Writing Shidduch Resumes


Shidduchim Resumes

The information provided here reflects the shidduchim system as it is practiced in Yeshivish-oriented circles.  In other circles, the system may be different.

The Function of the Resume

The purpose of the shidduch resume or profile (another word for the same document) is to provide basic information about a boy or girl.  This makes it easier for shadchanim to understand the single’s background and for parents to find out more about a shidduch prospect.

Different Viewpoints

The resume is not meant to advertise or properly describe the boy/girl; typically, the parent or the person who presents the resume also describes and recommends the single to the shadchan, the parents, or other representatives of the other party (or the single him/herself).  Shadchanim often have a large collection of resumes, all pretty similar.  Parents are expected to check with the shadchan regularly to see if s/he may have a shidduch prospect for their son/daughter.  This advocacy makes resumes stand out and circulate.
Another viewpoint is that the resume is the single's "shop window" and must stand out from other resumes in order to attract attention. This applies especially for single women because of the gender imbalance in the (Yeshivish) shidduch market.  Some shadchanim do not have the time to speak with parents regularly, and therefore, advocacy is done through the resume.  That said, "extreme-looking" resumes may put off shadchanim or parents of the prospect.

 

Resume Basics

The resume should contain the basic facts about the boy/girl: name, birthdate, height, education, camps, and extra-curricular activities.  It should also include basic information about the parents: names, birth place, occupation, shul affiliation, and the siblings: age, educational institution, and name of spouse if applicable.  In more Yeshivish circles, the grandparents’ names and birth places are also stated.  Both the full Hebrew name and the name that they are known by, should be spelled out, since some families do not allow children with the same name as a parent to marry into their family.  It is very helpful to shadchanim to include the parents’ home address, home telephone number, and both parents’ cell phone numbers.

At the end of the resume is a list of references and their contact information.  References typically are family friends, personal friends, former Rebbeim/teachers/seminary principals, roommates, and colleagues.  Where possible, it is more convenient to include cell phone numbers.  An important reference is the family Rav, since many parents perceive having an ongoing relationship with a Rav as a good indicator of the family’s commitment.  If the Rav is hard to reach, it is helpful to add a preferred time to call.

Resumes make a better impression if they look neat and well-formatted with consistent headers and fonts.  Content should be made to fit within a single page.  It pays to have someone else proofread the document for spelling and grammar errors.

We have shells of two sample resumes at the end of this post.

Some singles include a statement about themselves or about what kind of person they seek to marry.  Many Shadchanim in Passaic recommend that the resume present only the basic facts.  People are less likely to read through a long resume.  In addition, resumes are sometimes examined very intensely.  Parents of a shidduch prospect might reject a resume based on something they read into a harmless statement.  Moreover, since a resume may circulate for years, it is best not to incorporate material that may change over time.

That said, it might be a good idea nevertheless for someone from a non-standard (e.g. Ba'al Teshuva, Ger, very out-of-town) background to include a sentence or two about themselves or about what they are looking for, to make it easier for Shadchanim and parents of a shidduch prospect to understand who they are.  Such sentences are more useful when they avoid cliches.

Supplementing the Resume

Parents may supplement the resume by creating a “cheat sheet” with a more elaborate description of their child, to use when speaking with shadchanim and people who enquire about their single.  This supplement is also very useful to help references describe the single when they are contacted.

 

Include A Photo?

There are different schools of thought about including a photo in the resume.  It is a good practice to follow the norm in one’s social circle.  If everyone else includes a photo in the resume, omitting the photo makes a shadchan or parent wonder what the single is trying to hide.

On the other hand, including a photo is frowned upon in some Yeshivish circles as trying to “sell” the person on his/her looks.  Another argument against including a photo is that it may give the other party a reason to reject a shidduch out of hand if they have preconceptions about their future spouse’s appearance.  For example, a boy from a family of brunettes may not be used to blondes and therefore think that he cannot marry one.  If he would meet the girl, he might see beyond the hair color.  In addition, people are prone to forming misconceptions about the personality or the physical attractiveness of others based on photos of their face.

However, it is a good idea to send the shadchan a picture with the resume, since this helps keep the single in mind.   If the parents do not want the picture to be sent to the other party, they should send the picture separately rather than together with the resume,  and they should state their preference to the shadchan .  Note: Rabbi Levi and Rabbi Lewenstein of Lakewood do not use pictures.  Nonetheless, some parents of boys will only consider shidduch proposals after seeing the girl’s picture.

Bottom line:  if the shadchan wants a photo, you need to send it. Otherwise, the shadchan will put your resume on the bottom of the pile.

Choosing References

The references listed on the resume should be selected carefully.  The best references are positive, outgoing people who are able to speak enthusiastically and articulately about the single.

While prestigious references may make the resume look good, it is more useful to list people who know the family or the single well, are accessible and have the time to talk.  It is appropriate to consult references before putting their names and telephone numbers on a resume.  This is also a good opportunity to update the reference about the single and to discuss how to explain potential problems that the other party may discover while investigating the prospect.

Sample Shidduch Resume Form

 

Name of Boy/Girl

Address

Birthdate

Height

Parent’s Contact Information: telephone number(s)

Home Address

 

Parents

Father’s name , birthplace, occupation

(optional) Grandparents: birthplace, current city

Mother’s name, maiden name, birthplace, occupation

(optional) Grandparents: birthplace, current city

Shul Affiliation

Rav & telephone

Education

Elementary school

High School / Mesivta

Seminary / Bais Medrash

Job-related Education

Camps

Employment

Volunteer Chessed or Kiruv Activities

Siblings

Name, age, where they are being educated, occupation , if married, to whom and where they are living

 (Optional) Looking For

Family References

Names & telephone numbers

(optional) Mechutanim (parents of siblings’ spouses)

Personal References (friends, roommates, chavrusas)

Names & telephone numbers

Yeshiva Bochur's Shidduch Resume Form

 Bachur's Full Hebrew Name

Birthday

Height

Home Address

Home phone #

Cell phone #

 

Father's complete Hebrew name

Father's occupation

Father's cell phone #

Mother's complete Hebrew name , mother's maiden name

Mother's occupation

Mother's Cell phone #

 

Family Rav (name and telephone)

Shul:

 

Bachur's Rav - Moreh Derech (name & telephone)

Current Rosh Chabura (name & telephone)

Present Yeshiva:

Mesivta:

Bais Medrash:

Camp:

Recent summer program:

Eretz Yisroel (how long- whose shiur):

 

Siblings (name, age, school, married to whom, from where and where currently living)

Family References (at least 2 - include cell no.)

Bachur's References (at least 1 roommate, 1 chavrusa, & 2 other friends - include cell #)

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