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.
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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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
- Public Speaking
- Web Development
Here are some additional rules to follow when listing your hobbies and interests on your resume.
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.