Recently we’ve been interviewing for a junior position in our office (don’t send me any more resumes please as we’ve just filled it) and many of the candidates were really solid. But something I found a bit odd when reviewing the resumes was the lack of personal interest information. That section in a resume called “Interests” is really of interest to me.
I’m not sure when teachers told students not to add anything personal to a resume. When did resume writing become so stiff, bland and boring? Kinda of like our Canadian elections, but I digress...
At the account coordinator level, I’m not expecting a vast portfolio of work and press clippings to impress me. You and your personality need to impress me. I don’t care to pour over your school project portfolio. It’s meaningless. But what I do care about is your summer job flipping burgers and the fact that you like hot yoga or traveling through Eastern Europe with a backpack.
Don’t skip the interest section. Tell me something about yourself so that we can find some common ground or a point of discussion. That’s called building rapport and it’s essential to winning new clients and getting your foot in the door. In fact, make that section stand out. Instead of saying you like reading, cooking and fitness, reword it and say you love spy novels, Nigella Lawson cooking, and extreme kick-boxing. Be creative and stand out.
I once wrote in my resume that I would one day like to write a book. It was more of an aspirational interest but that little point landed me a part-time job working for one of my professors. He was so impressed by that. Note: I never did actually get around to writing that book.
So my tip for job seekers is this: spice up your resume, be creative, and show me who you really are. Add a little personality to an otherwise dreary two-page CV.
It might be the only section I actually will read.