Trying to find a job can feel very rules-driven: Resumes and cover letter should follow particular formats and include certain data. Also, interviewers want good-sounding answers for conventional interview questions. With all this structure, people looking for work can quickly fall into the trap of becoming stiff and mechanical.
While parts of an application ought to be meet expectations, it doesn’t mean everything has to be without personality. Including personal details into the process can set you apart and can make you more desirable applicant.
Why personal data can help
Personal details can be a road to sharing your unique professional abilities and transferable skills. Mentioning fun personal details also helps to keep an interview flowing as a natural conversation.
Personal details can also offer a hiring manager a sense of how you might fit into the existing culture of the business. That being said, it’s essential to get a sense of the culture beforehand to find out if you’ll be a solid fit. Supervisors and co-workers want to get an idea of what job seekers are like, so opening up gives them what they want, which makes them more prone to think highly of you.
Don’t overload them
While there are upsides to sharing personal details, offering up too much personality can work against you: You don’t want to share anything too intimate, offensive or controversial.
It should go without saying you have to be honest. Don’t attempt to impress anyone with your cooking stories when you can barely toast bread. Also, personal details ought to be interesting. Talking about your cats or watching TV last night isn’t helping your cause.
Any details you share ought to be associated with the job. For example, if you don’t have formal leadership experience, but you have been organizing a rec league softball team for the past 5 years, it would be helpful to bring that up.
How to share personal details
Even though a resume is a formal document, you can share personal details, if you have the space to do so: Don’t go to the bottom of a resume’s second page to mention you enjoy backpacking. If you’re going to include a part on personal interests, it helps to beef it up with considerable items like volunteer experience and participation in social organizations.
A cover letter isn’t the ideal spot for personal details because it needs to be as succinct as possible. However, volunteer experience or community service might be used if it is strongly related the job.
In an interview, personal details can get a conversation rolling or be used to connect with an interviewer. They shouldn’t be the foundation for your pitch to the interviewer. As with the cover letter, personal details ought to be brought up only if it feels normal, and not forced.
At HCR, we help people looking for work to refine their methods and locate the best opportunities for their career. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your career.