When you are job hunting, writing a resume can be one of the most difficult steps in the process. It is one document that you have to portray yourself as a suitable candidate for the position. This one piece of paper needs to tell any hiring manager precisely who you are, and what you are capable of.
To give the manager a better understanding of who you are, many job seekers wonder if they should make a list of hobbies and interests on their resume.
There is no clear answer to this, and it isn’t merely yes you should, or no you shouldn’t put hobbies on resume before sending it off. There are a few factors you should consider first, and here they are.
Are Your Hobbies and Interests Relevant?
Generally speaking, hobbies and interests on your resume should only be listed if they are relevant.
An excellent example of this being if you enjoy writing on a blog, this can be seen to be advantageous in positions where writing is involved.
Much the same can be said for art and drawing. If your intended position was for a design position or in an architectural firm, then these could be seen as relevant.
The main thing to consider here is, putting interests on resume should show you have attention and devotion toward the position you are applying for.
With this in mind, what you certainly shouldn’t do is make a long list of what you enjoy doing in your spare time. These will be generic hobbies, and there are thousands of individuals who enjoy the same things.
Keep it short, and keep it relevant.
Do Interests and Hobbies Translate to Skills?
A hiring manager won’t particularly care what you do in your spare time unless it is something which makes you stand out.
If you are a coach or teach in a particular sport, it can prove to a prospective employer you possess leadership skills, and you are capable of organising people.
You might be in a situation where one of your interests have you volunteering for something on the weekend or in the evenings. This shows you are capable of working with people who are very different, and also you are comfortable in uncertain situations.
Resume interests that are listed and have no real benefit toward the job you have applied for can have a negative impact on your application, and your overall chance of being hired.
Are You Looking to Re brand Yourself?
This is one is quite tricky because it comes into play if you are applying for a position outside of your current field. If you want the hiring manager to see past the role you are currently in, you should include hobbies and interests for resume which show you in a very different light.
This can be the case if you are a recent graduate and your chosen field was more on the technical side.
If you are applying for positions in marketing as an example, then adding these relative interests can shed new light over you, and show you are not only skilled or focused on more technical aspects.
Some of the hobbies and interests might not be job-related, but if you choose carefully, it can add more depth to your resume and grab a hiring manager’s attention.
Examples of Good Hobbies and Interests to include on your Resume
- Activities which show leadership qualities in something. This can consist of working for a charity or non-profit organisation.
- Being a part of any associations or groups.
- Blogging or having any published writing on the industry you are in, or one where you have an acquired skill level.
- Charitable or Social activities. This can be something as simple as helping to feed the homeless.
- Any pastimes or skills you have which you undertake frequently. These hard and soft skills can show you are a good candidate for the position.
With this, you should not include things like fishing, cooking, going to the cinema or any political groups you are associated with.
How Many Interests and Hobbies Should I List?
If you do have hobbies and interests to add, the list should be quite small rather than a sprawling list which will eat up space on your resume. Two or three relevant ones should suffice, and if you keep to this number, you can minimise the word count and not lead to overcrowding the space you have used.
Should You Put Hobbies on Your Resume?
Relevancy – Make sure all of the hobbies and interests you include are in some way relevant to the position which you are applying for. If they aren’t relevant, make sure they show another skill or quality you have.
Length – Keep this section to 2 or 3 simple bullet points. There is no need to elaborate. If a manager wants to know more, he will ask in your interview.
Placement – You might wonder where to add these. They should be included toward the end of your resume. More crucial information goes at the start and the least relevant information toward the bottom.
Professionalism – You might take part in politics, religion or even some extreme sports. These should be avoided because they can lead you to be judged or seen in the wrong light. Politics and religion shouldn’t affect your chances of landing the job.
We know resumes should be concise and to the point with the aim of grabbing attention. This alone can make it hard for job seekers to understand what to, and what not to include in their resume.
It is easy to have the perfect upper part, and the hobbies and interests are included, and it detracts away from all of the other information.
Because a resume is such a crucial job application device, many individuals don’t want to risk getting it wrong and seek the services of a professional resume writing service. These companies have the skills in creating the best resume possible with the information you hand to them.
They also know what is best to leave in, and what to leave out. As long as you back up in person everything which is listed, landing that interview should be your next target.