Shidduch Resumes and Reality – Part IV

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By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

Shidduch resumes are now in widespread usage in the English-speaking American Yeshiva world. No one denies that. But how do they really work and help the Shidduch (dating) seekers because there are many people sitting around with their Shidduch Resumes Emailed far and wide yet they are still stuck and a sad statistic in the proverbial Shidduch (singles) Crisis.

One has to understand how Shidduch Resumes originated and who pushed for them the most. It is the Shadchanim (matchmakers) themselves who have created this need and market for Shidduch Resumes in the English-speaking American Yeshiva world. No one even denies that, and now every boy or girl of dating age in that world who needs and wants a Shidduch and Date must have a Shidduch Resume even if they are not dealing exclusively with professional Shadchanim it is now required and requested by families searching for spouses for their marriage-age children.

To understand a Shidduch Resume and its context one must therefore also understand the world of modern-day job hunting and the way that system works in the USA. Most English-speaking American graduates of Yeshivos (Talmudical academies for boys) and Bais Yaakovs (girls schools) when they go out to work know that in today’s world you must have a professional work resume. This has been true for a very long time, certainly in our own lifetimes. Our parents and grandparents found work, built businesses, and found their own spouses without resumes of any sort. But in America today, we are dependent or think we are dependent on resumes to “find a job” and now also “to find a husband or wife” in the Frum (Jewish religious) world!

Now, if you have ever used a resume as part of your job search you know that no matter how many times you mail out, or fax or Email your resume to prospective employers and headhunters, the most important thing to do is to network and not to just rely on your resume no matter how fantastic you think you or your resume are.

What is always true more than anything, is that old saying: “It is not what you know, it is who you know”! And this holds true in both job hunting and Shidduch hunting. Nothing can take the place of family and friends and constant networking, never stopping, in both finding a job or finding your Bashert (soul-mate)!

Let me illustrate this from our own experiences over the last ten years. Of course as the times changed and more resumes were demanded at various stages we always complied. I am a great believer and practitioner of abiding by what I call “the protocols of dating” and not fighting them. Too many people get fed up, frustrated and angry with the system of dating in the Frum world and the only ones they hurt are themselves.

For example, just as there are rules for applying for a passport: you must fill out a detailed form giving private information; answer questions from an official; submit a good current photo of yourself; and pay a hefty fee, that is if you want a passport, then you must comply with these protocols or official rules of the game. It is useless and pointless to fight it.

Likewise, you must know what the rules of dating are happening in the time and place you live in, and never ever fight them, because then the Shadchanim and people you need will just walk away from you because they have plenty of other “customers” who will listen to them.

So rule number one is to always live by the given rules, no matter how foolish or redundant they may seem to you, no one is asking you, you are on a “long line” and don’t cause trouble for yourself or your children, and if you are required to cough up a resume with a picture of your child, to answer questions, and even pay a fee, then you must do that, with a smile and with Derech Eretz (manners), always.

Fine, so we have that down. Now, you are able to join the “playing field” so you start to Email resumes to Shadchanim and ask all your friends and relatives to help, just as if you would be looking for a job because your livelihood and future depends on it, so it is serious, it is not a game because it is “the game of life” about you or your child’s chance to find a spouse.

But it’s not enough to play by the so-called rules, because as human beings and as Jews we must always be on the lookout and “expect the unexpected” and trust that “yeshuas HaShem keheref ayin” i.e. that God can “save” you in the blink of an eye, suddenly, and in one second, you are in a place and with someone you hadn’t expected, but this is where the Hashgocha Elyona (Divine Providence) has brought you, and suddenly an idea is presented to you from an unlikely source by an unlikely person, and oh yeah they ask if you have a resume, and you say “sure, what did you have in mind?” And you remain open to any and all suggestions because you just don’t know where the right person and the winning suggestion will come from.

In our case, when our oldest child was dating over ten years ago, the idea of Shidduch resumes did not yet catch on and would have made no difference because they were introduced by mutual friends who were also neighbors of our ours. Our next two children were from people we knew closely at work and of course they asked for Shidduch resumes but that was a formality once the offers were known to be serious. And the next two came about from our children’s friends who knew them and wanted to set them up on dates, but of course even though they wanted to go out, as since everyone now has a Shidduch Resume, theirs’ was sent to the other families so that they could get more details, and of course we requested Shidduch Resumes of them because we wanted to check the references and family and rabbis and rebbetzins that knew the other sides.

And can you believe it, as we looked back, at no point did professional Shadchanim have anything to with all the successful Shidduchim of all our children, and I am sure that is true for many other people as well.

Some words of advice: Most importantly, do not forget to be happy and always have a good attitude if you want the process and the system to work for you and kick in, in the first place. Do not be afraid to seek advice and to discuss with others who have been through this and who can therefore help you improve your techniques, methods and strategies. People get job coaches to help them in their job search and smart people have their own adopted “Shidduch coaches” to guide them and advise them with the complicated Shidduch process with all its often labyrinthine rituals and rules. Nobody likes to deal with cranky ungrateful or rude people. Always have Derech Eretz! Thank Shadchanim. Learn to always say and use the words “please” and “thank you” a lot! And never forget that it is HKB”H (The Holy One Blessed Be He) that is guiding you, and all of us, every step of the way, our job is not to get lost and to never give up!

To be continued…

Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin lives in Flatbush and is the Director of the Jewish Professionals Institute and his wife Zahava, although they are not Shadchanim, have counseled many in the area of Shidduchim and dating. He can be reached at or 718 382 5610 and 718 382 8058.



  1. In my opinion this resume system is ridiculous – if you are applying for a job, and you send in your resume you get the job you do not like it – you can always change jobs –
    This resume review to me is absurd and basically why we have the shidduch crisis – I can see if parents hear about a prospect speak to the the parents etc etc – but a silly piece of paper what does that say –
    It is a sad state of affairs that a prospective spouse is based on a piece of paper.
    Note: you probably won’t print this comment because it’s viewpoint

  2. Maybe just give them a different name, so that dating won’t seem like a job search. Instead of a resume, call them a shidduch profile.

    • Hi Sender:

      It would still be the same thing even by a different names, just like changing the name of “dog” to “kelev” or “hoont” does not make “dog” something different!

      It is too late now to solve anything by changing it’s name, because Shidduch Resumes are now accepted standard procedure in the English-speaking Yeshiva Velt in North America.

      In fact you can search Google and find a huge amount of information and all sorts of comments, and jokes, by now about the whole “Shidduch Resume” idea!

      A good example of a practical way of how to create a Shidduch Resume, can be seen here: “Writings Shidduch Resumes” — so it’s seriously entrenched by now and we have to deal with that.

  3. Unfortunately there is no one with the Halachic strength (No disrespect intested0 that can form a group to make a change, no one dares take the first step, no one dares step up and say enough –
    Note it’s not only the paper, but the rest of the ‘stuff’ by stuff you can infer what you want. Gone today are a young person’s midos, attitude, and just plain Veltenshaufen –

    It’s just sad I see many single FRUM people in their 20’s, 30’s , 40’s etc STILL SINGLE –
    Did they miss their ‘bashert’ by being too picky or their parents too picky
    We have to daven and do teshuva or else we are in deep trouble.

    • It’s just sad I see many single FRUM people in their 20’s, 30’s , 40’s etc STILL SINGLE –

      True! IY”H I will try to write about that too in the future.

      Did they miss their ‘bashert’ by being too picky or their parents too picky

      Maybe they did! This is also a very complicated topic. I have spoken to many singles and asked them “was there a person you were close to getting engaged to, or that wanted to marry you but you backed off??” and mostly, if they are honest, they will admit that somewhere along the line they had a chance to marry but decided to wait for whatever reason. All I can say now is that I once heard and excellent Moshul for life, that it’s being at station when the train pulls up, you have to board the train when the doors open, otherwise the doors will lose and you will not get to your desired destination! VeHameivin Yavin. Life, meaning HKB”H and the Hashgocha from Above brings everyone lots of chances, our job is to make the choice and not lose the opportunities that cannot be presented to us every day forever. Many people take too many gambles with their own lives and then they wonder what went wrong!

      We have to daven and do teshuva or else we are in deep trouble.

      Always! And with everything, not just with Shidduchim.

  4. Resumes are for losers with out any connections. A normal boy or girl doesn’t have to come on to meaningless resumes. When i was in the parsha, my Rebbeim told me, AVOID ALL SHADDCHANIM. Instead, let your chaveirim, yungerlite, and the families you eat out on Shabbos by, know that you are starting to date. B”H, I listened to them and B”H within the year, I was a chasson. In my opinion, Shaddchanim are like “job placement” employee’s. Losers themselves. They cant and shouldn’t be trusted. Your friends, who truly know you, can redt a good shidduch for you. Not some stupid shaddchan yenta who has 300 paper resumes on his/her desk, doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall, and is just waiting for his/her next check.

    • Hi Realistic Moish: You are definitely not being “realistic” by being so harsh and accusing the tens of thousands of wonderful Bnei Torah and Bnos Yisroel who are Ehrlich and definitely not “losers” just because they are playing by the rules that they did not make up and have no choice they have to follow them!

      If you were B”H fortunate that HKB”H made your path easier that is great, but please have Rachmonis on the rest of us who have to do what is required of us Derech HaTeva.

      I did mention a few times already in my prior articles that Roshei Yeshiva and big Gevirim do not seem to use Shidduch Resumes for their children and that is because they have more connections maybe, and neither does the Chasidisha Velt and the Eretz Yisroeldikka Oilem use them, but in the USA and North America Shidduch Resumes are now required standard procedure.

      So we need a Mehalech, and not just make Leitzonus because that does not make anyone feel better and does nothing to make it easier for people who have no choice but have to do what Shadchanim and virtually all average Yeshivisha families in America ask of them.

  5. If you don’t want to send a picture, or pay a fee, don’t. There are plenty of shadchanim who don’t ask for either. I suggest that people consult daas Torah, but would imagine that no one will receive a psak that they need to work with shadchanim who insist on pictures or money.

    Zadie Joe – resumes do give important information. Want to know how old the single is? How tall? Where he/she went to school? I don’t think any of those are irrelevant.

    Moishe – I am happy for you that things went quickly and smoothly. For many people, though, things are not that easy, and well-meaning shadchanim who are not in this for the money have helped many singles. Anyone who doesn’t want to use them, doesn’t have to, but I don’t think think badmouthing an entire group of people, many of whom do this as a chessed, is appropriate.

  6. resumes are simply to have all the information about refercnes, etc. in one place, instead of telling the person who is redding the shidduch, having him write it down, and them him calling the other side, andhaveing them write it down. It is just for convenience, and no one should think that it is any more than that. Shidduch resumes should only have basic information, and not even say what they are looking for.

  7. I have a family member that wouldn’t date many people because they saw the photo of the other person and determine that they are ugly. Photos need to stop being attached to resumes. People look different in real life and dating without photos allows for really getting to know the other party before rejecting them.

    • Yes, the whole photo thing is a huge problem, but it was around even before the Shidduch Resumes started when boys would ask their sisters or friends to see the year books from the Bais Yaakovs with the pictures of the girls from their high school graduations etc.

      So, this is not new! What is new is that we now live in a very superficial “Facebook” an “Instagram” society that “Tweets” and “Texts” in cut-off mixed-up “words” and people do not know how to think or communicate properly and fully, and kids and their parents are now too obsessed with Chitzoniyus.

      Fewer people really act like they truly believe in the words we sing every Shabbos on Friday night of Eishes Chayil, that “Sheker HaChein Vehevel HaYofi, Isha Yiras HaShem Hi Tis-halal” and as they say “he/she who lives by the sword ‘dies’ [CH”V”SH] by the sword”, if all people care about is just looks then do not be surprised that they do not know how deal with the reality of marriage with people married to a real human being who is not just a glossy cut-out picture perfect person.

      No one is perfect, and I like to say, and this important in Shidduchim “if you want people to overlook your own faults, then overlook other people’s faults as well“! It’s also a Poshutta Midda Keneged Midda, that by treating other people kindly, HKB”H will ensure that you are treated kindly in return!

      My Mother A”H used to say that old Chasiddisha Rebbes would always say that the greatest thing you can ever do is to help a fellow Jew, and by being kind and more accepting to others, you will in turn be treated with kindness and acceptance by others and you will therefore have Hatzlocha with your or children’s Shidduchim!

  8. Is don’t understand or appreciate the formality, but I appreciate that you must work the system if you want it to work for you.

    This isn’t about becoming a liar. And to me, no, I didn’t do the picture thing because I felt it lacked tsnius. And no, I never asked shadchanim for a specific look.

    I spoke with my Rebbe, friends, family and the kollel guys I was friendly with. The shidduchim came, and many were not a match. Sometimes local customs dictated more formality. Sometimes they dictated a coffee date in slacks rather than a hotel lobby in a suit. So be it.

    I also davened. Seriously. For a year before I started dating.

    BH I was zocheh to meetil my wife quickly. But it takes many people a lot longer. And we need to be sensitive to them, their needs, their feelings and their customs – which vary from community to community.

    This isn’t a job interview. Its finding a partner in everything in life, for life and forever. Let’s be respectful of one another and hopefully in this zechus we may all merit to find our true bashert.


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