Best Hobbies and Interest For Your Resume With Examples
You know how unique and talented you are. You see a job you like. You know it is perfect for you. You know that you are the perfect person for it too.
But how do you let your dream employer know this in one or two pages?
Hiring managers go through dozens of resumes of qualified candidates. Some are even more qualified for your dream job than you are. Sometimes the resumes all start to look alike for popular position in big companies.
You need to craft one that stands out from the crowd, a resume that shines.
There are many ways to make your resume stand out from the unending piles in their inbox. But one definite way to get noticed is by listing your hobbies and interests. While this has been a big no no in the past decade, times have definitely changed. Most employers would like to know more about the candidate in front of them, someone who can be part of their team.
Hobbies and interests tell potential bosses that you live a multi-faceted life. Your passion pursuits can let them know that you have a creative side, a sporty side, or an adventurous side.
It could tell them that you can cope up with people from different ranks, cultures, and background. It could show that you are a good team player, or a good leader. It can also let people know that you have excellent problem solving or analytical skills.
Yet keep in mind that some hobbies and interests are more appealing than others.
What type of hobbies or interests should you list down?
Surprise! The hobbies and interests that you may already have could make your potential employer sit up and take notice of you.
Job-Relevant or Industry-Relevant Hobbies
What are the passion pursuits that make you more desirable to your dream employer?
Why this makes you more interesting to the hiring manager:
- You can grow within the company or industry.
- You are a multitasker.
- You could be a good cultural fit.
- You may be an interesting candidate to hire.
For creative positions, you could list your non-work related hobbies or interests. Like writing, photography, painting, or other art-related pursuits. You could also list video or photo editing to supplement the position requirements.
For positions that want heavy social interaction or public speaking (such as sales or business development), you could list your acting or volunteering hobbies.
If you are active on social media and have a respectable number of followers add the links onto your resume. Organisation could use this skill to further their own social media marketing efforts.
If you have skills in coding and programming, this would put you in an advantage in a tech-related company. Regardless of whatever position you are applying for.
TIPS: Do your research on the company. Analyze the job description and try to deduce what would make the perfect candidate. Speak to friends, family, or former colleagues who may be connected with the company in some way. Check out the company website and its social media accounts too. Does the company culture seem open or traditional?
To Do: Now try to think what hobbies or interests do you have that would impress your potential employer?
Not to Do: Be honest! Don’t try to impress or try to fit in your prospective company by writing down something you don’t do!
Manage your expectations. Your hiring manager’s priority is to look for someone who can already do the tasks required of the position. They are most likely to check any candidate’s work experience and skill set first. As such, place the hobbies and interests section at the bottom of your resume.
Here are a few that you could list down.
Ever lived abroad or studied abroad? Ever organise a backpacking trip through South America? Write it down. What your interest in travel could say about you:
- You’re open minded.
- You’re adaptable.
- You’re resourceful.
- You’re curious and willing to learn new things.
If you love to travel, chances are, you have acquired helpful, career worthy soft skills during your trips.
So you’ve hammer out a deal for silk scarves while backpacking through Thailand. That shows great negotiation skills.
You navigated through websites or airline counters to try to find alternative flights when the airline has gone on strike. This shows problem solving skills.
You’ve struck up conversations with the locals, even befriended them or dined with them. This shows interpersonal skills and the ability to reach out to people of different cultures and backgrounds
You’ve visited places you’ve never been before. This shows an insatiable curiosity, and even the courage to pursue something scary.
You can put together detailed itineraries based on your interests. This shows good organisational skills.
“I tend to look at candidates who have extensive travel experience, or at the very least, have the desire to travel” notes Sheila, VP of Marketing in an entertainment startup based in Asia. “It shows that they are adaptable, and that their minds are open to change and diversity.
If you’ve actually lived or studied in a different country, this could give you an edge over everyone else. This shows openness and acceptance to different cultures and different backgrounds. This could also show that you may have unique, valuable insights gained from your time abroad.
- As with any hobby or interest you may mention, be prepared to answer questions about travel experiences. It’s best to be honest!
Your love for the game can get you the job you love. If you play sports, here’s how it could give you an advantage during the hiring process:
- It shows that you’re multi dimensional; you have a life outside of work.
- You could be a good cultural fit (depending on which sport you play).
- You are physically fit (or, at least, try to be).
Whether you are a team player, a leader, or a lone sportsman, the active pursuit of sports could reflect appealing aspects of your personality: working well with others; the drive towards a goal; good work-life balance; and even a strategic mindset.
Charles, who played in his university’s basketball varsity team and still actively plays the sport in neighborhood leagues, notes: “Playing sports has definitely given me the advantage in my career. Being in a team has taught me how to work better with others; how to recognise their strengths; and how to be humble in victory and accepting in failure.”
- Be specific if you can! Instead of saying “playing sports,” write down your precise activity. Even better, if you’re part of a team, or if you’ve won some accolades: “Captain of a team in the city-wide football league.”
Community, Volunteer or Charity Work
Your charitable spirit is an advantage! Why doing good makes you look good:
- You have project management skills.
- You are resourceful.
- You care for others and for the community.
- You have a strong sense of empathy.
- You could also be a good cultural fit.
One of my best hires would often volunteer in a home for abandoned children,” relates Andrew, a country manager. “She certainly had enough skills and experience to fulfill all the requirements of her job, which was in operations. However, it was her passion and her willingness to do something selfless that made me interested.
He continues: “During her interview, I asked her about it—she said that it was something that she started even when she was in school. Using her words, volunteering in that particular orphanage opened her mind and made her look beyond her sheltered world.”
Charity, community or volunteer work exhibits strong people skills, and reflects a well rounded lifestyle. These are not easy pursuits: this type of work often entails working in uncomfortable environments for free.
This work also entails pursuing projects such as fundraising, charity drives, events and the like. This shows potential management that you have a strong sense of leadership, as well as project management skills.
- In a resume, you can write down your community and volunteer work in a separate section—especially if it’s quite impressive!
Art, Music or Other Cultural Pursuits
Do you play the violin? Are you a standup comic? Do you like painting in oil or pastel?
What an artistic pursuit says about you:
- You are multi dimensional
- You are highly creative
- You have good focus
- You could be a good cultural fit
Whether you paint, sculpt or perform, a pursuit of an artistic pastime makes for an incredibly interesting candidate. It could also reflect an ability to relax, and the discipline in learning and in working.
Love Sudoku? Can you answer the Sunday edition of the New York Times Crossword with ease? What it tells the hiring manager:
- You have analytical and logical skills
- A love of crosswords could show an extensive vocabulary
A love for analytical games and puzzles shows that you like to exercise your mind during your downtime. If you love picture puzzles, Sudoku, crosswords, or anything that challenges your brain and helps build your mental capacity, you can mention this in your resume.
TIP: Be aware that this may also make you come across as being too quiet or closed off not a bad thing, but it could be a hindrance for a position that requires you to be more social.
So is there anything you SHOULDN’T put? You do want to stand out from everyone else. You want your fabulous self to shine.
But is there anything that you shouldn’t put in a resume?
Don’t put anything that may be a little too weird or off-beat.
Yes, this is subjective but if you have done your research on the company, then you would most likely gauge what they would consider a little too much. For instance, a company whose pillars are safety and cautiousness may not appreciate your after hours activity of drag racing or skydiving. A position that requires sociability may not care for your love of stamp collecting.
Remember: unique is good. Weird, not so good.
Don’t put anything too generic either.
You like watching TV? Great. So does everyone else.
Do you like going to the movies? Nobody cares, unless you organise film showings or are into the preservation of old movies. Do you like reading? Fantastic. Yes, it shows your fondness for learning new things. But guess what? Everyone can read.
Do you like listening to music? Good for you. It doesn’t matter to a prospective employer, though.
Unless you’re passionate about a certain type of movie or music genre or can curate personalise reading lists or playlists, this hobby or interest is not worth mentioning.
Lastly, don’t put anything politically or racially charged.
You are just alienating yourself from the hiring manager, from the company, and from your potential colleagues. They want to hire someone who would fit into the team and into the company culture.
Let’s summaries everything
The resume is the first contact a job hunter has with their prospective employer. While a hiring manager’s priority would be a candidate who has demonstrated a strong capacity for the job, that is not the only criteria when choosing that elusive Perfect Hire.
Here’s the thing: most employers would really like to see a qualified candidate with a personality, and with a broad spectrum of pursuits and skills. Hobbies and interests on a resume can certainly convey this.
However, doing research and tailor fitting your resume to a prospective position is critical to getting shortlisted.
Check and think back on your non work experiences, and see if your interests or hobbies could help you land your dream job.