You’ve got everything on your resume perfected down to the summary, work experience, educational qualifications, and skills. Now it’s time to let your potential employer know what kind of an individual you are. What better way than to include a section on your personal interests and hobbies in your resume? However, you should be aware that everything you put on your resume is subject to intense scrutiny by hiring managers. So when you list your hobbies and interests, bear in mind that they will have a much larger role to play.
Ideally, they should reflect on how genial you are as an individual and how you will make for a good team player, display your leadership skills, and respect the company’s work culture. This, especially, comes to play when you have little or no work experience to speak of. Hobbies and personal interests also help an employer connect with you on a personal level. Here’s how you can spruce up your resume to work perfectly for you… hobbies and interests included.
Why Should You List Your Hobbies and Interests
Most employers would like to gauge how you are outside of work. For this speaks volumes about you as an individual. After all, nobody expects you to be all work and no play. The activities that you engage in are what shape you as a person and those qualities are equally important to what you bring to the table at work.
Your application might show more originality based on the hobbies and interests you decide to list in your resume. For instance, you could be a mountaineer, a musician, or even a ghostwriter. All of these will help you stand out from the pack. These extracurricular activities, in fact, play a huge role in who gets hired for a job.
Here are three reasons why you should include your hobbies and personal interests in your resume.
- The skills you develop as a result of your hobbies can also translate into your performance at the workplace. For instance, your interest in blogging could bode well for your application as a marketing professional. It proves that you are able to create engaging content and know how to work social media.
- It can act as a conversation starter and help break the ice for a more free-flowing interview, which can otherwise be intimidating in most cases. You never know when you might come across that recruiter who shares your hobbies and there might be several stories to swap before you get down to business a lot more confident and at ease.
- Employers usually like to hire candidates that can demonstrate that they can handle the fine line between work and life. They also want to see how one might fit into their company culture. Listing your hobbies will help you demonstrate just that.
When Should You Include Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume
Before you decide to include your hobbies and personal interests in your resume do research the company you are applying to. One way to do that is to check their social media pages and make note of the kinds of events they organize and how they choose to engage with the audience. In case you’re applying to a corporate then you might want to reserve that space on your resume to add more work experience.
If it’s a fun startup or a quirky organization, then you would do well to include a hobbies and personal interests section. Consider what you are trying to communicate with recruiters and hiring managers with the information you provide. The hobbies you include give employers an idea of how you choose to spend your time, the additional skills you possess, and whether it makes you a good fit for the company.
However, if you have considerable work experience, it is likely that your hobbies and personal interests section will add little value to your resume. In that case, include this section if you know that a potential employer values uniqueness in candidates or if the job posting lists skills that align with your hobbies and interests.
Examples of Hobbies and Interests
Before you begin to list your hobbies and personal interests it is important to understand the difference between the two:
1). Hobbies: These are activities that you enjoy doing regularly or when you have the time to spare. Here are a list of some great hobbies to list on your resume.
- graphic design
- adventure sports
- playing a musical instrument
- team or individual sports
2). Interests: These are passive ideas or topics. For instance, if you enjoy traveling but haven’t had a chance then it’s best to list it as an interest. Other interests you could include your resume are gaming, social causes, or history to name a few.
What You Shouldn’t List
As we’ve mentioned earlier, everything you decided to include in your resume is closely scrutinized. Which is why when you are listing your hobbies and personal interests, they should add value to your resume. You could avoid hobbies with little scope for interactivity, anything that reflects your antisocial behavior, anything that alludes to your political or religious affiliations.
How to Include Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume
Hobbies and personal interests can lend credibility to your resume. Hobbies should ideally be listed towards the end of the resume with a small descriptive sentence for each item. Create a section called Hobbies and Interests towards the end of your resume. As always use bullet points to list them as succinctly as possible.
A Sample Section
Personal Interests and Hobbies
- Music: Lead singer in a band for the last 5 years.
- Community Service: Volunteer at the local NGO for children by teaching them Math and Science twice a week.
- Mountaineering: Scaled 3 of the 7 summits (Kanchenjunga, Mt Elbrus, and Mt Aconcagua) so far. Aim to scale the remaining 4 as well in the years to come.
- Travel: Annual trips to countries abroad to experience and absorb their culture.
Hobbies and Interests on a Resume Sample
Don’t feel compelled to create a resume that is all work and no play. Employers do want to get to know you on a personal level as well in order to gauge you better and understand the skills you will bring to the job. That said when you are listing your hobbies and personal interests in your resume, ensure that they add value to your application, and the skills they denote also translate to the role you are applying for.