One of the most common ways for an interview to begin is for the recruiter or hiring manager to say, “Walk me through your resume.” How do you respond? Keep reading to uncover my top tips. I also provide a sample response to serve as inspiration for your next interview.
Is “Walk Me Through Your Resume” The Same As “Tell Me About Yourself”?
Before we dive into interview strategy, let’s discuss the difference between “Tell me about yourself” and “Walk me through your resume.” While these requests may seem similar, they serve different purposes and require slightly different responses.
Your response to “Tell me about yourself” can be relatively broad and extend beyond your career narrative. Conversely, “Walk me through your resume” is typically focused more narrowly on your career accomplishments. This article will focus on how to effectively answer the latter.
1. Share your most relevant experience.
To begin, you do not need to literally walk the interviewer through your entire resume. Unless specifically requested, you do not need to mention every role you’ve held. Instead, you want to synthesize your most relevant experience in approximately 90 seconds. You can do this in chronological or reverse chronological order.
Remember, this is your story, and you are the author. You can summarize or skip over your early career experience, irrelevant roles, and short stints. If it’s relevant, you can also explain how you got into your particular industry or profession.
2. Articulate your unique value proposition.
As you walk the interviewer through your story, be sure to call attention to what sets you apart from other applicants. I refer to this as identifying and owning your fabulousness.
You will increase your chances of receiving a job offer if you can effectively communicate your unique value proposition (UVP) and differentiate yourself from the competition. Be sure to call attention to your relevant transferable skills and how they will serve the prospective employer.
3. Explain your interest in the employer.
While your primary focus is to summarize your experience and UVP, you can also use your response to explain why you are interested in working at this company.
Note: You want to be specific here. What about their mission, vision, and values is compelling to you? Why are you drawn to this company over their competitors? How will you apply your fabulousness to their organization?
“Walk Me Through Your Resume” Example
Now I want to share an example of how you can respond when an interviewer says, “Walk me through your resume.” I modeled this example after a fictitious coaching role at The Walt Disney Company.
1. Before leaving my full-time job to dedicate 100% of my time to CaffeinatedKyle.com, I managed three residence halls and a team of 23 at San Francisco State University, one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. I also spent several years in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, including time at one of Washington State’s largest providers of community mental health services. I started CaffeinatedKyle.com as a college side hustle. I reviewed resumes and wrote LinkedIn profile summaries on Fiverr. Over time, my side hustle steadily grew, primarily through word of mouth, until I eventually left SF State to fully dedicate my energy to CaffeinatedKyle.com. I am now a trusted confidant to some of the biggest names in tech and Silicon Valley.
2. I am unique from other coaches in that I am trusted by some of the world’s most prominent executives to rethink, reimagine, and recreate how they approach work and life. As a result of our time together, they achieve what they have never imagined possible. I do this by nimbly connecting the dots between where they are and where they want to be, then guiding them to get there through deep, moving questions.
3. I am drawn to The Walt Disney Company because I have a healthy obsession with the customer experience and Disneyland is committed to delivering a magical experience for guests. Additionally, I am a proud Legacy Passholder and Magic Key Holder. My partner J.V. and I even moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Barbara, CA to live closer to Disneyland. Finally, as I shared in an article for The Mighty, “Disneyland is one of those few places where I feel a true sense of belonging and pride.”
Now, it is your turn to practice your response to, “Walk me through your resume.” You’ve got this!
Have an interview coming up? The following are additional resources to support you in preparing for your big day.