The Dos And Don’ts Of Listing Your Hobbies And Interests On Your Resume
18 December 202110 min read
Wisedoc Expert Team

One of the many questions asked when compiling a resume is whether prospective employees should add hobbies and interests to their resume. The short answer is yes, you should add a hobbies and interests’ section to your resume. However, it’s not as easy as putting down everything that interests you. A resume should be a comprehensive reflection of the candidate, but there’s only so much you can fit onto a resume before completely overloading it to the point where it’s too convoluted, even for the most eagle-eyed hiring manager.

What to expect from your 10-minute read:
  1. Questions to ask yourself when adding hobbies and interests on a resume
  2. Examples of hobbies and interests to include on a resume
  3. The dos and don’ts of hobbies and interesting on your resume
Four questions to ask yourself when adding hobbies and interests on a resume

A common question a hiring manager poses to a potential employee is, “what are your hobbies?” The reason many hiring decision-makers ask this question is that the candidate has almost nothing about themselves except for their academic and professional accolades, but what about the person themselves?

Let’s look at four questions you should ask yourself when adding hobbies and interests to your resume.

[fig 2] Hobbies&Interests on resume

"Is this appropriate to share?"

Asking yourself whether something is appropriate is what you should ask yourself for each section of your resume, including the hobbies and interests’ sections. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager or to whom it may concern when browsing your resume.

If you would see this written on another resume and question whether it was appropriate, then, chances are, it’s not appropriate to share on your resume.

“Is this relevant?”

Remember, there’s only so much space on a resume. It’s ideal to keep your resume one page in length. Check out our article on Beginners guide for writing a stunning resume for more tips. You don’t want to overload your resume with so much information that there’s little white space. This will make your resume look cluttered, which increases its chance of going into the dread pile of rejects.

Almost everyone loves to unwind at the end of the day and turn on their favorite streaming service, but “Netflix Connoisseur” won’t impress any hiring decision-makers.

“Does this prove interactivity?”

Is this hobby or interest something you do with another human being? Is your list of hobbies and interests painting you as anti-social? Sure, adding mindfulness is typically a solo activity, but it proves you have a commonly healthy outlet for stress.

However, if all your hobbies and interests lean towards solo activities, then it might make the hiring manager assume that you’re not a people person. If the hiring manager asks about any solo activities listed, mention that you are part of a club or group that does it together.

“Is this true?”

To say people have never been dishonest on a resume would itself be a lie. It’s easy to add hobbies and interests you’ve never done or are not remotely interested in just so it falls in line with the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a management position at a garden center, don’t put “botany” as an interest if you have never actually studied plants.

If you feel your fabricated hobby or interest could come up in conversation during an interview, then don’t include it. Most of the time, hiring managers can pick out inconsistencies and body language.

Examples of hobbies and interests to include on a resume
Everyone loves to travel, but what does listing travel say about you as a person? Traveling takes you to new places. When you travel, you learn, adapt, and overcome any obstacles that get in the way. These personality traits translate well into the workplace.
Yoga, and the aforementioned mindfulness, are normally both solo activities. They are also done in groups, but that’s not the main impressive point for adding them to your list of hobbies and activities.

The hiring manager will see these and know you have a means for controlling your breathing, improving your concentration, and relaxing your mind. Having personal means of stress relief reduces the possibility that you’ll be another turnover statistic.

[fig 1] Hobbies&Interests on resume

Clubs, Organization, or Community Involvement
Are you a part of any clubs or organizations? Are any of these clubs or organizations relevant to the position you’re applying for? Do you have a leadership position or are involved in the community?

Be careful when adding any irrelevant clubs or organizations, especially if they have strong political associations or are controversial in any way. The only time you would add any associations you have with political clubs or organizations is if they’re directly relevant to the position. It’s best to be cautious and list the pros and cons before listing any clubs you’re a part on the resume if there’s no relevance to the industry.

Blogging is an interesting choice to add to the hobbies and interest’s section of your resume, especially if you’re applying for the marketing industry. Even if the industry you’re pursuing doesn’t involve blogging, it’s still an attractive hobby to add to your hobbies and interest’s section.

The employer might ask you about anything you’ve written to get some insight into who you are outside of work. Showing professionalism and organization through the written word only makes you look better to a hiring manager.

Other Examples of Hobbies and Interests to Add on A Resume
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Public Speaking
  • Sports
  • Theater
  • Art
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Web Development
  • Podcasting
The Dos and Don’ts of hobbies and interests on your resume

Here are some additional rules to follow when listing your hobbies and interests on your resume.

DO look for relevancy on their job description.
Look through the company’s website, and job description and do your research for relevancy. Does it look like they focus on the mental, physical, and emotional health of their employees? If so, then adding relevant hobbies and interests, such as mindfulness and exercise, will strengthen your resume.
DON’T add anything as a joke
Even if the company you’re applying for seems lighthearted and fun, you only have so much space on your resume to add relevant information. Also, something may come off as a joke to you, but it could easily be misinterpreted. It’s not worth the risk.
DO put the hobbies and interests in a separate section
Even if some of your hobbies and interests are relevant to the position, you don’t want to lump them together with your work experience and skills. Keep the hobbies and interests section labeled, so it’s easier for the hiring manager not to confuse them with hard or soft skills needed for the job.
DON’T overwhelm with your hobbies and interests
Finally, it’s easy to get creative when writing about your hobbies or interests. They’re interests for a reason. You shouldn’t get too carried away with listing your hobbies and interests. Before you know, your list will take up half the page and the bulk of your resume should focus on more important sections.

The hobbies and interests’ section of your resume is there to supplement your resume. It helps give the potential employer an idea of who you are as a person.

Keep your hobbies and interests’ section effective, brief, and, most importantly, keep it relevant.
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Wisedoc Expert Team
Wisedoc's team of experts organizes the key learnings of career growth from recruiter's point of view and help users to add right content in their career profiles.