One way to make sure you are getting better dates is to have a great shidduch profile. I greatly dislike shidduch “resumes” because they reduce someone to a piece of paper. Unfortunately, this is part of the dating world today, so you might as well have a great one.
Your shidduch resume is like a storefront window. People walking by will glance at the displayed merchandise and, if appealing, they’ll come into the store. Maybe buy something for themselves. Or maybe buy a gift for someone else.
Your shidduch resume gets send around, and you don’t know who’ll be seeing it. It is a marketing tool to help someone see the appeal in making some calls or talking to a shadchan about you, either for themselves or for someone they know who could be a potential fit. Make sure it’s doing a good job of marketing you, but remember that it’s a storefront window, and you give a sampling, but don’t put the whole store in it.
A few starting points for a great shidduch resume:
Part 1 of the resume: The facts and details
- Make sure to have your full Hebrew name on it, but please highlight what people call you. Some people have a custom of not marrying someone with their father’s or mother’s name, so make that information easily available. But if you are called “Sari”, don’t write Sarah Rivka Shaindel on your resume without including “Sari”.
- Include your date of birth (not an age, which somehow manages to stay consistent for ten years), height, whether you are Ashkenaz or Sefardi, current city of residence, hashkafa or level of religious observance (i.e. Modern Orthodox Machmir), and marital status only if you are divorced or widowed. If divorced, include number of kids (i.e. D/3).
- Make it easier for people by including your Dor Yeshorim information, if you use that service.
- Do NOT include your contact information. Unless you like stalkers. Anyone you are giving your profile to should know how to contact you.
- Do not embed a photo in your resume. Let someone see your profile and get a sense of who you are without a photo. If you want to share a photo, do it separately.
Part 2 of the resume: Introduce yourself
If you don’t have 2-3 sentences about yourself and 2-3 sentences about what you are looking for, then it’s pretty much a worthless resume that will likely spend more time sitting in a pile of other shidduch resumes instead of attracting the right person.
Some do’s and don’ts: Don’t use generic adjectives, i.e. I am looking for someone kind and nice. Of course you are; isn’t everyone? I have never seen a resume that said, “I’m looking for a jerk”. Give a clearer description that describes your personality and hashkafa, and what you are looking for. Do not put an age range for dating. And super important – focus on the positive, not the negative. For example, do not say, I’m do not want someone who is aggressive, physically unhealthy, or loud. Positivity sells better.
Part 3 of the resume: Background info
Include some background information, but just enough to be a starting point for people to talk to the shadchan or make reference checks. Remember, this is a storefront window. People can ask for more information if there is an idea that seems relevant. For example, when offering information about your education, it is unnecessary to include where you went to elementary school. And no one needs to know if you were in the honors program or your GPA in college. You do not need to include your entire job history, but definitely include what you do today and preferably where you work.
In some circles, it is the custom to include family information, including parents’ names, professions, and marital status if they are divorced. Likewise, in some circles it is expected to include a list of all siblings, where they live, where they are currently studying or their professions, and who they are married to. If your parents are married, include both their names on one line. If they are divorced, their names should appear separately, even if you choose not to include “divorced” next to it.
Part 4 of the resume: References
I do not like “References upon request”. I get that you don’t want a million people calling each of your references. But if the rest of your profile has the right information, the only ones calling your references are those that are most likely to be a good fit. And 3-4 references is sufficient. No one needs the contact information for 4 of your high school teachers, 3 neighbors, 14 friends of your parents, 62 friends of yours since first grade, and 3 co-workers. Overkill makes people wonder why you are trying too hard. Make sure your references are people you are in touch with regularly and know who you are today. If they are only available certain times of day, indicate that. And always ask your references if they are comfortable getting called about you. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard references says that they wished people wouldn’t call them, because they felt compelled to offer their perspetive, including disparaging things about the singles.
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