Whether you have limited work experience or are an industry vet looking to breath more life into a dull resume, adding your hobbies and interests to your resume may be the perfect way to woo recruiters. These elements can give employers a complete picture of you beyond the skills you'll bring to the role. Plus, showing a potential employer that you are a well-rounded person can get your resume noticed.
But what's the difference between a "hobby" and an "interest"? In short: Interests are passive, whereas hobbies are the active pursuit of interests. Collecting stamps, writing poetry, building model airplanes, and knitting are all hobbies; reading about these subjects would make them interests. Both interests and hobbies can be directly associated with your profession or might be completely unrelated to your work.
Interests are occasional pursuits or pastimes. For example, someone with an interest in financial investing might read a lot about the stock market, whereas someone who lists investing as a hobby likely spends hours each week studying financial reports and trading stocks. Make sense?
You aren't required to add hobbies and interests to your resume, so if you do add them, do so strategically and sparingly. Only mention those hobbies and interests you are prepared to discuss during an interview. Never add fake interests just to enhance your resume; if a recruiter asks about them during the hiring process, you'll call your own bluff and they'll discover you know little or nothing about one of your so-called "passions."
Another protip: Only include safe-for-work pastimes. If any of your pursuits could be considered at all offensive, don't include them in your resume. In general, avoid mentioning hobbies or interests with a political or religious bent, as well as anything that might make you look frivolous. "Shopping" and "binge-watching Netflix," for example, won't earn you any points.
Hobbies and Interests That Look Great on a Resume
Here are examples of hobbies and interests that will position you as a more attractive candidate:
Travel: Letting employers know you enjoy travel is an excellent way to show that you are a curious person with seeks out new experiences.
Reading: If you add this to your resume, be prepared to discuss the last book you read or your favorite blogs and publications.
Collecting: If you've been collecting stamps since you were eight-years-old or you have a passion for antique typewriters, it's work mentioning. Employers often want to hire people who have pursuits outside of work.
Blogging: Bloggers tend to be experts in the topics they cover. Whether or not your blog is relevant to your desired position, it can show consistency and expertise. If your blog contains content of a deeply personal nature, however, you should keep it off your resume.
Volunteer Work/Community Involvement: Companies want people who are engaged, and many companies strive to be more actively involved in their communities. Active community involvement or volunteer work can be a real asset on your resume.
Sports: Mentioning sports you play or watch regularly can lend proof to the soft skills listed on your resume, like being a team player, conflict resolution, and leadership abilities.
Club Memberships: Being a member of a club can highlight your ability to work well with likeminded individuals. But remember: Don't include clubs with a religious or political focus.
LiveCareer develops tools to help job seekers write resumes, draft cover letters, and prepare for interviews.