Can We Get Personal? Its 2023

get personal

How to Get Personal In a Work Place

How personal should you get in your resume? Should you include a list of hobbies, associations, and other activities? Or skip that information altogether?

It depends!

Some career professionals advise that personal details are inappropriate for any resume. I disagree. I believe you should include or omit personal data on a case-by-case basis.

I agree with the reader who writes:

“If you have room for an ‘Interest’s’ section, it can add some color to your resume. In over half my interviews, employers discussed my interests — football, sports, etc. They can relate to you and see you more as a person.”

Now. Everyone is different.

Should your resume mention football and sports if you’re applying for a job as a summer camp counselor or customer service rep at a department store? I’d say yes IF you don’t have to delete more-valuable information to make it fit.

But what if you’re applying for a job as an accountant, lawyer, or something equally conservative? Proceed with caution regarding hobbies and other personal data. When in doubt, leave it out.

Here’s the question I’ve asked myself while writing/editing more than 50,000 resumes:

“Does THIS personal data make THIS candidate more attractive for THIS job?” If so, I include relevant interests, associations, etc.

An obvious word of caution — be 100% truthful when including personal interests in your resume.

Back when I used to work for other people, I wrote on my resume that I spoke intermediate French. After one interview, a blonde woman walked up and said: “Bonjour!” We had a nice conversation in French because I wasn’t fibbing. Can you imagine my horror (and non-employment) if I had lied about that? DON’T!

Another point to remember — it’s never a good idea to mention activities related to politics or religion, unless you’re applying to a political or religious institution. Otherwise, you run the risk of offending readers who don’t share your views. Again, when in doubt, leave it out.

And for goodness’ sake take references to politics or religion or COVID vaccination off your LinkedIn Profile.  LinkedIn is where every resume reader and hiring manager goes exactly 3 seconds  after reading your resume  –  because they’re now interested in you – don’t give them any reason to doubt why they should interview you. 

The future is in your hands.

Photo by Ruslan Bardash on Unsplash


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