Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Depicting your yeshiva years on a resume...

I was asked:

How do you describe your Yeshivah Education on a resume?

It seems to me, that ten years of Beis Medrash and Kollel could be
played up on a resume. We are talking about intensive study 10-12 hours
a day. Analyzing Talmud, studying Mussar and foreign language skills.
How would you explain it on a resume or in an interview?

I responded:

I would say X years of training in creative thought, both abstract
and concrete, with special attention to taking the thinking to the
stage of practical applications. Extensive studies in business and
ancillary ethics. Development of capacity to function in multilingual
and high-pressure situations. How's that!?


  1. As a law student at Mcgill, I can tell you a Law Schools love Yeshiva on their applicant's resumes lol. I know a lot of people that got into this law school (considered by some the best in canada) without any real undergrand, but many years in "yeshiva" (some not even with one of those "Talmudic Studies Degrees", just plain old yeshiva)


  2. That particular description illustrates what I wrote about in http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/05/saying-nothing-in-so-many-words.html
    Perhaps stay at home moms should describe their experience out of the paid workforce as manager and acting head of project [from home projects to keep kids occupied to everything else], supervisor and educational director [of children, their homework], event planner [every Shabbos and yom tov], arbitrator of purchasing [at the grocery store, clothing store, etc], human resources director [babysitters and domestic help and gardeners and such] , head of accounting and finance [banking].

  3. I can tell you from my experience interviewing candidates at work and reading their resumes that this type jargon is an immediate red flag. It may work if you are applying for grad school (e.g. law school) where academic work counts to your advanatge, but it will not work in a competitive business environment. "I studied ethics and abstract thought" doesn't cut it when the other guys resume describes how he managed a project that created a product, a marketing plan, or implemented some technology that saved real $ and applied hands-on concrete skills. If someone's entire experience is kollel, the best bet is be honest and say they were in school and shoot for an entry level position with no experience required and lots of upside for advancement. Of course there are stories of the one person who got a lucky break and went from kollel to CEO, but this is not how it works most of the time.