Thursday, March 29, 2012

When is it Acceptable to Use Personal Information on a Resume?

I am member of several resume writing professional organizations. On a recent e-list posting, another writer posed the question of whether or not she should list on her customer's resume for entry into graduate school that he was a former Abercrombie & Fitch model. My immediate response to this query was a resounding . . . Yes, if the audience is right. Think of how much curiosity this one simple statement would arouse in both male and female hiring authorities.

If you have followed my blog posts, you know that I am not a proponent of putting personal information on the resume. However, there are - like most rules - some exceptions to this rule. Let's explore a few.

Your Information Will Intrigue the Interviewer
Resumes are meant to entice the reader to want to call you. Whether they are enticed by your qualifications or the fact that they want to see a real-life A&F model in-person is irrelevant once you walk in the door and make your interview "sales pitch." If you have something in your background that you feel is a talking point, or a conversation starter, then by all means find a way to include this information.

Your Information Will Show your Passion for Their Industry
I once had a customer that was retiring from the newspaper industry. He was a self-proclaimed NASCAR fanatic. His goal was a job - any job - in the NASCAR industry. He was a volunteer pit crew member, he had season tickets to 4 different raceways across the country and he had never missed a Daytona 500 race in more than 10 years. All of this information was vital to demonstrating his passion and interest in his career field of choice.

Volunteerism, hobbies, and clubs or organizations should definitely be included on two conditions. First, that the information is relevant and second that the experience will demonstrate that you have gained first-hand knowledge of the industry through your "extra-curricular" activities.

You Received a Prestigious or Recognizable Award
I work with a lot of military transition job seekers. One of the hardest habits for them to break is talking about (and listing on their resume) all their awards and decorations. Most of these do not mean anything significant to anyone outside their military branch.

However, there are recognitions, such as the Purple Heart or Medal of Valor, that everyone understands has some value and meaning behind the award. When listing awards or achievements, be sure to talk briefly in the resume why you were awarded the particular honor.

No comments:

Post a Comment