Walking through your resume

I am trying to come up with my 2 to 3 minutes of walking through my resume or interviews but I am having a hard time. Does anyone mind sharing a general example on how one should correctly answer the "walk through resume/tell me about yourself" question?

Thanks.

Comments (38)

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:02pm

The main point of this question is to

  1. Narrate your story for the reader/interviewer, because they definitely haven't had time to look it over before this minute.

  2. Tell your story of how everything you've done before has brought you to this interview, aka why you are pursuing banking, consulting, etc.

  3. Like every question, this is a chance to sell yourself. In this case, your story.

In general, my suggestion is to break it down as follows: 1/3 of the time you spend quickly reviewing why your background (if the question is phrased, "tell me about yourself", if it is "walk me through your resume", do just that.) where you went for school, how great it was, etc. and then the next 2/3 should be all sell: quickly go through the most important point or two from each of your experiences, and then focus extra time on your most recent internship, which should hopefully be banking/consulting, etc. From there it's simple. You loved your internship, you made sure to confirm it was for you, and now you're determined to work in X field.

I hope that helps. To clarify, "experiences" can be more than just work: if you held leadership positions in school for say, the outdoor club, whatever, briefly discuss that, as you have time to add a little color here and there.

Remember, if you focus those three main reasons the interviewer asks this question, you'll be fine. 2-3 minutes is a good guideline. I think anything over 4-5 is too much. Remember, don't waste time on what's not as important/what is there for color. They will notice those things as they read along with your resume as you narrate it for them.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:05pm

my resume walkthrough is too long (Originally Posted: 10/15/2007)

Sorry I meant to continue my old post but couldn't find it. I was wondering if about 10 minutes is too long for a "walk me through your resume" type question. I found that I could not really shorten it anymore without taking away an important point that I want to mention. Usually I just talk about my positions, my main responsibilities in each position, and what are the qualities/skills that would help me in banking. does anyone have any tips for these sections? I know this is somewhat of a redundant question but I have not been able to cut it any shorter.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:13pm

Haha this is the first time I've ever heard someone worried that their resume walk through is too long. Now I've heard everything!

Seriously, dont worry about it. Just keep it relevant, avoid going off on any tangents...otherwise I think the ability to talk about your resume for 10 minutes is a pretty good skill :P

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:14pm

i think the problem is you think that being president of your business club is important. but im sure every president thinks that of his/her club which is why he/she is the president anyways. but this is kind of beside the point...

you just need to do the following:

I study this, sophomore year i did this internship where i did this and learned this made me interested in banking. junior year i took a internship with XX firm and learned that only real men strap 10x leverage on bank deals. this made me really interessted in persuing this career - which is why im here today. this is the 30,000ft view (bonus points for jargon), but if you have any specific questions we can go over them in detail.

this is like 3min max time and your interviewer will remove the ballpoint pen from their throat this time.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:17pm

Pick the three or so things that you feel are the most important and spend about a minute on each. The interviewer can see the other stuff on your resume and certainly doesn't need a walkthrough of each item. If you absolutely must mention something minor, do so casually by saying "all the while I was working part time behind the bar trying to pay for college," or something along those lines. Pretty much everything on your resume should have a ten second version and a 60 second version, try to balance the two.

CompBanker

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:19pm

I can go through my resume pretty thoroughily in 2-3 minutes. If the interviewee starts going on and on, i make sure to refocus them.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:20pm

The goal is not to verbalize your resume. Don’t tell them what you did at each job, tell them the skills you learned. This gives them the opportunity to drill down via follow up questions.

I'm on there market right now, so here’s my post undergrad work experience and my pitch:

Resume Jobs (From current to oldest)
1. Distressed Debt Fund
2. Distressed Debt Law Firm
3. Sports Marketing/Representation Agency

Pitch

While in undergrad I was the captain of the men's basketball team. Senior year I suffered a knee injury, but I still had hopes of playing professionally in Europe. So, I decided to take a job that would help build my connections in the sports industry while still affording me time to rehab my knee and work on my game. While at XXX, I was able to gain a better understanding of the process of contractual negotiations by working closely with the lead agents at the firm. Unfortunately, even with all the hard work I put into rehabing, my knee never fully healed.

Realizing that a professional career was not in the cards for me, I decided to move on to my long term goal, law school. I spent the next year bolstering my resume and developing an understanding of the legal system by working at The Law Firm of XXX. Taking this job was a great experience because not only was I able to gain in-depth exposure to the distressed debt market, but I also came to the conclusion that the legal field was not for me.

What I did realize was that I enjoyed the business side much more than the legal side. At this point, because of the knowledge base that I had built up, I was able to transition from the law firm to one of its clients, where I still am currently employed.

I have spent the past four years at XXX building a skill set that is extremely valuable. Through the processes of valuing complex deals, leading the firm’s due diligence team and designing post transaction liquidation strategies, I have developed an understanding of the business process that can create value in a variety of situations.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:23pm

help with interview-best way to walk through a resume (Originally Posted: 10/02/2007)

I know this might sound like nitpicking or a matter of point of view, but I was just wondering what your thoughts on on the best way to walk through your resume. I find my natural instinct if to spend a minute or so on each significant part of my resume (like leadership roles, my experiences in past jobs/internships). But I am afraid I speak for too long and that I should be more concise. But at the same time, if i try to be more concise, will it seem like I am being too general and not properly explaining my qualification? I did not summer with a bank and am interviewing with a full banks (few boutiques and BBs so far) and just want to make sure I am as prepared as can be. I appreciate any feedback that anyone can offer, thanks.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:25pm

If they say "walk me through" give a concise, focused, and CONVINCING 90 second version. Any longer and you'll see yawning. Highlight not the details of each positions, but your key strengths, your goals, and how it all makes perfect sense for you to do banking now.

This is probably the most important question you answer, so put in some effort to structure the story. They can always go back for the details later, but they have to buy the big picture. If a detail is really important, it had better relate to your overall story.

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:26pm

When they ask to tell the links between the financial statements how general do they want you to be? Some people have told me just to mention that net income flows to retained earnings, beg cash balance on cash flows statement is from the cash amount on a balance sheet and the end balance from a cash flows statement goes to the next time periods balance sheet. But there are definitely so many more links (e.g. depreciation, debt and its effects, etc). It would seemt o me these things are significant. What do you guys think?

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:27pm

When they ask to tell the links between the financial statements how general do they want you to be? Some people have told me just to mention that net income flows to retained earnings, beg cash balance on cash flows statement is from the cash amount on a balance sheet and the end balance from a cash flows statement goes to the next time periods balance sheet. But there are definitely so many more links (e.g. depreciation, debt and its effects, etc). It would seemt to me these things are significant. What do you guys think?

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:28pm

id rather have a general answer for the 3 statements question cause even though there are many links, i just want to see that you have an understanding of how they flow. dont get caught up in details during your interviews unless they ask you for them.

as for the resume story - i agree with restructure this - focus on the big picture and always make sure your story is gonna lead to why you want to do banking and/or be good fit...

 
Best Response
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:29pm

Interview Advice from Scott Morris: "Walk me through your resume". (Originally Posted: 12/03/2010)

Chris of Wall Street Mentors chats with Scott Morris on how to address the popular interview warm-up: "Walk me through your resume". While it seems simple, it's critical as it can set the tone for the entire interview. Just one of the many topics that Scott covered in his book Polished.

This Q&A topic was recommended by WSO member Simple As...
Thanks for the suggestion. Please feel free to provide more requests for us right here.

(You'll have to turn up the volume a little, because Scott's audio is a little quiet - still working on fixing this).

 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:31pm

Chris, another great interview, one issue I'm having with the videos (probably partially because of my crappy laptop), I can't really hear Scott as well as I can hear you. He's about 1/3-1/2 the volume as you are at best :-/

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
 
Jul 26, 2009 - 7:32pm

Oh, it got better after you turned up the volume (if thats what that beeping noise is), but if you can get it a few notches higher than that, that would be awesome!

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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