Interviewers want stories. Imagine this and tell me what would better capture your attention. I want a job and you are my first-round interviewer. You ask me to talk about a point on my resume.
I talk a little about what it is exactly, whether it be a club or coursework, with several sentences on what I have done for it.
I launch an engaging and passionate conversation about a specific project that I fearlessly dove into, complete with subtle examples of my soft and hard skills. I would explain exactly what this point is, why I chose to participate in it, and how it has impacted me as a person and a professional.
Believe it or not, how (tone, vocabulary, length, expressions, etc.) you discuss different questions is actually often an employer’s first glimpse of your quick-thinking and leadership skills, as well as a representation of your personality. Usually, even in number-focused fields such as Data Analytics or Quantitative Finance, pleasant and enthusiastic candidates shine as long as they also have the hard skills that the position requires.
I want to give an example of what I mean. After my freshman year, before I even had an internship, I put a two-week intensive study abroad in Perú on my resume. I was actually asked about it during a final-round interview for an internship that I later got an offer to. My answer was:
“Taking a Spanish class for my minor in Perú changed the direction of where I thought my career was going. Through the many different volunteer opportunities that were presented to us, I began to see that only companies who prioritize corporate responsibility would ever be attractive to me. Over the course of two weeks, we were able to give back and tutor school-children in English, while simultaneously learning the Spanish language ourselves. On our last day at one of the schools, we were not sure how to make study and review materials so I drew the children pictures of their favorite animals with their Spanish and English names. It was important for me, as a Corporate Finance and Accounting major, to diversify my skills and find a creative solution that did not involve numbers or analysis.”
Stories that you tell should be the perfect balance of short and long, so definitely play around with details and sentences for each point on your resume! Do not be afraid of sounding over-practiced, as usually, that comes off as just being a thoughtful, prepared, and confident candidate!