More recruiters look for personalityAs the country’s major conglomerates’ application periods approach, online job portals Saramin and Incruit released reports on the significance of cover letters and interviews, where true personalities are conveyed.
“Recruiters nowadays are shifting their paradigm to value work capability from academic ability in the past. So candidates have to think about who they are and keep practicing writing about themselves and what they want to do,” said Seo Mi-young, vice president and co-founder of Incruit.
Incruit defined that work capability is not all about skills related to the job position. Jang Jae-seob, manager of the job portal, said the ability to generate performance in a co-operation with co-workers is a large part of work capability.
Even if recruiters seek actual skills, Jang said they often intend to see the candidate’s interest in the job area and their past efforts to develop related knowledge or skills. He said employers don’t expect new workers to generate the same performance as experienced workers, but they value a personality that makes them ready to learn.
Saramin released a similar survey of 182 companies stating that recruiters value personality.
When asked to choose between skills and personality, 51.2 percent of respondents chose personality, while only 13.6 percent said capability.
When it comes to document screening, recruiters said they put the most weight on candidates’ performance in their college major courses.
Incruit said the cover letter is the most significant part of the screening process as a tool to display both personality and skills.
CJ Group is famous as a conglomerate that makes an effort to review as many cover letters as possible. They are read by a few members from each department, not just high-level executives and the human resources department, as part of a strategy to hire talent that shares the corporate philosophy.
According to the Incruit report released yesterday, a human resources employee from CJ said academic specs are no longer the ultimate measure. Although they are mentioned on job postings, the staff explained there are many cases in which candidates with weaker academic credentials and great cover letters have been hired, because they show understanding of and passion toward the conglomerate.
Incruit emphasized that the letters should contain content about tasks and skills directly related to the positions.
E-Land, Toray Advanced Materials Korea and Winix are also well known for having a heavy emphasis on cover letters. E-Land, in particular, looks for liberal arts knowledge, which leads to deep speculation about self and eventually allows candidates to show their personality.
Experts say there is a saying that job seekers have to take at least half a month before writing a cover letter to research the employer and the job.
“More companies are turning to the trend in which actual hands-on staff members get to screen the cover letters, letting them pick their own junior workers,” Jang said.
By kim ji-yoon [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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