What is one tip you’d have for a candidate who is asked the question, ‘Walk me through your resume.’?
To help you answer the interview question, ‘Walk me through your resume’, we asked HR leaders and CEOs this question for their best insights. From focusing on your relevant experience to treating it as a sales pitch about yourself, there are several tips that may help you answer this question in future interviews.
Here are seven ways to walk an interviewer through your resume:
- Focus on Your Relevant Experience
- Provide Data
- Highlight Skills Learned from Previous Positions
- Be Concise
- Choose a Theme
- Ask What Criteria They are Looking for
- Treat it as a Sales Pitch About Yourself
Focus on Your Relevant Experience
When you’re asked this question, realize that the hiring manager isn’t asking for a tour of your whole resume. What they want to hear about are the positions that prepared you for the job that you are interviewing for. Focus on your relevant experience, as this will help you keep your details as concise as possible, which makes the hiring manager’s job easier. This is your opportunity to explain what you are bringing to the table and the professional experience that matters most, here, is relevant experience.
Phillip Lew, C9 Staff
If an interviewer asks you to walk them through your resume, make sure to include metrics, data, and any stats while discussing your career up to that point. This can include new clients you acquired, an increase in profits, or anything that can quantify your work. Having the right data can make your resume appear more substantial and impressive. Being able to remember these metrics and share them out loud shows the hiring manager that you are serious about the position and have created real results.
Hilary Kozak, LivSmooth
Highlight Skills Learned From Previous Positions
When providing a brief rundown of your resume, don’t linger on job responsibilities. Instead, focus on highlighting the skills you attained from your previous working experiences. These can be technical skills or soft skills depending on the job you’re applying for. When you highlight your skills, it gives the hiring manager a better idea of how important your current skill set would be at their company.
Eric Ang, One Search Pro
When an interviewer asks you to walk them through your resume, it’s an opportunity to make a good first impression and lay a strong foundation for the rest of your interview. Consider the aspects of your professional experience that are most applicable to the role, and be concise with your response. No one wants your first answer to take up half the interview.
Ben Travis, HR Chief
Choose a Theme
My best advice here is to start with an overall theme of how you got to this place and then fill in the details of the resume. That way it all connects and shows the interviewer that your life’s body of work has led you to this place in your life. For instance, say the reason you were drawn to your first job and how that shows your interest now. Then, state how that job led to your second job and reiterate what you learned there that pertains to the job you’re applying for now.
Fadi Swaida, Halton Village Dental
Ask What Criteria They are Looking for
If someone puts the pressure of guiding an interview on you, take advantage! When they say, ‘Walk me through your resume,’ or ‘Tell me a little about yourself,’ or any open ended question, you always answer with agreement and a question. You want to come across as confident, intelligent and most of all you want this person to feel that you care about their needs.
“Certainly, as you can see I have quite a variety of experience and I want to make the best use of my time with you. Tell me, what are the 2 or 3 most important traits or criteria you are looking for so that I can highlight the areas that will interest you?”
Naoshad Pochkhanawala, Amiko Benefits Inc
Treat it as a Sales Pitch About Yourself
Please under no circumstances should you read the resume back to the recruiter. They have a copy, and chances are they can read. Whenever a recruiter inquires about having you walk them through your resume, what they’re really asking is, “what highlights do you have on your resume that you’d like to tell me about?”
This is your time to shine, talk about the key points of related positions, and discuss key tasks that make you qualified or overqualified for the position in question. Treat it like a PowerPoint presentation where the bullet points are there to summarize what you’re really there to say. If you’re applying to a sales job, highlight any prior upselling you’ve done, any awards or records you’ve broken, share your metrics/KPI numbers (if you have proof), etc. Make sure you use this time to go over why you deserve the job without directly stating it. You don’t need to prove you can read your own resume, recruiters will assume you can read it.
Iohan Chan, Clark Staff