Mastering Personal Details in a Resume: What to Include and Exclude

Personal details are arguably one of the most important elements in the resume. The basic information about you gives the recruiter a quick overview of you as a candidate and provides the essential contact details should the recruiter wants to invite you to further discuss your application. The necessary personal information to be put in a resume includes your name, job title, contact details and so on.

It would help to create a dedicated personal information section in your resume at the very top of your resume so the recruiter can easily spot it. But what personal information should be on a resume? And, equally importantly what personal information should be put in your resume?

In this article, we'll provide answers to those questions and walk you through on how to write the most informative personal info in a resume.

Should I Put Personal Details in a Resume/CV?

The short answer is yes. Personal details are necessary in a resume or CV. They provide the recruiter with essential information about you. Including your personal information in the resume/CV gives the recruiter an easy access to your contact details and makes their job easier. It shows that you are a thoughtful person and can think from their perspective. 

Another benefit of putting your personal details in the resume/CV is that it helps the hiring company to great a talent pool. With identifying information available on the resume, the recruiter can easily organize and maintain their qualified candidate database. This would in turn increases your chances to be considered for other opening at the company in the future.

In short, having personal information in your resume makes the recruiter's job easier and highlights your professionalism and ability to think from others' perspectives. The real question you should be asking is what to include in personal information in a resume/CV.

What to Write in Personal Details in a Resume

Personal details that are suitable for a resume or CV can sometimes be hard to determine. On one hand, you want to include personal information in your resume that will help you stand out; on the other hand, sometimes too much detail can backfire.

Your resume personal details must include the primary information about who you are. This part is crucial in your resume and plays a significant role in the job application process.

Here we've provided lists of essentials and optional personal details for your resume/CV.

5 Essential Personal Details to be Included in a Resume:

  • Full name
    Your name is arguably the most important personal information to be included in the resume. This is how the recruiter identify you and know whose resume they are reviewing. Without the name in the personal information section, the recruiter wouldn't know who to contact even if the resume is perfect.
  • Professional title
    A professional job title on your resume indicates who you are at a professional level and how experienced you are. The recruiter can quickly decide if your experience matches the position with this personal detail on your resume.
  • Email address
    Your email address is the most crucial contact detail you will present in your resume. It is the most common contact method and the easiest way for your potential employer to reach you.
  • Phone number
    You must include your phone number in your resume's personal information section as well. Sometimes employers prefer to make phone calls. Make sure you list your phone number in the personal info section in your resume.
  • Location
    Whether or not to put your address in the resume is open for debate but including your location is always a good idea. Include the city, the zip code and the country would suffice. 

These are the essential items you must include in personal details in a resume. They help the recruiter to identify you and provide them with means to contact you, which is the basic function of personal information in a resume/CV.

Besides the essential resume personal information, there are also five optional personal details that you can include in a resume to make your resume a stronger one.

5 Optional Personal Details to be Included in a Resume:

  • LinkedIn URL
    A LinkedIn profile in the personal information section in the resume can help elaborate your experience. It also shows that you're a professional and spends time developing your personal brand.
  • Personal website
    Some people make a personal website to display their work achievements or portfolio. Including the link to your website or portfolio in your personal info section on the resume strengthens your application as they provide visual evidence of your achievements. 
  • Social media
    By listing your social media accounts in your resume's personal details section, you showcase your personal traits, which is crucial for certain roles. Make sure the socials you put in the resume as part of personal information are semi-professional and don't hurt your professional image.
  • Complete address
    Include your full address in the personal information section in your resume if it's specifically required. If not, you can decide whether you want put it there.
  • Relevant personal info
    Relevant personal information for the job you are applying for can be included in your resume's personal details section to tailor your resume for the role. Find out what is the core ability they are looking for and write it as part of your personal details, for instance, the language or certificate that is specifically required in the job posting.

These optional details act in support of your personal introduction on the resume. Pick the ones that will help you highlight your skills and qualifications to your potential future employer. But do not overdo it and write irrelevant personal information in your resume. Make sure the items you pick speak to your advantage in your resume.

What Not to Include in Personal Info on a Resume

Personal information in a resume is important but you should be careful with it too. It's a common mistake to include personal details that would do your application a disservice. Learning what not to write in personal details is therefore of great importance.

Do not forget that at the end of day, the resume is a professional document. You need to take that into consideration when you write personal information for your resume/CV. 

Below is a list of personal details that don't belong in your resume:

  1. Current salary
    Your employer does not need this information. There will be time for this negotiation at your interview, and leaving this in your resume's personal details section may be seen as unprofessional and lower your chances of getting a satisfactory salary.
  2. National Insurance Number/Social Security Number
    You will need to supply your National Insurance Number or Social Security to your employer after you are hired. But putting this in your resume personal details can expose yourself to identity fraud. Never divulge your National Insurance Number or Social Security Number. This piece of information is usually needed after you're hired. However, note that some government jobs may insist on providing it for vetting purposes.
  3. Sexual orientation
    While workplace diversity is taken more seriously by many organizations, disclosing this particular information about yourself in the resume can result in hiring discrimination. You are also likely to come across unprofessional.
  4. Race/ethnicity
    Likewise, specifying your race or ethnicity may open yourself to discrimination. 
  5. Marital status and dependency
    This is another piece of information that may also result in discrimination by your potential employer. Whether you are married and/or with children should not be a factor to your employment criteria.
  6. Photograph
    Do not give a prospective employer any excuse to disregard your skills and expertise just because of your appearance. Only provide a photo of yourself in the resume as part of personal info when it is specified in the job posting or when you are applying to companies in country it is customary to do so. 
  7. Date of birth
    The age of the applicant should not reflect on their professional skill. Some employers may be partial to older or younger applicants. 
  8. Nationality
    The job advertisement may specify that you must be living in a particular state for work purposes, or have a right to work in a specific country. Still, your nationality is in most cases irrelevant. 
  9. Gender
    In most countries, it is illegal for an employer to ask your gender, even if they may infer it by your name.
  10. Religion
    Your religion or religious beliefs are not relevant to your employment and thus don't belong in the personal info part of your resume. There are laws in many countries that stipulate that an employer is not allowed to discriminate against individuals based on their beliefs and religion.

You should avoid these 10 personal details when you write your resume; however, the job search culture is different in different countries. Make sure you do proper research and include the required and necessary personal details in the resume/CV when you are apply for roles in particular countries.

Cultural differences in job hunting

Job seekers should note that cultural differences also exist when it comes to resume writing and job hunting. For example, most countries in the EU require applicants to send their CVs using the Europass format. This generic formatting, however, requires you to include gender, nationality, and date of birth on your resume's personal information section.

In Asian countries, photos are encouraged to be included in resume personal details. Personal information such as marital status, ethnicity, gender, and date of birth are more common but not a requirement in Europe and Asia.

How to Format Personal Details on a Resume

To make sure the recruiter sees your personal information in the resume, you have to format it properly. Depending on what you want to emphasize in the personal detail section on your resume, you might want to arrange each piece of personal information in different ways.

For instance, an experienced front-end developer might want to highlight their professional title “Sr. Front-End Developer” by capitalizing the first letter of every word and putting the title next to their name. A fresher graphic designer writing their resume might, on the other hand, make space for the link to their portfolio in the personal detail section. To write your personal details in a resume format, you must know the key information about how to write it. 

However, to write personal information in a resume that catches the eye, you need to consider your strengths and carefully format your personal details. Below is a list of factors that you should take into consideration while putting personal information in your resume.

1. Name

Of all the personal details for your resume, your name is the most important one. It’s the key identifying information. With an eye to the overall design of your resume, write your first name and surname in bold and large size the top of your resume.

💡 Pro tip: It is not recommended to put "Resume", "CV", or "Curriculum Vitae" on the top of your personal details. When you place your name on the top of the CV, it becomes the focus. This will help catch the recruiter's attention.

2. Professional Title

Your professional title should reflect these two different things: what you do and the level of experience you have in that role. 

3. Phone Number

The next important personal detail that belongs in your resume is your phone number. Make sure it is your personal mobile number that you can pick up anytime the recruiters call. If you are applying for jobs internationally, do not forget to include your country's dialing code and  highlight that your number can be reached on Whatsapp, or include a Skype ID.

4. Email Address

It is essential to include an email address in your personal details in your resume as it is the preferred mode of communication. Writing your email address as part of personal information for your resume sounds simply enough but there are some mistakes you should avoid:

  1. Don’t use your current work email address.
  2. Don’t use email addresses that look unprofessional.

Ideally, a good personal email address is one made up of your full name or your first name and one letter of your last name. If both options are not available, you can add one or two numbers in your email address.

5. LinkedIn and social media accounts

LinkedIn accounts are generally safe to include in the personal information section of your resume, but it is a good idea to log in and check the information is up to date and matching your resume. If there are significant differences, your potential employer may lose confidence in your trustworthiness.

Social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest, depending on the role you are applying for, can be included in the personal information section on your resume. For instance, if you are looking for a job as a social media marketer, they should be included to showcase your expertise. 

💡 Pro tip: Make sure you do not have a series of posts that give the wrong impression about your values and personality, if you've decided to include social media accounts in resume.

Remember to include your account as a link – see the examples at the end of this article as reference.

Personal details in resumes for freshers

As a fresher, you may have little work experience. The personal information section for your resume can include your personal website or portfolio so that you can showcase your skills and experience.

Personal details in resumes for experienced job seekers

For experienced workers, personal information in a resume may differ slightly from that of a fresher. As the space for personal information in the resume is limited, you can only pick one or two most impressive aspects of your career to write in it. For instance, you can write the number of years of experience you have along with your professional title. 

Personal Information in a Resume Samples

Writing a resume or CV might be slightly hard for fresh graduates. Even experienced people sometimes find it hard to adjust their resume to suit the recruiter's needs. It is only natural if you want to check out some personal details in resume samples. 

Having good personal information in resume examples will help you to write a better resume, so here are a few personal details examples for various positions, from personal details in resume for freshers to the most experienced job seekers.

Graphic Designer

Created via Cake
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Your process of looking for a job starts with creating a resume, and personal information is at the top of it. See how important it is?

These are the basic necessities you need to include in your personal information in a resume. Space on your resume is precious. Pen your very own personal details and impress the recruiters. 

Cake provides you with the best free resume builder that helps you create resume with ease. With numerous free resume templates and job resume examples, you can simply drag-drop resume elements without worrying about layout or design. Cake also allows you to download your resume and share it for free.

--- Originally written by Jonathan ---


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