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How to Respond to “Walk Me Through Your Resume”—and Get Your Interview Started on the Right Note

By | Regina Borsellino |

When you begin any job interview, your interviewer is likely to start the conversation with some sort of introductory question. Because of this, “Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common interview questions in any job search. But your interviewer may also begin by saying, “Walk me through your resume.” Here’s why interviewers will ask you to do this and how to respond the right way.

(And if you’re still looking to apply for jobs so you can land more interviews, you can find open roles right here on The Muse!)

Why Interviewers Say, “Walk Me Through Your Resume”

When interviewers ask you to walk them through your resume, they’re looking to quickly learn about your work history as well as your ability to communicate your “story” as it relates to the job you’re interviewing for, says Muse career coach and former recruiter Jennifer Smith, founder of Flourish Careers. “In essence, this question brings your resume to life,” Smith says, by adding a human element to a list of experiences, skills, and qualifications. It gives you an opportunity to connect all the pieces in your resume together to form a coherent narrative—one that hopefully leads seamlessly into this position.

Interviewers want to know about the skills and experiences you have that qualify you for the job you’re trying to land. And particularly if you have a work history that doesn’t directly relate to the position you’re interviewing for, it can be difficult for the hiring manager or recruiter to connect the dots on their own, Smith says. But an opening like “Walk me through your resume” can get them an overview of your qualifications right off the bat and help them decide what parts of your past they should ask more about. “This question can also provide background info for resume gaps,” Smith says. And it can give your interviewer a sense of your communication skills. “Is the candidate able to highlight their value in a succinct way or do they ramble for 30 minutes?”

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