Tag: resume tips


Should You Share Your Passions on Your Resume?

I’ve critiqued resumes for nearly 20 years, and oftentimes I’ll see an “Interests” section on a resume. One of the most memorable “Interests” sections I saw included “eating peanut butter.” Yes, you read that right. Someone actually put on her resume she likes to eat peanut butter. And she wasn’t applying for a job as a taste-tester at Skippy!

Clients will ask me, “Should I have an ‘Interests’ section on my resume?” and there’s no right or wrong answer to this. Allow me to make this a little clearer.

When it’s wrong to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough room on your resume because of all the great accomplishments and results you have listed from your work experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  accomplishments are KING on a resume. This is what your reader most wants to see, so give your audience what they want first.
  • When your life passions are totally unrelated to the job for which you’re applying. Again, know your audience!
  • When your life passions may initially be viewed as odd. While liking peanut butter it is not unusual, it could seem strange to include it on a resume. (All I could picture was her with peanut butter smeared all over her face – not a picture of professionalism!)

When it’s right to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough work experience to fill a full page.
  • When your life passions might be relevant to the job. For example, if you love golf and the job will require you to take clients on golf outings to network and close sales, then it’s appropriate. Or, if you’re passionate about playing basketball and the job requires you to work with youth in an after school program that promotes healthy living, then it’s appropriate.
  • When your life passions are relevant to your work passions and have prepared you for the skills needed in the job. For instance, if you like doing improv, that skill is often a basis for good sales skills. A love for blogging can be a plus for a job requiring strong writing and/or social media skills. A passion for coaching little league can translate into good leadership skills.
  • If you’ve completed a passion project that would be of interest to your reader and would showcase your skills.

Always be professional

Whatever you choose to include, always make sure you present it in a way that looks and sounds professional. Perhaps it makes sense to include it on a section other than an “Interests” section. Or, maybe you rename the section heading to “Work-Related Passions” (which sounds more dynamic and attention-grabbing than “Interests,” don’t you think?).

Also, help the reader connect the dots on how your passions will benefit the company. Remember, your resume isn’t about you. It’s about the company and what you can do for them! Let your passion for them shine through in your resume, your interview, and all of your communication and interactions with them.

For more tips on what to include and what not to include on your resume, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter. I’ll send out announcements for the on-demand Resumes That Get You the Interview program, due out later this month.

paNASH Success Story: A better resume results in more interviews

I recently heard from a client whom I helped overhaul her resume for a career change. She made the changes I’d suggested for her resume, and ended up with seven phone interviews for opportunities from Maine to California. She has four more interviews lined up next week. Here’s what she had to say:

The new resume is working and you’re to thank! It looks good and the response so far has been very positive. I just had to be patient during the quiet season.

The quiet season she’s referring to is the time right around the holidays when hiring goes down. There’s an ebb and flow to hiring practices. Hiring, especially within certain industries, have their own seasons, much like sports do! So your patience is important during the down times.

Avoid a Cookie-Cutter Resume

What’s interesting about this case is my client came to me with a resume she’d had critiqued by a professional resume writing service. While the advice the service provided wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was somewhat out-dated. In fact, most of the info on the Internet in regards to resumes is very outdated.

Her resume was also what I call “cookie-cutter.” There was nothing about her resume that made it stand out from the competition. You can’t run the risk of having a cookie-cutter resume that doesn’t stand out among others’ or even your own. What do I mean by “your own”? You can’t use the same resume for every job for which you apply! It must be tailored to each and every job, and there are certain ways to do this.

This client’s original resume also didn’t include the “secret weapons” I share with my clients. Want to know what those secret weapons are? I’ll soon be sharing them in my upcoming on-demand coaching program due out this spring (subscribe here for updates). I’m also always available for a personalized resume critique in a one-on-one coaching session. Email me at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com to schedule a resume and LinkedIn profile critique!