As most of us know, the aim of a resume is to highlight your greatest skills and accomplishments. A potential employer should be able to determine from a quick glance if you meet their basic educational and work experience requirements. A really exceptional resume should highlight why you are the perfect candidate for that job!
But is every piece of information about you helpful in securing your dream job? What do potential employers need to know, and what do they have the right to know? We continue to see many candidates include personal details such as their date of birth, marital status, and citizenship details. On a less frequent basis, we have even come across full Social Insurance or Social Security and passport numbers. While many of these details may be disclosed eventually to a future employer, it is important to use caution when disclosing this kind of information for two important reasons.
Unfortunately in the age we live in, identity theft is on the rise. The more personal information you share with the world around you, the more vulnerable you are to the risk of this data being used against you in any number of ways. Even when submitting your resume to reputable recruiter or employer, it is best to leave personal details off your initial application unless it is specifically required. At Red Seal Recruiting we always keep your information private and confidential, until you are ready to share it with one of our clients.
The second reason is to protect yourself from any potential discrimination. In short, the suitability of your application for any particular job should be based on your ability to do the job and not on any personal characteristics including age, sex, sexual orientation, race, marital status, gender identity or expression, creed, colour, disability, political or religious beliefs. There are limited bona fide occupational requirements that may allow for justification of one of these grounds, but in most cases this should not be a factor.
Of course, not all personal information should be seen as detrimental. In addition to your qualifications and experience, a future employer is looking for a candidate that fits with their culture. If you volunteer with a charitable organisation or are active in your local community in some way, this is a great way to showcase the big picture of who you are as an individual. If you are applying to a company that manufactures a product you already use, or perhaps the new job is in a location that you have a personal connection to, it certainly does not hurt to mention this, either directly on your resume or in an accompanying cover letter.
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.