Today’s shidduch process has come a long way from the classic matchmaker in the shtetl. Professional and amateur Shadchanim, families and friends are putting in tremendous efforts to help make shidduchim. More than a resource for checking references, the shidduch resume has become a tool which Shadchanim use to evaluate a person and come up with potential matches. Many Shadchanim today are making matches without ever meeting either the young man or woman!
Since many Shadchanim are reviewing dozens or sometimes hundreds of resumes every day, the clarity and scope of a shidduch resume is of paramount importance. The goal of a shidduch resume it to make it easy for Shadchanim to filter through the choices and make the right match. Parents and singles are also constantly reviewing resumes in order to conduct research and make decisions. A resume that is incomplete or ambiguous could harm the single looking for a shidduch. A resume that is clear, comprehensive and easy to understand, will make it simple for Shadchanim, parents and singles to assess and make informed decisions about a potential match.
Below are ten tips which will help you create a memorable and effective shidduch resume.
Make sure to include the basic facts, such as your name, date of birth, height and city and state. It is recommended to include your full Hebrew name, since some families are makpid not to marry those with the same name as a parent.
Date of Birth not Age
Writing an age on a shidduch resume is not helpful, since the viewer does not know when the resume was written. The month and year of your birth will give a current age to a Shadchan, regardless of how long ago the resume was created.
Contact Info, Please
How should the Shadchan get in touch with you? If the Shadchan does not have your number, it may be too burdensome to track down references to get the single’s number and redt the shidduch in the first place.
Include the contact information for shidduch inquiries. Will all shidduch inquiries go through you or your parents? If a single has a preferred Shadchan, include their contact information on the resume to make it easy for people to go straight to the most knowledgeable source.
Make it Personal
It is valuable to include a personal description, with 2 -3 sentences about your personality, goals and interests, along with a short description of what you are looking for. This paragraph will help a Shadchan who has never met the single to come up with relevant matches. However, keep it short and to the point, to avoid excess information.
What are you are looking for that a shadchan might not expect? Is there anything shadchanim usually expect or assume when setting you up that you think they should not? (For example, are you open to marrying someone with a very different background/education than you? Are you Sephardi and looking for someone Ashkenazi, or vice versa?)
What are the 2 – 3 MUST-HAVE qualities in a spouse — qualities without which you cannot marry someone? (Remember that everyone is looking for attractive, kind, G-d fearing, etc. Shadchanim are looking for UNIQUE things here that help make it easy for a shadchan to set you up.)
Don’t Skip the History
A man or woman who is widowed or divorced may be tempted to leave this information off the resume. However, this does a disservice to the single, as it frustrates potential matches. In addition, some Shadchanim specialize in second marriages, which makes this information valuable.
The name of your school, camp or chesed program can help the Shadchan to make connections; the years of your schooling are even more helpful, as the Shadchan may know others who attended school along with you.
List the parents and siblings by name and location, along with spouses, when applicable. This will help to give your profile a context of your family and where you fit into it. Include the name of your Shul and family Rav, this is helpful for Shadchanim who may want more background information.
You can include friends, family and business connections as references. Be sure to include 3 or 4 names, so the Shadchan has options, if they can’t get through right away. A phone number for references is critical, while an email is helpful.
Make sure your references know they are listed on your resume, and that they are prepared to talk to Shadchanim. Send a copy of your resume to your references, so that they are up to date on your life situation.
Pictures or Not?
Including pictures on a resume is a volatile topic which should be discussed with your Rav.
However it is worthwhile to keep in mind, that a picture for the Shadchan’s eyes only has a different value than a picture for the single or their parents. Shadchanim see countless resumes, a picture will help them to retain your information and adds visual clues to your profile. If you do include a picture, make it a clear headshot without a distracting background.
Keep it Simple
A basic PDF makes it easy for Shadchanim to copy and paste information into their own files or software systems. Resumes should be neat and well formatted so that they are easy to read. And don’t forget spell check!