MBA Interviews | The Resume Walk
The Resume Walk (image: .k.i.m.)
by: Grayson Leverenz
The Resume Walk is normally the first formal part of an interview, after the introductions and small talk to break the ice. I was so excited to get into the details on behavioral and case questions, I forgot to begin at the beginning. Many thanks to the student that reminded me!
As a general rule of thumb, the resume walk should take about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your depth of experience. The more jobs you’ve had, the longer the walk will take; shoot for approximately 30 seconds on each major employment or educational experience. There is about a 99% chance that you will walk a Recruiter through your resume as part of a B-school interview as well as a job interview. Since you know it’s coming, you can prepare for flawless execution using the process below.
1. Know your destination.
The goal of an interview is to get an offer, whether it’s for employment or a slot in the MBA Class of 2011. Keeping this in mind will help you plot the best course for your Resume Walk.
2. Take one step at a time.
The best approach for the Resume Walk is typically chronological from undergraduate university to the present. Hit each major event with three steps: this was the job/degree, this was what I learned, and this was what I achieved.
Integrate your work from the “Setting Yourself Up for Success” post, and weave your positioning into the learned and/or achieved step to highlight to the Recruiter why you are right for the open slot.
3. Stay on the path.
Many people struggle with figuring out their ideal career path, and their resumes reflect that with jobs that may seem disconnected. The beauty of the Resume Walk is that you lead the Recruiter down the path of your career, giving yourself the opportunity to bridge the maze of experiences together logically. The transitions between your description of each position keep you on the path toward an offer.
Let’s build an example using our positioning from the “Setting Yourself Up for Success” post:
Obtain a slot in the MBA Class of 2011
Enthusiastic team player able to effectively gain buy-in
Resourceful entrepreneur committed to completing innovative projects
Deeply analytical thinker that thrives on performing complex analyses
I attended Top Undergrad as a Dean’s Scholar where I majored in Business, and started an Educational Nanny service for children of professors while I was there. I hired over 25 students to care for about 50 kids. Each nanny had an area of expertise like art, music or a foreign language, and would share that skill with a different child every day. This exposed the kids to a variety of people and experiences, and helped build resumes and incomes for the students.
It was my first entrepreneurial venture. I learned all about running a business: hiring people, managing schedules and running financials. I sold the business for a percentage of the profits after I graduated, and am planning to fund a significant portion of my MBA with the income.
I always loved learning about consumers in my classes. After I graduated in 2004, I went to work for Best Company Ever as a Marketing Research Analyst and was promoted to Senior Analyst after 2 years. In those positions, I learned to turn numbers into words. I spent hours analyzing data and drawing conclusions about consumer behavior. I sold the Innovation team on my findings, and made recommendations for new product development. My research contributed to the introduction of over 50 new products in 5 years that generated about $160 million in revenue for the company.
Working for Best Company ever has been an amazing experience, but I feel a real draw back to the Entrepreneurial world. That’s what gets me so excited about your MBA program. You’re ranked #1 for Entrepreneurship, and people from your program are highlighted in Fast Company magazine almost every month. I want to be one of those people one day!
And with that, you deepen your eye contact, smile, and wait for the questions to begin.