Are You Oversharing On Your Resume?

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Are you oversharing on your resume? Did you perhaps share on your last application that you were passionate about LEGO, or heliskiing? Or overshare on how you had to take time off work due to hardship? Highlighting relevant and specific hobbies or personal details can make you stand out and connect with the recruiter, as they make you YOU, but are you oversharing on your resume? Here’s our resume tips.

Including your hobbies and interests:

Career Coach Sonal Bahl, spoke on how sharing your passions outside work in professional settings can create connections with recruiters and be what gets you remembered in the interview process. 

“Recruiters are people not machines. Don’t be scared to air your personality.”

However, she focuses on the relevance of the hobby or talent you are sharing to the role or industry you are applying for. Hobbies must be achievement orientated or demonstrate character traits. For example; an Ironman Triathlon, or the amount of languages you speak. These types of hobbies demonstrate your ability to learn new skills or show your determination and commitment in certain areas.

Although, there is a time and a place to share personal information. A good time to include this section on your resume is for individuals who are transitioning into a new career field, and utilise this space to demonstrate how your personal interests rather than work experience relate to the role.  

The goal of including this section is to provide some useful insights into whether someone may be a great cultural fit for an organisation. We don’t live our life just to work, there are so many hours outside of work and how we choose to utilise these hours can align with potential teammates or create a divide in the team.

This is relevant to the debate of cultural fit or cultural add. 

Culture fit mindset seeks to hire and retain more of what is already working. It preserves comfort and familiarity, while culture add looks for people who value an organisation’s standards and culture, but will also bring something different that positively contributes to a company.

This idea goes both ways for the recruiter and the applicant. If recruiters won’t hire you based on your hobbies and interests, would you even want to work for a culture so different to your personality?

On the other hand, is the focus of the recruiter how the individual will fit into the company culture or who is most qualified for the job?

Peter Yang, co-founder of ResumeGo, a company that offers professional CV and resume writing services shared his perspective on the topic. 

“This isn’t a college application, and hiring managers won’t be impressed by a long list of extracurricular activities. Instead, use that space to elaborate on your work experience, skills and achievements.”

The interview process should rule out bias, the risk of including personal information may contribute to unconsciously bias recruitment. 

A suggestion from Raha Darabi, a HR Recruiter, was to hold off showing a more personal, vulnerable side of yourself until the second interview, rather than including the information on your resume as first impression. 

Whether you’re looking to improve your own resume, or learning how to pick your best candidate. Here’s our Winning Formula for Recruitment.

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Addressing an employment gap:

Addressing the reason you took time away from your career can be daunting and there’s a fine line between saying too little or oversharing. 

Expect recruiters to inquire on a gap in your resume. However, work out a way to clearly explain your decision and why you are choosing to re-enter the workforce now. 

Take advantage of your cover letter to explain this information, and leave your resume to facts.

Chances are, the timespan of your employment gap is a lot shorter than the amount of experience you actually have, so there’s no need to let this brief moment of time define you or what you’re capable of bringing to a company. 

Offer an explanation without oversharing your decision. Leave out the finer details, and focus on how the time off worked for you. 

Whether it be learning a new relevant skill – online classes, certifications or volunteering. Or how the experience shaped your soft skills; adaptability, problem solving and communication.

Addressing the employment gap in a confident and clear manner will give your recruiter peace of mind and allow them to focus on other factors of your application. 

The hiring processes differ significantly from industry as well as country, several factors come into play, but ultimately – it is subjective of the recruiter. All employers want to see on your resume is information that is clearly related to the position they’re trying to fill. Be confident, honest and be yourself. 

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