was once part of a team charged with hiring a couple of applications engineers who would be providing phone/email/on-site customer support. One particular candidate was not shy about expressing his preference to support customers solely through email. “I’m not a people person” he told us. He had an impressive résumé but his introversion was expressed not only with his words, but by his attitude, his body language, and manner of dress. We passed on hiring him.

In an academic paper (2005) entitled, “Predictors of Objective and Subjective Career Success: A Meta-Analysis,” the researchers/authors suggested that the breadth and quality of one’s external social network may influence the type of career experience an individual enjoys. Research on the “boundaryless career” suggests that the presence of strong external networks are indeed related to career success (there’s also an organization contribution component). Generally speaking, extroverts are more likely than introverts to have strong external networks. The authors state that while career success is partly due to merit and job competency, another variable is obtaining organizational “sponsorship” that often reflects a more political explanation for career success. Other authors cited in the research report that individuals have to be similar to gatekeepers (managers), display a positive outlook, differentiate themselves from others, and engage in self-promotion in order to move ahead in their careers.

Not exactly the domain of introverts.

Susan Cain gave a TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts) whereby the presentation tagline read, “In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.” Cain states that many successful achievers (in the corporate world) who are self-proclaimed introverts have learned to manage themselves as they extend themselves out of their comfort zone.

Well, that’s why “likeability” that I so often write about is also known as “impression management” and is most prevalent in the hiring process. Even extroverts have to gauge the strength and direction of their interactions, depending on the perceived reward (a job offer, a marriage proposal, a contract negotiation). As long as many if not most hiring managers continue to rely to varying degrees on intuition, gut instinct, and personal chemistry when making a hiring decision, people will have to stretch (or contract!!) themselves as necessary and as the situation dictates to remain viable candidates in the eyes of the hiring manager.

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Job and Career News of Note

Your High School GPA May be an Indicator of Earnings Potential

Your high school GPA is strongly correlated with how much you’ll earn as a worker, a new study found. For a one-point increase in a person’s high school GPA, average annual earnings in adulthood increased by about 12 percent for men and about 14 percent for women. Men who were born between 1960 and 1964 and graduated from college earned a median of $802,000 in cumulative earnings by the time they were in their mid 40s. Meanwhile, median earnings for high school graduates fell from $435,000 to $243,000 over that same time period.  (WashingtonPost.com)

Best Apps for Job Hunting

Jobr: is trying to be the Tinder for job hunting. Fill out a résumé and job openings that match your profile will pop up one by one. You swipe to the right to register interest, and if the hiring party likes you too, Jobr sets up a phone chat (Free, iOS only).

Job Interview Q&A: offers just what the name says. It poses common interview questions to which you respond. It also explains in each case what managers are hoping to learn (Free, Android only).

Job Compass: lists jobs by ZIP code and covers dozens of countries–in case your up for a big change (Free, iOS only).

Job Search: from JobandTalent, improves on the average job-search engine with a beautifully designed interface that helps you sort through and stay up on the openings that interest you. (Free, Android or iOS)

Best Companies to Work For

When it comes to attracting workers, tech companies are tops. A new report from Glassdoor used employee feedback to rank the top 25 employers, with firms like Google, Facebook, and Adobe leading the way thanks to pay and perks (FastCompany.com).

Why College Degrees Are Losing Value

Congratulations, graduates–your diploma may be worthless, said Richard K. Vedder in BloombergView.com. “American institutions will confer about 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees this year,” and while many of those grads will land solid, well-paying jobs, many more “face an uncertain future.”  In fact, “many will end up taking jobs historically done by those with high school diplomas or even less.” Surely, the financial crisis, enduring recession, and sluggish recovery are partly to blame. But there is a longer-term problem at work: “There are simply more college graduates than jobs requiring college degrees.” And it’s getting worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a gain of more than 15 million jobs by 2022, but less than a third of them will require a college education. Of course, “as word spreads that college degrees do not guarantee vocational success,” many students may choose to skip college–and student debt–altogether. But “solving the problem will be very difficult so long as politicians find it expedient to dole out aid and cheap loans” to students who won’t benefit from college at all. The bottom line is that unless we overhaul how we finance higher education, we will continue to have “a lot of graduates with low paying jobs, big debts, and unfulfilled expectations.”

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