In my previous career, I revised, reviewed, and rewrote thousands of resumes and CVs. Over the years, I saw which resumes earned my clients promotions and new positions and which didn’t. I want to share the best hobbies for your resume and the mistakes to avoid.
Hobbies and What They Say About You
The hobbies you include in your resume or CV give employers a better idea about who you are, your skills and abilities, and your personality. It’s always a good idea to showcase the most relevant hobbies as these are what recruiters are looking for.
Before we look at what the job requires and what the company wants, let’s look at what the most common hobbies say about you.
|Hobby||What it says about you|
|Reading, Watching Movies, Listening to Music||You don’t have any real hobbies|
|Team Sports||Teamwork Skills|
|Crafts||Attention to Detail|
|Extreme Sports/Activities||Risk Taker|
|Juggling/Magic||Confident and Fun|
|Tech-related (coding)||Problem Solver|
|Artistic (Drawing Painting)||Creative|
|Gardening||Calm and Patient|
|Video Games||Lack Self Control|
Hobbies won’t get you the job, but they can lose you the job
A resume or CV rarely gets you a job regardless of how good it is. They get you through the first stage, where all the inappropriate candidates are removed. Those left will be interviewed or will continue through the application process.
This goes for your hobbies too. Even if you put incredible hobbies on your CV it won’t get you the job. But if you put the wrong hobbies, you might get culled from the application process. (See below for which hobbies to avoid.)
Make Your Resume Specific to the Position.
I get it!
You’re applying for jobs and are sending out dozens of resumes every day, and most of the jobs are pretty similar, so you don’t need to make a new resume for every application, right? Wrong!
If you look closely at the requirements and responsibilities for similar jobs, you’ll find that they are different. Why?
If you are hiring a new accountant for the finance department, do you want someone just like your other accountants or someone with different skills and ideas?
If you’re applying for a “Marketing Assistant” role, the requirements might be “artistic experience,” But another company also looking for marketing assistants may require “Photoshop experience.”
There are two reasons for this. The first is that companies want employees with different skills and abilities. So what they’re looking for depends on what their teams lack.
The second is that companies have different focuses. For example, a marketing department in one company maybe 100% focused on social media marketing, while another might not use it at all. So you can’t present the same resume to different companies, or you’re missing out on potential offers.
- Check the job description for the “job requirements”
Make Your Resume Specific for the Audience.
Know the company.
No matter how much I stressed this to clients, very few of them listened. It amazes me that so many people will apply to companies (even going to interviews) without knowing basic information about the company.
I used to ask clients two questions to see if they had done company research.
- Who is the CEO?
- What are the products or services?
I would often get responses like this.
- Do I need to know who the CEO is?
- The company provides “financial services.”
I would respond:
- Do you think you deserve the job if you couldn’t even be bothered to find out who runs the company?
- Companies don’t call their products “financial services.” Instead, they call them “The Platinum Package” or “The Investor Plus Program” What are the names of the actual products they promote and sell?
Then I’d simplify it like this:
Would BMW give you a job if you couldn’t name a single car they make?
- Research the company to understand the company culture and what they want.
“I don’t have any hobbies.”
You might be reading this article because you can’t think of any hobbies to put on your resume or CV. You have two options:
Remove the hobbies section
Remember, hobbies are not going to get you a job. They can only lose you the job. So removing the hobbies section from your resume won’t do much to hurt your chances.
No hobbies is better than fake hobbies or things like “Watching TV.”
Find a New Hobby Today
Even if you remove your hobbies section, you must start doing something in your free time. Having no hobbies is a sign that you are lazy.
Track Your Time
Find out how much time you have. Then, take away your sleeping and working hours from 24 and ask yourself what you are doing with all that time.
Decide that you’re going to use that time instead of wasting it.
Where to Include Your Hobbies on Your Resume
This post will show you how to make a professional resume. Here is a basic outline of the sections of a good resume or CV:
- Education & Qualifications
- Work Experience
- Resume Skills
- Hobbies & Interests
Your hobbies section does not need to be prominent in your resume. The most important areas as far as the company are concerned are your educational background and work experience. So those two sections should be at the top.
Most people include their hobbies and interests at the bottom of their resume. So create a separate section as in the image above. But there is another place to include them: In the profile section.
The Profile Section
Large companies that have thousands of applicants love to see a profile section at the top of a resume with all the essential information they need, including:
- Highest Educational achievement
- Most recent/relevant work experience
- Relevant skills
In this section, you can also add one of your hobbies if you think it’s what the company is looking for. For example, if you are applying for a manager role, adding a hobby like this will support your leadership qualities:
- Captained the local soccer team for three seasons
How to Include Your Hobbies in Your CV or Resume
Adding a list of hobbies and activities to your resume does little to impress a potential employer. Anyone can write a list.
Instead, add detail to show your commitment to the hobby.
- Taekwondo > Red Belt in Taekwondo
- Writing > Post a weekly blog.
- Soccer > Played with the local soccer team for three seasons
What achievements have you made in your hobby? Using them to showcase your hobby will signal to an employer that you have spent time developing the hobby and haven’t just added it because it looks good on your resume.
- Hiking > Trekked to Everest Base Camp
Avoid These Resume Hobby Mistakes
Avoid hobbies that conflict with the company’s values. Again, this goes back to the first point about resume writing. You must know the job/company and write your resume. For most jobs and companies, steer clear of these hobbies.
- Anything political
- Cult/Nontraditional Religions
- Violent (Guns etc.)
- Drugs or Alcohol related
- Anything illegal
If you want that job offer, avoid the four most common resume mistakes most people make.
Be Real, Don’t Lie
Lying on any part of your resume will set you up for failure. If you do get an interview, all the interviewer knows about you is what’s on your resume. Think they won’t ask you about it?