Listing hobbies and interests on your resume
Including your interests and hobbies may not be the first thing you consider when writing a professional resume, but doing so can support a resume in a variety of instances, including when you have little or no work experience. And, some organizations even prefer to see resumes with interests on them as it gives the hiring manager a well-rounded idea of the candidate as a person. Here we explore if and when you should include interests on your resume, how to list hobbies and interests on your resume, examples for guidance, and what to avoid when including your interests on a professional resume.
Should you include interests on your resume?
There are several instances in which you should consider including your hobbies and interests on your professional resume. Before doing so, it’s important to consider what this information will convey to potential employers and if that aligns with what the job posting asks for. Interests and hobbies you include provide hiring managers with an understanding of who you are as a person and how you spend your time outside of work. Your interests and hobbies also show employers any extra skills you possess and subjects you want to learn more about.
Here are a few times when you should consider including interests and hobbies on your professional resume:
- You don’t have many skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- You have little or no work experience.
- You have little educational experience.
- The company specifically asks for applicants to include their interests and hobbies.
- The company actively looks for applicants with unique character traits and personalities.
- The job listing includes duties that relate to your interests and hobbies.
You should consider whether to include hobbies or interests on your resume for each job you apply for based on the company’s specific requests and work culture.
How to list interests on your resume
The following are steps you should take when including your interests on your professional resume:
- Research the organization. The first step in including interests and hobbies on your resume is to spend time getting to know the company your applying to. Begin by looking at the job description and seeing what traits they’re seeking in candidates. Next, visit the company’s website and take a look at any mention of the organization’s work culture. You can also check out the company’s social media to get a better feel for the company culture.
- Choose interests and hobbies that align with the desired personality traits. Once you have a good idea of what the company is looking for in terms of personality traits and skills, choose a few of your interests that best match up with this. For example, if the job listing asks for candidates who are good team players, including your interest in a sport demonstrates that you’re able to and enjoy participating in team activities.
- Include interests that accentuate your skills. You can also use an interest section on your resume to highlight relevant skills. If you lack work experience but have an interest or hobby that’s equipped you with a relevant skill for the job, including this interest allows hiring managers to see you as still being qualified for the position. For example, if you’re applying for a copywriting position but have little work experience, you could include that you freelance write for a blog or magazine in your spare time.
- Create a separate section on your resume. Rather than lumping in your interests and hobbies with work experience and skills, create a separate section at the end of your resume with a heading such as ‘Hobbies and Interests’ or ‘Interests.’
- Include up to five different interests or hobbies. Choose a few interests or hobbies that most relate to the job you’re applying for to include on your resume. Provide a specific description for each. For example, rather than listing ‘reading’ as a hobby, you could write ‘I enjoy reading 18th-century American literature.’
Examples of interests to include on your resume
Choosing the right interest or hobby to include on your resume is important to ensure you convey to hiring managers the right message of who you are and what you bring to the table. Here are a few examples of quality hobbies and interests to put on a resume:
- Learning new languages
- Social media marketing
- Creating music
- Outdoor activities
- Video gaming
- Public speaking
Here’s are a few examples of an interest and hobbies section on a professional resume:
Interests & Hobbies
- Volunteering at my local soup kitchen
- Learning Mandarin
- Coaching soccer at the local high school
- Hiking tall mountains
- Playing the piano
- Blogging about wellness practices for women
- Cooking gluten-free recipes
- Leading a weekly wine-and-women book club
Interests and Hobbies
- Volunteering: I regularly volunteer on the weekends at a local animal shelter.
- Music: I enjoy both listening to and creating music and have played the guitar for 10 years.
- Traveling: I’ve visited more than 20 countries in the last five years.
- Yoga: I teach a weekly Yin Yoga class at my local wellness center.
What not to include on your resume
Including interests and hobbies that express your positive skills and traits will more effectively convey your positive attributes to hiring managers. When deciding what to put in your interests section, take time to consider whether each interest would have a positive or negative impact on the employer.
You should avoid the following in your interests and hobbies section:
- Interests that are overly broad or vague
- Interests or hobbies that are dangerous or illegal
- Interests or hobbies that you don’t actually partake in
- Hobbies or interests related to religion, politics, or sex
- Interests or hobbies expressed in a way that’s easily misinterpreted