I’m sure you’ve read tons of content on what you should and shouldn’t include on your CV… but what many people seem to ignore or undervalue is the hobbies and interests section.
But could this be the key to CV success?
Including a hobbies and interests will add a nice little personal touch, allowing potential employers to get to know you a bit better. But you do have to get it right.
So, let’s take a look at some good – and not so good – examples.
5 Great Hobbies to Include On Your CV:
1. Team Sports
If you like to compete in team sports, then you should definitely include this on your CV.
It demonstrates to potential employers that you are competitive, can work as part of a team and have discipline and commitment to actually show up week on week.
These are all brilliant traits that Managers will be looking for in potential new recruits.
You may have noticed yoga is all the rage these days…
If you’re into it, then it’s certainly worth including on your CV.
Employers will quite like this hobby because it shows a sense of calm and control – and an interest in keeping healthy and fit. (Employers want a healthy workforce).
It will show that you have an outlet for stress that many don’t have and hence this will improve your health and wellbeing in the process.
These really are sought-after traits especially in fast-paced working environments, where you may have to work under pressure to produce the work which is required.
You don’t want to burnout – and your employers won’t want you to either!
If you do any kind of blogging, on a professional or personal level, it’s important to at least* include this in your hobbies and interests (even if not directly relevant to the job).
It shows that you have passion for something (whatever you write about) as well as a passion for writing and (if the blog is any good) it will show off your great handle of written English.
Of course, it also demonstrates self-motivation and the fact that you can work independently without guidance, which is what some employers do look for.
*If you’re applying for a writing/communications job then it should be a whole section of your CV.
4. Playing an Instrument
Learning to play an instrument is difficult and takes real dedication.
So including this on your CV will show a number of things: willingness to learn, dedication and focus.
If you are looking for a job in a creative industry, photography is certainly a great hobby to include.
It shows a creative eye and passion for creative activities with many other people do not have.
If you have a website or portfolio, including a link in this section allows them to see the work that you have produced.
3 Hobbies you do not include:
Unless the role would specifically benefit from someone who really likes reading (for example, an editor or publisher) this can come across quite generic. (Many people read.)
It does not demonstrate your personality, nor does it allow your potential employer to see the type of person you are.
If you are desperate to include this, I would do so alongside other hobbies – and include more detail about the kind of books you like reading.
For example, “reading: my favourite genre is horror and my favourite author is Stephen King.”
This is a huge cliché.
So many people include it on their CV and it has therefore become pretty meaningless.
Plus, most people like some kind of socialising… so what exactly is this telling the potential employer about you?
3. Handcuff collecting
Ok, it’s highly unlikely that you would add this in the first place, but the point is… don’t include anything that a potential employer might find really, really weird (see more examples here).
If you list hobbies and interests such as “a keen interest in guns” or “collecting stuffed owls” it will hardly give the impression of a balanced individual.
As with most sections of your CV, it’s important to get the right balance.
Don’t sound too generic and boring, citing reading and studying as your main interests, but try not to sound too wacky either!
It can be quite tempting not to want to include hobbies, due to limited space.
But having 2-3 out-of-work interests listed shows that you have something a bit more about you and gives potential employers another talking point too.
And, it can mean the difference between them interviewing you or not – especially if one of them happens to be interested in similar things. People hire for cultural fit as well as skill.
However, don’t fall into the trap of lying on your CV. Chances are, at some point during the process or if you get the job, you’ll be quizzed about said hobby and if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it will be pretty obvious!
If you’d like some more tips on your job search and CV writing, feel free to subscribe to our weekly blog posts, here.