One of the most popular asked interview questions, “Can you walk me through your resume?” is often one that many struggle to answer or overlook when preparing. Although it is a broad, open-ended question, you can use a resume walkthrough to your advantage. It’s the perfect opportunity to confidently impress the interviewer and ultimately set the tone and direction of the whole dialogue.
Most candidates wonder why an interviewer would even ask this question if they have your resume sitting right in front of them. It is pretty much guaranteed they have looked over it already, if not multiple times. Interviewers are trying to uncover a more unobvious answer than what is physically written on a resume. They are essentially testing you on how concise you respond. Your response to this question shows whether you can sort out important pieces of information among irrelevant information. This is an extremely important skill to possess and gives interviewers some insight as to how you would respond in a professional environment.
On average, your response should take around two minutes. Practice these steps to ace the answer to, “Can you walk me through your resume?” during any type of interview!
Step One: Brief introduction
If you haven’t already done so, give a small introduction about yourself that reflects what is written on your resume. The question is meant to be an ice-breaker, so let them know who you are. Start by telling them where you graduated school, your degree (if any), and briefly mention any skills you’ve learned in previous roles or what made you interested in the particular industry. Doing this will allow a seamless transition into explaining items on your resume and why you are a qualified candidate.
Step Two: Get clarity
You want to keep your answer as concise as possible, but it is sometimes difficult to gauge what the interviewer exactly wants to hear. Do not be afraid to ask questions to clarify. Try asking, “What part of my resume stands out to you?” Asking this can cut down on time spent explaining information the interviewer finds obvious or irrelevant.
Step Three: Explain relevant experiences
This is arguably the most important step in answering this question. Touch upon only relevant experiences that demonstrate why you’re perfect for this position. It may seem difficult to find specific examples if you have never held a similar position. In preparation, analyze your resume and pull skills that match the desired qualities for the job you are interviewing for. Emphasize these skills and how you plan on implementing them in the position. You can also mention that you are eager to learn and develop new skills.
Step Four: Wrap it up
Again, your whole response should be no more than two minutes. There is no need to go through your entire resume - it will be repetitive and take far too much time. Instead, look at the job description and determine what the most important skills are for this position. Then, talk about a few experiences on your resume that highlight those same skills. Finally, expand on how those events have prepared you to be successful in the job you are interviewing for. After this point, expect a few follow-up questions from points you mentioned in your response.
Preparing for the structure of this question can relieve much stress when going through the interview process. If this particular question is not asked during your interview, you still will be equipped with the skills to answer any and all questions about your resume. You got this!
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