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Imagine a hiring manager is flipping through hundreds of CVs. Other than checking if you're qualified through your skills and work experience, they would also be searching for a candidate who stands out and will match well with the team and the company's culture.
So the question here is: How would they know if YOU are the candidate that suits the position AND the company culture?
The answer is simple, the interests and hobbies on your CV will portray that.
But what's the difference between hobbies and interests, you might ask.
While hobbies are activities that you enjoy doing in your spare time. Interests, on the other hand, are things or subjects that fascinate and pique your curiosity. You might be interested in art, but you can't say art is your hobby.
Continue reading to find out the appropriate circumstances to write hobbies and interests on a CV, how you should list hobbies and interests for your CV, a list of good hobbies and interests for a CV that recruiters find agreeable, and more expert tips for writing hobbies and interests for CV.
It is known that most recruiters spend less than a minute looking at a CV. Also, with the limited space of your resume, you want to make sure you don't leave out any essential information.
With that being said, there are circumstances where it is fitting to have your personal interests on your CV.
It's always better to have an “Interests” section in your CV than an empty space. Leaving a significant blank area on your CV will make you look like you don't have anything to offer on the table, and no one will perceive it positively.
Say you're applying for a position in a marketing and advertising firm and one of your hobbies happens to be painting and sketching. Those examples of hobbies on your CV are good because it shows that you understand design and visual art.
For fresh-out-of-college job seekers, one of the ways to grab the hiring manager's attention is with an eye-catching field of interest in your CV.
In this case, it's a non-negotiable. But keep in mind to put down only relevant hobbies and interests in your CV that reinforce your skill sets.
Some companies highly value personalities that can enrich the work environment. Thus they will prefer someone who is not only professionally qualified but also who gets the company's morals.
Here are some other reasons why you should list down hobbies and interests on a CV:
Having a hobbies and interests section on your CV will allow you to show recruiters that you are, after all, just a human being with different passions, likes, and dislikes. On your CV, activities, and interests can also reflect qualities that the company finds valuable, and it will help you to stand out from other candidates.
Moreover, the area of interest in your CV can amplify your work experience and/or educational background. It can also be another means for you to demonstrate the characteristics and skills that the employer requires.
And lastly, another benefit of having your hobbies and interests listed on your CV is it will make it easier for the hiring manager to approach you since your field of interest has complied with the company's culture.
The key in curating the best CV activities and interests section is selecting the right hobbies and areas of interest for your CV, and here's how:
By reading the job carefully, you can comprehend what skills are important to conduct the job. This will help you understand which of your interests would align with the company’s and will help you become a more suitable candidate in their eyes.
Go to their website and other social media accounts to check out the things they promote (outside of their products and/or services, obviously). For instance, major corporations usually have to publish a CSR report annually and from these reports, you can analyze what the companies value most.
Write every hobby and interest you have, go over them and examine which ones will make you look good if you incorporate them in your CV’s interests and hobbies field.
Now that you've selected the interests and hobbies to be put on your CV, you might wonder, what to write for interests and hobbies in a CV?
"Can I just write 'video games' or 'a foodie' in the area of interest on my CV?"
First off, there is no right or wrong way to write hobbies and interests in a CV. However, there are always better ways to present them. Here, we've laid everything out for you to choose:
Using bullet points to list hobbies and interests in your CV is the simplest way and it is straightforward. But at the same time, it is unclear and can come across as lazy. Because there is no further explanation when you opt to write with the bulleted list, whatever you put is a free interpretation depending on the reader.
Here’s an example list of hobbies and interests for CV using bullet points:
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
A different way you can write hobbies for your CV is by adopting an expanded bullet list format. This way, you can elaborate your personal interest on the CV – what the hobby/interest entails, how the specific hobby/interest contributes to your skill set, or how long you have been involved in this area of interest, to name a few. However, this type of writing can take up a lot of space, so be aware of that.
Here’s an expanded bulleted list of hobbies and interests on a CV example:
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
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It is important to note the hobbies and interests you mention on your CV tell a story about who you are as a person. Hence, you want to create an appealing narrative by choosing the "right" hobbies and interests for your CV.
So, what are the best hobbies for a CV?
Don't worry, we've compiled a list of the interesting hobbies for a CV that you can consider based on the skills they "say" about you.
We're almost done, just a few more insider tips for you. Then, you can start making your CV complete with the hobbies and interests section in your CV.
Try to leave as little ambiguity as possible to prevent the hiring manager from perceiving your hobby or interest negatively.
Although you need to be specific, don't elaborate the interests in your CV with too many words that it starts taking too much space on your CV. Work with the space you have left.
List 3-5 hobbies and interests for a CV. The hobbies and interests section on your CV might help you stand out, but it's not the main selling aspect of your CV, so it’s best to keep them short.
The list of hobbies and interests on your CV, your hobbies and interests section should always be put last as they serve more as an addition. You might even consider not including them at all if you have more important things to add to your CV.
To avoid bias and discrimination, you shouldn’t include the below types of hobbies and interests:
🔑 Key Takeaways:
Although it might seem like an easy section to fill out, the CV activities and interests part should be well-curated just like the rest of your CV content. Personal interests on a CV should be done attentively and intentionally because you want them to speak to the recruiter that they strengthen your skills to fulfill the job position, and resonate with the company's culture. Ultimately, a perfect CV is one that is the most relevant to the job.
--- Originally written by Teresa Edria ---