How to List Your Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

When it comes to writing a resume or CV, having written down the hard facts about your education, employment and skills, many people then struggle to know exactly how to address their hobbies and interests. This section of a resume is viewed by many as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, show who you are as a person, rather than just quoting a list of qualifications or job titles. But many struggle to know how best to list their hobbies and interests on a resume.

The first answer to that problem is not to list them as such but to incorporate them into an interesting but brief paragraph, using selling words similar to those you should have introduced in the earlier stages of your resume. As an example, rather than saying I like playing football, running and going to the gym you could instead write, I strive to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, taking part in both individual and team sports at an amateur level. There would then be an opportunity to go on to explain how being a team player on the football pitch allows for you to take the same team spirit into your job. In this way you have not only addressed your hobbies but found a way to make them relevant to the job you are applying for.

This brings us to another important issue when it comes to resume writing. The hobbies and interests that you include at the end of your resume should either be materially significant and relevant to the role; or of exceptional interest to the reader. Writing mundane interests that most of the general public enjoy, does not add any value to your resume and you would probably be better placed using that space to list more of your skills or achievements. As an example, commonly used hobbies and interests are reading, socializing and watching films. All of these, when viewed like this, without any supporting statements, for example, about the type of literature read, are wasted opportunities to sell yourself.

When you’re writing your resume always read it back to yourself and work out exactly how you would feel if you were an employer reading about the candidate in front of you. Sometimes the hobbies and interests section can mean the difference between you as a candidate blending in with the other fifty candidates, or standing out as someone who has done something interesting. Even if the employer doesn’t think that on paper you’re quite right for the job, if your hobbies section lets them know you’ve recently climbed Everest, they might just be intrigued enough to want to talk to you!

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