Walk Me Through Your Resume - How to Answer

It's common for prospective employers to ask candidates to walk them through their resume at the beginning of an interview. Knowing how to do this and the mistakes to avoid can make the difference between creating the right first impression and the wrong one.

Why Do Employers Ask This Question?

When employers ask "Can you walk me through your resume?" they want to learn more about you and your experiences than a one-page resume can provide. They're assessing who you are as a person and whether you'll be a good fit with the company's corporate culture.

They also want to know whether you can present a comprehensive, yet focused response. This skill is important in most professions. Your interviewer is looking to see whether you know what information is essential to communicate, and what is irrelevant.

Example Answers to Walking Through Resume

You should give an in-depth response to this question lasting approximately two minutes. This is your opportunity to highlight the parts of your resume you believe deserve attention and give more information about these points.

Briefly mention where you grew up and your education. Telling your interviewer why you chose your last educational institution (university, community college, or high school) and your major, if appropriate, will add some context to your resume. Make sure to mention internships and clubs that gave you leadership or industry experience during that time.

Unless you are taking an entry-level job, next mention your job history. If your job history is long, the two most recent positions should suffice. If these are in the same industry, note any experiences or responsibilities you believe will help you in this role. If you are transitioning from a different industry, you may mention why your experiences there led you to decide on a career change.

Since this question is commonly asked, it's a good idea to plan out your response before your interview. This will give you an idea of how long your answer is, and whether you need to add information or eliminate any unnecessary details.

Memorizing your response can help your performance in the interview, but make sure you don't sound as if you're simply reading a script when delivering your answer.

Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

While it's important to give an in-depth answer to this question, you shouldn't bombard your interviewer with too much information. This will make your walk-through seem unfocused and may make the interviewer doubt your ability to communicate succinctly to customers or clients.

On the other hand, don't make the mistake of skimping on the details. This should be a walk-through of your resume, not a run-through. Not giving enough detail will make your answer seem superficial.

Finally, be unprepared at your peril. You should have an intimate knowledge of your resume and your answer. You will not make the impression you want if you need to peer over at this document while answering the question. Interviewers will commonly ask you to walk them through your resume, so there's no excuse for not being prepared. Knowing what to include in your response and what mistakes to avoid should help you answer with confidence.

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