Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I think resumes are dumb. Yup, I said it. I don’t understand why a guy (or his parents!) need my high school information or ‘what I am looking for.’ I don’t get the picture, I don’t get the references, and I don’t get why anyone would care who my siblings married! It’s all so two dimensional anyway and you need to meet me to get me! Now that I am starting to date though, the shadchanim or anyone who wants to set me up asks for my resume and now I feel pressured to make one. My parents think I am being ridiculous and want me to get it done, but I have zero interest. Just let them ask the shadchan or whoever they want about me and then a date will decide the rest! I am not applying for a job! I am looking for a husband! Please help me explain this to them.


Date Applicant


Dear Applicant,

My kids used to sing a song they learned in school. (If you don’t know it, insert your own tune here.) “Continents, continents, these are your continents, north, south, east, and west, and all around the world. Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, Antarctica, and Europe too.”

The world is pretty big, all holding the possibility of your perfect match. Ok, fine, we can probably ignore Antarctica, but still, lots of choice there. Then, we have the States; all fifty of them. Ok, ok, we can probably remove South Dakota… unless you are Chabad, of course. And even if we concentrate on the Tri-State area alone, we are talking about a lot of possibilities if we base that purely on the amount of traffic! Don’t even get me started on Brooklyn and good luck narrowing Five Towns to four. Realistically, since most of us are not blessed to marry our next-door neighbor, we are looking at large geographic areas. We need help narrowing it down.

The resume is your introduction, a basic understanding of you so that potential daters (and their parents) can surmise if you might be at all compatible. Instead of fighting it, use it as a wonderful tool. This will help you to not go on dates that don’t make sense for you.

So, let’s break it down.

The information you include on your schooling explains the hashkafa you were raised with and if that remains your hashkafa. Your academic abilities allow others to understand more of what matters to you. Your picture allows those interested to see if you present nicely (not just your beauty, but how you are dressed, posed, etc.). Take control of the picture and make sure it’s one that allows you to shine. The references are a real connection to who you are as a person. Make sure your references know you and have kind things to say about you. Do not assume this to be true. Make sure they are in a position to speak well on your behalf. They will most likely determine if someone wants to pursue you as a possibility. Finally, who your siblings married gives greater reference to what matters to your family and what backgrounds are most familiar.

Sure, a resume is “two dimensional” but it allows others to see you as a real person, not just another girl on a list. So, use the gift of the “resume” and make sure it speaks to who you are as a person. Be mindful that the photo you chose showcases you well, make sure your reference are positive advocates, and let your story start on that piece of paper. This is a helpful part of dating. Don’t disparage the process; learn from it, and use it to help yourself date successfully.


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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at [email protected] to schedule a phone session.