Personality Testing, What’s the Deal?

July 18, 2010

Your resume is spit shined, polished, lightly buffed and glistening in all its glory. You’ve run it through key word tests, tailored it to specific employers, focused on results you’ve achieved, and even printed it on coffee-scented paper stock (one can never be too prepared, right?).

But when it comes to that darn objective, you’re never sure what to write. Will you sound too generic? If you get creative, will it turn the employer off?

The truth? Objectives are dead.

Ready to take its place is something far more critical – yourself. And I’m not talking the person that you see coming through on your resume but rather, a stark assessment of who you are through the eyes of your potential employer. Maybe your past experience is solid, and the results speak for themselves – but can employers truly relate to your experience in their world? Are you helping them see your potential through a lens they understand?

Potential through the eyes of the beholder

Many job seekers get so focused on presenting themselves to a potential employer using the traditional “here’s what I want to accomplish” objective, that they overlook another, more critical component – the skill set they possess.

But why so important? Heck, it’s results that count, right? Sure – but only to a point. When faced with someone who blew past their sales targets but left a trail littered with upset co-workers and frustrated clients in their wake, and  someone who can show equivalent results, demonstrating they delivered using a forward-thinking and (here’s the important part) team-oriented approach, you can likely guess which one a hiring manager will go for.

Yes, employers want to see results. But they also want to see how you achieved those results and an objective will give them an idea of how you’d go about it for their company.. So show them! Why waste your time, and theirs, with an objective that speaks nothing to this?

Understand your potential

Before you can hope to sell a future employer on your potential, you need to understand it yourself. Nope, sorry, ‘gut feel’ doesn’t count. Anyone can say they’ve got “tons of potential” or use phrases like  “out of the box” or “dedicated” but how can you quantify and describe this to an employer in a way they can relate to?

Simple. You need to understand yourself.

Not in the vaguely new age kind of way, but in the brass tacks, nuts and bolts of knowing your own work styles and competencies in the workplace kind of way.

Let me guess – you probably can describe yourself as an “ENTJ” or reference some other “type” of personality questionnaire you once completed. O.K., that’s a start. But let me know how successful that is when you put it in your resume. (Just kidding – please don’t!)

And there’s the problem. Most of the objective methods used in the past to help us understand ourselves and our natural competency potential are not an ideal match for explaining this to an employer. They might get a kick out of it, but it’s not likely to help your case against other candidates.

Instead, get yourself assessed using one of the many excellent tools that employers use to identify competency potential. These assessments provide very accurate, objective, and useful measures of your natural styles and competencies in the workplace. They can help you put your past accomplishments into context – and better yet, will help you explain how you achieved your results in language that employers can directly relate to.

(You’ll also learn a thing or two about yourself along the way too, but don’t let that stop ya…)

The end result

The end result will make a big difference in how you present yourself – and how an employer will see you. For example:

Skilled sale professional with a 15-year track record of meeting/exceeding sales targets: two-year winner of top performer award, exceeded annual revenue targets by 50% or more in 2008 and 2009.

Turns into:

Skilled sales leader with a 15-year track record of exceeding sales goals using a highly adaptable and persuasive selling style. Exceeded annual revenue targets by 50% or more in 2008 and 2009 by building on strong organizational and goal-oriented skills.

An overly-simplified example, but answers a number of questions an employer is bound to ask about how you accomplished all those things on your resume.

Do a critical read of your resume. Does it stick to just the facts? Just the results? Context is important. But you need to understand yourself and your potential to add this context. Visit sites such as www.onet.net or www.shldirect.com (free to use!) and get yourself assessed. Or use recruiters or outplacement firms (www.teneotalent.com) that offer these type of competency and motivation assessments and can connect you with a career coach to help you identify and understand your potential.

You know you’ve got potential – but your resume might be working against you.

By Nels Wroe

5 Reasons Why Salespeople Are So Terrific

By Andy Feld

Ever really wonder why, it is so easy and so enjoyable to just hang out with other sales people. What is it that seemingly makes sales leaders so different from people in other professions?

1.) The sales leader brings the money in: Toyota generates income because the salesperson in the showroom sells the car. IBM generates income because the salesperson in the field sells the equipment. Dex yellow pages make money because the salesperson sells value to the local businessman. Even the non-profit needs someone to find and bring in the money. No sales=no income

2) Sales leader demonstrate to an entire company that results are obtainable: We can only accomplish those things we can visualize and the sales leader is the guiding light to all others in his organization. His success creates a standard for all other to see, and demonstrates to management that indeed their product is in demand.

3.) The sales leader is irreplaceable: He is the one who makes the sale and brings in the money. He is one of the bottom line people

4) The sales leader understands self-responsibility. The sales leader is NEVER the victim. The sales leader understands that he gets compensated for his results only, and does not ask for handouts or pity. His success is based on his own efforts and expertise. This creates an inner confidence, a can do attitude, and self love that very few other professions offer.

5.) The sales profession never has gotten the recognition it deserves, but sales leaders radiate a glowing energy that others almost always want to emulate. This is what makes them so special and why we love being in their presence.

Andy Feld is a distinguished author of several inspirational books, including, “SIMPLE HAPPY, Finally learning to listen to yourself”. Andy’s new book is “Wake-Up! Your Life is Calling!” He lives in Morrison, Colorado outside Denver and travels the country as a frequent speaker on life inspiration and business sales. He is also a regular guest on radio programs across the United States and on local TV.



505 269 9909

Good news about more jobs in sales

By Judith Copeland

The Fourth of July has passed, a time when most people celebrate. And one job category has even more reasons to celebrate, about 1,000 of them. According to Indeed.com, which aggregates employment listings from job boards, newspaper classified ads and corporate employment websites, there are currently 7,793 sales jobs being advertised for $40,000 + in Colorado, and 5,264 in the Denver area.. For Colorado, this represents an increase of about 1,000 jobs over the past two months. Good news indeed!

What this means for job seekers and hiring managers is that the pressure is on. Hiring managers can expect to see a plethora of hopeful jobseekers send in their resumes. In response, hiring managers must roll up their sleeves, and start to sort through the stack. When a job requisition opens a company usually wants the requisition filled as soon as possible, especially when it comes to sales, more pressure.

Ironically, the current means of sales hiring is receiving resumes though the Web, and this does not always provide the best candidates. Great salesmen often have a charismatic style that cannot be translated through keywords, there is only so much parsing that software can do. A lot of sales are face-to-face, verbal communication that does not always translate well into print. Companies have to look beyond numbers and quotas reached to get the right fit and find new techniques to find their sales stars.

Word of mouth will probably be a large factor in some of these hiring decisions, so jobseekers will have to network all they can to gain any advantage that could draw attention to their resume. Of course, they cannot leave out some basics such as highlighting their best skills at the top of the page, and using SEO in the body of their resume.

Get ready to go to work!


Pages: 1 2

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David R Meyer - Denver DISC Specialist July 20, 2010 at 12:56 am

Thank you for the thoughtful article. As someone who is certified in DISC and uses it frequently for a vareity of needs, I can attest to the power of the tool itself. But DISC and others are just that, tools. They are not a substitute for in-depth interviews, won’t tell you about a person’s values, and make no attempt to measure skills and talents. In the hands of qualified professionals, these tools can enhance not only the hiring process, but also help the organizations leadership understand employee motivation, communications style, leadership preferences, and even fears. However, too many companies are employeeing these types of tools without a thorough understanding of what the tools do and do not measure.

Knowing a little bit about a personality assessment is a like knowing a little bit about medicine. Overconfidence in that little bit of knowledge can be deadly!

Thanks again for the article.

Dave Popple July 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Personality testing has come along way since outdated tests like the DiSC first entered the scene. We have found that combining “forced choice” assessments with likert scale questions similar to the one you highlighted can paint a good picture of a candidate.

Research and insight like the one’s found in “The Aberdeen Report” and most issues of the Harvard Business Review further highlight the fact that personality testing leads to better retention and job satisfaction. Even if you hate the process, the process may keep you from taking a job you will soon hate.

I agree with David that a little knowledge is dangerous. For example, we only use Doctoral level consultants in this area. Hiring someone is a life changing action for both the hiring manager and the candidate and should not be taken lightly. As a DiSC expert, i am sure he is aware that simple tests like the DiSC should never be used to make hiring decisions but makes for great discussions as a development tool.

Thanks for the topic.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: