“Can you walk me through your resume?” This is a common, early-stage job interview question that you need to know how to answer in a strong, succinct way.
Why Employers Ask This Question
So, why does an employer ask “Can you walk me through your resume?” You know they’ve read your resume. Why do they need you to walk them through it?
Mainly because they want to hear firsthand about your career story. They want to hear your spin on how you describe your background and your experience before they start going into more in-depth questions.
The Best Way to Answer “Can You Walk me Through Your Resume?”
First, start with your earliest role that you have on the resume. If you have expertise that applies to the position, but it’s not on your resume, be sure to mention that.
First, go in chronological order from your earliest position up to the present.
Next, within each position, share just a quick overview–a highlights reel–of your responsibilities. Briefly mention a key achievement within each of the roles and emphasize any promotions. Did you win any major awards or achieve special recognition? This is a good time to mention those points.
Before you move on to the next job, tell them why you left and why you pursued the next role.
Were you recruited? Was it a vertical career move? Was it to gain an additional skill set? Emphasize these things because they all show ambition and mobility, making you a stronger candidate in the hiring manager’s eyes.
If You Left Because You Were Unhappy
If you changed jobs because you weren’t happy in the company, or because you were in a toxic work environment, it’s important to keep those negatives to yourself and stay neutral.
One good go-to phrase is, “It was time to move on.” For example, “After three years in that position, it was time for me to move on to a new role where I could focus more on X and Y.”
Wrap Up Strong
When you get to the current position, quickly point out an accomplishment or two that are most aligned to the position at hand.
Then conclude with, “The culmination of of my experience has really prepared me for the role that we’re talking about today and has positioned me well. I’m really looking forward to talking about my experience in more detail.”
The next time you answer, “Walk me through your resume,” be strategic, be brief, and stay positive. This is another way to stand out and be their top choice candidate.