If you like to water ski, or play shuffleboard or crochet dog sweaters, good for you. As an employer, I don’t give a damn. If this resume is truly your one-time, one-page, rehearsed best effort, then your personal activities don’t belong anywhere on it. If you can’t talk about yourself for one measly page without bringing up the fact that you like jet skis and golf, then you’re probably not the right person for the job.
Yes, but: But aren’t your personal interests an expression of your “real self” – the person behind the paper, the human being that these people would be interacting with every day if they were to hire you? Yes indeed, and that’s another reason to OMIT the personal information, regardless of how wonderful a guy/gal you think you are.
Here’s what you’re forgetting: On a personal level, your boss may be a complete jerk (this has been known to be the case – just ask anyone who’s ever had a job). He may like what you hate and hate what you like. He may annoy you, and you may annoy him. Your love of reality TV may lead him to think you’re a nitwit. Your passion for three-wheelers may bring to mind those little bastards who ride their Razor scooters up and down his street at night, robbing his hard-earned sleep.
So why risk bringing up such irrelevant things in the first place? After all – and this is the most important part – no one who needs help on the job badly enough to necessitate hiring someone is going to hire you based on the things you do outside of work. It’s what you can do for your boss on the job that will get you hired.
After reading the previous pages, you may think I’m a complete stiff who’s totally against having fun at work. Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, I’ve always made my job as much fun as I possibly could and encouraged everyone around me to loosen up and do the same. But I do after I’ve already gotten the job.
There’s a time and place for your personality to come out. That time is after you’ve got the job, and that place is the water cooler, lunches, meetings, etc. Once the papers are signed and you’ve got a paycheck, that’s the time to get to know the people in your office. You won’t like everyone, and everyone probably won’t like you, either. But that’s fine if you’ve already got the job – working with people you don’t like is as inevitable as death itself. You just don’t want them ganging up on you beforehand and convincing the boss that you aren’t worth hiring in the first place.
Here’s a real-life example: if someone sent me a resume and included the
. Same goes for social Greek organizations, and most service ones, too. If you had big leadership roles in the organizations, OK, but if not, skip it. An employer is thinking, how can you help me? And these things don’t help.