The Right Way to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

Personal Hobbies to Include on a Resume - Pick Prudently October 26, 2023 · 5 min read

Of all the information in your resume, a list of personal hobbies is definitely not the most important thing for potential employers to read. But if you do manage to get the honor of meeting them in an in-person interview, HR teams become real judges of your character and may or may not hire you depending on your life activities.

What hobbies and interests should I include?

We all have a passion for something. Some of us like reading books on a bench near the lake, while others enjoy the company of animals. Some enjoy becoming amateur cooks or being stand-up comedians, whoever.

The fact is, we are all proud of our hobbies until we hear “So tell us about your hobby.” These terrible words either render us speechless or make us say something inappropriate that we’ll be sorry for later. So, not to become the Titanic that crashed into the iceberg called “Nosy HR”, what do you write in the “Hobby” section? Welcome to the boat, Rose! Keep reading to find out!

Let’s first highlight several categories of hobbies:

1. Sports and Tourism: Strength training, running, gymnastics, acrobatics, stretching, outdoor games, winter sports, dancing, biking, extreme sports, active sports (roller skates, walking), hiking, hunting, fishing, paintball, yachting, etc.

2. Handicraft: Knitting, origami, floral design, needlework, sculpture, decoupage, scrapbooking, etc.

3. Creation: Drawing, reading, writing, blogging, makeup, fashion, acting, events, cooking, singing, karaoke, board games, collecting, etc.

4. Technical Hobbies: Computers, cars, electronics, engineering, etc.

This list shows you only some of the many hobbies that exist, but keep in mind that the point of having hobbies in your resume is NOT to list everything you like to do.

At the same time, over-generalizing your interests may cause your resume to look vague. To keep the balance, you should specify one or two of the hobbies you feel are the most relevant to you. Try to point out the hobbies that are interesting, unique, or impressive. It will help to enhance a positive impression of yourself.

Choose the most relevant and specific hobbies to describe yourself.Choose the most relevant and specific hobbies to describe yourself.

How to choose hobbies or interests that are relevant?

The hobbies you’ve listed on your resume speak volumes about your personal qualities that will be shown at work. Regular workouts at the gym characterize you as a disciplined and highly motivated person. Table tennis shows you have quick reactions and decision-making skills. And chess highlights your strategic thinking.

These hobbies may positively boost you before your first day in the office. If your potential job implies that you’ll be doing a lot of work in a team, it would be better not to talk about your sports achievements and how your opponent’s tears make you laugh.

Think carefully about how your hobby may influence your future job.Think carefully about how your hobby may influence your future job.

Think long and hard about how to describe your best qualities via hobbies. Take a look at how to connect a hobby with your future position. At the very least, you may help your employer with team-building organization, where your colleagues become get acquainted with your favorite activity.

Examples of hobbies and interests not to include on your resume

Sometimes it’s better to stay silent about some hobbies in your resume. Extreme sports are often dangerous, so if you are going to spend a lot of time healing your wounds, HR won’t want to deal with the hassle of managing all of your sick leave.

If you are a passionate traveler who dreams about taking a trip around the world in the near future, the employer will likely not look at you with admiring envy. No one wants to spend their time bringing you up to speed on office tasks after your return from yet another month-long journey.

Some companies deny candidates whose life principles do not comply with company policies. So if you love wearing fashionable fur, read your hobby description in the CV twice before sending it to an animal rights organization.

Make sure that your interests fit with the company culture.Make sure that your interests fit with the company culture.

We do not recommend lying about your hobbies and describing those activities in which you are green. Imagine you wrote that you are fond of cooking. What if the HR rep, as a true lover of cooking, asks you about the difference between foie gras and Parfait de foie gras? What an inconvenient meeting that will be…

Write a short summary of your activities. Do not make it the central point of your resume. The main idea of the “Hobby” column in your CV is to add a supplemental impression of you as a future employee. A huge plus for you will be if you share a common interest with the employer. If you know in advance who will be interviewing you, make inquiries about this person before the meeting and the “Genius of the Year” prize will definitely go to you.

Top 5 tips to keep in mind when including interests and hobbies on a resume

Before you go, let’s briefly summarize the main ideas highlighted in this article:

1. Carefully, and well in advance, think about the information you are going to put in the “Hobby” column.

2. Avoid generalization. Be specific!

3. Connect your hobby with traits of your character that will be useful for the position you’re applying for. Try to find the common interests of the employer and the principles of the company so you can win over the employer.

4. Brevity is the soul of wit: if you want to give more attention to your hobby, then save this information for your cover letter or until a meeting with an HR representative.

5. Write the truth about your hobby. Do not exaggerate.

A carefully prepared hobby list may give you the green light toward your future job.A carefully prepared hobby list may give you the green light toward your future job.

Sometimes a hobby is the rescue boat on the way to finding work. You may lack practical experience in the chosen field, but if your hobby develops the necessary qualities for your company, this may help you nab the position over other candidates.

We sincerely wish you find a job that will become your lifetime hobby. And SweetCV resume builder can help you to take the first step toward your dream by creating a high-quality resume.

SweetCV team
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