The “About Me” section of a resume is one of the most disliked for job seekers. Many are at a loss what to write here. If everything is more or less clear in education or work experience, then it is not surprising to experience difficulties with this column. However, with a detailed analysis of the tasks of the resume, everything will fall into place by itself, and you can easily indicate everything that is needed in the required volume.
The very need for a section about oneself is being questioned by many specialists in search and selection of personnel. On the one hand, some of the information has already been indicated by you in other sections. On the other hand, the section about myself is part of the template, and the template is still very valid among both employers and candidates.The difficulty is that the content of the section “About me” is not strictly regulated. To a large extent, it has an arbitrary shape, and its content is largely left to the discretion of the applicant. What should be reflected in the section about yourself in your resume? If you bring together different sources of information, you get something like the following picture:
- key competencies and professional skills;
- personal qualities;
- hobbies, free time activities;
- various kinds of additional information that can play a role for a particular job.
The first point is the most controversial. After all, you have already indicated the competencies and professional skills in the appropriate section, closer to the beginning of the resume. And the employer won’t like duplication in any form. This will make him waste time re-assimilating the information already read. But if he got to the section “About me”, it means that he is already interested in the resume. In such a situation, the only possible option is to provide additional information that can strengthen the recruiter in his decision to invite you for an interview.
But personal qualities are what you need. After all, before that, you indicated the results of activities: stages of the educational process, places of work, achievements, skills. At the same time, the personality seemed to remain behind the scenes. Indicating personality traits in the last section is like summing up, explaining your high results, the reason for how you achieved everything listed in the previous sections. In addition, it is also an assurance from the employer that with the arrival of a new job, nothing will change in a positive trend, since your personality will remain unchanged.
As for hobbies and activities in your free time, theirs too worth mentioning. A good strategy when writing a resume is to give the recruiter the impression that he knows everything about you. In this, well-lit interests can serve the job seeker well. In the event that hobbies overlap with job responsibilities, the candidate gains an advantage in the eyes of the employer.
As additional information, the resume usually indicates something that is not directly related to the vacancy, but can help in professional activities. This can be knowledge of languages (preferably confirmed by an appropriate certificate), readiness for irregular working hours and overwork (of course, for additional remuneration), availability of personal transport (if the vacancy involves frequent travel), skills in using certain equipment or software.
After we have decided on the content of the “About me” section, it’s time to study the rules for its filling. Here, many applicants make the mistake of dumping into the section about themselves all the information that they could not fit in the previous regulated sections. However, turning this section into an information dump will have a very negative effect on the overall impression of the resume, if the employer ever gets to this point. Based on this state of affairs, the first basic rules can be formulated:
- You only need to indicate that information about yourself that is related to a specific vacancy. This connection can be indirect, but it must be present. An example of a direct connection: an HR manager is interested in psychology – this will help him to better influence people by organizing them into a team, as well as skillfully resolve arising disputes. An example of an indirect connection: an accountant is fond of collecting puzzles or weaving beads – although this activity is not directly related, it trains perseverance and concentration. An example of an unrelated, and therefore useless for a recruiter, filling in the “About me” section in a resume: a website designer plays the guitar in the style of gothic metal – for the employer this information is superfluous, and therefore harmful.
- Avoid formulaic wording. The usual list of responsibility, dedication, and the desire to work can convince the recruiter unless the applicant, writing a resume, resorted to using the Internet and common stereotypes. Do not be afraid of simple words: paraphrase everyone’s pretty boring responsibility in the readiness to make difficult decisions in desperate situations, determination – in accepting the interests and goals of the company as their own. If you nevertheless decide to use standard formulations, then list them in a list, and give a decoding, separated by a colon or in brackets, how certain qualities influenced the result of your past activities. For example: a sales assistant indicates sociability in the list of personal qualities, adding that thanks to this it was possible to increase the efficiency of the sales department by 40% due to the interest of visitors who did not initially plan to make a purchase.
Despite the sufficient freedom that a job seeker can afford when compiling a section “About me”, there is still a certain list of unwanted information that can, if not harm, then at least confuse the employer or just be superfluous.
- Do not include your marital status or children in your personal information. This information should not affect your professional competence. If the employer is interested in this question, then you can always answer it during an interview or after hiring. The only exceptions are women who have a gap in their work due to maternity leave.
- Do not write too much about yourself in this section, it is not without reason that it is the last and additional one. The resume is not an autobiography, the employer will not have time to read this array.
- Be careful with humor – it is very easy to cross the border of business style.
- Do not add a clause at the end about providing recommendations upon request. If the employer needs them, then after the interview.
- I easily start a conversation;
- I can put myself in the shoes of the employees who are subordinate to me;
- I can clearly explain the task and indicate motivation;
- I can maintain a reasoned and constructive dialogue.
- I am fond of reading books on psychology;
- I attend the course “Practical Psychology” by correspondence using the distance learning system.
In summary, we would like to emphasize the importance of this section. The About Me section of your resume should provide valuable additional information that will help an experienced recruiter decide whether to invite a candidate for an interview or send his resume to the trash can.