You are more than your resume: Finding your fit
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This week, as I (Karen) was teaching HRM in my management class, we discussed interviewing. Students wanted to know about the questions to expect in interviews and the best way to answer some of them. After we practiced from the Glassdoor list of questions, we talked about what is NOT on your resume that a recruiter should know about you.

The truth is that you are so much more than what is written on your resume. How can you convey this during an interview of 30 minutes or even an hour? How can you convey something important and relevant about you for this specific job that is not on your resume, especially if the recruiter is using structured interview questions, with no room for learning what is unique about you?

We discussed ways to make sure to share those things you can’t necessarily list on a resume; things that have shaped you into the leader and candidate you are today, such as:I’m the oldest of four; This has made me responsible, driven, and able to care deeply about others.

* As the oldest, my father was not sure if he would ever have a son, so he taught me golf, basketball and other sports. This gives me the ability to spend time on the golf course, and not at the spa (as I did during one sales trip).

* I lost my cousin when I was 11 and I grew up overnight, caring for her baby son, who is now my youngest brother; This gives me empathy and compassion for others.

* My family is multi-ethnic; This gives me a DEI perspective that others don’t know that I have (I can cook a delicious chicken curry that I learned from my father-in-law, and I always get my nephew red clothing, a lucky color for his Chinese heritage).

* During high school, I toured England with my church choir. We spent one week learning at the Royal School of Church Music. I learned at an early age how to ask questions and be mindful of being a visitor in a new country and culture.

* My family welcomed a refugee family to Durham for six months and helped them navigate life in the U.S. As a result, I learned how to communicate when language is an obstacle and appreciate so many things my new friends taught me about kindness and gratitude.

These are all things that are not on my resume, yet they have informed so much about who I am. If I am only asked structured questions in an interview, there will be no time for the recruiter and interview me to really learn who I am or how I can contribute to the mission of the organization.

This is where we can use those questions such as “What else do we need to know about you?” or “What questions do you have for us?” These questions can help us find out if our values will fit with those who/where we are interviewing and take time to share things that are important for them to know about us. We should be prepared to use them to ensure that this new organization is a good fit for us.