Should Hobbies and Interests Be in Your Resume?

Probably one big mistake that most job seekers make when writing their resume is including irrelevant information. These are details that do not impact on the satisfactory performance of the role being applied for. As such, it has no place in a resume and should not be included.

Details like age, ethnic background, religious beliefs, political inclinations, and marital status are not critical in performing a job. There is no need to include these details in your resumes as well as those details that disclose such information.

There have been instances too, when job seekers include a photo of themselves when submitting a resume. Unless you are particularly attractive, this will be more detrimental than having none. Don’t let yourself be judged by looks. Sell yourself with your professional skills and competencies. Photos are not for job resumes, unless required. Modelling agencies often require photos but for the corporate world, photos in resumes are inappropriate.

What about your hobbies and interests? Should you include these in your resume? There have been a lot of contradicting ideas whether to include hobbies and interests or not. If you browse resume samples and resume templates from the internet, there will be some with hobbies and interests as a section while others will not have any.

The decision to include hobbies and interests in your resume should be based on whether it supports your resume objective and whether it will provide more information to help an employer decide your suitability for a role. Information included in your resume should all be geared on showing the employer that you are the best candidate for the job. You are only allowed a few pages to sell yourself. Do it by presenting relevant information.

If you are applying for an entry-level role as a technician in an electronics firm and one of your hobbies is fishing, do you think the employer will be interested in you if you list it in your resume? Certainly not. But if one of your hobbies and interests is assembling and testing electronic circuits or gadgets and you enjoy doing electronic repairs, then it would be worthwhile to mention this relevant information aside from your employment experiences.

Hobbies and interests are best listed in a functional section of your resume. This is particularly applicable in a functional resume format. Taking the example above when applying as a technician, you might have a functional section about “Soldering Ability” or “Soldering Skills”. Under it, you can then provide information on how you mastered this skill through electronics assembly as one of your hobbies.

In closing, hobbies and interests do have a place in your resume.

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What Hobbies and Interests on Your CV or Resume Say About You

Many people underestimate what hobbies and interest on your CV / Resume say about you and just how important they could be to a future employer.

With over 10 year’s experience of helping people to find work, I often have to underline the importance of an effective CV and cover letter. However what I have also had to explain on numerous occasions is that your CV should not only be a true and positive reflection of you; it should also make you stand out to your potential employer.

This is where many people fall down in the hobbies and interests section. This section can be used very effectively to show you as an individual and highlight something interesting that makes you stand out from the rest.

Imagine someone who has to read through hundreds of CVs or resumes and most of them say something like -

‘In my leisure time I like to socialise with family and friends, watch television especially football and listen to music.’

By the time they have read this more than 10 times, it is highly likely that they will no longer take much notice of any CV that has such standard statements. After all what does it say about the candidate that marks them as interesting?

On the other hand it is wise to give a long list of hobbies such as white water rafting, parachuting, playing ice hockey, mountaineering etc. Whilst it might sound impressive – you may also be sending the reader an impression of a person who loves taking risks! They might be worried that employing you could also be risky as you may injure yourself in your spare time and not be available for the role you have applied for.

Utilise the hobbies and interests section of your CV or resume to show that you have a life outside of work and that you possess qualities that will make you valuable in team situations both in and out of the workplace.

Once you realise just what your hobbies and interests say about you on your CV or resume, then you should understand that being honest is always advisable. If possible try and give 1 social, 1 physical and 1 mental example as this will demonstrate that you are a rounded individual.

If you have a passion for something include it – you never know the reader may share this with you or find it interesting enough to put you in the MUST SEE list of applicants. Just think if you enjoy amateur dramatics and the reader is looking for members of their club, this could be a perfect way to meet like-minded people.

So what your hobbies and interests say about you on your CV should not be taken lightly as this could be the way into your next job.

Harry F James has over 10 years experience of design

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