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So you’ve finished applying for jobs, waited endlessly for responses, and you finally have it:
You have been waiting months for this moment, and now you are wracked with nerves because of the interview.
The conversation between you and a potential employer could make or break your chances of being hired for the job. Not to get you more worried than you already are, of course.
But really, don’t stress so much!
Here’s the deal:
We are here to help you perform your best, so that you can land the job you want as quickly as possible. If there is a question you have about the job hiring process, Zippia’s got your back.
This time, we are tackling one of the infamous interview questions of all time:
What? Didn’t you already read my resume? What should I respond with without seeming dull? These are some of the questions that may race through your mind when you hear “walk me through your resume.”
Walking an interviewer through your resume is not as hard or redundant, as it seems.
The simple answer to the questions above is: yes, they have probably already read your entire resume… and are impressed by it. That is why you are sitting in the chair opposite them and not someone else.
You may be wondering:
Why are you having to rehash the resume for them?
Easy: They want to know what aspects of your resume you find important, and how you best connect those skills and experiences with the job you are applying for.
Simply put, based on your resume, they want to know what about your job experience and qualification history makes you the best candidate for the position.
“Walk me through your resume” can be a tricky interview question if you do not know what they are looking for. But don’t worry–we are telling you now what they are looking for so you can easily ace this question.
1. Know the Position. The most important aspect of answering this question is knowing about the position you are applying for in great detail. What are the required skills and experiences? What type of person is the company looking for overall? Note these down ahead of time and then brainstorm how your resume hits the bullseye for what they want.
2. Know your story. Think about how you are going to craft an enticing story about how you started from point A and got to where you are now. How does your previous experiences make you a good candidate and most importantly, why this job?
3. Emphasize relevant skills. If you’ve had a lot of different jobs that aren’t all in the same industry, for example, then emphasize the skills you gained and practiced that are relevant to the current job you are seeking.
If you are a fresh graduate who is new to job hunt, you will need to explain how you used college to learn skills and what experiences you sought, i.e., summer internships and volunteer opportunities. You could even discuss relevant specialized coursework.
4. Emphasize why this job is for you. Highlight why the job you are interviewing for is the next most logical step in your career journey and why the job is your top pick. Obviously, you will be applying to many jobs, but why does this particular job make the most sense and why are you the best person to fill it?
When walking an interviewer through your resume, you will want to keep it short and succinct.
Typically, the answer to this interview question should be two minutes or less. You don’t want to give them some long-winded answer that leaves them checking their watches.
If you have a short interview, keep it short. If you have a much longer interview, you can ask them how much detail they want in the answer. Do they want a brief overview with key experiences described in detail or do they want information about all of your experiences?
Ready to see how to put all of this together? Check out two examples below.
I’ll begin by saying that I grew up in North Carolina and went to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I majored in biology and chemistry. I graduated with honors and took graduate level coursework to supplement my internship and laboratory research experiences.
I began working intensely in a lab at the university where I learned crucial laboratory skills for analyzing different proteins and managed my own cell lines. From there, I interned at the local hospital’s summer scholars program, where I spent over 1000 hours mastering those techniques.
I changed jobs at the end of college because the internship and jobs at the hospital were limited to students. I wanted gain professional experience interacting with patients, so I was an EMT for a year. I learned valuable skills in conflict resolution, customer service, stress and time management, as well as teamwork.
Having a degree and extensive experience in laboratory-based sciences, I want to pursue a career in laboratory pathology. This position at LabCorp would the perfect step and I would utilize all my skills and experiences to become an effective member of your lab team.
Not that bad, right? Here’s another example:
I’ll start by saying that I grew up in Mississippi in a family that owns a family BBQ restaurant. The recipe has been in the family for generations and my dad started the business because everyone always loved our BBQ. As I got older, I also worked for the restaurant, but I always liked doing community outreach and advertising projects.
So when I went to college, the decision was easy: I would study marketing and finance at Rice University, where I was in the honors college all four years. I also was able to utilize the skills I learned in class through summer internships with companies like Tyson and even had the opportunity to volunteer with local startups for their marketing team.
It was clear to me afterwards that I wanted to continue honing these skills, so I completed my MBA at Wake Forest University’s business school. I used this opportunity to strengthen the business skills I learned at my internships and was able to complete projects for partnered companies that increased their social media and marketing outreach by 70%.
The position I am interviewing for would be a perfect match for me because it is a position that requires an employee with a blend of marketing, finance, and business skills to complete the work effectively. Although I have just recently graduated, I have over 500 volunteer hours working with nonprofits similar to yours, as well as over 1000 internship hours with companies whose job skills sets mirrors yours. Because of these experiences, I believe that this resume would reflect an excellent candidate for this position.
Walking an interviewer through your resume sounds like a daunting task– but it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be a ten minute long speech or a detailed look at every single item on your list.
Highlight the most relevant parts of your resume and explain trends or skills that you learned from previous job experiences that are applicable to the current position you are interviewing for.
And no matter what–stay calm.
Use this interview question as a chance to show off your skills and talk in more detail about all the experiences you’ve had that would make you perfect for the position.
And, want to know the best part?
You know all the secret amazingness about yourself, and you can’t fit it all on one resume. So use this question as your time to show them why you are the best candidate for the job.
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