Should you really include your hobbies and interests on your CV and if so, how can it help you secure a job?

One of the most common conundrums job seekers face when writing their CV is whether or not to include their hobbies and interests. On the one hand, you want a potential employer to be able to get to know the real you but on the other, you question whether or not they really care about what you get up to in your spare time.

Below we answer this question once and for all as well as share some helpful tips and advice about what to include if you do add your hobbies to your resume.

Should I include my hobbies and interests?

Hiring managers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of seeking out candidates who not only have the right skills and qualifications, but who are also likely to be the right cultural fit for the company.

Listing your hobbies and interests is a great way to provide a bit of extra information about yourself so potential employers can gauge whether you’ll have things in common with other employees. If you’re applying for a role at a technology company for example and you say you enjoy creating videos in your spare time, chances are you’ll fit in well with the brand.

Other benefits of including your hobbies and interests on your CV include:

  • It helps you stand out from other candidates,
  • It lets you get a bit of your personality across. You can read more about why it’s important to show off your personality on your CV here,
  • It enables you to talk about any charity work or achievements you’re proud of,
  • It can help you find common ground with your interviewer which can break the ice during interviews.

This last point could be key, as increasingly more interviewers and hiring managers know that unless you are both at ease and relaxed during an interview, they won't find out what you are really capable of. And how better to make you fee at ease than get you talking about something you are passionate about, but are not being evaluated on?

At the end of the day, as long as you keep this section professional, it can’t do any harm. Some employers aren’t interested in reading about your hobbies but they’re happy to skip past this section and focus on your skills and qualifications.

Which of my interests should I include?

As we mentioned above, it’s worth remembering that your CV is a professional document and there are some interests you probably should leave off the list. If you can happily spend an entire Saturday playing video games in your pyjamas for example, a recruiter probably doesn’t want to hear this. Similarly, things like "surfing the internet" or "online shopping" don't qualify as hobbies or interests.

If you can, try to list your hobbies which are relevant to the role or the company. If the business is in the food industry for example, you might like to say you enjoy baking or trying out new restaurants. If it’s in the healthcare industry, keeping fit would be a good thing to mention or a marketing professional could mention the fact they have their own blog.

Your hobbies don’t have to be directly related to the job. There are many transferable skills which could be applicable to your application. Your acting classes could really help in the sales industry or playing for a local football team can demonstrate how well you work in a team.

If you decide to include your hobbies and interests, keep it simple. A few bullet points at the end of the document is more than enough. If you need help putting together your resume, please get in touch with us about our CV writing service and we’ll be more than happy to help.