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List of Hobbies and Interests to Put on Your Resume

While making your resume or revamping it, the only thing that appears necessary is your professional experience, education, and background. We often leave out hobbies and interests in the resume because they don’t quite seem important.

As such, including your interests and hobbies supports your case when you have no professional experience, or just a few years of work history. Some organizations especially take note of your personal interests to understand how quickly you would be able to adjust in the workplace environment. Hence, it only seems logical to add your personal interests and  hobbies to your resume.

Below, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about this section on your resume. We’ve discussed examples of hobbies and interests and how you should add them in your resume.

Here's what this article will cover:

  1. What are Hobbies and Interests?
  2. The difference between  hobbies and interests
  3. Reasons to include list of interests and hobbies in a resume
  4. Who should include this section on their resume?
  5. When you should avoid including this section?
  6. What do your interests and hobbies say about you?
  7. What type of hobbies and interests should you include?
  8. How to match this section with your profile?
  9. How to write this section?
  10. Top hobbies and interests to include on your resume
  11. Things to avoid including on your resume
  12. What to do when you don’t have relevant interests and hobbies?
  13. How many pointers to include in this section?
  14. Factors to keep in mind for this section
  15. Examples of hobbies and interests
  16. Mistakes to avoid when writing this section
  17. Conclusion

What are Hobbies and Interests?

Before we start exploring anything else, let’s understand what are interests and hobbies.

A hobby is something you enjoy doing in your free time. It is an activity that  helps you relieve stress and tension. For example, playing chess, reading books, writing, cooking, traveling, etc. are prominent examples of hobbies.

An interest includes activities which you enjoy but only pursue sometimes. Examples include  volunteering for an NGO, joining social groups, organizing community meetings, etc.

The difference between  hobbies and interests

A lot of individuals confuse hobbies with interests. These two terms are not synonymous. They are closely related but aren’t the same. Your hobbies include activities that you do on a regular basis, such as making food. Your interests include activities that you would like to do more - they’re more like your passive ideas. For instance, you like to travel occasionally. You may not do it every month but you enjoy this activity.

Reasons to include list of interests and hobbies in a resume

As a professional just entering the industry, it is good to include hobbies and interests in a resume for a fair number of reasons. It improves your job application and builds the interest of recruiters in your profile. Every recruiter is willing to hire employees who have additional interests outside work. Hiring employees with rich and interesting hobbies can help lighten up a work environment and perhaps even enhance employee productivity.  

Here’s why including personal interests on your resume is a good idea:

  • It will allow the recruiter to understand your personality better. This section reveals who you are.
  • Having some extracurricular interests and hobbies only indicates that you are an all-rounder. It shows that you enjoy activities other than work.
  • Sometimes, the list of interests and hobbies on your resume becomes a topic of discussion during the interview.
  • Activities, such as sports, indicate that you look after your wellbeing.
  • If you include community involvement, then it shows your interpersonal skills.
  • This section is also important to highlight your transferable skills, which are necessary for multiple job roles.
  • Hobbies and interests in resume also help in differentiating yours from other candidates or applicants.

Above all, interests on your resume simply portray you as a person who has a pleasant personal life. Today, no one hires an employee based on their technical skills alone. That said, your interests and hobbies help in understanding how you are as a person in your professional and personal life.

Who should include this section on their resume?

Here’s a list of professionals who should have the interests and hobbies section in their CV:

  • College students looking for internships
  • Candidates looking for their first jobs
  • Applicants who have some blank space in the CV
  • School and college drop-outs

When you should avoid including this section?

Here’s a list of professionals who can avoid adding personal interests to their resume:

  • Senior professionals, such as executives
  • Candidates with multiple years of experience
  • Applicants with multiple CV pages

What do your interests and hobbies say about you?

Your personal interests in your resume say a lot about you.

If you say you like writing or solving puzzles, it speaks a lot about how you like to spend your free time. Personal interests in your resume often hold deeper meanings.

For example, if you write that you like solving puzzles, this could indicate that you have excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities. Similarly, playing certain games as hobbies also hold deeper meanings. For instance, if you like playing chess, you could come across as a strategist, a skill which could be useful to your job as well as your employer.

Here’s what certain activities could say about you:

  • A writer is creative
  • A designer is also creative
  • A traveler is adventurous
  • Someone who likes swimming is healthy
  • Someone who likes computers has a grasp on technology

If you are trying to highlight a skill on your resume, it would be great to add a list of interests and hobbies related to it.

What type of hobbies and interests should you include?

You can strategically add your hobbies and interests depending on your application. If you wish to add value to your CV, here’s what you should do:

  • If you are applying for a marketing or business job, then adding activities like sports is the right choice. These activities show that you enjoy daily activities that include other people.
  • If you are applying for technical roles, include more brain activities like playing chess. This shows your interest in analytical tasks.
  • You should avoid including something irrelevant such as playing Xbox. This is not useful in any job and could portray you in a bad light.

How to match this section with your profile?

From the above discussion, it is obvious that you should include a list of interests and hobbies which are related to your job. Read on to synchronize this section with the rest of your CV.

Check the specifications of the role

Firstly, check the specifications on the job application. If there’s a section including must-haves or good-to-have, then relate these skills. For example, if the application says that you should have good people skills, then add socializing or sports activities.

On the other hand, if the application requires analytical skills, then add hobbies such as playing chess or solving puzzles.

Check the company’s culture

You can also check the company’s culture to know what should go in your interests section. If the company’s culture is more inclined towards helping employees de-stress from time to time, then you can show your fun side as well, such as playing football or computer games.

Make a list

The best way to write interests in your resume is to make a list of hobbies and interests you have and then match these one-by-one with the application, company’s culture, and other CV sections. You would automatically find out activities worth including in your resume.

How to write this section?

Now, let’s figure out how to actually write hobbies and interests in the resume:

Although you may have multiple hobbies to put in your resume, always select the ones that highlight your abilities related to the job role.

  • Your hobbies should be relevant to the application
  • Add only 1-2 interests in your resume
  • Select hobbies which highlight you as an all-round individual

Let’s see some tips to decide interests to put on your resume:

  • Keep this section short. There’s clearly no point in dragging or bragging. Two to three  lines are more than enough.
  • Be clear about your interests. Instead of I like writing, you should use I like writing poetry.
  • Don’t add a list with words. It is best to describe these interests as sentences
  • Pick relevant interests only.
  • Include only three or four interests. The more, the merrier doesn’t quite work here.

Top hobbies and interests to include on your resume

There are three types of hobbies and interests that you can include in your CV:

  • Sports, such as cricket and football.
  • Determination tasks, such as cycling and swimming.
  • Brain tasks, such as reading and playing chess.

Some people may be able to include all three types in their resume and others would be able to include only one. It depends on your career choices and interests.

Check the examples of hobbies that you can add to your interests and hobbies section:

  1. Something intellectual, such as following financial activities and news, or reading financial magazines.
  2. Being a regular member of the professional community, NGO, or other groups.
  3. Interest in activities, such as playing puzzle games, chess, and other sports like swimming cricket and basketball. Here, you can add team sports like tennis and football or individual sports like cycling.
  4. There are other activities that portray you as a leader, such as mentoring, teaching, or coaching.
  5. If you wish to show your technical skills, then add activities like fixing computers, building computer programs, or developing WordPress websites. This can also include setting up computers and exploring technical blogs, magazines, etc.
  6. For people who are innovative and artistic, they can include hobbies like designing, sketching, drawing, painting, and DIY handmade items.
  7. Multiple individuals also include photography as their interests. This is beneficial if you are entering the field of digital marketing.
  8. In some job roles, depicting your interest in baking, cooking, exploring food places, and reading food magazines can help you.
  9. Especially people in creative roles can benefit a lot from adding writing and reading as their personal interests on resume.
  10. Traveling is also a favorable hobby and interest in your resume. It says that you love exploring new places.
  11. Some people also add that they regularly do volunteer work, attend fundraising events, etc.
  12. Adding a link to your blog says a lot about you. If you are a writer, then the recruiter would be able to figure out a lot about your writing skills through this blog.

These hobbies allow your employer to understand the organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills that you have.

For this reason, it is imperative to strategically add interests to your resume. You don’t want the recruiter to believe that you are irresponsible or self-engrossed.

Things to avoid including on your resume

While the above discussed has some attractive hobbies for your resume, the following are the ones you should avoid.

When you are adding a list of interests and hobbies to your resume, it should invoke positive thoughts about your application. If there’s an activity, which might allow the employer to think otherwise, then you should not include this personal interest on your resume.

  • Hobbies that may be violent or risky, such as collecting knives.
  • Interests that are antisocial, such as avoiding meetings or community gatherings.
  • Adding a joke, which can easily become offensive for others.
  • Including personal beliefs, such as political views, etc.

What to do when you don’t have relevant interests and hobbies?

It is possible that you don’t have relevant interests to put on your resume. In this case, you can use transferable skills, such as time management, prioritization, and leadership.

There’s no point in adding anything, which might not interest your employer. For example, folk dancing should not be present in the resume of an engineer. It just doesn’t make sense.

Everything in your resume should be inverted towards the job application. In every way, you should come off as the perfect candidate. If there are interests in your resume that might go against your job role, avoid adding it.

If there’s nothing that you can add to this section, then don’t add this section. Just filling up space might only distract your employer from the point.

How many pointers to include in this section?

As already discussed, just add 4-5 skills to your list of interests and hobbies. Anything more than that can be seen as bragging and exaggerating. Stick to only relevant pointers, and remember, less is always better here. Focus on making this section more valuable, not more lengthy.

Factors to keep in mind for this section

When you are writing this section, here are tips you can utilize to add attractive hobbies to your resume:

As we have already discussed, your interests in the resume should be relevant. No one would like to read that you are a dancer if you are applying to be a quality analyst.

  • The length of this section should not be more than 3-4 lines. Just add the most relevant hobbies and interests to keep it short.
  • Place this section at the bottom of your resume. It is important but not more important than your qualifications.
  • Label this section correctly. You don’t really have to use hobbies and interests. Get creative; especially if your job requires it. For example, use Personal Interests or Activities as the label.
  • Be professional! Even if you like partying, that’s not something you put on your resume.

Examples of hobbies and interests


I enjoy volunteering for the local paper. I also occasionally enjoy reading business magazines and socializing at economist events.  

Teaching assistant

I like meeting new people and having a valuable conversation with them. Along with making connections, I frequently take interest in volunteering at the community center.

Credit controller

I like keeping myself updated with the latest news in the field. Therefore, I frequently read Financial Times and other such sources for the latest data.


As an engineer, I keep exploring how to advance my career. I enjoy exploring new methods of building websites and utilizing a new technology.


In my free time, I enjoy attending literary events. I also keep myself updated with current news through various online sources.

Mistakes to avoid when writing this section

There are some mistakes that you should avoid when writing your resume. Check out what are these:

  • Eliminate any sensitive and controversial tone and language. It is only human to judge what you write in your resume. Hence, consider that your recruiter is judging your every move. Don’t put things like you enjoy the heavy metal genre.
  • Don’t put your political views on the paper. There’s no point in adding that you have volunteered for election campaigns. The personal choices of the recruiter might clash with yours.
  • It is best to avoid adding time-consuming activities as your interests. Don’t let the interviewer think that you may go rock climb for weeks.
  • Exclude irrelevant activities, such as stamp collecting, from your resume.
  • As a senior-level professional, you can completely eliminate this section on your CV.
  • Don’t lie! You can’t add hobbies and interests that you don’t actually enjoy. That’s out of the question! You would only face embarrassment if you lie on your resume.

Depending on your experience and the length of your resume, it may be interesting to add a list of interests and hobbies. Just utilize the above tips and factors to make this section worth your recruiter’s time. There’s no point in adding irrelevant pointers here, as that would put you in a bad light. Hence, check the above guide, find relevant hobbies, and include this section.

Last updated on: 
October 27, 2023

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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