In today’s rapidly evolving job market, job seekers are often left stumped by how much and what they should share on their resume. Filling out the blanks on a resume template can prove boring enough to not even gain attention from a recruiter. At the same time, getting too personal and taking a highly stylized approach to the resume could have hiring managers laughing at your candidacy.

So how are modern job seekers supposed to find a good middle ground when trying to show off their personality while maintaining a professional brand at the same time? It takes a little bit of strategy, creativity and an ability to think from the employer’s perspective.

When making editing decisions on what information is worth including on a resume, here are a few personal items that may cause concern:

  • Address

The Cons: Some people worry about putting a home location on their resume, especially if they are applying for a faraway job.

The Pros: Candidates can gain an upper hand by proving that they are already cemented in an area and willing to commute.

Conclusion: Addresses are fine, and will not give out too much personal information unless you are giving your resumes to strangers. Local employers will not really pay attention to specific streets, but will appreciate that you live within the area. Leaving out an address for a cross-country opportunity will not do you any favors—the employer will find out anyway.

Since most online platforms for job applications require an address field, it is okay to include an address—and will likely make your resume look that much more polished.

  • Hobbies

The Cons: These may not have anything to do with a job and take up valuable space on a resume.

The Pros: It can give your employer a sense of what your interests are, and in rare cases, may connect to the position you are applying for.

Conclusion: Leave hobbies out of a resume. If a personal activity is not related to volunteering, organizational memberships or a job, leave it off the resume—it just looks unprofessional. In the rare instance that a hobby does correlate to the job one is applying for, it is appropriate to address these passions in the cover letter.

  • Photograph

The Cons: It’s jarring and looks like you are confusing a job application with trying to land a role in a movie.

The Pros: It puts a face to the name, especially if the hiring manager has met you before.

Conclusion: Personal photographs should be left out of all resumes; they simply do not fall into standard practices. However, there are still ways to put a face to the name if you want to establish that connection. Providing a link to your LinkedIn profile can make it easy for employers to review your online persona and see what you look like in a perfectly professional fashion.

  • Family Information

The Cons: Employers want to learn about you, not your household. Also, this information could make a resume unusable if the employer feels the details violate equal employment practices.

The Pros: You want to show that you are responsible and need a job to support your family.

Conclusion: Use your resume for the information that counts—all details related to your career and professional skills. The only time it fits to refer to “family” on a resume is when you are addressing work at a family-owned business.

Leaving out irrelevant details about your family, marital status, race and other factors leaves more room for you to focus on your professional side. If your family situation has any relevance for the job, it may be appropriate to reference it in a cover letter. However, interviews are the best time to cover this information, should it play a part in the employment process.

What If All I Have is Personal Information?

We at Chic Resumes are masters at building strong, comprehensive resumes for entry-level professionals and those who may have some major employment gaps. While many may try to pad their resume with personal experience and information, it is best to edit out any detail that may be irrelevant and off-putting.

Through one-on-one consultation, our team can get to know you and edit out the unnecessary personal elements of your resume. At the same time, Chic Resumes will craft a refreshed resume that remains strictly professional.

Contact Chic Resumes today at (803) 831-7444(803) 831-7444 or to learn how we can take any resume and cover letter to next level—even if it has yet to exist.