Emotional intelligence is more than just a buzzword. In fact, it can have a profound impact on your job search. Having strong emotional intelligence can set you apart from the competition and make you a top candidate for any job. So, if you want to boost your career, start working on your emotional intelligence today. 

What is emotional intelligence?  

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, assess, and control your own emotions, and understand others’ emotions. This involves five key skills: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Having high emotional intelligence and strong emotional intelligence skills can help keep you level-headed and considerate in the workplace, and while you can’t control others’ emotions and how they act on them, emotional intelligence can control the way you react to them.  

How can emotional intelligence benefit you during your job search?  

Having strong emotional intelligence skills benefits you in many ways during the job search process. Hiring managers value soft skills and being able to understand and regulate your own emotions, as well as those of others, can lead to better communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution abilities. In the workplace, the ability to think clearly and openly when faced with challenges or difficult decisions is vital, and these qualities are highly sought after by hiring managers. 

Second, strong emotional intelligence skills can keep you from getting discouraged or overwhelmed during the job search process. Job hunting isn’t always easy, and it’s common to start feeling pessimistic about the entire process. In times like that, it’s necessary to be able to regulate your emotions so they don’t affect your performance and find ways to keep yourself motivated.  

How can you improve your emotional intelligence skills?  

Don’t worry if you’re not naturally strong in emotional intelligence skills. Like any other skill, it takes practice to improve. If you’d like to enhance your emotional intelligence, follow these tips:  

    • Try de-stressing. It is common for people to experience stress, but how you manage it is what matters. Excessive stress can intensify negative emotions, affecting our ability to act appropriately. Job hunting can be a highly stressful task, and you may find yourself becoming agitated and making decisions based on frustration. If you go into an interview feeling discouraged or irritable, it could negatively impact your impression on the interviewer. It is important to learn how to regulate your emotions so that you can approach the situation with a clear and open mind. 

    • Listen! It’s very easy for us to get wrapped up in our own emotions and forget about everyone else’s. Part of the importance of having strong emotional intelligence skills is being able to use them to understand how other people are feeling in certain situations. To truly understand how something is affecting another person, you need to listen to what they have to say and how they say it. This can also help you figure out how to put yourself in their shoes, which can improve the outcome and strengthen your relationship and connection.  

    • Be positive. I know, I know. Very cliche. Just like how excessive stress can harm us, being excessively negative can also be detrimental. If you approach every job interview with the belief that you are not qualified for the position and will be disliked, it will affect your performance and attitude during the interview. However, if you focus on maintaining a positive outlook, you will be more inclined to push yourself to do and be your best. 

Practice makes perfect. 

Before applying for your next job or going to your upcoming interview, it’s a smart idea to use the practices mentioned above. Even if you already have a high level of emotional intelligence, improving your skills is always beneficial. Practice active listening, acknowledge and validate others’ emotions, and communicate clearly and effectively. You’ll be glad you invested in your personal and professional growth. 

Sophie Dan
Sophie Dan

Sophie Dan currently works as an Account Coordinator at Atrium and is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington with a BA in English, Concentration in Public and Professional Writing. As a recent job seeker herself, she brings a relevant and unique perspective to the conversation.