It is in your best interest to include only those non-professional qualities that could contribute to a company's success. Some people are bilingual. Some companies would pay a king's ransom to find a bilingual individual. Or if you have a background in the military, are a licensed pilot, or have security clearance, those are details that a potential employer may be very interested in. Rather than consign them to a place under "personal interests," incorporate them into a "professional features" section, or a "highlights and accomplishments," in a way that draws attention to them.
This problem is aggravated by the fact that most professional resume writers don't have the behind the scene background that I do, so when choosing a resume writer, be sure and interview them first, before committing to use their services. In the interest of full disclosure, I do not offer a resume writing service other than assisting my active candidates with resume revisions prior to submitting their resume to a client.
Resume and curriculum vitae act as entry tickets to a job. In today's tight job market the competition is keen and more and more people are vying for fewer jobs. This means that your resume should be professionally written to catch the attention of the employer among the hundreds of resumes submitted for the same job. The resume is a reflection of you and should clearly define your work experience both paid and volunteer, education, training and special achievements. The resume should be written with relevance to the particular job you are applying to, the days of the one size fit all resume are gone. In truth, many people have difficulty with this aspect of resume writing and often make common mistakes that can be avoided by simply follow these suggestions:
There are basic resumes and then there are effective resumes. There are also excellent resumes. The difference lies in the approach taken in writing the resume. The most effective of them will catch the attention of the reader and convince them within a matter of a minute or less that the applicant has potential for the job and should therefore called for an interview. As the resume is the first contact made by applicant with the prospective employer, it gives an insight in to the applicant's capabilities and work attitudes. This is why it is essential to be written in a proper manner.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Some federal or state jobs may require this information, in which case you should only include the information specifically requested. Another exception to this rule is if you are sending your legal resume abroad. Sometimes including age, marital status, race, and/or religion is acceptable if the resume is being sent outside of the United States. In that case, you should check with local recruiters as to what is proper to include in the legal resume.
I recall an HR Director who wanted me to coach him on his interviewing skills. He told me the "secret" to his "great" resume. He just keyword searched resumes in his company's database, pulled out ones he liked that closely matched his skills, and pasted together the document. When I questioned his ethics, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "it's common practice."
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