Online Hiring – People Skills Are the Most Important Trait You Have to Present in Selling Yourself at an Interview (Part 2 of a 4-Part Series)

(Ed’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 4-Part Series.)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

As one who has spent 33+ years in the high end of the resume writing business crafting 6,000+ hard copy resumes for executives and professionals making $60,000 to $500,000 a year, this is not my experience of how things get done in the hiring process.

For one thing, the more responsibility and more income the position generates the greater the likelihood that a hard copy resume and cover letter will be requested in the hiring process. Company officers higher up in the food chain than human resource types want more rather than less information on which to make a more intelligent hiring decision.

High level corporate officers would also like to view the writing skills of the applicant. They are well aware of the fact that the potential corporate-level hire probably had a pro write his or her resume.

They also understand that the client had to provide information for the process and this is one indicator of how well they present themselves professionally, and how well they can transmit pertinent information about themselves.

They are interested in the cover letter which, I might add, most online application forms and even resume posting opportunities many times do not address.

This is important because there is one thing that can be done by a pro in a cover letter than cannot be done by a writer in a resume, no matter how good of a resume the writer creates.

Pay attention because this important: You can demonstrate people skills in the cover letter and you cannot do so professionally in the resume product.

So what is the big deal about demonstrating people skills? Only this: people skills are the most important trait you have to present in selling yourself at an interview.

People skills are more important than education, training, experience, intelligence, talent and knowledge.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying here.

I am not saying that education, training, experience, intelligence, talent and knowledge are not important in the hiring process. I am saying that people skills are even more important.

The human process of “people contact” (my quotes) forms your attitudes about everything, and your attitude drives your personality. Show me someone with a good attitude, and I will show you someone with a good personality. Show me someone with a bad attitude, and I will show you someone with a bad personality.

If you do not think so and are content to remain ignorant, then explain to me how a high school dropout who lacks subject-verb agreement in his or her conversation can earn more than $1 million a year in sales.

Companies hire high school dropouts in sales even though the description for the job requires a high school or college degree, and proven experience selling in the field.

Why? Simple, do you know how many people can sell effectively? Less than 5% on anyone’s best day. When business employers realistically require education as a component in hiring they severely limit their ability to find people to generate sales to keep them in business.

Do people who believe this tripe being peddled about online hiring even realize that less than 5% of the employees in our economy are in professional sales, and that it is this same 5% of people who create the jobs for the other 95% in our economy?

Even Diane Stafford would be unnecessary as a journalist at The Kansas City Star if someone in their advertising department did not sell enough advertising to cover the newspaper’s overhead that includes her salary. She produces nothing and sells nothing and is irrelevant without ad sales to support her very existence.

Now some smarty is going to say that Diane Stafford is such a great writer than her writing will help The Kansas City Star draw readers for its ads. Fair enough, but if that point has any legs to stand up then take the ads out of the paper and try to sell it.

I have owned a newspaper and know better. I have worked as a managing editor of a daily newspaper property for another owner. He thought the same thing I did; this is why he did not pay me a $1 million a year to be his managing editor. Some of the ad salesmen made more than I did.

And? What’s the point? Well, think about it. How are an online application and an online testing process going to reveal anything about a person’s people skills in the hiring process?

At least with a hard copy resume and cover letter you can use the cover letter to demonstrate your people skills. Ergo, high level corporate executives are not going to let human resources (HR) limit them to online processes only.

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