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Inside the Mind of HR: The Keys to Setting Yourself Apart

Jun 2, 2013, 9:00:09 PM

A lot of times when job seekers are getting ready for their initial interview with HR, they try to read their mind. Of course, this ability would be nice in this situation, but I think you’ll find guessing to be a waste of time.

The question on everyone’s mind going into an interview is probably the same- What are they looking for in a candidate? However, I recommend not saying this out loud. While good questions are always encouraged in an interview, this one can usually be portrayed as- What do I need to say to get this job?

Well from a recruiting perspective,they’ve already done their research and read your resume to determine you are qualified for the position. They are now looking to answer the big question- Is this person a good fit?

It’s important for an HR manager or recruiter to determine if a candidate is a good fit so their solution isn’t temporary. Once they have determined your skills or experience match up to what they need, they are looking for a personality fit and a culture fit. They need someone who has done their homework and will be able to immediately contribute.

HR managers and recruiters often receive a large volume of resumes that look extremely similar. If your resume looks extremely similar to the job description, how are you going to stand out? Remember this: Use your resume to show that you are a well-rounded person.

If this is something you need to work on, start by building your volunteer background. If you are currently unemployed and looking for a job, you could also find this to be a great networking opportunity.

Having additional things such as volunteer work on your resume will show you have balance between your personal and work life. This says you value the opportunity to make the most of your time both inside and outside of work. Most importantly, show that you do more than just show up for work every day.


Setting yourself apart is the first step. Next, we’ll discuss further how HR managers and recruiters typically go about finding candidates and then choosing the right one.

Tammy Kabell

Written by Tammy Kabell

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