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Writing Shidduch Resumes

In this article, we aim to provide pieces of valuable information about the practices of the Shidduchim (arranged dates) system.  It is a matchmaking process for Jewish singles where they are introduced among Orthodox Jewish communities for the purpose of marriage.

Those who are American Orthodox Jews including traditionalist Modern Orthodox (YU Machmir) to slightly Yeshivish subcultures widely practice the system. Other communities may follow a different system, however, to match and marry someone.

Let’s further dive into the Shidduch system and how to properly write a Shidduch resume.

What is the Function of Shidduch Resumes

In the ultra-Orthodox community, Shidduch resumes are common…

But are they worth using?

A shidduch resume or profile defines a person’s basic characteristics and other personal information. This gives shadchanim a chance to learn more about a potential shidduch prospect as well as allows parents to learn more about the single’s profile.

From the perspective of someone recommending a shidduch, a shidduch resume makes sense. Similar to an employer, there are many applicants and the shadchan must sort and match the right candidates with the right positions as quickly as possible.

Different Opinions

People have differing opinions about the important functions of a shidduch resume – thus, there are a number of ways to write one.  

From one perspective, some people believe that a resume is not supposed to advertise or describe a person completely.  Instead, the parent or someone who presents the resume to the shadchan, to the parents, or to the other party (or the single himself/herself) speaks about the single and advocates for him/her.  Therefore, the resume should be minimal, containing only the basic information about the person’s background.

If this is the case, parents will need to regularly check with the shadchan to determine whether he/she may have a shidduch prospect for their child. Through this support and recommendation, a resume can stand out and spread among Shadchanim’s collection of applications.

For some, a resume serves as a single’s “display window” to make them stand out among other resumes. This is particularly relevant to single women in the Yeshivish shidduch market because of the gender imbalance.  Shadchanim does not always have the time to talk to parents regularly, so promoting is done by way of resumes.

Shidduch Resume Basics

What to include in a Shidduch resume?

No worries. We’ll tackle every section to better help you write a Shidduch resume. Keep in mind that there isn’t any ideal resume format. The sections outlined below may not always be in the order shown here, as you can always follow different versions and templates.

Here are the basic sections to include in your Shidduch resume:

1. Single’s Name, Birthdate, and Height

A Shidduch resume begins with these three basic pieces of information.

Remember, some families do not permit children with the same name as a parent to marry into their families, so both the full Hebrew name of the person and the name by which she or he is known are spelled out. 

2. Home Address

Underneath the first section, the home address – city and state immediately follows. If the single is not currently living at their home address, he/she can add another line indicating his/her current location. 

3. Parents/ Single’s Cell Phone, Home Phone, and/or Email Address

When the parents direct the single’s shidduchim, their contact information is listed next. This includes their contact numbers and/or their email addresses.  

It is more common for the single to include their phone number in less traditional circles or when the single is directly involved in their shidduchim.  

Other than that, the single’s contact information is withheld, to be shared with a shidduch prospect after they agree to meet on a date.

4. Parents Information

A typical resume would also include information about the parents: their names and places of birth, their occupation, the shul they belong to, and the name of the family Rabbi.  It is important to include the Rav’s name since many parents see an ongoing relationship with a Rav as a sign of commitment.  To answer any questions, it is helpful to indicate a preferred time to contact the Rav.

5. Grandparents Information (For Yeshivish Circles)

For more Yeshivish community, the shidduch resume may include the grandparents’ names and birthplaces.  For those circles, including the Yeshiva where the father studied is useful.

6. Single’s Educational Background

After the parent information, the single must provide their educational background, camps, and position (if they are employed).

7. Siblings Personal Information

Next, list down your siblings’ information, including name, age, educational institution, employment (if currently employed), and if relevant, spouse information.

8. Single’s Hobbies and Interests or Detailed Personal Description

Some of these listings may be accompanied by a more specific description of the single, either written in the first person or by an outsider.  In addition, a single can list hobbies, other activities or interests, etc.

Other times, it is valuable to include a personal description, with 2 to 3 sentences about your personality, goals, and interests, along with a short description of what you are looking for in a life partner.

The information in this paragraph will be very helpful to someone who has never met the single. However, be concise to avoid exaggeration or unnecessary details.

9. List of References

References and their contact information are listed at the end of the resume.  In most cases, references are family or close friends, former Rebbeim, teachers, or seminary principals, as well as roommates and colleagues.  Include a cell phone number for more convenient communication.

10. Pictures (Optional)

Important: Your Rav should be consulted before including any pictures on your resume.

With countless resumes seen by Shadchanim, having a picture will help them remember your information and add visual clues to your profile. If you include a picture make sure it’s a clear headshot without distracting backgrounds.

 

Formatting and Presentation

Remember these tips when writing and formatting your shidduch resume:

  • Structure your Shidduch resume like a typical job resume – with short statements or bullets following section headers.  
  • Make sure your shidduch resume looks neat and well-formatted using consistent headers, indentation, and fonts that are easy to read.
  • Keep the content down to a single page.  
  • Ask someone to proofread for errors in spelling, grammar, or formatting.

We have included two resume templates at the end of this post.  The following is a more detailed guide on how to write a Shidduch resume.

Tips for Writing Shidduch Resumes

1. Ask a mentor’s advice.

In many cases, the shidduch resume is the only thing that represents a single to the representative of a potential match. Therefore, it is crucial to take the single to someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with shidduchim. It may be a better idea to delay giving out the resume until it has been reviewed and accepted by the mentor.

2. Identify your target audience.

One of the steps in preparing for shidduchim is deciding from which circles to seek a spouse. Each frum circle has its own resume style.  For this reason, it is smart to use resumes from recently married people in the desired social circle as models.  

For instance, some people in the right-wing circle prefer to use resumes that have a standard and straightforward format with a focus on family ties.

Meanwhile, singles from more “Modern” social groups may be more likely to prefer unconventional ways of presenting and emphasizing individual experiences.

Singles can tailor their resumes to highlight individual features that define them within the constraints of following the social circle norms.  For example, a resume with a bit of creative flair can express to the shadchan that the Yeshivish single is seeking an unconventional match.

3. Do You Want Your Resume to Blend In or Stand Out?

Shadchanim reviews dozens or even hundreds of resumes every day, which is why a shidduch resume should be as clear and comprehensive as possible. 

An effective shidduch resume should make it easy for Shadchanim to sort through the choices and find the best match. So make sure your resume will stand out by:

  • Creating an original, eye-catching format for presenting the material
  • Mentioning the single’s superior education or highlighting an outstanding work accomplishment or career achievement.
  • Telling a unique life experience or provide a background that sets the single apart from others to attract attention.
  • Demonstrate the single’s commitment or dedication to a particular passion or purpose in life. Examples are kiruv, career, interests, and hobbies.

Although a superior resume is likely to be more effective, a resume that is too different can seem excessive to the shadchan for a potential partner. One could easily be dismissed for being “too outstanding” or “eccentric or unconventional”.  

Additionally, a resume can limit a person to a single aspect of qualification. Someone who isn’t technically competent, for example, might be happy with someone who is. So why give the impression that they wouldn’t?

Lastly, people who believe that their resume accurately reflects their character may find that it would limit their dating prospects, leading to more effective dating encounters.

 

4. Should you Disclose or Keep Information?

It’s important when to reveal or to keep sensitive information that would be deemed demeaning and damaging to the single. Their chances of success in a match could be negatively affected by these details.

Examples:

  • age, 
  • parental divorce, 
  • or siblings who are nonmainstream Yeshivas.

Remember – Include information that will probably come to light during the checking-out process. There could also be other family secrets that are kept for a while during the dating process.

For some, it’s not uncommon for a single to include more information than strictly necessary in their resumes. This is to filter out shidduchim that are likely to refuse them if they discover any problem.

6. Carefully Select your References

Remember these tips when listing your references:

  • Select your references carefully by choosing those who are friendly and optimistic people who will speak enthusiastically about the single.
  • List people who know the family or the single well and are responsible, available, and willing to talk.  
  • Put references’ names and contact numbers on your resume only after consulting them.  During this time, you may also update the reference about the single and what he or she is seeking. Also, you should discuss any possible problems that may arise during the investigation.

7. Personal Statement

This section can be optional and may greatly depend on the single’s decision whether or not to include it.

Pros:

  • Describes what kind of person the single is looking for in a spouse.  
  • Helps Shadchanim and parents of shidduch prospects learn who the single is.

Cons:

  • Discouraged by many shadchanim in Passaic. They only recommend resumes that present only the basic information.
  • People don’t read long resumes very often.
  • Shidduch prospects’ parents may reject the single’s resume because they misinterpreted something they read.
  • Resumes get outdated and may become irrelevant in circulation as personal statements change over time.

When to use a personal statement?

Include this section when a resume is forwarded to people who don’t know the single. It’s polite to state what kind of person is desired, to avoid wasting time and effort for other singles.

Don’t include this statement when the shadchan or someone who is familiar with the single will present the resume. A presenter will inform the person he/she is seeking about the type of person the single is. 

8. Should you Include A Photo?

There have been debates on whether or not to include photos in a resume. Here are the pros and cons for your review:

Pros:

  • Follow the norm in one’s social circle if everyone else includes a picture in the resume.
  • Increases the likelihood of the girl being accepted by the man’s family by including a picture in a resume.
  • Makes it easier for the shadchan to remember the single when a photo is attached to a resume.

Cons:

  • Makes a shadchan or parent wonder what the single is trying to hide when they omit a picture.
  • Disliked by some Yeshivish circles as it emphasizes the person’s looks to “market” them.
  • Provides a reason for the other party to reject the shidduch out of hand if they have preconceived notions about the appearance of their future spouse.
  • People have a tendency to draw wrong conclusions about people’s personalities based on their pictures.

Important Notes:

  • Unless the parents want the picture to be sent to the other party, the image should be sent separately from the resume and the parents should advise the shadchan of their preference.  
  • The Rabbis Levi and Lewenstein of Lakewood do not use pictures.  
  • Some men’s parents are willing to consider shidduch proposals after they see the girl’s photo.
  • You should send the shadchan a photo if he requests one. If not, your resume will be put at the bottom of the pile.
  • Men should not see the photo as soon as the shidduch prospect has been screened. Otherwise, they may place too much emphasis on appearances or get overly excited.

9. Supplement your Resume

If necessary, parents may supplement the resume with an extra sheet containing more detailed information about their son/daughter. The extra sheet will be useful when talking to shadchanim and those who inquire about the single. 

References will also find this supplement to be very useful when they are asked to describe the single.

10. Update your resume regularly

Those who have been in shidduchim for years may want to rewrite their resume.  If the resume of a shidduch prospect looks fresh, a parent might be inclined to review it a second time.

Shidduch resumes should be updated regularly to reflect the single’s current situation. Examples are when a single:

  • Take on new responsibilities or switch from career training to working.
  • Put further down in the resume the list of educational institutions attended as the single moves on. Make it compressed as possible. 
  • Keep the reference list current.  For example, replace an old schoolmate with the name of a new co-worker.  
  • Update the references with your activities. Also, explain to the references your ideas on what kind of spouse you are seeking.

Shidduch Resume Template

 

Name of Boy/Girl

Address

Birthdate

Height

Parent’s Contact Information: Telephone Numbers

Home Address

 

Parents

Father’s Name, Birthplace, Occupation:

Grandparents: Birthplace, Current city (optional):

Mother’s Name, Maiden Name, Birthplace, Occupation:

Grandparents: Birthplace, Current city (optional):

Shul Affiliation:

Rav & Telephone No.:

Education:

Elementary school:

High School / Mesivta:

Seminary / Bais Medrash:

Job-related Education:

Camps:

Employment:

Volunteer Chessed or Kiruv Activities:

Siblings:

Name, Age, Educational Institution, Occupation, Civil Status, Current Location Address:

Looking For (Optional):

Family References:

Names & Telephone Numbers:

Mechutanim (parents of siblings’ spouses) (Optional): 

Personal References (friends, roommates, chavrusas):

Names & Telephone Numbers:

 

Yeshiva Bochur’s Shidduch Resume Template

 Bachur’s Full Hebrew Name

Birthday

Height

Home Address

Home Telephone #

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 / 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 Current Location):

Family References (At Least 2 – Include Cell #s):

Bachur’s References (At Least 1 Roommate, 1 Chavrusa, & 2 Other Friends – Include Cell #):

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