•  Home Page
   •  Resume Writing
Cover Letters
Support Letters
Internet Posting
Job Search Strategies
Resume Samples
Credit Card Authorization

   •  Employment Links
About Us
Frequent Questions
Online Resources
Privacy Policy

   •  Tell A Friend
   •  Resume Critique
   •  The Blog
Printer Friendly
   •  Contact Us


Sunday, January 15, 2006
Getting Personal
Sky-diving, fishing, gardening, and golf are common hobbies. Every so often, a resume will turn up that includes mention of these or similar activities in a section all its own called “Personal” or “Interests”. Let me be very blunt – employers do not care about this information and you are wasting your time by placing it on your resume. Inclusion of this kind of information also gives the impression that you are very out of touch with today’s marketplace because this type of information has not been included regularly on resumes since the eighties. Personal data has no place on a resume.

I often get the argument from job seekers for keeping the personal section because “it may snag the interest of a hiring manager” or “it gives us something to discuss in the interview”. If the only thing on your resume that interests the hiring manager is the fact that you like to fly model airplanes, you will NOT be called for an interview. And if your hobbies are the only thing you talk about in an interview, you are not a candidate in the running for the job. Keep all the information on your resume relevant and job-centered – period.

In other countries, it is common to include personal information on a CV such as marital status, age, children, etc. but in the U.S. including such information will get you eliminated from consideration immediately. U.S. hiring laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on marital status, age, ethnicity, religion, or sex. If you include this information on your resume and you are hired, other candidates who were in the running have grounds for litigation against the employer because it is possible the employer used the personal information on your resume in a discriminatory manner. Employers are bound by law to reject any resume that contains this information simply due to the possibility of opening themselves up to a lawsuit.

Often in other countries, specifically European and Middle Eastern countries, it is also common to include a picture of the job seeker on the CV. Most Americans realize that using a picture on their resume (except in the cases of models and actors), is a big no-no and don’t even consider it. Something they do not consider would be inclusion of extra information (possibly in that nasty Personal section) that would give the employer information considered potentially discriminatory.

For example, what if you listed that you are a deacon in your church? You are revealing religion and thus, running the risk of getting eliminated by employers. What if you mentioned that you were a member of a political action group for homosexuals? Or what if you listed you were a volunteer on a prominent political candidate’s campaign? All of this is potentially dangerous information to include on a resume and none of it has anything to do with your experience or the potential you would have as a candidate for the job. It is best to leave it out and use the space in the document for information that would contribute directly to showing you are the best candidate for the job.

Job seekers who are targeting sales-related positions will sometimes include an Interests section that includes sports in an attempt to demonstrate their competitiveness. It is better to show a competitive mindset through showing your competition in the sales arena than trying to pull a correlation between sports and sales. Show how you beat out ten other sales executives to win the quarterly sales award; that shows competitiveness where it counts--for the employer.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 /


We specialize in working with professionals in the high tech, engineering, and manufacturing industries to organize, direct, and accomplish their career goals. Our knowledge of technology and our expertise in these rapidly changing industries set us apart from all other career services firms and provides outstanding value to our clients. See how we can help your Career by reading our Blog.
                          < goto blog >




Copyright © 2005  Produced by i4market 

    about us  |  resumes  |  resources  |  cover letters  |  contact us  | free critique 345 Rt. 17 South Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 USA EMAIL:
CALL TOLL FREE: 1.888.277.4270 (1.201.934.4237) FAX: 1.800.206.5454 (1.201.934.9263)