22 Best Examples of Hobbies and Interests to Put on a Resume (5+ Tips)
You’ve climbed Mount Everest, volunteer at the dog shelter on the weekends and have a mint condition comic book collection, the question is: do you let an employer know? Or more importantly, does the employer care?
Many employers are for including a hobby or two on your resume, reasons being to show the personal side of a candidate and to use it as a conversation topic in an interview.
Hobbies and interests can give your resume a personality the employer can relate to, a feeling on who you may be.
That said, when writing a resume that will land an interview, would someone looking at it be impressed by what your hobbies or interests are? Is it relevant in any way to the position you’re applying for?
If the answer is no, then you might be better leaving this section off.
Sorry to break it guys, no recruiter is going to hire you over someone else because you like travel or fishing.
This isn’t a Facebook profile; your resume is a document that tells the employer why you’re a good match for the Job.
WHY SHOULD YOU INCLUDE HOBBIES & INTERESTS IN YOUR RESUME?
Employers spend approximately 3 minutes and 14 seconds looking at your resume, with 1 out of every 5 recruiters making up their mind about you in 60 seconds.
Your resume should, therefore, give the employer a concrete description of who you are and express your capabilities in under 3 ½ minutes.
A two year longitudinal study of 120 hiring managers conducted by North Western University’s Kellogg School of Management Studies, showed that approximately 51.2% of employers selected suitable candidates based on their hobbies and interests.
An article by The Guardian could not describe it better that personal interests and hobbies are used to demonstrate how fit you are for the advertised position.
For these and many other reasons we’ll see below, it is essential to carefully analyze the hobbies you need to include in your resume.
Of course this depends on the job opportunity you are applying for.
Each hobby you add is a window into your character, and you should be sure that it directs light towards desired attributes.
In this article we’ll discuss how you how you can craft your resume to stand out among hundreds, probably thousands of resumes sent for each job vacancy.
WHAT DO EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR?
When deciding what to include as your hobbies, it is imperative to understand what your employers are looking for.
According to an article published by Forbes, the Job Outlook 2012 report, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), cited the following as the most important skills employers look out for every time they receive a resume from a prospective employee.
Ability to be a Team Player
Potential employers want an assurance that you can work with other employees, share, and listen to their ideas, especially when handling group projects.
Being a team player also means that you should be willing to put the company’s and other people’s interests ahead of your own without expecting favors in return.
Ability to Communicate Both Inside and Outside the Organization
Employers want an effective communicator that can deliver concrete messages clearly, and also motivate and convince colleagues, juniors, and seniors in the workplace.
Excellent communication skills are also vital when talking to clients, and convincing them to approach the company for business.
Decision Making and Problem Solving Skills
Eventually, problems arise, and your reaction to each challenge could save or ruin the company.
Effective and efficient solutions are necessary during a crisis to prevent and also mitigate damage.
Making right decisions in the absence of supervision exhibits leadership skills and is a door to promotions and rewards.
Ability to Obtain Information and Process It
As a new employee, you are required to quickly integrate into the company system, with as little guidance as possible to avoid being a liability.
It is your responsibility to gather information if it is not handed to you, and use it to find your way, or produce constant output.
Ability to Plan Well
Depending on the rank of employment you are applying for, a secretary may not be provided. This means that the responsibility to file your work, organize it, and prioritize it based on size and dates due.
Without an efficient planning system or culture in place, it is easy to fall behind on all deadlines and lose trust from your seniors.
Ability to Actively Hone Your Skills
The ability to identify talent and hone it into something great is a plus because it portrays your ability to develop skills and efficiency during employment.
In the long run, you can become a valuable asset to the company.
Having a hobby, particularly one that motivates endurance, and also requires dedication shows passion.
Employers are looking for employees that are passionate about their jobs, to create value within them, and ensure that they can depend on them to keep pushing without supervision.
By including hobbies in your resume, you demonstrate that there is more to you than just work. This is important as it presents you as an all rounded individual.
Maintaining a work-life balance shows your ability to juggle different aspects in life, and also shows that you value resting periods to keep you competitive and productive at work.
WHAT HOBBIES & INTERESTS SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR RESUME?
Your resume should be tailor-made to fit every job you are applying for. Instead of copying previous resumes, consider the job qualification expected, and include hobbies that display skills and personalities the employers may be looking for.
For example, Google is known to hire open and playful employees because, besides their educational qualifications, they would like to hire people that integrate into their culture.
However, according to the undercover recruiter, 50% of recruiters reject resumes due to clichés.
This means that your hobbies and interests should reflect the skills employers are looking for, without seeming obvious and boring.
According to the Business Insider, the following are hobbies and interests worth considering each of them is suitable for different job postings.
Practicing yoga demonstrates an ability to remain calm and maintain control in all situations. It also shows a mastery of self and a deeper understanding of a person’s emotions.
Jobs such as PR (Public Relations Management) and advertising require control of emotions due to many inter-human interactions.
Work that also involves service delivery in hotels requires a mastery of emotions to avoid frustrating clients.
For example, a manager in a restaurant has to remain calm when addressing rude customers. If your job involves high human interactions, yoga is an excellent addition to your list.
An interest in games like chess demonstrates that you enjoy thinking strategically.
This type of strength is desirable for positions where policy development and strategy formulation are key.
Adding skills such as video production demonstrates your abilities and familiarity with equipment used during video production, journalism, and broadcasting.
Video production may also come in handy when applying for job opportunities in newspaper and magazine production companies since you show a broader understanding of activities within the journalism industry.
Participating in extreme sports such as skydiving, or racing mountain bikes shows that you have an adventurous spirit, and also dare to take on the unknown.
These traits are essential for employees hoping to take up leadership positions because they are willing to go beyond expectations and face their challenges head-on.
Bloggers are free thinkers, expressive, and good communicators. An excellent blog is a great addition to your list of hobbies and interest when applying for marketing, and writing opportunities. However, blogging also goes beyond necessary writing skills.
The ability to share positive thoughts through well-structured language, and stand up to ridicule is also a leadership quality.
If your blog contributes to providing information into the industry in which the job lies, include it in your list for the employers to see your understanding of the job required.
Bloggers are free thinkers, expressive, and good communicators. An excellent blog is a great addition to your list of hobbies and interest when applying for marketing, and writing opportunities. However, blogging also goes beyond necessary writing and photo-editing skills.
Playing musical instruments, and performing as a singer requires attention to tones, and patience when learning.
Good music requires discipline and dedication, and if you are qualified to list musical skills in your resume, they may draw the attention of potential employers.
Musical talents go beyond the performance industry. For example, performing before a crowd without stuttering or choking shows confidence.
If you enjoy volunteering towards charitable work and helping out others, include it in your resume. Volunteering to help others exhibits self-drive, and also shows the compassionate side of you.
It also demonstrates an ability to initiate action without supervision and not expecting special rewards in the end.
An employer will be interested in a volunteer if he/she feels that he or she places the company’s needs before personal gain.
Some voluntary activities also offer opportunities to learn essential business skills and technical skills that may give you an advantage over other applicants.
Excellent photographers have an eye for details, excellent photo opportunities and also pay attention to details.
The art of holding the camera, allowing enough exposure and producing breathtaking images is a skill learned over time.
Including photography in your list of hobbies and interests shows that you are keen, observant and also patient.
Apart from being a useful addition when applying for a job in journalism and video production, photography is helpful in any other fields that require a keen and sharp eye.
According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans participate in hobbies related to the environment such as outdoor and naturalist activities and gardening.
Practicing gardening shows that you are conversant with plants, and nature, and are willing to participate in events geared towards environmental conservation and sustainability.
If you are applying for jobs that call for environmental preservation, gardening is an excellent addition.
Captain of a Team Sport
Leadership goes beyond offices and is also demonstrated in the field during sports. Being a team captain in high-adrenaline environments shows that you are calm, decisive, intuitive, and even understanding.
When applying for leadership roles, including other leadership positions you hold in sports may go a long way in improving your chances of landing an interview.
Captains are not only leaders, but they are also team players and are also capable of coming up with effective and efficient solutions in case of an emergency.
According to an article by the Oxford Royale Academy, hobbies such as programming and coding, or practicing digital marketing through Google Analytics data, are a great addition to jobs that require technical expertise.
On the other hand, tech hobbies are introverted and are therefore an advantage in jobs that require introverts.
Puzzles and Chess
If you are applying for a job that requires analytical and critical thinking, then filling in crossword puzzles and playing chess are great ways of boosting your brain’ s capacity.
Games such as chess improve intelligent strategizing and are therefore useful for jobs that require such skills. The games are also introverted and are great for employers looking to employee critical thinkers who appreciate their space.
Drawing and painting are excellent additions when applying for jobs that require artistic creativity.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, apart from mastering graphic design programs, you need a natural artistic skill to generate ideas for clients, and organize images to create impressive layouts.
Exploring different places, and having an ability to appreciate different cultures is easily demonstrated through traveling.
Travelling also gives you exposure and tips for surviving and enjoying different states across the globe.
If you are applying for a travel agent job, you have a higher chance of being employed if you are conversant with traveling regulations, and have tips that you can offer to clients.
A survey conducted by Cint on the distribution of Hobbies and Interests among people in France in 2016 -2017 showed that 9.67% of the respondents took up cooking as a hobby.
Specific jobs may give you an advantage if you enjoy cooking.
For example, chefs, and cook-TV show hosts should enjoy being around the kitchen and trying new recipes. If your job description falls in line with cooking skills, you can include cooking, and give specific details to get an advantage.
Some companies, mainly IT-based companies use gaming as a team-building activity.
When applying for IT industry jobs, including gaming, especially multi-player gaming may come in handy.
High Risk Pursuits
Activities such as skydiving show that you are happy to push boundaries and take risks. These strengths are desirable for people going into product leadership roles.
While gambling is often dismissed as a vice, it may be useful when done for pleasure.
Some businesses such as banking and venture capitalism require skills in gambling, and would, therefore, present significant opportunities for smart gamblers.
Though old, and perhaps harder right now, stamp collecting is an excellent addition for people interested in antiques and history.
It also displays a natural effort to preserve history for future generations to see. For example, if you are applying for a museum guide position, including stamp collecting in your list of hobbies is a big plus!
Positions such as wildlife conservation manager require individuals that are naturally enthusiastic about animal behavior and preservation of their natural habitats.
Bird watchers enjoy the silent outdoors and are very patient.
Research shows that participants with science related hobbies, such as bird watching, are active science news consumers and are likely to participate in science related-activities (42%).
You could also include any clubs or associations you are active in.
For example, the Rotary, The Red Cross Community, a golf club or a book club.
Participating in club activities shows that you have top notch human interaction skills, and are also a team player.
If you choose to include reading in your list of hobbies, remember to keep it detailed because many people can read. Explain what you enjoy reading to give the employers an opportunity to question you about it.
What Hobbies and Interests should I Include in my resume?
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN INCLUDING A HOBBY & INTERESTS LIST
While it is essential to have an impressive resume, lying about your skills and interests could give your employer the wrong impression.
You may be asked to perform tasks you do not understand based on everything you listed as a hobby.
Avoid embarrassing yourself, or become untrustworthy by not lying on your resume.
Pick hobbies that have relevant skills
It is possible to enjoy doing over ten things, but not have them on your resume. Your hobbies and interests should demonstrate skills that are essential in your job.
For example, an IT expert should include tech hobbies, rather than showcasing how good of a cook they are!
Avoid political and religious inclinations
Remember that your employer may not agree with your political and religious beliefs. Your hobbies should be free from any political or religious bias that could irk, or insult your potential employer.
Instead of saying that you simply enjoy traveling, give a summary of some of the places you have traveled to.
If you enjoy blogging, mention some of the topics you enjoy writing about, any websites you may have and awards you may have received during your writing journey.
Keep the List Short but adequate
Remember that the Hobbies and Interests section is an addition.
Do not make it the main subject of your resume, and end up boring the employer.
Research the Company to Understand Their Work Culture
Remember that each hobby you include should be a stepping stone towards integrating with the company culture.
For Example, hobbies that require social interactions should not be used in introverted companies.
An article published by the CNBC revealed a study conducted by Top Resume among 379 recruiters to find the biggest resume deal breakers you should avoid.
However, that being said, if the the job you’re applying for is known for being a religious organization or a part of a political side, then you’ll want to include a hobby that exemplifies this. For example, say you’re applying to a weapons company. Then it would behoove you to include something that shows your interests in guns as a hobby.
WHERE SHOULD YOU PLACE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?
As stated earlier, all hobbies are an addition to the initial qualifications every employer advertises. Therefore, they should be placed last.
However, remember to keep the list as interesting as possible.
Sometimes, a good list of hobbies may be the key to getting your dream Job.
Including your hobbies and interests in your resume will help potential employers relate to you, and also evaluate your character before the actual job interview.
The list also creates an opportunity for a conversation during the interview and gives you an advantage over other applicants.
By providing a list of interests, employers can also integrate you into company activities such as sports activities, and improve recognition among your colleagues.
Ensure that all the hobbies you include are relevant to your job to increase your chances of getting employed.
Also, keep your list honest, detailed and as brief as possible for the employers to read through quickly.
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