How your hobbies can help you land or lose your next interview

Posted by Joanne | September 29th, 2020 | Blog

It used to be that listing your hobbies and interests on a resume was a way of giving hiring managers insight into your personality.

I don’t come across a hobbies section often when doing client resumes, and it’s not something I recommend or use in my practice. However, when done right, stating your hobbies can reinforce your application and the idea that you’ll be the right fit for the role.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your hobbies and interests are worth including, here are a few things to remember:

The benefits of including hobbies on your CV can include:

  1. Demonstrating your relevant skills for the role
  2. A space to highlight volunteer and/or community-focused projects
  3. Giving you something to talk about during your interview

As a general rule though, most recruiters will only take interest in your hobbies and interests if a) they demonstrate skills that may not be covered in your work experience section; and b) they’re relevant to the position (and, more importantly, if you’ve ticked all the other boxes, first).

So, back to the original question: is it bad form to include them?

Technically, there’s no right or wrong answer for this one. Some recruiters love the extra detail, while others prefer to keep it strictly professional.

As stated above, I tend to leave them off unless they add something to your resume or give valuable insight to your character. I once had a client who was a professional bodybuilder and attributed the mental discipline and ethic of her strength training to her career success. So I listed bodybuilding (and awards she won) as her hobby and tailored her professional summary to include it as well.
And Bang! There you have it. If you’re going to include your pastimes, make sure they’re relevant. If they don’t enhance your CV in any way, it’s best not to list them.
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