Why you might include the one resume section that most people don’t.
Photo Credit: Dean Hochman
This is a guest post by Martin Demiger. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
Most people think that a hobbies and interests resume section is a silly addition, but that’s only true if you include silly hobbies and interests.
It can actually be a very helpful addition to showcasing who you are, your personality and your capacity for work.
Potential employers will appreciate that you put in the extra effort to tell them a little bit more about who you are as a person.
Why have a hobbies and interests section?
1) Stand out
Most people do not list their hobbies and interests on their resume, so this alone will immediately make your resume different.
2) Present potential interview topics
You’re opening up topics of discussion if you’re contacted for an interview.
3) Prove you’re well-rounded
Hobbies and interests can show off how likable you are and how easily you’ll mesh with future colleagues.
But what to include?
Not just any hobbies and interests
1) Be relevant
If the job you’re seeking and your hobbies or interests coincide, don’t be afraid to play that factor up.
For example, if you are applying to a restaurant for the job as a chef or even a cook, list that you are passionate about cooking and food and devote a lot of your spare time to the kitchen.
2) Be relatable
Put your hobbies and interests that you think a potential employer will relate with the most, and this may need to change from employer to employer.
3) Be honest
Don’t just list things to try and impress a potential employer. If you end up interviewing for or even getting the position, any lies will probably come back to haunt you.
4) Be authentic
You should be able to discuss and demonstrate your interests. This may sound cliché, but be ready to show off your skills if asked. If you listed “reading”, be able to talk about the last few books you’ve read and share your thoughts with potential employers.
5) Be positive
Add the hobbies that come across as a positive and fun use of your down time.
For instance, if you enjoy playing poker, it shows that you like to be mentally engaged and utilize strategy. Sports are also a great hobby to include, as it shows you’re active, like to exercise and are a team player.
6) Be passionate
If it interests you, your eyes will light up when you talk about it and employers will take notice.
If you love rock climbing, share it on your resume. Not only is it athletic and impressive, but it highlights your sense of adventure and willingness to take risks — something that a future employer may appreciate.
7) Be unique
Instead of saying “reading” is an interest, be specific about what you love to read, whether it is a specific author or time period. For instance, don’t just say that you enjoy Shakespeare – be specific about which works move you the most.
8) Be concise
You don’t want to bore the employer by going on and on. Keep it short and sweet yet informative — this could be the difference between getting your foot in the proverbial door or getting your resume filed with a ton of others.
9) Don’t skip it on application forms
If applying for a job via an application form, do not leave the hobbies and interests section empty as potential employers can view this negatively. Inversely to the above, it says to an employer that you are not very well-rounded, don’t like to open up personally and may not be a good asset to their team of employees.
Now some more suggestions of hobbies and interests to include and why.
This shows you like to be mentally stimulated and have an imagination. Mention latest, most relevant book.
Tells an employer you are not afraid to venture out into the world and experience new things. Mention most relevant recent destination/event.
Music is something that everyone has in common, so it’s a no-brainer to include it in the hobbies and interests section of your resume, but mention which kinds of music.
The more you tell a possible employer about yourself, the better odds that your resume will stand out among others in getting you the interview and ultimately, the job.
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About the Author
This article was brought to you by Martin Demiger.
Question of the article
After reading this article, will you add a hobbies & interests section to your resume? Tell us in the comments.
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