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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Here’s a list of professionals who should have the interests and hobbies section in their CV:
Here’s a list of professionals who can avoid adding personal interests to their resume:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s see some tips to decide interests to put on your resume:
There are three types of hobbies and interests that you can include in your CV:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I enjoy volunteering for the local paper. I also occasionally enjoy reading business magazines and socializing at economist events.
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.
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.
There are some mistakes that you should avoid when writing your resume. Check out what are these:
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.