During the job interview, the HR manager asks many questions, and one of them is “Tell me about your summary (or walk through the resume).” It is not a tough task when you write it, but you should learn to stop yourself from revealing every point in detail.
Suppose you state only key facts in your answer (like qualifications, the things you’ve reached, your strong points, and the aims you want to reach in the future). In that case, you will demonstrate your professional experience and your ability of excellent communication.
The question “tell about the summary” serves as a version of the other question, “Tell something about yourself,” that is why you should be ready to answer both these questions. In this post, we will discuss why the HR managers question it, share some advice on how to respond to it, and answer cases.
Firstly, let’s figure out why HR managers ask this. They question this because the written document cannot fully describe your professional biography. In your summary, you should name the remarkable achievements and abilities. Still, in the interview, it is essential to describe them orally, and the way you do it will say something about you as a professional.
It is rather challenging to describe your professional biography in one short answer; that is why you should think about the key points you want to focus on. Imagine that responding to this question is like a presentation in the lift, where you need to concentrate only on several important things.
The thing that HR managers do not want to know is a narrative description of all professional journey.
Now, let’s try to figure out how to answer the question about the summary.
The response to this question is contingent on your summary, first of all, and what knowledge and abilities you have already gained. Despite this, there is some advice that helps get your answer ready:
- Everything starts from education, so begin to answer from this point. Give a brief description of your thesis and tell how it has influenced your professional life. In case you have recently finished school, please do not speak about it so much.
- Describe your professional biography. This point is the heart of the whole answer. Firstly, tell about how you got into the profession in short. After, shortly speak about your professional path in temporary order without any tiresome and unnecessary ins and outs. Here, you should describe the things you’ve already achieved, what abilities and skills you have, and what projects you have done. Besides exciting information, you should fill your professional stories with love to work – in case you speak boring about it, the HR manager might suggest that you do not love the job you do. That is why before going to the interview, learn something about the organization and try to know what facts about your professional biography can impress them. For instance, the management with a collaborative atmosphere will much better react to such stories where you have successfully solved the conflict situation or behaved as a member of one team.
- Telling about professional life should not be the end of your answer. In the end, tell about the professional aims you plan to reach. For any HR manager, it is fascinating not only your professional past but also your vision of your professional future. For that reason, there are questions like “where do you find yourself in five or ten years.” Asking about your professional future, the HR manager wants to be sure that the position you are applying for meets your broader aims (in this case, you have more chances to get this job). When describing your aims, emphasize that you truly want to know new things and develop yourself as a professional.
Very often, when responding to the “walk through the summary” question, people make some typical mistakes. Now, we will discuss it to help you not to make them in the future:
- Do not talk a lot: We’ve discussed it before, but we’ll repeat it. When you walk the HR manager through your summary, your response should be brief and concise. Usually, responding to this question should take a maximum of three minutes, not more. If your interview is short, your answer should be brief. If the interview is longer, you can ask the HR manager – if he likes to know only the main information with detailed experience or to know all about your professional biography.
- Do not share the experience not related to your profession: While describing your professional experience, do not include the information not related to your job (the thesis or other job experience not related to the profession).
- Do not speak very badly about your ex-employers, teams, and job experience. When discussing the reasons for changing your career, you can tell that you have not been so interested in your position or the sphere where you have worked, but always add some positive things here (good experience or professional aims).
- Do not let yourself be caught unawares – For any interview, you should be ready. It is not a good thing when you look at your resume to tell about it. When ready, you will feel surer and be able to provide a coherent story.
Telling about your summary can be challenging if not knowing what the organization is searching for. But there is no worry now – below, we will share pieces of advice that will help easily respond to this:
- Knowing the position you are going to hold – Among others, there is one essential point of answering – you need to learn every detail of the position you are going to hold (what abilities and experience they require; what kind of person they want to see in their organization, etc.). In advance, focus on these points and then think about making your summary so impressive.
- Knowing your professional background – Here, we suggest thinking about how to make up your story of your professional journey, how you have reached the place you belong now. Also, when making up your story, think about how the gained knowledge has made you a great applicant for this post. And, the key thing is to think about the reasons why you want this particular job.
- Make a focus on the corresponding abilities and skills. If you have worked on many jobs, which belong to different spheres, focus on those abilities and skills that you have now, and that will correspond to the post you want to hold. If you have just finished school, you should tell about how school or college has helped you gain the knowledge and abilities you have (for example, volunteer work or internship, or corresponding thesis).
- Mark the reasons why this job is waiting only for you. Make a focus on why the post you are applying for is waiting only for you, why it is the best choice for you, and why you are the best person to hold this position.
Now, we will give some examples of responses to the “Tell me about your summary (or walk through your summary)” question.
Post in the marketing department
To begin with, I am from Nashville. My family owns a business – a coffee shop. Our family has a special coffee recipe that we have kept for many years. That is why my family started the business because everyone who comes to our house loves our coffee. When I became older, I also began to work in our family coffee shop, but mostly I liked the things related to marketing.
When I finished school, I had already decided what and where I would study further. I chose to study marketing and finance at Belmont University. There I could develop the abilities and skills that I had gained through internship and volunteer work in marketing companies.
After a while, I understood that I wanted to develop these skills more; that is why I went to the business school in Nashville and got a business administration master's degree. This opportunity gave me a lot – it helped me sharpen the skills that I had gained at school, plus I finished the projects for the organizations that grew their cover in the marketing and Internet sources to 75%.
This post that I am applying for will be a perfect choice for me, as it is the post for a person that can combine business, marketing, and economic skills to work productively and achieve high results. Though I have recently finished university, I have worked over 600 hours as a volunteer in organizations like yours. Plus, I have worked on probation in organizations that require the skills and knowledge of the level you need. Thanks to my abilities, I think my summary can be a perfect applicant for the post.
Post in Labcorp
Firstly, I am from Washington. I studied at Washington State University, where my specialization was chemistry and biology. I graduated with honors, and to complete my internship and research practice in the laboratory, I took and finished my thesis.
After studying, I started to work at the university laboratory, where I worked on my abilities and skills. I worked on probation in the local hospitals to develop them more, where I gained over 1200 hours of laboratory practice.
Since the hospital and internship work was only for students, I used to change jobs. One of the skills I wanted to have is to cooperate with the patients. That is why I got the position of ambulance doctor. During my work there, I gained fundamental abilities as service of customers, serving conflict situations, and, of course, working in a team.
Thanks to the gained knowledge and abilities, I think this post will be a perfect choice for me to develop professionally. Plus, I think it is a perfect place to use all my skills to be a great member of the crew.
To sum up
Telling the HR manager about your summary may seem challenging, but it is not always challenging and complicated. You do not need to speak for over ten minutes or give a detailed description of your resume. All you need to do is to emphasize the abilities and experience you have gained before and relate them to the post you plan to hold.
And whatever happens – be calm.
This question is your perfect opportunity to show yourself as a professional and demonstrate all the abilities and knowledge that make you the #1 candidate for this post.
And the best thing about that is you know all your strong points about yourself, and unfortunately, you cannot put them all in summary. That is why this question is your time to prove to the whole world why you fit the best for this position.