IQ or EQ – What’s More Important In Your Career?


For a long time, IQ was believed to be the ultimate measure for success in our careers and life. But in recent years, it has become clear that a person’s IQ score does not demonstrate their Emotional Intelligence – a core competency of good leadership and the key to a successful career.

At The CVSquad research has shown that our success at work and life depends 80% on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and only 20% of Intelligence Quotient (IQ). According to TalentSmart, EQ makes up 58% of a leader’s job performance, 90% of top performers possess high levels of EQ, and just 20% of low performers have high EQ.

What’s The Difference Between IQ and EQ?

It seems that whilst IQ is a good measure of a person’s intelligence, EQ is a better measure of practical and emotional life skills.

So Which One Is More Important?

For a long time, IQ was viewed as the primary determinant and ultimate measure for success. People with high IQs were assumed to be destined for a life of accomplishment and achievement in careers and life in general. However, some critics began to realise that not only was high intelligence no guarantee for success in life, it was also perhaps too narrow a concept to fully encompass the wide range of human abilities and knowledge.

IQ is still an important element of success, particularly when it comes to academic careers. But there are studies that show a direct relation between higher EQ and successful professionals. People with high EQ generally achieve more, excel at teamwork and service and take more initiative. To be successful, emotional intelligence has an importance as great as logical understanding or mathematical intelligence. Therefore, employers are increasingly looking for more candidates with emotional intelligence.

Within a survey, 71% of hiring managers said Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ. 95% of employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EQ. For workers being considered for a promotion, the high EQ candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate in most cases – 75% said they’re more likely to promote the high EQ worker.

When asked why Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is more important than high IQ, employers said – in order of importance:

Employees with high EQ:

  1.  Are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  2. Know how to resolve conflict effectively
  3. Are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  4. Lead by example
  5. Tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

HR and hiring managers assess their candidates and employees EQ by observing a variety of behaviours and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:

  1. They admit and learn from their mistakes
  2. They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  3. They listen as much or more than they talk
  4. They take criticism well
  5. They show grace under pressure

How To Describe EQ On Your CV?

Top organisations want to hire candidates who can speak confidently, listen well, make decisions based on critical analysis, and lead by example. It is very likely, that you will come across a job that requires interpersonal communication skills, ability to work with a team or manage others and you will have to showcase your EQ on your CV as Soft Skills or Attributes.

These are the top Soft Skills for employees:

• Communication
• Teamwork
• Flexibility and Adaptability
• Problem Solving
• Leadership
• Innovation and Creativity
• Work Ethic


Recruitment expert at The CVSquad, Ben Muir, adds: “Our life success is a result of a complex array of many different factors. With no doubt, both IQ and EQ play roles in influencing our overall success. However, things such as health and happiness also play an important part. Rather than focusing on which factors might have a more dominant influence, the greatest benefit we should see is in learning to improve skills in multiple areas. In addition to strengthening certain cognitive abilities, you can also learn new social and emotional skills that will help you in many different areas of your life.”