The Dos and Don’ts of Listing Your Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume
18 December 202110 min read
Wisedoc
Wisedoc
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 it really depends.

Not everyone should list their hobbies on their resume, and not all the hobbies are worthwhile to be listed.

Remember that 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.

Let’s understand the whole picture before we make a move.

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

Why add hobbies and interests on a resume

So what are hobbies and what are interests?

A hobby is a recreational activity, interest, or pastime done in one’s spare time for enjoyment or relaxation. In short, you are doing it for fun.

Interests are topics about which a person is interested and wants to learn more. They can be short-term or long-term and are focused on an activity, idea, event, or issue. People usually do on an irregular basis.

So what is the differences between hobbies and interests?

Participating actively in hobbies allows one to participate in a sport or activity. More often than not, interests are feelings or urge to learn more about something.

Why you should consider adding hobbies and interests to your resume

  • You don't have that much work and educational experience to present
  • Recruiter requests it
  • It will help the recruiter see a more complete picture of you
  • Extracurricular activities demonstrate to the recruiter that you are a well-rounded individual who, in addition to working, enjoys having fun
  • Active participation in sports demonstrates that you are active, energetic, and outgoing
  • Participation in the community indicates that you have good interpersonal skills
  • Asking yourself before adding hobbies and interests on a resume

    As I mentioned before, not everyone needs this section. However, if you think you are the person who may benefit from the hobbies and interests section, then the following questions may help you quickly figure out what exactly you want to put in this section.

    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 to the job?”

    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.

    “Are all your hobbies and interests solo activities?”

    If all your hobbies and interests lean towards solo activities, that may be problem. It might make the hiring manager assume that you’re not a people person, which you know that is not true.

    Better to list some activities that require teamwork, which indicate that you can work well with others. And When 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.

    How to list hobbies and interests on your resume
  • Include those hobbies that are relevant to the job description and the company: Job description, company website, social media profiles, and job reviews are the best resources for you to validate whether your listed hobbies and interests are relevant or not.
  • Donot add more than 5 hobbies or interests: Too many listings can make recruiters think you're more focused on things other than work and study.
  • Keep it short and to the point: Too many listings can make recruiters think you're more focused on things other than work and study.
  • Put hobbies and interests at the bottom of your reusme: This is just a supplementary section to you, and it should not be more important than the skills or the work and study experience you have.
  • 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 may negatively impact your application
    Things like dangerous activities, criminal activities, anti-social activities, personal opinions, and misinterpreted activities you never want to add to your resume. You don't want your employer to worry about whether you will cause trouble for the company in the future.
    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.

    [fig 1] Hobbies&Interests on resume

    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.

    Examples of hobbies and interests to include on a resume
    Travel
    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
    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.

    Puzzles
    Your interest in board games or other sorts of gaming can exhibit your strategic and objective skillset to your potential employer.
    Blogging

    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.

    Volunteering

    Social interests are excellent because you will be engaging with other people in most careers, thus they will assist you in some way. Even more so if the role is one of leadership. In today's world, almost every job requires you to interact with other people in some way. Demonstrating that you can work with people will always benefit your job application.

    Other Examples of Hobbies and Interests to Add on A Resume
    • Music
    • Reading
    • Public Speaking
    • Cycling
    • Chess
    • Pottery
    • Design
    • Photography
    • Cooking
    • Web Development
    • Podcasting
    • Jogging
    Keep your hobbies and interests’ section effective, brief, and, most importantly, keep it relevant.
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