When you make it to the interview stage, remember that your resume is still in play. You need to show that you have the right skills, experience, and character for the job.
Interviewers will ask you a series of interview questions to make this judgment. One of them is, “Please, walk me through your resume”. What they want is to better understand your professional background and your career objectives.
At the same time, they don’t want you to merely recite all the facts you’ve put down – they already read this stuff! Instead, they want to get a more succinct retrospective of your career summary, padded with extra contextualizations of your work duties, main skills, and areas of strength.
To help you deliver the right speech, we’ve prepared several tips, followed by sample answers to the “walk me through your resume” question.
How to Answer “Walk me Through Your Resume” Interview Question
This common interview question usually comes up at the beginning of the conversation. So don’t get taken aback by it. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to provide an answer that leaves an excellent impression.
Talk About Your Main Strengths First
First, don’t take this request too literally. An HR doesn’t expect you to recite your resume summary or read out your entire resume header. So, skip over the parts that aren’t that meaningful.
Go over the portions that are most relevant to the job you are pursuing. Specifically, you can talk about:
- Your most marketable skills (relevant to the position)
- Past work experiences with similar duties
- Key accomplishments
- Recent training and upskilling
- Must-have certifications or licenses for your profession
Also, you can ask the interviewer if they have questions, or if there is a section they want you to expand upon.
Emphasize What You Can Contribute
As you go over the details of each position, remember to focus on outcomes. You want to show where you added value and how you did that.
- Mention major projects that you completed
- Give details about actions you took that had a positive impact on the bottom line
- Show how you solved important problems.
Finally, focus on items that show your growth. Detail how you had a wide range of responsibilities that helped you with your professional development.
A sample portion of your answer can go like this:
“As a Senior Concierge at Fulton Hotel, I spend a lot of time organizing leisure activities for VIP clients, a segment your hotel also caters to. Using my connections, I can secure last-moment tickets to the Opera, National Theater, and Sports Events, as well as table bookings at popular local venues like Nobu or Soda. My average rating with VIP clients was 97% positive”.
Don’t Skip Through Skills Section
Spend some extra time talking about your hard and soft skills. This is just as important as your work history. Use this as an opportunity to point out the skills you have that were mentioned in the job listing.
Depending on the position, you may want to highlight your:
Then, you can use your work history to provide context for your experience.
Decide Whether to Discuss Your Education
Of course, you want to talk at length about your skills and work experience. But should you bring up education too? That depends.
If you are an experienced professional, you can skip through this. Or just mention some of your most recent industry certifications or professional training programs completed.
But if you are a recent graduate and your degree is highly relevant to the job, then you should absolutely discuss it. Talk about special projects, research, and honors you have received.
For example, you can frame your answer like this:
“ As part of my degree in Business Administration, I’ve completed two elective courses – Introduction to Customer Experience and Digitial Business Ecosystems. Both helped me realize the importance of CX for SaaS companies and become interested in Customer Success roles.
Show How Well You Will Fit In
Use the totality of the skills and experience in your resume to show that you are a great fit for this new role. Prepare by researching the company before the interview and the position you are interested in.
The more you know about the company’s history, culture, and challenges the better you will be able to determine what to emphasize when you discuss your resume. Show that you have relevant experience and values that align with the companies, and you will stand out from your competition as an excellent candidate.
Sample Answer to “Walk Me Through Your Resume” Question
Now let’s pull on the tips together. Here’s an example answer that a person working in retail management might provide.
“I first started in retail working as a part-time clerk at an amazing boutique in my neighborhood. This really helped to introduce me to retail operations and gave me a chance to learn about customer service. I helped customers find clothing and accessories, restocked inventory, and operated the point of sales system. Later, I worked in my college bookstore as an assistant manager. Here, I supervised a small team. This is also where I began to learn the administrative skills I would need to continue in retail management. I also wanted to point out that my associate’s degree in retail operations and management included an internship as a merchandising assistant.”
Think of this interview question as a jumping-off point that allows you to really go into detail about the things that make you an ideal fit for the position. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out what your interviewer is curious about. This will help you steer your answer in the right direction!