Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shidduch Resumes

For those who are unaware, the Shidduch resume is supposed to be a summary of all your stats, so your info is accessible to anyone who needs it.

So, you usually include your shul, schools, parents names and occupations, and some references.

That should be enough. However, in an effort to differentiate themselves from the next "smart, bubbly, frum-but-worldly" Bais Yaakov girl, people include things that I find unnecessary. One girl wrote that she was on the Dean's List in her college. Valedictorian is one thing. Dean's List? Isn't that, like, 99.99% of the frum people in Touro? This girl actually went to a real school, but still.

In addition, people like to write what they're looking for. That makes sense. But not a whole page worth. One girl had a page attached to the sheet of stats, delineating what she won't stand for. "I AM NOT interested in anyone who wants a TV in his house." I understand she objects to TV, but the way she wrote it seemed forceful, and thus, unappealing.

When you write about what you want, you want to be accurate. That's pretty difficult since, as we know, everything is done in code. "Short-term learner" seems to mean a faker who wants to sit outside Yeshiva smoking for two years while Mommy and Daddy foot the bill, and his wife parades around Flatbush with a bug-a-boo, and coach shoes.

My mother's friends have daughters who have just returned from Israel, and of course, in effort to avoid them being 21 and single, like I am, are hard at work on the resumes. For a half-hour, they discussed different terms, and debated the wording that would most accurately describe their daughter's suitor. Lemme tell you, one of these girls wouldn't know Nicole Richie if she stared her in the face. Paris WHO? I informed of her of the existence of iPods, in 2005. Clearly, I wouldn't consider her "worldly." (Yes, knowledge of Paris and Nicole determine worldliness) The girl is very Yeshivish, and pretty sheltered. She is, however, seeking a young man who plans to learn 2-3 years after marriage, and get a job. But she means LEARN. Not sit outside and smoke. So, we already know, "short term learner" doesn't describe that. "Learning forever" is too long for her. Then her mother came up with a good one, "What about someone who is working, but has a strong Torah value?" I laughed. Once you say working, forget it. They won't be impressed with her lack of Richie/Hilton knowledge.

Then they ask for only married friend references. Yes, the single ones with STEAL them away from you.

Then they ask who your siblings married, and where they're from, and where they went to school. Because that matters.

I do understand asking which schools the siblings go to. That's usually a decent indicator of the family's hashkafos and general situation.

And then they ask you to describe yourself. That's awkward. "I'm the nicest, sweetest, bubbliest Bais Yaakov girl. I have lots of chain. I was head of dance." Yes, they ALL were head of dance.

They tell you to describe the guy you want. That makes you feel so demanding. "Oh, jeez, you want middos, and a sense of humor? And non-smoker? now you're pushing it."

Oh! And every girl is pretty; every guy is "Tall and handsome," even when they're short and not very handsome.

So, what are these resumes worth again?


At 7/19/2007 7:06 PM, Blogger Kaila said...

1) i do not believe girls straight out of seminary in israel should start dating, they need time to wind down and get in touch with reality. many of these girls feel very strongly that they must marry a learning man and somehow find financial support by other means, be it having a career or having rich parents. unfortunately, seminaries do not give a class in marriage and financials, so my advice to anyone who asks me to set them up straight out of seminary is to come back to me in a year if they are still single. with the common "kollel is cool" attitude of today, many girls are not aware that they are not halachically responsible for supporting a family. the husbands are.

2)short term learner is not what anyone wants. what girls should say they are looking for is someone who would learn full time if they could but understand the need to provide for potential family. a good question to ask a date is if he hopes to make longer term learning financially possible for himself. many men are willing to save up so that when their kids are grown (and presumably not being supported by then) they can learn in kollel. it's a noble cause, and it's something the couple can work towards together if they both value learning and growth.

3) some working guys wouldn't know the richie/hilton reference either. in fact, many of them would expect you to know basic academics. if you say you are looking for someone who works and doesn't want a tv, chances are they wouldn't care. if you want a tv, i'm sure you know who paris hilton is.

i have always laughed at shidduch resumes. i find them to be rather pointless. the only purpose they truly serve is that of a reminder to people who already know you. i have a friend's resume on my computer and look at it once in a while if i think i know a guy for her. i've known her since elementary school, and the resume helps me see whether or not she'd object to certain things that i don't think about on a regular basis. should you need one for a shadchan? i would say no. i know someone who refuses to set anyone up without meeting both parties first. i think this policy works well for the shadchan and the... um... shadchanee? if the shadchan doesn't like you they will have a hard time setting you up. if the shadchan gives you the heebie-jeebies, run for the hills. shadchanim who ask you overly personal questions are not for you.

At 7/19/2007 10:13 PM, Anonymous EOM said...

Great post, I don't think resumes are such a terrible concept but they are only as useful as they are truthful.
As far as having to sing your own praises... It's a double edged sword. I once had a shadchen ask me that question ("so how would you describe yourself")and I decided to answer her honestly. I decided to try the truth, I told her the good and the not so good, I am the entire package. I don't understand why I would want to lie about things, I'm looking for someone to marry, they will have to be ok with me as a complete person. (I don't think the shadchan agreed but she had other major issues and I hope to never have to see her again anyways.)

At 7/20/2007 3:35 AM, Blogger Warren Burstein said...

Dean's List? Isn't that, like, 99.99% of the frum people in Touro?
Is Dean's List included with each bought diploma, or does it cost more?

At 7/20/2007 6:31 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

warren--LOL good one ;-)

At 7/20/2007 12:19 PM, Anonymous a senior said...

oy im so scared- i have nothing to put on a resume, i dont even want someone who wants a frikken resume!

At 7/22/2007 9:04 PM, Anonymous think said...

Michelle, why don't you post your resume...

At 7/23/2007 8:49 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

"think": No thanks

kaila: girls are taught that Bitachon pays the bills. It certainly does, but having a job as Hishtadlus never hurt.

Some girls never outgrow the idea of marrying learning guys, no matter how many years they've been out of seminary.

However, i agree that there should be a rule about girls dating after Seminary. But what about those who don't go to Israel? That's two years of no dating after high school. Besides that, the rule would NEVER go ANYWHERE because of the crisis, they'd say, "my daughter isn't waiting..."

At 7/23/2007 11:29 AM, Blogger Kaila said...


i don't believe most people would prevent their daughters from dating right out of sem. i believe it to be impractical, and so unless the girl is in college while in seminary or looking for a working guy, i say come back later. i'm not a professional shadchan, and anyone i set up i have to know somewhat. i would feel somewhat responsible if a marriage that i set up developed problems because the girl wasn't mature enough to understand what it means to support a family, or the boy didn't understand that he's obligated to support if need be.

i honestly think that seminaries should educate their girls in finances. most young people don't really understand the value of money. (this is why girls' schools get away with paying their graduates practically nothing for teaching straight out of seminary. teachers work extraordinarily hard, especially their first year and should be paid more. )

i have a question: how many parents today can truly support a young kollel couple?

At 7/23/2007 2:11 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Your question is a little general.
How many parents? Where do they live? What do you consider 'support'? How young is the couple? Do the parents have other kids in the situation? Does the Kollel couple have children yet? The list goes on.

Anyway, from the community i've observed, many parents can afford to support a few couples, if the other side helps. Singlehandedly? Prob one or two. But money usually marries money, so I'd hope they share the responsibility

At 7/23/2007 3:25 PM, Blogger Kaila said...

i don't know, michelle.

most parents that i know could afford to support maybe one couple with no kids, assuming the parents have no plans for retirement. bills add up. if money marries money, fine. often no money marries no money. sometimes money marries money but parents are unwilling to support. so what to do? it's best to have a backup plan. if the girl has no definable plan, such as a specific degree she is going for or a specific skill, i don't want to set her up with a kollel guy. even if these girls have a plan, they don't know how difficult pregnancy can be, and many women can't work as hard during pregnancy. i know one woman who was put on bedrest during pregnancy, and the kollel family had to go on welfare. i'm sure she felt terrible about it. there's a reason the husband is supposed to support, and i believe it is partially because he doesn't have the option of bearing children:)

i don't know whether the husband in question got a job, but if he did, it was probably teaching in a yeshiva that couldn't have paid him enough anyway. i hope he was at least in charge of the welfare paperwork.

At 7/24/2007 12:31 PM, Blogger MS said...

Kaila--I know some people (and you do too) who do not want their daughter dating straight out of seminary for exactly this reason and do not allow them to date for a few months after they have begun college and figured out what they want to do...
My uncle was at an Agudah monthly luncheon for men who work in downtown Manhattan where Rabbi Paysach Krohn spoke about shidduchim and raised the following point, "How many of you have sons who are beginning to date? Do you want your son to marry a girl straight from seminary who thinks she is Rivkah Imeinu?! Wait until she settles down."
Michelle: As far as "NOT standing" for certain things, I definately agree that the girl is making it too hard on herself. She should be a lot more flexible and realize that once she goes out with someone more than once these are things she can bring up and they can work out (such as renting movies every so often...)

At 7/24/2007 2:13 PM, Blogger Notsofrummie said...

I have never taken out a girl with a resume. I was set up with one ad skimmed throught it for amusement and it was ridicolous. And from my experiences, its always the mmore frummer ppl who write these things up than the regular singles. Whats also interesting to note is that the guy who never worked in his life never wrote a regular resume, but thank g-d he has a shidduch resume. To show all the years he learnt (i.e smoked outside and gossiped) and which hocker of a shul he davens in on shabbos.

At 7/25/2007 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As two of my siblings are currently in the abyss that is shidduch dating with resumes I would like to applaud you on your post. Seeing someones perked up "resume", as handed to you by a Shadchen, will in no way tell you what sort of person you are going to meet. And, to make matters worse, the young bochur, girl is supposed to decide from the first date whether they think they have a chance at marriage with said date. If people would chill out and actually allow young men and women to meet, perhaps there would not be nearly so many divorces of 20year old girls in the frum world.
and kaila: most seminary's instruct their young under educated graduates not to begin dating until at least beign one summer out of school as they might still be on an "Israel High"

At 7/25/2007 1:21 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


I was not aware of that fact. I know many girls who want to date right out of seminary. I have heard of being told to wait six months, but no one seems to enforce it.

about "knowing" if the date is right on the first try, this is totally up to the singles. yes, there is pressure from shadchanim, but I say if they pressure you after the first date ditch them. there is no reason a guy and a girl cannot discuss between themselves whether or not they are good for each other. that is the purpose of dating. if parents have a problem with this, too bad. marriage should be a declaration of independence, and if the parents feel the kid is old enough to date, they should be considered old enough to discuss the future with a member of the opposite gender without being rushed. if it takes three months instead of three dates, so be it.

At 7/26/2007 5:58 AM, Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

Shidduch resumes are bullshit.

At 7/30/2007 3:12 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Re: waiting: like I said, women are too afraid their daughters will be single and 21, and that's "tragic" so they need every minute on the market they can get.

Re: "knowing" I feel like most of the time, i know what's not for me right away. When guys proudly declare that they cheated their way through college on a first date, there's NOTHING they can do to redeem themselves. So I KNOW.

As far as "knowing" the other way around, I guess you'll know when I "know."

At 7/30/2007 6:05 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


i'm sorry you've been set up with the wrong guys. Not all guys proudly claim to have cheated through college. i suppose you would know when to say no on your own, but not everyone does on the first date, and it shouldn't be considered near engagement to go on three dates. shadchanim take pride in making shidduchim work very quickly.

At 7/31/2007 8:15 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I don't consider 3rd dates to be "near engagement," but in my book, if someone's come that far, there must be potential.

At 8/12/2007 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it amazing, how far the opinions of the unmarried are from reality. I swear, it's like everyone here is living in lala land. Here's a hint: 99% of what matters to you while dating, will have no bearing on the rest of your life. You will not find the traits you are looking for in a match today, at all making any difference once you marry. Your husband/wife WILL fart and smell up the bedroom once your married! You'll learn to keep a can of air freshener near the bed. You're going to grow together with the person you end up choosing, you'll learn each others preferences and wants, and be flexible enough to make it work. Or be stubborn, and end up miserable. But believe me, there is NO WAY to avoid this, no matter how much you try. Why would you invest so much effort in defining how much structured learning your potential shidduch will commit to, and not spend equal time finding out if your libidos will be compatible? Believe me the latter will have substantially greater impact on your marital happiness. So find a guy/girl that makes you comfortable, maybe makes you laugh, and ditch all your preconcieved notions about your ideal spouse, and the ideal household. Instead invest in a few lessons on giving to your spouse, because in the end the only thing that will bring you a happy marriage is how much you'll be able to give your spouse.

At 8/21/2007 9:04 AM, Blogger halfshared said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/25/2007 6:47 PM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

a short term learner can indeed refer to someone who has deferred their grad school enrollment for a year or two in order to "do some serious learning" before they must enter the "real world." your characterization of a short-term learner as one who simply smokes outside the BM, though largely true, is offensive to those who want to learn short-term in all sincerity.

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