How to Sound Professional about Your Personal Life

Perhaps the most dreaded part of any job application or resume is talking about your personal life. You want to come across as a professional but at the same time, you don’t want to be seen as a robot, so how do you avoid that?

Many people feel like their personal lives and their careers are separate entities that should remain private. While that is probably true, there is no getting around this question, whether it is on a job application or in an interview, so you might as well have answers handy.

Sounding Professional, Not Robotic or Controversial

On your resume or on an application, you can answer the “Tell Us a Little Bit about Yourself” question with some of the following:

I’m very passionate about...

You will need to fill in the last part but try to make it something that isn’t work related. Good examples are:

  1. Baseball

  2. Hand raising birds

  3. My garden

Items you shouldn’t include (no matter how passionately you might feel about them)

  • Religion

  • Politics

I can tell you about myself in 3 words...

Or 4 - - something short and to the point. You might say “Love My Camera” or “Live to go Camping”. Most personnel hate lengthy resumes so keeping it short and sweet is always a good idea.

After googling myself, I discovered...

This is an interesting topic as it is an unexpected answer. Again, don’t fill in that blank with anything controversial, but make yourself sound like a real person.

Since I was (5/6/7) I’ve always been fascinated with…

At 5, 6, or 7 years of age, chances are you were not fascinated with anything controversial. This sentence allows you to talk about something personal that you’ve enjoyed for years (dogs/race cars/acting). Again, keep it short and sweet, for example: Since I was 5 years old, I’ve always been fascinated with dogs. I even had my own dog walking business when I was a teenager.

Ultimately, you should be hired on your experience and strengths, but the truth is that some hiring managers will reject your application if they think your answers about your personal life are too strange or if you mention controversial subjects, they might not see you fitting into their culture.

The Bottom Line

Sound real, be friendly. Make someone glad that they took the extra minute to look at your answer.