Hobbies and interests: CV Dos and Don’ts
Hobbies and interests have always be a tricky subject to cover in a CV/resume. They can be subjective and difficult to reflect in a professional light.
We have rounded up the 3 key ‘dos’ and 3 key ‘don’ts’ when mentioning your hobbies and interests.
Hobbies and interests Dos
Do include relevant hobbies
Only include hobbies that are relevant to the job role. For example, if you are applying for a marketing/content role, mentioning you have your own blog or have previously written pieces for some of your favourite blog sites, could really give your CV a boost.
Your hobbies and interests can also prove your leadership skills depending on the position level you are applying for. For example, a hobby that employers will look favourably upon for a managerial role could include, captain of a sports team or a leader within a society – these types of interests can really portray your character strengths.
Do choose a hobby that will make you standout
What will get you noticed? The hiring manager will most likely have heard the same types of hobbies 10x over. Spending time with friends or going out at the weekend, are very generic responses that won’t help you standout.
Whereas, including an example such as; taking your running hobby to the next level, by completing a marathon last year and raising over £500 for your chosen charity. Proves you are capable of working hard towards an impressive goal.
Do mention current hobbies and interests
Keep your hobbies and interests up to date. It won’t look favourably upon you, if you mention in your CV you play football, when in fact its been over 5 years since you last kicked a ball… Don’t mention a hobby for the sake of ‘filling in the blanks’.
It’s perfectly acceptable to not include anything if you have no current hobbies or interests that reflect that of the role.
Hobbies and interests Don’ts
Don’t take up too much space
Writing paragraphs upon paragraphs and mentioning each activity you have undertaken since school, is a complete waste of time (& space)! So, whilst this example may be a tad extreme, aim to keep your interests section condensed. In ranking of CV importance, your hobbies should be inferior to your experience, skills and education. And should therefore, receive a smaller amount of CV/resume space.
Lying on a CV can sometimes be classed as a fraudulent offence. Whilst its more difficult to prove you have lied or even exaggerated the truth in terms of your hobbies, be prepared for the hiring manager to ask further questions in the interview.
Once they glance at your CV they may be interested in finding out more about what you have mentioned. Stating you’re a regular volunteer in a hospital (when in fact you’ve only done it once before!), won’t end well when the interviewer delves more into this.
Don’t feel compelled to include anything you don’t want to
Often job seekers will write a hobbies and interests section because they feel they have to. Previous advice has told them its the ‘done’ thing to do and its how to show a little personality within a job application. Whereas in fact, if you feel you have nothing worthy to mention, then leave this part out. Instead, you could save space and write a little more within your work experience section.
Nowadays, many large employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or hiring software to manage volume hiring. Therefore this technology is used to scan for keywords within a candidates work experience and skills section to determine their role compatibility. This method will most likely not take into consideration other factors, so it can be argued mentioning hobbies and interests is a little outdated and pointless this early on in a job application.
When choosing to include a hobbies and interests section, aim to only mention those that will back up your desire in the job role. CV space is incredibly valuable. Therefore only the most worthwhile and interesting hobbies should be mentioned. So unless you’re trying to ‘pad out’ a job application (due to limited work experience), really consider whether or not you can sacrifice space to mention this type of information.
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