On your resume, listing your skills, duties, and responsibilities won’t do. To land that dream gig, you need to highlight your achievements. Here’s how.
We're about to discuss putting hobbies and interests on a resume, but think about this, first:
What are your hobbies? What are your interests?
"I like traveling and long walks on the beach,” said anyone who’s ever struggled to be interesting on a date.
We’ve all been there.
Finding interesting and exciting things to say about yourself isn't easy.
Any many experts will tell you that you should never, ever list examples of hobbies and interests on a resume.
What if I told you though that there are times when you should? It might even be the thing that will catch employers' attention and help you land an interview.
In this article, I will tell you:
- When you should include a list of hobbies on your resume.
- What hobbies in a resume work best.
- How to add examples of hobbies and interests to your resume.
Important: When you read the article, and you're still not sure how to put your hobbies on a resume, make sure you ask a question in the comments section.
Just remember a list of good hobbies for a resume is not mandatory. Place them at the bottom of the resume - let me show you an example.
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Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.
Why Put a List of Hobbies and Interests on a Resume?
What are interests?
Interests are subjects that you’re interested in and want to learn more about. An example could be an interest in history if you enjoy visiting museums.
Interests are useful to underline topics that you have in common with the company you’re applying to.
So what are hobbies?
Hobbies are activities you enjoy doing in your spare time. These can be things you do for fun like drawing or gardening.
Include your hobbies on your resume to demonstrate skills that you’ve acquired outside your job experience.
Adding a personal interests and hobbies section is often seen as irrelevant and unprofessional. Yet, the culture is changing.
A lot of companies are no longer looking for mere minions to sit and drink coffee and answer phones all day. They want them to fit in with their work culture.
Take a look at this: Google hires people who are open and playful.
Because that's Google's work culture.
And Google wants new employees to fit in with their other workers and the culture of their office.
So, if you wanted to apply to Google, how could you let them know that you fit?
- Not putting a list of hobbies and interests on a resume.
- Listing "sports" and "film" in the hobbies and interests section of your resume.
- Carefully choosing unique hobbies for your resume that show that you are an open and playful person.
The correct answer is 3. Why?
If you want to work at Google, you should tailor your resume (check this infographic) so that your best hobbies match their work culture.
On the other hand, if you are applying to a buttoned-up accounting firm, you might want to skip putting examples of hobbies in your resume altogether.
How do you decide what is the best list of interests and hobbies to put on a CV? I'll show you everything step by step - just keep reading.
And if you want a quick way to check if your resume is good enough to land you that dream job, here’s a handy checklist for you: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume. Give it a read once you’ve finished polishing up your resume.
Here's What Your Hobbies and Interests Say About You
Here's the thing - most of the hobbies and interests you put on your resume will say something specific about you to the hiring manager.
So, selecting examples of hobbies for your resume is about choosing what aspects of your personality you want to emphasize and communicate.
List of personal interests for a resume:
- Individual Sports (Marathon Running) - You're fit and enjoy challenges.
- Team Sports (Basketball) - You excel at teamwork and have leadership skills.
- Extreme Sports (Motocross) - You're a risk taker.
- Tech Hobbies (Computing) - You're tech savvy and analytically minded.
- Puzzles (Crosswords) - You're a logical thinker with problem-solving skills.
- Games (Chess) - You're an analytical strategist.
- Social Hobbies (Mentoring) - You communicate well and connect with others.
- Art (Sculpting) - You are a creative thinker.
- Computer Games - You like to play in a team and know how to destress.
- Travel - You enjoy new experiences.
- Music (Playing Guitar) - You are willing to learn new skills and practice.
- Reading (Books) - You are imaginative and have a wide vocabulary.
- Cooking - You are able to follow instructions and improvise.
- Writing (Blogging) - You are able to communicate and network with others.
See what these hobbies can mean? Of course, there are thousands of examples of hobbies that you could put on your resume.
But you should always do your best to interest your hiring manager. That will give you a much better chance at landing an interview.
So how to choose examples of hobbies and interests for your resume? How can you show your hiring manager that you're a good fit?
Read on! I'll show you everything step by step.
Pro Tip: If you want to save time and find out how to write a resume for your profession, take a look at our guides and examples of resumes for different jobs.
How to Find Good Interests to Put on Your Resume
A. Research the Company to Find Out What Personal Interests to Put on a Resume
You should always start by researching the company. Do they have a particular work culture?
Would they find a unique hobbies and interests section on your resume valuable?
Where should you look to find out what to put in your personal interests and hobbies section?
- Start with the job description. Most job offers will have a list of traits that companies wish the new employee to have.
- Second, take a quick look around their website. Especially pay attention to any employee profiles.
- Next, check social media accounts (LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook).
- End with any press you can find and check out company reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
Make sure you also pay attention to the skills that will be useful for the new position. What are the best skills to put on a resume? Read our guide: What Skills to Put on a Resume? [Examples+ 6 Tips]
B. Choose Wisely - Personal Interests to Include on a Resume
When you choose examples of good hobbies to put on a CV, try to match them to desired personality traits.
If the job requires you to be “outgoing and a good team player,” sports are good hobbies to mention on your resume.
Leave out the bit where you like to sit alone in sweatpants knitting.
|Basketball (Team sport exhibiting both qualities.)||Stamp Collecting (Introverted, individualistic activity.)|
At the same time, do try to choose a variety of activities.
By providing a variety of unique activities, you can show that you are:
First, flexible enough to be comfortable in a lot of different situations.
Second, relatable to a range of different people.
Both are important, especially if you are applying for a client-facing position.
Need more tips on how to use the information from the job description to quickly tailor your resume? Read our guide with an infographic: 6 Proven Tips on How to Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description
C. Use a List of Hobbies to Flesh Out Your Skill Set
You can also select examples of good hobbies for a resume that fill in gaps in your skill set.
Jack has gaps in his skill set because he's only had a handful of internships in the past.
Now, Jack is applying for a position as a graphic designer.
It might be a good idea for Jack to prove he has an eye for visuals by choosing relevant hobbies to list on his resume.
For example: Photography.
Choosing a related hobby reinforces the fact that Jack has the skills necessary for the job.
Also, Jack has done enough research to know that the company hires family-oriented and entrepreneurial employees.
So, he's decided to write about how he is an occasional freelance photographer for weddings.
Be like Jack.
Take your resume to the next level by matching your list of hobbies to the work culture of your chosen company.
The tool will give you loads of useful tips for every section of your resume. Take a look at some sample resume templates (see more):
Sample resume templates from our resume builder - create your resume here
D. Examples of Hobbies to Mention at the Bottom of Your Resume
Your resume needs to be short and relevant, and so does your list of hobbies.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your resume doesn’t exceed two pages (read more). To keep it short, only include two or three relevant resume hobbies.
If you need to make cuts, your list of hobbies and interests should be the first things to go.
You may feel tempted to list your best hobbies in a resume:
- Football, reading, traveling.
It’s more effective if you provide a brief, specific description:
- I teach ballet classes three time a week for children with disabilities.
- I volunteer at my local soup kitchen on weekends.
- I enjoy playing chess, and I started a chess club for the elderly in my community.
Adding a list of interests and hobbies at the bottom of the page is a great way to end your resume. And it may help you make an impression on the recruiter.
If you want to know how to start your resume with a bang, read our guides about resume summaries or resume objectives. They include a lot of actionable examples that you can quickly use to write a perfect opening for your resume.
Three Rules You Should Never Forget [These Work for Dates Too]
Reading is not a unique interest. Reading complicated Russian novels is more specific. List some of your favorite authors. It will also help a recruiter remember you.
|Reading complicated Russian novels.||Reading|
Stay away from using examples of hobbies for a resume that aren’t true to you. It could come back to haunt you.
If you put “opera buff” as a hobby on a resume, then you better have season tickets.
It won’t be fun when the recruiter turns out to be an Offenbach enthusiast, and it comes out that the closest you’ve ever been to a stage was the one time you watched Phantom of the Opera on Netflix.
|Watching Broadway Musicals.||Opera Buff|
Keep your level of weird low:
It is one thing to be unique, but be careful not to cross the line into the Twilight Zone.
It’s okay to volunteer at an animal shelter, but we all know what cat hoarding implies.
The golden rule of dinner parties is also applicable for examples of interests to mention on a resume:
Always avoid politics, religion, or sex.
This is an easy way to alienate someone whose views are different from yours.
Remember, you want to be relatable and likable.
|I volunteer at my local animal shelter.||I collect cats compulsively.|
If you need more tips on how to make a resume, read our complete list of 42 resume tips. We divided all the tips into quick 2, 5 or 30-minute fixes: 42 Amazing Resume Tips That You Can Use in 30 Minutes [Examples]
The Best Hobby and Interest Ideas to Include on a Resume
So what happens if you are unable to come up with any good hobbies?
What happens if the best hobbies for your resume are boring?
Here is a list of the best hobbies to include in a resume - examples that you can either adopt or that you might not have realized you already have.
Sports - Individual and Team
This could include anything from marathon running and yoga to basketball and football. It’s best to avoid extreme sports because they are risky.
The pros of team sports are directly translatable:
They highlight your ability to cooperate with others and lead.
Individual sports may imply that teamwork isn’t your strong suit. Try to focus on the perseverance and drive that it takes to do something like marathon running.
Examples of Hobbies for a Resume - Sports:
- Marathon Running
Hobbies like chess, trivia, or playing a musical instrument display analytical and creative skills.
Examples of Hobbies for a Resume - Thought Hobbies:
- Playing the Trombone
It doesn’t matter if you collect stamps, coins, or rocks. The management of collections shows strong attention to detail and a passion for your personal interests. Just remember - no cats.
Examples of Hobbies for a Resume - Collections:
- Action Figures
- Rare Books
Social Hobbies - Volunteering or Mentoring
Social hobbies on a resume are great - you work well with other people and are altruistic.
Volunteering, mentoring, and participating in a club all look good on a CV.
Examples of Hobbies for a Resume - Social Activities:
- Volunteering at a Local Soup Kitchen
- Volunteering at Your Local Library
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Garden Club
- Book Clubs
Also, read our guide on describing your achievements on a resume. This is one of the most important resume tips out there: Examples of Professional Achievements to Put on a Resume [3 Tips]
How Putting Examples of Interests and Hobbies on a Resume Benefits You
Adding a unique interests and hobbies section has hidden benefits.
Recruiters, searching for candidates, shuffle through hundreds of resumes looking for the right people.
It is important for the interviewer to be able to create a full image of an applicant.
A list of interests on a resume can help you stand out from the crowd. They can also make you more attractive and memorable to your potential employer.
You are a champion cupcake decorator. That will stick with a recruiter and get your foot in the door before someone else.
It also works in reverse:
If you know who will be conducting your interview, put on your Sherlock cap and do some snooping. Find out if you have personal interests in common with them by checking their LinkedIn profile.
Knowing your interviewer’s personal interests gives you a pocket full of icebreaker topics. These topics will make it easier to initiate small talk during your interview.
Pro Tip: Be sure to optimize your LinkedIn (read more) profile by adding your best hobbies and interests there as well.
Just like dating, listing your best hobbies is a way for other people to get to know you.
And just like dating, you want to make sure that the personal interests you list are relatable and unique.
Here are the best personal interests for a resume:
- Volunteer Work
- Creative Writing
- Sports (Walking, Running, Crossfit, Tennis)
- Club Memberships
And remember: employers are looking for people who will fit in with their company.
So your personal interests help them understand that you are exactly the type of person they want.
It’s all about using the five hacks to pick which exciting hobbies to include. If you need more information on how to make a perfect resume, read our complete guide here: How to Make a Resume – The Only Guide You Need [Examples]
Bonus: The ultimate checklist of 56 things you need to do before you send your resume. How many have you missed? Download: “Resume 101 Checklist.”
So what exciting hobbies are you going to put on your resume? Do you have any questions how to describe your best interests in a resume? Leave a comment.