Are you struggling to create the perfect resume?
You need to include several different sections, and each is important in its own way. Although many people overlook it, the hobbies & interests section can help you to secure an interview and even the position!
However, it can be challenging to work out which elements to include in this section of your resume. It is essential to try and stand out from the crowd rather than simply listing generic interests.
Let’s take a close look at the best types of hobbies & interests to put on a resume.
- The Pros and Cons of Hobbies and Interests
- When Hobbies and Interests Can Detract from Your Resume?
- When to Put Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume?
- Where to Mention Hobbies and Interests?
- Examples of Hobbies & Interests to Put on a Resume
- Finding Connected Hobbies and Interests
- Need More Help Preparing for Your Interview?
- Final Thoughts
The Pros and Cons of Hobbies and Interests
Whether or not hobbies and interests strengthen or weaken your resume depends on several factors. There are times when adding certain hobbies and interests can do more harm than good. However, if done in the right way, a strong hobby and interests section can make employers sit up and take notice.
Your hobbies and interests can help convey your personality to potential employers. It can highlight valuable skills that may otherwise go unnoticed. Many employers like to invest in people and tend to look for clues in their hobbies and interests about their preferences and personality.
The hobbies that you include in your resume help reveal your core values and social skills. Hobbies such as sports and yoga indicate to employers that you are healthy and value physical fitness. Involvement in community and charity work suggests that you have excellent interactive skills.
Unique hobbies and interests can help you to stand out from the crowd, especially when other candidates have similar work experience. These can also serve as a conversation starter in an interview when the conversation is starting to stall. If the interviewer shares the same interests, the discussion will be more interesting, and they will remember you.
Revealing a packed social life can make employers question your dedication to work. Not only are interests like pubbing and clubbing irrelevant to work, but they can also make it seem like they are your focus. Employers could be concerned that you will arrive at work hungover and smelling of alcohol.
In some cases, adding a large hobby and interests section could be a waste of valuable resume space. If you already have a substantial work experience section, you may be unwilling to shrink it to add your hobbies. It is best to review your resume as a whole to determine whether this section will add value or not.
When Hobbies and Interests Can Detract from Your Resume?
Depending on the specific circumstances, you may want to leave out the hobbies and interests section altogether. It could be the case that none of your hobbies and interests are related in any way to the industry. Unless you are able to make a connection, including these interests and hobbies could do more harm than good.
Significant Professional Work Experience
You may have several years of work experience in the field that you are applying for. You may even find that your experience actually exceeds the needs and expectations of the employer. In this case, you are unlikely to need to fall back on your hobbies and interests to secure the role.
The elements you add to your resume should always add value and help make it stand out. Generic interests and hobbies that most people have will not highlight your potential in any way. It is best to steer away from more generic interests and hobbies such as watching movies, hiking, and socializing.
When to Put Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume?
However, adding hobbies and interests to your resume is not always a bad idea. When done correctly, they can reveal interesting aspects of your character and skill set. Here are some instances when adding hobbies and interests can make your resume stronger.
If you have very little to no work experience, your employment section may look a little bit weak. However, including appealing hobbies and interests related to the field can help make up for this. Even if you are just starting out on your career path, it shows that you have honed your skills through your leisure pursuits.
Insufficient Related Work Experience
Although you may be enthusiastic and willing to learn, you may not have the desired work experience for the position. In this case, it is essential to highlight that you have gained valuable experience and skills elsewhere. For example, although you may not have worked as a manager professionally, you may be the president of a charitable organization.
Hobbies Related to The Job
Your passion for the industry you wish to work in may have begun when you were a child. In this case, you may have unique hobbies and interests that are directly related to the job. Highlighting these interests will reveal your passion for the industry as well as your usable skills.
When Making a Career Change
Many people choose to change industries at some point during their working career. In this case, you may not initially have the right experience in the field or industry. Again, highlight the skills you have gained through your hobbies and interests that directly apply to the job.
Where to Mention Hobbies and Interests?
It is important to note that including a hobbies section on your resume is optional. If you do decide to include one, it is essential to place it in the right part of your resume. Leading with your hobbies at the top of the resume indicates that you are not good at prioritizing.
So, where to place them?
Even though they may be connected to your career, your hobbies will not have a greater impact than your working experience. Even though you may have obtained them decades before, your qualifications will also have more of an impact. Therefore, a dedicated hobby and interests section should be placed at the bottom of your resume.
Examples of Hobbies & Interests to Put on a Resume
Take the time to work out all of your hobbies and interests. By the end of the exercise, you are likely to have come up with a long list. If you’re still stumped for ideas, take a look at the following examples worth considering.
Many people tend to list an interest in sports on their resume. If done correctly, playing sports on a regular basis can be a real strength. Playing team sports can show an ability to collaborate with other people, highlight communication and leadership skills.
Regularly playing sports on weekends helps to reinforce the saying’ work hard, play hard.’ However, it is vital to select the types of sports that you include carefully. While coaching Little League or playing on a soccer team may be admirable, occasionally playing golf is less likely to impress.
Whether it is expressed as an interest, a passion, or a hobby, blogging is an aspect that can help your resume. However, it will be even better if the topic that you choose to blog about is linked to the industry. If you are working in the fashion industry, having a successful fashion blog is going to give you the edge.
Just never falsify it…
Be prepared to give the interviewer the link to your blog if they ask. Before the interview, make sure you vet your blog and check for possibly sensitive content, too. If your blog includes content you would be embarrassed to show your grandmother, it is best not to mention it in your resume.
Interest in giving back to your community and helping other people is an admirable characteristic. In many cases, volunteering can combine your interests with your work experience and can reveal leadership, organization, and communication skills. In this case, it’s a good idea to include volunteer projects and experience in a separate section.
Showing an interest in learning different languages demonstrates that you have a good memory. People who learn additional languages are typically more intelligent and have strong problem-solving abilities, too. Even if not directly required for the position, the employer may be able to use your various language skills.
If you’re applying for a position requiring you to travel, highlighting an interest in travel will help. Traveling to different countries shows your interest in other cultures. If you have traveled to destinations off the beaten path, it can also reveal your problem-solving abilities.
Art and Design
If art and design are related to your work, you should express a keen interest in them. Having an artistic hobby will highlight your strength as an ideal job candidate. This will also provide an exciting topic of conversation during the interview.
Most people are interested in music, and simply stating this makes you sound rather mundane. However, if you play an instrument, this highlights your skill and the ability to stick at something. Alternatively, the ability to write music also highlights an unusual talent.
It may seem that expressing an interest in video gaming would seem unprofessional. However, it can be a plus if you are applying for a job in the IT industry. Video gaming reveals that you are familiar with computers and likely have a firm grasp of technology.
Playing games such as chess demonstrates that you are good at long-term planning. If you have taken part in high-profile tournaments, it indicates an ability to perform well under pressure.
Regularly practicing yoga helps people to stay calm, mindful, and in control. Employers usually recognize that people who practice yoga are in more control of their emotions. If you regularly run yoga sessions, this also demonstrates leadership skills.
Finding Connected Hobbies and Interests
During a job interview, it is essential to try and establish rapport with your interviewer. Talking about unusual hobbies and interests that you have in common is an excellent way to do this. If the interviewer is passionate about their interests, they are likely to talk about them enthusiastically.
Do a little research and try to discover the hobbies and interests of the interviewer if possible. The company’s website is an excellent place to do this. You may find that there is a profile of the interviewer displayed for you to delve into.
You also may find photos and other details of past team-building exercises. If these relate to your hobbies and interests, it will give you something else to talk about with the interviewer. At the very least, it will show that you have done your research and are interested in the company.
Need More Help Preparing for Your Interview?
Knowing what Hobbies & Interests to Put on a Resume is one thing, but you may wish to prepare further for the actual interview.
Prepare for common interview questions…
We have a database full of interview questions to expect depending on the employer you’re applying with, including Wendys Interview Questions, Hollister Interview Questions, Aflac Interview Questions, and Parks and Recreation Interview Questions. Simply type the name of your potential employer in our search box!
We also offer additional support for those coming into the job market at a disadvantage. If that’s you, you might be interested in answers to these common concerns: Does Kohls Run Background Checks? Can Felons Work at the Post Office? Can a Felon Get a Ham Radio License? or Does Whole Foods Conduct Drug Tests?
Other recommended resources…
Of course, if you really want to ace a job interview, it’s well worth reading something like Get That Job!, 60 Seconds and You’re Hired!, or 101 Toughest Interview Questions. You can’t go wrong investing in one of these books.
Ok, back to what interests and hobbies to put on your resume…
When putting your hobbies and interests on your resume, only include those that increase your value as a candidate. You should also be able to connect these hobbies and interests to the company and job position. Employers are searching for a candidate that understands and fits in with the company culture.
In terms of placement, your hobbies and interests section should appear at the bottom of your resume. Limit it to the five most exciting and relevant hobbies and interests you have. If you have very few, try to include just one interesting hobby or interest that will capture your employers’ interest and make them want to know more.