Create a personalized and memorable application by featuring hobbies and interests on your resume. Learn what, when, and how to list personal interests and activities in your resume so you can bolster its content.
Many people ask this question: “Which is the right way to put interests & hobbies in a Resume?” My honest answer: None. And that’s exactly what I mean. There’s no right way to put interests & hobbies in a Resume.
No Hobbies & Interests on a Resume?
You might wonder why I’m saying so. The reason is simple.
An employer asks for your Resume to know about your education and some work skills. They aren’t interested in knowing about your personal life. And if they wish to know a bit more about you, they’ll ask during an interview.
Therefore, I strongly recommend you read about the difference between a CV, Resume, and Bio-Data before writing any of these documents.
At the same time, you can also read my tips and tweaks about creating a killer resume that could get you an interview call.
However, if you are genuinely keen on showcasing your interests & hobbies in a Resume, then follow the tips I’m about to write. That could get the employer to notice your hobbies and interests.
Understand Employer Mindset
A Resume focuses on your education and experience. And an employer is asking for a Resume specifically to gauge if you’re eligible for a job from what you write on the Resume. That’s where education and skills come in.
At the same time, the employer will try to identify several things. These include your corporate etiquette, vocabulary, interest in a profession and your personal traits.
It’s these personality traits that an employer might be able to identify when you put interests & hobbies in a Resume in the right way.
Putting Hobbies & Interest on Resume
Here’s something important to remember before I tell you about the right way to pit best hobbies for a Resume.
Always keep any description of hobbies and interests very concise. An employer isn’t interested to know your stamp collection skills or interest in cricket.
Then, how do you put interests & hobbies in a Resume? Follow these simple tips and tweaks
1. Learn About the Role
Usually, job advertisements and announcements carry descriptions of the role the employer expects you to play. This is also known as job responsibilities.
It’s vital to fully comprehend responsibilities and tasks the job you’re applying for would involve.
If you read between the lines, you’ll detect that some jobs involve team play. Others involve working for longer hours. Some may require excellent communication skills. While yet others may need a keen eye for detail for research.
Find which hobby or interest would help you fulfill this role.
2. Get Interviewers to Ask Questions
The best and right way to put interests & hobbies in a Resume is in a manner that attracts interviewers. And tempts them to ask questions about a specific hobby or interest.
To highlight this, I will narrate my personal experience of stating best hobbies for a Resume.
Since long, I’m an amateur radio (Ham radio) operator. This hobby clearly signifies I have excellent communication skills. Since amateur radio is a very specialized hobby, it also indicates I have exquisite tastes and don’t follow the flock.
It’s necessary to pass an exam the Indian government conducts to get an amateur radio license. Means, I am willing to learn.
Ham radio operators rush to help set up communications in disaster areas. This is a clear indicator of a high sense of citizenry and responsibility. It shows a willingness to help victims of unfortunate circumstances.
You may wonder how this helps? Indeed, it has been helping me immensely.
Firstly, most people aren’t even aware of a hobby known as amateur radio. Invariably, the interviewer would ask me questions about this hobby.
And it provided me an opportunity to describe my experiences of working in disaster areas. Which translates as an excellent impression.
Without exaggeration, I can say this single hobby and its questions by interviewers have helped me get most jobs in my earliest days of a career as compared to my humble Bachelor’s degree or some assorted work experiences.
3. Speak About Relevance to Job
By this I mean to find out how your hobbies and interest hold relevance for a job. A hobby or interest is an indicator of your character. Hence, use it carefully.
Of course, you can’t say that being part of some local cricket team implies you’re a team player. Nor does collecting stamps show that you’re good at something. Reading books is an excellent interest to include on your resume if you know how to pitch it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that being part of a local cricket team or collecting stamps shouldn’t be put on your Resume. Indeed, you should. But put your hobbies and interests in a manner that attracts the employer.
For example, highlight your spirit of competition and interest in fitness through your interest in cricket.
And the patience to learn about new things from different countries from philately or collecting stamps. For example: “Pritam collects stamps that help him learn amazing things about different countries.”
You can pitch your interest in reading books for research jobs or those requiring patience and long hours.
Interests such as travel traveling are ideal if you’re applying for sales and marketing jobs and would involve you visiting many distant places within the country.
4. Highlight Your Accolades
Accolades such as certificates of participation, prizes and trophies are a clear indicator that you exert extra efforts and love to win. It also signifies a healthy competitive spirit.
These are desirable traits in any employee. Therefore, you can put hobbies and interests on a Resume by showcasing the accolades you hold.
In fact, you can mention any accolades you have won. It could be as simple as that certificate of merit you got at school for an essay or singing. Or it could be some certificate of participation at a public marathon or university event.
Remember, each of these accolades has a special, hidden significance. Identify how they would help you at work. Of course, you can’t bluntly say you’re a hard worker because you ran a marathon.
But you can subtly mention the number of months of training to participate in the marathon- regardless of whether or not you won.
5. Indicate Memberships & Affiliations
And finally, the right way to put interests & hobbies in a Resume is by listing your memberships and affiliations to any sports club or group.
A word of caution: keep your political interests out of a Resume: you might offend an employer who could be a follower of another political thought.
The right way to list your hobbies and interests in the form of memberships and affiliation is by using bullet points.
Mention the name of the club or organization and state reasons for your membership in a couple of sentences. The club or organization needn’t be something very prestigious. It could be just a local sports association.
If you’re a member of a large, global organization, you can mention that too in a single sentence and state your designation if you’re an office-bearer.
There’s no need to provide elaborate details about your membership and affiliations to put your hobbies for a Resume.
Hobbies & Interests to Avoid on Resume
This may come as a shocker but yes, there’re several hobbies and interests you shouldn’t put on your Resume. These include interest in watching movies.
That’s because it clearly indicates you’ll sleep less and suffer from stress at work. Watching movies, even in moderation isn’t an interest most employers will appreciate.
Another interest to avoid on your Resume is socializing. That indicates you’ll not be available after office hours for any important work.
And that you might waste time chatting with friends on social media and other platforms. Usually, socializing also involves gossip- which is something that top employers wish to keep outside their organizations.
Socializing or watching movies isn’t bad but some employers may find it undesirable. Also, be extremely cautious while mentioning memberships of any trade and labor unions. No employer wants labor unions disrupting their business for any reason.
If you don’t have any hobbies or interests, there’s no need to invent any imaginary ones to include on your Resume. It really doesn’t matter. At the same time, if you have them, use the above five tips about the right way to put interests & hobbies in a Resume.