“What Should We Know That Is Not on Your Resume?”

The job search doesn't end with you being invited for an interview. In fact, this is where actual job hunting starts. Choosing the jobs to apply for and tailoring your resume to match job requirements of each and every opening is preparatory work. The real deal starts when you are invited for a job interview. If you have already been in the position of a job seeker, then you are probably aware of tricky questions that may await you during the meeting. Today we would like to address one of such questions and explain how to develop an answer. During an interview, all details matter; despite the fact that this is just one question, depending on how you answer it can make a huge difference in how the hiring authorities will evaluate your candidacy.

How to Answer This Question


When candidates are asked a question like "What Should We Know That Is Not on Your Resume?", most of them appear confused and puzzled. We should confess that this one actually does sound a little bit weird if you don't understand why they are asking this question. You have spent hours to condense all of your experiences onto or two pages so that the hiring authorities could know everything they should know. And then comes this question! It seems like you've said it all and there is nothing else to add. The things you didn't mention in a resume, you have likely addressed in a cover letter. Why would they even ask such a question? When asking such a question, hiring managers don't try to get new information about your accomplishments or past experiences. The truth of the matter is they want to get a sense of who you are (personality).

Obviously, such question assumes the opportunity to share something important that doesn't fall within the traditional resume/cover letter formats. But for the most part, that's a personality test. When approaching to answer this question, there are several ways to go. First, you can share one of your traits (something positive). It may be commitment, dedication, enthusiasm, or creativity. Anything that describes you in one word. Another path you can take is tell a story revealing your true character or one of its features (i.e. your perseverance, persistence, etc.). Finally, you can dwell on your about your career goals and motivation. In other words, explain why you want to work in the chosen field. No matter what you choose, make sure you mentioned why you think it is important for your interviewer to know this. Ideally, you would connect whatever you have to answer to the applied job and employer.

What Not to Say

If you are asked "What Should We Know That Is Not on Your Resume?", don't say anything that is on the resume. Otherwise, you will appear like the one who doesn't understand the question or even worse, like the one who has nothing interesting to say. The same applies to your cover letter - if you mentioned it there, don't use it in your answer. Try to stay calm during the conversation and don't be overly personal with the hiring manager. Don't panic when you are asked another tricky question. Remember that it is totally fine to take your time to think your answer through.

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