Do hobbies and interests belong on a CV?

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Do you remember the first CV you ever wrote? Were you trying to fill up space on the page because you seemed to be lacking enough experience and/or education to fill up the whole page? If so, you may have been advised to add a hobbies and interests’ section at the bottom of your CV. Your CV is used by employers to get to know you, and a good way of doing that is including information about what you enjoy doing in your spare time. These activities can say a lot about a person, but are they still important to include on your CV now?  

Why including hobbies can boost your CV

Hiring managers may want to know that little bit more about a person before they invite them to an interview. Your education and work experience are more likely to be your main selling point on your CV; however, your hobbies can tell an employer more than you may think.

Including this section can help your CV feel more personal, like there is an actual person behind the text. It can help you stand out and become more memorable. If you have a really unique hobby or something you’re really passionate about doing, include this and it may end up being used for an interesting conversation point in the interview. Some experienced interviewers may even admit that often this is the point in the interview they see the candidate ‘come alive’. Things like this can help you become more memorable and standing out from the rest of the candidates is what you want.

Your work experience tells a lot about your career, but your interests can let the reader know a bit more about you and your personality. CV’s can shed a light on whether you would fit into their team or not, so it can always be a good thing to really think about what hobbies you include. This section of your CV can also give you the opportunity to talk about any volunteering or community-based projects you enjoy working on. It’s a little something extra that could just set you apart from the other candidates.

What different hobbies can mean to employers

Sport related hobbies – A lot of people are interested in sport and it’s a good hobby to include on your CV. Most sports take a lot of dedication week in and week out. This could tell the employer that you are dedicated, self-motivated and a driven individual. What more could an employer want?

If you are involved in team sports, this can say a lot about how you work in a team. You have to be committed to the team and the people around you, much like how employers would want you to act in your work team.

Writing and reading based activities – These types of hobbies are often overlooked as being boring and not important to include on your CV, however, these activities help a person become more creative and open minded. Writing is all about being yourself, being creative and letting your ideas come to life.

Cooking and/or baking – This kind of hobby can require some kind of skill and it can be incredibly tedious at times. Cooking and baking, for a lot of people, is a skill that you have to take the time to learn. It doesn’t just come naturally for everyone. This shows determination, shares the idea that you are willing to keep going, even when something doesn’t go the way you want it to. Overcoming mistakes and still working towards a goal, is a massive advantage to have when job seeking.

Charity work and volunteering – Some people would put this kind of activity in their work experience section on the CV. You can design your CV however you see fit, however, showing this as a hobby or an interest shows that you are doing this for more than just work experience. You are doing it because you care for the cause. Compassion can seem like a rare trait in people, doing something because you want to help, goes a long way with some employers.

There are many more hobbies that haven’t been mentioned above that are just as important. Think about transferable skills when you are writing this section as well. What skills are they asking for in the job description that I can back up with my hobbies? It’s worth taking the time to work on this section and not leaving it as a last resort.


Where should I put this section?

The design of your CV is up to you; however, I would advise putting this at the end of your CV. The main focus is on your work experience and your skills section. These are the parts of your CV that are really going to sell you to the employer. Hobbies shouldn’t be your only selling point. However, hobbies can be used to seal the deal. Being remembered can be important, so give them something interesting and personal to finish with.

How do I write this section?

Much like the rest of your CV, it’s important to put a little substance behind your hobbies. You may not want to present this section as a simple list, this can be a bit boring for the reader. Expand on your point, why do you enjoy this and what skills do you think it has enhanced? Try and pick hobbies that are going to make a statement and can be transferred into the job you are applying for.

Having a hobbies or interests’ section on your CV will give it a little bit extra. However, the choice whether to include this or not, is entirely up to you. You may want to let your experience speak for itself and that’s fine. CV’s are not a one size fits all, you need to take the time to think about this and if you see an advantage, include it in your next job application. Remember, that your CV is not set in stone. You can go back and change it when you see fit. You may want to include hobbies for one job but not another, tailor it to you and see what works best.

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