Reading, Cooking, Swimming – Who CARES?
We are often asked if you should include a section on Hobbies and Interests on your CV. Some say it’s a way to give potential employers a glimpse of you outside the work setting. Others argue it’s a waste of valuable CV space and employers don’t care if you like to read, jog or do pilates in your spare time! Generally speaking the more senior you are in your career the less relevant or useful this section is.
Here are some guidelines:
Recent Graduates? Yes you absolutely HAVE to include some but call the section Interests and Achievements rather than Hobbies
Senior Level Roles?: Don’t include. Use the space to tell them something impressive you have achieved in your career
Everyone Else?: Use your judgement but if you are going to include them then make your interests ACHIEVEMENT based and that show you have some of the key skills required for the job eg Leadership and Good Communication Skills
Walking – member of local hill walking club and have organised walks to raise funds for local charities
Swimming – train with club and have helped with junior swimming classes
International Cuisine –enthusiastically attempt new recipes on friends and family.
Sport – member of local soccer team and train underage teams
Reading – founder member of local book club. Recently invited leading local author Max Readalot to speak at our club
The Interests and Achievements section is also the place to include things like:
Holder of full (clean-let’s hope!) driving licence, Proficiency in Languages, Nominated for Best Salesperson Award from Clients, Awarded Gold Medal for end of year assignment in college, Anything that demonstrates an interest in the job subject – eg you are applying for an IT role so you could mention that you contribute to several IT related blogs.
Employers need to see skills and competencies coming through in every line of your CV – you are wasting an opportunity if you just list interests and hobbies and don’t take the opportunity to make them achievement based.
We once reviewed a CV where the candidate had put “playing the playstation and going to the pub with my friends” in their Interests and Hobbies. He is probably still wondering why he hasn’t been called for one interview.
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