While experts say personal details in a resume adds no value to a job application, most hiring managers still raise suspicions if important personal details are missing on the resume. It was five decades ago that the exclusion of personal details began with proactive working women and men followed the same after a decade. Prior to that, personal details about your marital status to medical status were common sections candidates had to include in a resume. Nonetheless, today adding the right personal details is crucial to writing a flawless resume as well as avoiding red flags that can reject your application.
How to Write the Personal Details Section in a Resume
Personal details are useful for contacting the candidate as well as establishing the authenticity of the candidature. If an employer requests unprofessional private details on a job application, candidates must file a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Legislation to report the unjust.
Following is a list of sections you must include under the header “Personal Details” or “Personal Requirements” in a professional resume or CV when requested by the employer.
1. Full Name
Placed at the beginning of the resume, name of the Candidate with surname must be listed in this section in a sizeable font size that highlights it. Avoid nicknames or other unprofessional versions of introducing yourself in this section.
2. Contact Information
It is important to list your Phone Number, Email Address and Mailing Address underneath the name. You must maintain clarity and manners in this section as the hiring manager will come back to this section, in case you pass the evaluations. List your mobile or personal number after confirming that it works for accuracy. Hence, avoid your current office number or unprofessional email addresses. Instead, use an email address that says – Name.Surname/Date of Birth.
Candidates must never add indecent or personal photos that look unprofessional, in a profile. A good resume photo is considered derogatory in the West, as it reveals factors of discrimination such as gender, age, and ethnicity to the recruiter. While European jobs mandate it, US jobs consider the same misleading. If you must include a personal photo in the resume, ensure that it is a headshot without spectacles of any kind.
4. Professional Title
Listing the job role that you are applying for is important to specify your motive in a resume. Candidates can also include their degree such as Cardiologist or Astrophysicist in the professional title if the job is certificate-specific.
An optional section in a resume, most often employers avoid this section for prevention of discrimination based on ethnicity. However, for location-specific jobs, it is important to cite your citizenship status to assess the requirements of the job.
Government job descriptions often request candidates to enumerate the nationality for transparency. When you’re a foreigner applying for a job in the U.S or similar countries, it is important to stipulate your citizenship status such as “Permanent Resident” or “Student” as well.
6. Languages Known
Yet another optional section to add in your resume, listing the languages you know are important to linguistic and hospitality jobs. In fact, having proficiency in multiple languages also boosts your qualifications for any occupation.
Remember to include languages that are widely used around the place you’re planning to work, to impress the recruiter.
7. Hobbies and Interests
Often seen on functional resumes, hobbies, and interests relevant to the job are excellent markers to show your profound commitment and passion towards the profession. It is important to list hobbies that exemplify your love for the work you do in your profile document.
In most resumes, hobbies and interests hold no value.
Personal Details you must avoid in a Resume
Similar to achievements or skills, personal details relevant to a job application must be mentioned to establish your candidacy in a resume. To write personal details section in your resume without errors, it is best to crosscheck if you accidentally inserted any of the hypersensitive sections that may raise red flags such as the below.
· Marital Status
A trend in the 1960s and 80s resumes no longer demand the marital status or orientation of the candidate in the resume. According to the Sex Discrimination Act, it is wrong to evaluate a resume based on the marital status of the candidate. However, you must add it if the employer has requested the same for clarifying your flexibility (Single) or loyalty (Married) to the profession.
Moreover, it is best to avoid negative topics in the resume such as divorce or death, in case your marital history specifies so.
· Salary Requirements
Yet another optional section in a resume, Salary must not be mentioned on a resume unless the employer exclusively requests it. In such a case, it is best to beat around the bush or give a rough range of estimated salary than a specific amount as the wrong salary might send inappropriate signals.
· Health Condition
A regular section on older resumes, the medical status of the candidate must not be mentioned if not requested. Even if the same is requested it is best to ask why than disclose personal information in a resume. You can also add it to a separate page of the resume than inside it, in such a case.
Discrimination based on age differences is rampant in most job sectors. Candidates must report employers who ask age details in a resume, according to ADEA 1967. Unless age is highly relevant to the job qualifications, avoid mentioning it in the resume to prevent being harassed by age bias.
When to avoid Personal Details Section in a Resume
Candidates must avoid listing personal details on a resume when the job description does not specifically ask for it. Personal details are minimal in a traditional format such as chronological resume as it focuses on the work history and technical skills of the candidate. If personal details are immaterial to the hiring process, skip it.
You must not add your personal details for a job application unless it that specifically requests the same. Personal details such as age or marital status are irrelevant to resumes such as a designer or executive resume and such addendum undermines the professional quality of your resume.
Including sensitive details in a professional resume can even raise red flags of unprofessionalism if your personal details contain unprofessional or sensitive information. It is important to customize and groom your personal details in the resume based on legal instructions as well as that of the recruiter, to get noticed by the hiring desk.
You can add the most relevant personal details using applicable hobbies or interests that emphasize your superlative commitment and expertise to the job role.