Personal Details in Resume: Importance and What to Include
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 17 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A resume is an essential part of your career search, allowing you to show hiring managers how your experience, skills and goals make you a suitable candidate for jobs. Although there are some personal details to leave off a resume, others can be beneficial for employers to know. Learning about the types of personal information to include on a resume can help you personalise your credentials and create an approachable tone that may encourage hiring managers to contact you for an interview.
In this article, we explain the importance of including your personal details in a resume, share a list of the personal information you might consider adding and provide tips for including these details in a resume.
Importance of including personal details in a resume
Including your personal details in a resume is important because it may help you in your job search in many ways. Here are a few key benefits:
Differentiates your resume from others
One of the main reasons to consider adding details about yourself when you write your resume is because it can help you distinguish yourself from other candidates who apply for the role. People often avoid adding personal information because they feel it may be unprofessional, but some facts about yourself may improve the impression you make on employers. Adding relevant information can help you appear genuine and encourage the hiring manager to know you better.
Makes it easy to contact you
Certain personal information is helpful on a resume because it gives recruiters a way to schedule an interview with you or offer a job. By including your personal details at the top of the page, you can make it easy for hiring managers to find your contact information. It can also help recruiters or human resources professionals identify your documents quickly so they can forward them to hiring managers for review and store them securely if they want to keep your application on file for future job openings.
Creates an ATS-friendly resume
Many employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help them screen resumes, particularly if they expect to receive many applications for the role. These automated systems scan resumes to find specific keywords employers look for in candidate resumes. The ATS then sends the resumes they approve to recruiters for review. Including relevant skills you developed in personal experiences like volunteer opportunities or hobbies may help an ATS identify you as a potentially suitable candidate.
Personal details to include on your resume
Here are some personal details professionals commonly share on resumes to personalise their application:
One critical personal detail to include on a resume is your name. Add your first and last name at the very top of the resume so the recruiter can identify you immediately. Include your full name, even if you prefer a nickname. You can share what you prefer people to call you with the hiring manager if they contact you for an interview. Remember to use a standard font, like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman to ensure your name is legible, and keep the same font throughout the rest of the resume.
A phone number is also important on a resume because it gives recruiters a way to contact you. Include your phone number on the line immediately following your name so it's easy for hiring managers to find. This also allows them to call you if they have questions about your resume or the information it contains. Add your mobile number if possible so employers can reach you quickly if they want to discuss the opportunity with you.
Some employers prefer to contact candidates by email, particularly if they have a lot of information to share, they want to involve multiple people in the conversation or they use online calendars for scheduling interviews. Email correspondence also allows them to send written documentation to you instantly, such as official job offers. Include a professional email address that features at least part of your real name. You can add a few numbers, but avoid emails that don't allow recruiters to identify you.
For example, it's more appropriate for a professional called Maximus Lin to use a username like maximuslin15 for his email address, compared to tennistothemax2015.
If you're proficient in multiple languages, you can include them on your resume. List each language and your level of proficiency using it in the workplace. You might also mention whether you can speak, read or write the language to help employers understand how you may use it in the role. Including languages you speak on your resume may be especially beneficial if you're applying for a job that involves working with diverse populations, like health care, teaching or customer service.
You may consider including volunteer experiences on your resume if they allowed you to gain specific knowledge or skills that can help you succeed as a professional. For example, if you're applying for a job as a nurse, you can include details about a volunteer experience in which you visited with patients to provide them with companionship and help with basic tasks. People who are changing to a different career or who have minimal work experience often include volunteer experiences on their resumes because they don't yet have professional experience in the field they want to enter.
Awards and honours
If you've received awards that may have relevance to the job, you can include them on your resume. If you're new to the workforce, you may find it helpful to add information about honours or designations you received while at university. Otherwise, you can include awards you received at work that highlight your skills or commitment to your career. For example, an award you received for training employees may show a hiring manager you're a good fit for a management role. It can also help you compete with other candidates for the job.
Professional goals are often a beneficial addition to your resume. They can tell recruiters how your career aspirations can also help the team and the organisation achieve its goals if they choose to hire you. One way to add your goals to your resume is to use the job description as a guide. Review the employer's requirements and preferences, and then you can relate them to something you want to achieve in your career. For example, if an employer wants a candidate for an upper-level management position, you can mention your goal to advance in your management career.
Link to portfolio or website
If you have a website or online portfolio of your work, you can link to it in your resume. This is a common practice among creative professionals like writers, graphic designers and creative directors because it allows employers to gain an understanding of the professional's style and areas of expertise. Having a professional website can also be helpful for software development and computer science professionals because they provide a visual representation of your skills. If you don't have a website or portfolio, you can add a link to your professional social media page.
Tips for including personal details in your resume
Here are some tips to consider when adding personal details to your resume:
Avoid mentioning certain personal details. Remember to avoid adding personal details to your resume that don't affect your suitability as a candidate. Many organisations promote equality by having policies that prohibit employers from hiring based on personal traits like nationality, race, age, sex and religion, so you can leave this information off your resume.
Add only relevant personal details. Make sure the personal details you include in your resume apply to the role you want. This helps you customise your skills to the job, which may be more effective than submitting an impersonal resume in getting a hiring manager's attention.
Be ready to discuss them at your interview. If you mention personal information in your resume, the hiring manager may bring it up in an interview to discuss how it relates to the role. You can prepare by anticipating the types of questions an interviewer may ask about your personal details and deciding how you might respond.
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