Talk to the unemployed and many will tell you that experience isn't helping them get a job. A new study may help to explain why: your potential to do great things is more valuable than what you've done already.
Photo by Lightspring (Shutterstock).
Ideas and productivity blog 99u points to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that asked participants to play the role of people in deciding roles. The results favoured those with potential more than those with experience in their field:
They found that people playing the role of basketball coach preferred a rookie player with great potential over an established player with a great record. They were also willing to pay more for the promising rookie, and they thought his sixth season would out-shine the experienced player's sixth season.
Other participants playing the role of recruiting manager preferred a candidate with a high score on a leadership potential test, and thought he/she would perform better in the future, as compared with an equally qualified candidate (both had MBAs from NYU) with a high score on a leadership achievement test. These effects weren't due to a bias for youth — the pattern held in a similar experiment that took into account the perceived age of the candidates.
When we don't know someone's capabilities but they seem promising, we're intrigued to find out what will happen and are filled with hope about what they'll be able to accomplish. These results suggest that when you're going out and looking for a job, you should focus more on showing what you're capable of doing and talking less about what you've done.