The hobbies and interests section is an important but optional section in your CV. Many candidates do include it in their CVs, whereas others don’t.
Which is approach should you take?
We recommend including your personal interests on your CV because it is a great way to stand out from the crowd, show the prospective employer a bit of your personality and make it a basis for conversion at the job interview.
In this blog you will find out:
- What hobbies and interests are;
- The benefits of writing your personal interests on your CV, and;
- Examples of many hobbies + how to add them to your CV.
What are hobbies and interests?
A hobby is an activity that you regularly pursue for enjoyment purposes, particularly during your leisure time. These are activities that generally relieve you from stress, tension or fatigue.
What are examples of hobbies for a CV?
- Playing sports (football, tennis, etc.)
- Playing chess and solving puzzle games
- Reading and writing books and articles
- Drawing, sketching and painting
- Cooking and baking
An interest is an activity that you want to do or are currently doing on an irregular basis.
What are examples of personal interests for a CV?
- Organising events in the community
- Being involved with charities
- Volunteering at local companies, clubs and organisations
- Participating in fundraising events
- Participating in campaigns
- Joining social, environmental or animal rights groups
Should I add hobbies and interests to my CV?
Yes, adding personal hobbies to your CV can strengthen your job application and increase the chances of securing a job interview. This is because recruiters invest in people; they hire and work with human beings, not robots. Recruiters actively look for every clue in the candidates’ CVs to find out about their interests, skills and competencies.
The benefits of including your personal interests on your CV:
- It will give the recruiter a fuller and more complete picture of you
- Extracurricular interests tell the employer that you are an all-rounded person who, besides just working, also enjoys having a good time
- They form a great basis for discussion at the interview stage
- Sporting activities indicate that you are fit, healthy and outgoing
- Involvement in the community suggests good interpersonal skills
A. Candidates who should write their interests on your CVs
- College and university students
- Candidates with little or no work experience
- Candidates who have blank space in their CVs
Remember that your CV is your personal marketing tool, and you should make the most out of using the totality of your CV, including the interests section, to “sell yourself” to the prospective employer.
B. Candidates who shouldn’t write their interests on your CVs
- Senior professionals including managers and executives
- Candidates with a lot of work experience
- Candidates whose CVs are overflowing to more than 2 A4 pages
Due to the lack of valuable space on these candidates’ CVs, relevant work experience and qualifications take a higher priority over personal interests.
What your hobbies “say” about you
‘Playing football’, ‘solving puzzles’, and ‘fixing computers’ are not generic terms without any meaning, rather; they carry a deeper message.
Here’s what the prospective employers will be subconsciously asking themselves when reading through the candidates’ CVs:
What does “I play football on a regular basis”, “I enjoy solving puzzles” or “I like fixing computers” tell me about this candidate?
Many people do not realise that the hobbies and interests they include in their CVs can reveal a lot of information about them and their personalities.
What kind of hobbies should I put on my CV?
Answer: Those that are relevant and add value to your application!
The rule of thumb is only to include activities that contribute to and strengthen the application. If you cannot draw this valid connection, then do not include those activities.
- Bain activities(such as playing chess) are a good match for jobs which are technical or analytical in nature (e.g. jobs in IT or Science).
- Team sports(such as playing football) are a good match for jobs which require working with people on a daily basis (e.g. jobs in Business or Marketing).
Different activities can be interpreted differently depending on the job you are applying for. For example, “playing computer games” as a hobby is irrelevant to most jobs and may sometimes portray you as a self-absorbed individual living in their own little cyber world.
However, the same hobby can add tremendous weight to your CV if you apply for a job as a video game developer, graphics designer or as a shop assistant at your local games shop!
How to write hobbies on a CV
Now, let’s get down to writing it.
There are thousands of hobbies and interests that people include in their CVs. Selecting the correct hobbies to include will depend on a number of factors, including the job sector and the job role/specifications.
Choose hobbies that are relevant to the job
1-2 related personal interests would be ideal
Choose a variety of hobbies to show that you are an all-rounded person
Some additional guidelines for writing your CV interests section:
Keep it short and to the point (one paragraph; maximum 2-3 lines)
Be specific (e.g. instead of “I enjoy reading”, write “I enjoy reading non-fiction and current affairs books.”)
Don’t list down your interest – describe them in sentences!
Keep it real and don’t exaggerate
Do you need any help on other parts of your CV or looking for a template? We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!