If you believe that hobbies and personal interests aren’t relevant to job hunting, you’re making a huge mistake. Companies aren’t looking for workers who mechanically answer phone calls and emails anymore. They’re searching for people who fit their culture and share their vision.
Placing a selection of strategic hobbies and interests on a resume will show recruiters that your personality makes you the right match for the company.
Here are five tips to help you tailor your hobbies and interests section so that you stand out from other candidates.
- Learn More About the Company Culture
Does the employer have a particular office culture? Would your interests and hobbies be valuable to them?
Should you even include examples of hobbies on a resume?
You’ll know the answer to these questions once you:
- Read the job description – it might include traits companies want employees to have.
- Have a look at the company website and pay particular attention to employee profiles.
- Check their social channels – this is where companies promote their culture.
- See whether the employer received any press coverage recently.
- Read company reviews on websites like Glassdoor.
- Choose the Right Personal Interests, Here’s How
When you include examples of hobbies on a resume, you should match them to the personality traits valued by the employer.
If the position you’re targeting requires you to be an excellent collaborator and team player, an interest in social hobbies like sports is a better pick than a solitary activity like stamp collecting. Focus on desired traits, but also show that you’re flexible by including a variety of hobbies and interests. That’s how you communicate to employers that you can easily relate to different personalities.
You can use a hobbies and interests section to fill gaps in your skill set. If you don’t have much professional experience in a given area, choose hobbies that demonstrate that you possess skills necessary for the job. That’s one of the best ways to tackle writing a resume as a career changer.
For instance, if you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, it’s smart to show that you’ve got a great eye for visuals by adding relevant hobbies and interests on a resume. Good examples of hobbies on a resume for a graphic designer would include photography or other artistic hobbies and interests. Perhaps the company also values interpersonal relationships? Then adjust your examples of hobbies and interests to reflect how you do them while interacting with others. For example, if you’re adding photography, write about how you take pictures of social events like weddings.
Good Example of a Hobby for a Resume: Photography
Best Example of a Hobby for a Resume: Wedding Photography
Knowing how to showcase your skills on a resume is essential to tailoring your application to the job posting and showing that you’re a great match for the employer’s culture.
- How to Describe Hobbies and Interests on a Resume
Recruiters don’t like to waste time reading long resumes full of irrelevant details. Your resume needs to be on-point and relevant. And so does your hobbies and interests section. Place the best examples of your hobbies and interests at the bottom of your resume to make a lasting impression on the recruiter. Include no more than two or three relevant hobbies. Now, you probably think that a simple list will do the trick.
Here’s a good example of an average hobbies and interests section:
Reading, hiking, traveling.
And here’s what a useful hobbies and interests section should look like:
I organize art fairs for children in my community.
I volunteer at my local soup kitchen on weekends.
Sounds better, doesn’t it? Brief descriptions make hobbies and interests on a resume look more attractive. Descriptions also help recruiters better understand your personality.
- Three Tips for Putting Hobbies and Interests on a Resume
You’ll want to make an impression on recruiters as this is the final section of your resume. That’s why your hobbies and interests section needs to be top-notch.
Here are three tips to help you write descriptions of the hobbies and interests on your resume:
- Be specific – general examples of hobbies and interests aren’t unique or exciting. Instead of something dull like “Reading,” go for a good example of a hobby like “Reading American Fiction.”
- Be honest – it’s risky to choose an example of a hobby that makes you sound interesting but doesn’t correspond to your reality. If you state that you’re a Roman history buff, you’d better get your facts straight. What happens if a recruiter asks about your favorite Roman emperor only to meet your blank stare? Treat your hobbies and interests section seriously and always tell the truth.
- Keep it unique, but not weird – it’s not worth it to cross the line trying to be unique. That’s how you alienate recruiters and demonstrate negative personality traits that affect your image as a professional.
On average, a job opening attracts 250 resumes, but only 4 to 6 candidates get called for an interview. A lot of job seekers will tell you that they never include a hobbies and interests section on a resume. They don’t realize that it can significantly increase their chances at passing the screening process. Hobbies and interests give you an excellent opportunity to present yourself as a candidate who matches a company’s culture.
Include attention-grabbing examples of hobbies and interests on a resume to show off your skills and personality. That’s how you stand out from other candidates and help recruiters to get a sense of who you are as a person. Once recruiters realize that you’re a perfect fit for their company culture, your chances of landing the job interview will skyrocket.