Should You Put Your Hobbies and Interests on Your CV or Resume?
It's good to have hobbies. They're fun, get you out of the house and can sometimes give you some engaging stories to tell your friends down the pub. Whether or not you should tell a potential recruiter all about them though is another matter.
There are those who recommend not adding hobbies at all while others advocate dedicating space for a separate hobbies and interests section, so it can be confusing to know which side to fall down on.
We've compiled some of the arguments both for and against including your hobbies and interests before offering our thoughts on the best course of action.
Arguments for yes
Hobbies can often be relevant to the job you're applying for - This can be the case more often than you might think. For example being part of a sports team can show aptitude for teamwork, or if you're into ametuer dramtics you can really highlight your confidence and communication skills.
They can help if you don't have a lot of practical work experience - Hobbies and interests can be especially useful for school and university leavers as they won't have much (if any) practical work experience. Their hobbies and interests might be the only option they have outside of school work to show off their skills. Here, hobbies like volunteering can really come into their own in making you stand out.
They add some personality to your CV - Hobbies reveal more about your personality, give an employer more of an idea of what drives you and generally just makes your application sound that little bit more human. It also helps them to determine if you'd be a good fit for the values of their organisation.
A well written hobbies and interests section can help differentiate you from other candidates - In cases where candidates have very similar skill sets and qualifications a recruiter might struggle to choose which ones to put forward for interview. If one has hobbies and interests listed though, this can make them stand out against a candidate that doesn't and could find themselves advancing.
Arguments for no
They take up valuable space - Your CV is prime real estate. Adding hobbies takes up valuable space that could be used to sell your work skills that have a direct relation to the job you're applying for.
Not relevant - Many hobbies and interests just won't be relevant. We have hobbies to enjoy ourselves and some just won't have any transferable skills.
Recruiters not interested - If a recruiter has to read through several hundred applications in a day it's more than likely they'll be skim reading to get the most relevant information. Reading often irrelevant hobbies can quickly make them lose interest and reject your application.
Adding too many hobbies can make you look less professional - Overloading this section may make it look like you didn't pick up any relevant experience through your working career and are quite self-centred.
If you have a lot of previous work experience there's no need to include hobbies, the skills and achievement of your past roles should speak for themselves. Although if you have some particularly interesting hobbies you might want to include them in a short summary. Remember to always make sure it's relevant to the job though!
If you have limited work experience, are fresh out of education or have some long career gaps, then it's definitely worth putting in a more detailed hobbies and interests section.
Ultimately though, the final decision will be up to you. Depending on the industry you're applying to, you may feel an expanded hobbies section could be either an advantage or a disadvantage. As long as you don't just write, "taking naps, eating and drinking" as your hobbies you should be just fine.