We often pack our resumes with our competencies – what we’ve accomplished in our career, promotions we’ve earned, our education, and how our actions benefited our previous employers. And while those things are necessary, employers are looking for more than that when looking at prospective candidates.

Emotional intelligence, also called Emotional IQ or EQ, can’t be overlooked in the hiring process. If you’re a candidate for a job, your prospective employer wants to know not only what competencies you bring to the table but also how you handle conflict, how you work with others, and if you’re able to handle your own emotions well under stress.

These are all ways that we display our emotional intelligence. Want to know how your emotional intelligence stacks up? Take this quiz to find out!


Why does emotional intelligence matter?

Emotional intelligence is all about how we handle our own emotions and how we relate to others. Those with a high EQ work well with others and are often short-listed for leadership roles. And even if leadership isn’t your goal, emotional intelligence can still advance your career.

Every job (even remote ones!) involves relationships, and behind every name and position is an actual human being with feelings and needs. Relating well to others, accepting responsibility for our own actions, and handling conflict with finesse are important pieces of managing these relationships and keeping our career trajectory moving ahead.

How to improve your emotional intelligence

If you didn’t score as highly as you would have liked on your EQ quiz, don’t worry. While your IQ score is generally fixed, the same isn’t true for your emotional intelligence. You can increase your emotional intelligence over time by building new habits and examining your own feelings and thoughts.

It may take some practice, but your coworkers (and your career!) will thank you for putting in the hard work.

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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at brynn.mahnke@gmail.com.