The Future of The Resume

What is it about building a resume, refreshing your resume, getting your resume ready, updating your resume, anything related to your resume, that produces the cringe?

Perhaps it’s trying to figure out what you could possibly put on your resume that will give you the leg up?

Perhaps it’s trying to decide which is most important to go first – Education? Experience? Hobbies? (hint: probably not hobbies)

Perhaps it’s trying to edit down all of those amazing accomplishments to highlight the most important success elements?

Perhaps it’s trying to beef up your accomplishments to make them sound important?

Perhaps it’s deciding how far back you need to go?

Maybe it’s just all of the above? Yep, that’s definitely it for me.

Resume writing is hard, however, it may not be as difficult as resume screening. How in the world does a recruiter or talent acquisition specialist gleam from an 8×11” piece of paper the ‘fit’ of an individual into their organization? After all, education and experience are only a small piece of what is being sought after. And truth be told, 2020 may have demonstrated that we aren’t looking for those things at all. At least not first.

Education and experience have somewhat dimmed compared to the rock star status that soft skills have earned this past year. By soft skills, I mean emotional intelligence, of course. The skills that are abilities that when they are possessed, place an individual leaps and bounds above their peers with low proficiency in these areas.

In fact, the difference is shocking – 68%. Individuals with equal IQ…the one with higher EQ will outperform their peers by 68%.

Since EQ often matters more than IQ…why is one’s emotional intelligence NOT a part of their resume? Or even worse yet…a part of the interview process?

In my experience as a certified EQ practitioner and coach, it’s because very few people have high EQ. Who wants to put their EQ profile on a resume that shows skills they don’t have? It would be similar to applying for a Management role, Director, role, Executive role, and having only a high school diploma under Education and no managerial experience in your Work History.

Enough research has been done that builds the business case for emotional intelligence, which 2020 has been the poster child for, related to mental health, loneliness, depression, and wellbeing in the workplace, to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that workplaces must embrace emotional intelligence in order to engage people at work and life.

In fact, having proficiency in emotional intelligence skills accounts for 68% of a Managers performance and 30% of occupational performance.

The future in the resume lies not in chronologically highlighting only accomplishments, certifications, and education. It lies in highlighting the use of emotional intelligence skills to foster relationships, retain and engage employees, have difficult conversations to problem solve the most costly organizational problems, manage stress and reduce sick days/wellness days/disengagement, create spaces of psychological safety and innovation, and to enhance personal performance through higher well-being.

The future of the resume may just be to include your EQ profile. With pride, to put on display the skills that so many workplaces are craving their leaders and peers and employees to have. In fact, Generation Z demands these skills where they work.

2020 has demonstrated that pretty close to everyone has demanded these skills from their employers AND from their employees. But we have learned, the hard way, that far too many people just don’t have them. And because those skills were lacking, performance was drastically and dramatically impacted.

Most of the research on hiring costs demonstrates a range of $8000 – $40,000 to hire an employee. The top end of the range, for hiring high profile positions, can quickly exceed the $40,000 mark. With retention and engagement numbers across the globe at catastrophically low numbers, who wouldn’t want to hire the right person for the job?

Trillions of dollars are at stake every year. The EQi profile report cost?


What do you think? Do you think you’ll be on the leading edge of this curve? Will you ask potential candidates to include their EQ profile if they have one? Will you make EQ profiling part of your recruiting process for candidate selection? Will you be part of ushering in the future of work by demanding the skills that are most often needed are the skills that employees actually have?


Teresa Quinlan
Teresa Quinlan
Teresa Quinlan, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Speaker, Consultant. An Entrepreneur and Founder of her personal brand and the formula IQ+EQ=TQ, Teresa is passionate about emotional intelligence as the key ingredient to leveraging your IQ and personality and achieving the greatest levels of performance success. Teresa has been focused on transforming individuals, teams, and organizations to greater levels of performance since 1998 and has experienced leading teams and organizations through the highest of highs and the most challenging changes. Having spent over 25 years cultivating a rich and diverse set of skills, knowledge, behaviours, coaching and training new and experienced leaders, and mentoring, Teresa has developed shoot straight coaching, training, and mentoring techniques which foster opportunities for sustainable behavioural changes that lead to exceptional results; whether these results are to improve an individual's overall sense of well-being, a teams ability to be innovative, collaborative, self-organizing and self-directing, or an organizations ability to truly live their values throughout every uphill battle and downhill celebration. The road for Emotional Intelligence can being with the EQi-2.0 assessment; providing the baseline markers for one’s current EQ skill set. Development of EQ is done in many ways including: 1:1 Coaching, lEQdership – Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence Program, Webinars, Speaking Engagements, Team coaching, and consultation. Listen to TNT ESQ podcast with co-host Rhys Thomas on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and more.

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  1. Hey, there, Teresa (and Brian and Aldo and Frank and Jeff).

    Good stuff (and if you’re familiar with George Carlin, you know the actual noun).

    Seems to me that looking for new folks who embrace/practice/honor emotional competence is a fab idea. And that search will only bounce off in any organization that still, no matter what it says or the soaring-eagle posters in the hallway proclaim, does not build and nourish (every day, in every way) a community that is built not on counting beans but on shared leadership.

    The most puzzling thing to me is how many teachers, parents, managers and us in general, don’t get that the more leadership we share, the more there is.



    • A beautiful sentiment Mac – the more leadership we share, the more there is. This does require that each of us steps into self-leadership, personal responsibility, ownership. Starting there makes a very big difference in how we then navigate leadership together.

  2. The best companies are those that recognize the components of their corporate culture as very strong, they think about how to capitalize on these strengths and make them even more visible to co-workers, for the customers and the people who come into contact with their brand from the outside. The shared values and cultural foundations are integrated in all processes, can act as a compass in difficult times and during the decision-making processes, providing a sense of coherence, cohesion and determination throughout the organization. The sharing of the corporate culture also develops a sense of belonging. Do not forgetting that to valorizy the investiment, it is important that companies do everything possible to select a person of talent in line with the company values, with evident flexibility for “cultural fit” with the company. Understand if the values of the candidate can be fully integrated into the everyday “tissue” of company, assessing not only the skills and expertise, but above all the natural attitude of synergy of the candidate with the organization’s culture. Sometimes it is much better to hire a less qualified worker but is one who shows (and is possible identify it) a strong flexibility to cultural fit, knowing that the skills are something that can be develop (even acquired), while the culture no (or at least not always). Using the culture of the company as an additional screen for the selection process, we increase the possibility that new employees can quickly find their size and are fully integrated with existing collaborators. Not to mention that the company can count on another person who can contribute to its success in the organization, because he / she shares the fundamental values of it.

    • Wonderful insights and contribution Aldo. Something I have experienced in corporate worklife is that ‘culture’ is ill defined. The words are on the walls, however the clear definition of what that culture looks like in action is not clear, to anyone. Or not agreed upon. Integrity. Caring. Kindness. Empathy. What these things means, their definitions, is much different than what they look like in action. So while I may agree to have the same value alignment with a company, therefore ‘fitting’ into their culture, I may not be capable of demonstrating that value in the way that it is expected. Nor does anyone hold me accountable, or others accountable, to doing so consistently. And so we have cultural environments that, when observed, to not match the words on the walls. The people of every organization are it’s breathing living interpretation of culture. Fundamentally, organizations spend a lot of time ‘training’ and miss this all important element of soft skill training, emotional intelligence training, so that behaviours, cultural behaviours, can be achieved by all.

    • Absolutely Frank – hard/technical skills are teachable. Characteristics, personality traits, are not. However, emotional intelligence skills are learnable, and these can often increase an individuals capacity to intentionally demonstration integrity, collaboration, grit, persistence, even if these are not ‘natural’ traits of the individual.

  3. Teresa – a powerful article. The whole resume / job application / interview process deserves a major overhaul. I still see clients struggling to detail previous job attributes versus the results they generated – financial and non-financial – and to your point, how they did it. “It lies in highlighting the use of emotional intelligence skills to…” I still see people ill-equipped for interviews, focusing their preparation solely on content versus how they present themselves. Research shows that subliminal factors – what the interviewer unconsciously hears and sees – tone of voice and body language – significantly outweigh what the candidate says.

    I love the idea of including an E.Q. profile, but even with the mountain of emphasis / awareness building on E.Q. recently, so many hiring managers would still be clueless. And the profile would have to be constructed in such a way to be read by the screening software.

    Lastly, interviewing is an underdeveloped managerial skill. I was clueless as a young manager interviewing candidates for the first time. What did I know? No training from HR.

    • So many golden nuggets in here Jeff – thank you! The gaps to fill are evident and the means to fill them are available. The importance to dedicate time, resources, and energy to doing so…that’s what each company needs to be able to decide. Is this important enough for us to make that shift? What will we gain when we do? What will we lose if we don’t?

  4. Teresa, thank you for drawing our attention to resumes, the candidate hiring process, and reminding us that we are hiring human beings. I often feel that employers continue to make hiring decisions using outdated, impersonal approaches overly focused on assessing what you have done, your training and education in your field and other production-focused, largely IQ-related measures.

    Strong leadership capabilities continue to be valued and sought-after skills many organizations need to compete in today’s global workplace, yet little to no attention and priority is devoted to EQ skills in hiring processes and decisions. The definition of insanity comes to mind as I reflect on this. Leadership issues within organizations will not be solved solely by prioritizing EQ skills in the hiring process and valuing it in practice on-the-job, though it would offer a stronger foundation for making sound hiring decisions that align with and advance the values, culture and success of the organization and its people.

    I look forward to the day when hiring practices become genuine conversations that invite whole-person contributions to the organization’s most pressing problems rather than rote, impersonal back and forths to fill the position vacated.

    What truly is the value of a resume? It may serve to perpetuate biased filtering processes that allow for quicker “decisions” based on poorly crafted job descriptions that lack any significant human connection and understanding of the person.

    How we choose to see determines how we will be. The most pressing business issues facing leaders and companies demand prioritizing, valuing and putting humans first throughout the candidate/employee experience. Perhaps if hiring were more personal, more people-centric than process-focused, businesses would be better able to attract, hire and retain the diverse, inclusive, multidimensional human beings needed to meet the current and future demands of an increasingly dynamic global business landscape.

    This begins with being open to seeing differently, with inviting new perspectives and then living values aligned with a people first culture that creates the conditions for your people and business to flourish. Investing in your people is critical to business success. HOW you invest in your people is something I encourage all CEOs and CFOs to reconsider regularly. You will want to include emotional intelligence as a foundational part of your people and leadership development investment plan.

    • Thank you so much Brian for this rich comment!
      So many companies have started taking action – avoiding names, gender, or any identifiers that skew bias toward a candidate. More needs to be done, as you highlight. We are just beginning to scratch the surface. The research numbers don’t lie that practices in recruitment are skewed to favour a few.
      The ability to see differently, invite new perspectives and have a people first culture lies in each individuals personal ability to be well in their own skin first. To have healthy levels of well-being and self-esteem. To be emotionally intelligent and recognize where their own beliefs, biases, judgements, assumption, limit their perspective. Limit their desire to see, do, and be different.
      And of course, humans are adaptable. We can each, individually decide we want to see, do and be different.