Listing hobbies and interests on your CV (With examples)

17 April 2024

When an employer peruses a CV, your employment history and educational background convey your accomplishments, but delving into hobbies and interests unveils your identity. This section provides recruiters insights into your motivations, passions, and areas of excellence beyond the professional sphere. Integrating such details allows you to display your personality and differentiate yourself from other candidates. In this article, we delve into the optimal timing for including a hobbies and interests section and offer guidance on crafting one that enhances your chances of securing an interview.

Hobbies vs interests

While hobbies and interests can bear similarities and occasionally intersect, discerning their differences can aid in crafting this section effectively.

What defines hobbies?

Hobbies encompass activities you derive pleasure from engaging in regularly at an amateur level. If you participate in them as part of a group or allocate dedicated time for their pursuit, they likely qualify as hobbies.

Here's a breakdown of hobbies commonly featured on CVs:

  • Team sports: Such as football, rugby, or cricket.
  • Solo sports: Including golf, running, or swimming.
  • Tech hobbies: Engaging in e-sports or attending coder dojos.
  • Wellness practices: Embracing yoga or weightlifting.
  • Knowledge-based hobbies: Joining quiz teams, local history groups, or attending lectures.
  • Creative pursuits: Such as writing, blogging, or painting.
  • Outdoor endeavors: Such as cycling, hiking, or gardening.
  • Craft hobbies: Involving DIY projects, sewing, or woodworking.
  • Musical activities: Participating in choirs, playing instruments, or composing.
  • Community engagements: Volunteering for local organizations or charities.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting an Effective CV: Tips and Examples

What are interests?

An interest signifies a deep passion for something. Unlike hobbies, interests may not be pursued in a structured manner, but they still hold significant personal value.

Typical interests highlighted on CVs encompass:

  • Travel: Exploring various destinations or a keen interest in the language and culture of specific countries.
  • Culture: Appreciating cinema, literature, art, and music.
  • Academic pursuits: Fascination with subjects like psychology, sociology, and politics.
  • Social advocacy: Involvement in local or global causes.
  • Technology: Delving into programming, hardware development, or social media.
  • Nature: Engaging in activities like growing one's own food, outdoor exploration, or contributing to environmental preservation efforts.

When is it appropriate to include a hobbies and interests section on my CV?

Your CV serves as a concise snapshot of your career trajectory thus far, providing recruiters with an initial assessment of whether you're a candidate worth advancing to the interview stage, where you can talk about yourself in greater depth. There are a few scenarios in which a hobbies and interests section can improve your CV, including:

  • Limited work experience: For those entering the job market for the first time, a hobbies and interests section can complement a modest employment history. By showcasing activities that highlight traits such as being active, dynamic, curious, outgoing, or resourceful, you can present yourself as possessing qualities that resonate with potential employers.
  • Relevance to the role: Certain hobbies and interests can demonstrate valuable skills or knowledge applicable in the workplace. For instance, serving as a treasurer for a club indicates proficiency in cash handling and accounting, beneficial for positions involving financial responsibilities. Similarly, involvement in creating video game mods reflects expertise in programming, software design, and creative problem-solving, soft skills sought after in computer development roles and beyond.
  • Career transitions: When transitioning to a new career path, opting for a functional CV that emphasizes skills over specific work experiences may be advantageous. Integrating hobbies and interests into this format can complement your skills and abilities section. If your extracurricular pursuits align with your desired career, highlighting them can underscore your expertise or enthusiasm for the field.
  • Utilizing available space: With CVs typically spanning one to two pages, any unused space can be effectively utilized. If there's room to spare at the end of a one-page or two-page CV, incorporating a hobbies and interests section can fill this space purposefully, ensuring a comprehensive representation of your profile.

Selecting the right content for your hobbies and interests section

While everyone possesses a diverse array of pastimes, some are better suited for inclusion on your CV than others. To ensure this section is impactful, prioritize the most pertinent details. When making your selections, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Be specific: Provide precise details about your hobbies and interests to offer clarity.
  2. Highlight practiced skills: Showcase the skills you actively cultivate through your hobbies.
  3. Emphasize transferrable skills: Highlight how your hobbies develop skills relevant to the workplace.
  4. Relate to the role: Connect your hobbies or interests to the requirements of the position you're applying for to demonstrate their relevance.

Related: The Best Extracurricular Activities to Include on Your CV: Boost Your Resume

1. Be specific

While concise phrases can capture each hobby and interest, offering detailed explanations enhances the depth of your CV. Consider elaborating on how you engage with a hobby or interest, the duration of your involvement, and any affiliations with relevant organizations. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

  • Education: Demonstrate your commitment by mentioning any online courses you're undertaking related to your interest. Following relevant blogs or publications showcases your dedication to staying informed about recent developments.
  • Projects: Highlight any relevant projects you've undertaken, such as building your own gaming PC, to demonstrate practical application of your interest.
  • Event Participation: If you regularly attend lectures, public meetings, or discussion groups related to your interest, mention these activities to underscore your engagement.
  • Travel: Showcase your dedication by detailing trips to festivals or conventions where you interact with fellow enthusiasts or deliver presentations related to your interest.
  • Club Memberships: Instead of simply listing 'films' as a hobby, provide a more detailed description such as 'Participating in film critique sessions with my local cinema club'.

2. Highlight practiced skills

Hobbies and interests offer a platform to demonstrate your dynamic and professional qualities. To further enhance this section, utilize active verbs to convey your engagement. This approach reinforces the notion of dedication and effort invested in pursuing hobbies and interests. For instance, rather than simply stating 'Video games', consider phrases like 'Organizing online teams', 'Developing mods and patches', or 'Competing in e-sport leagues' to underscore your active involvement and skill development.

3. Emphasize transferrable skills

Hobbies and interests often encompass skills that seamlessly translate into the workplace. Make sure to highlight any of the following if applicable:

  • Leadership: Showcase your leadership skills by mentioning roles such as captain of your five-a-side team or organizer of the local walking club.
  • Communication: Emphasize communication skills developed through activities such as public speaking or writing within your hobby.
  • Technological proficiency: If you've launched a website, managed social media channels, or developed an app, highlight your technological aptitude.
  • Organization: Highlight organizational skills gained from tasks like coordinating club meetings or managing event calendars.
  • Financial management: If you've handled finances as a club treasurer, showcasing skills in money management and basic accounting can bolster your CV.
  • Commitment and focus: Demonstrating achievements like mountain climbing or composing an opera underscores your commitment, dedication, and ability to see projects through to completion.

Related: Mastering Your CV: Crafting an Effective "About Me" Section

4. Relate to the role

Certain hobbies or interests can serve as valuable complements to your relevant work experience, establishing connections through setting, industry, or skill set. For instance, if you're seeking a nursing position, you might highlight your volunteer work at a local nursing home. Similarly, for roles in social services, including experience volunteering in community or civil service can be advantageous.

Example CV with a hobbies and interests section

John Doe

123 Main Street, Cityville, ABC123 • (123) 456-7890 • john.doe@email.com

Work Experience

Marketing Coordinator
XYZ Company, Cityville
January 2020 - Present

  • Developed and executed marketing campaigns
  • Conducted market research and analysis
  • Managed social media accounts and engagement
  • Sales Associate

ABC Store, Townsville June 2018 - December 2019

  • Assisted customers with product inquiries and purchases
  • Handled cash transactions and maintained accurate records
  • Restocked merchandise and maintained store cleanliness

Education

Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Cityville
Graduated: May 2018

Hobbies and Interests

  • Hiking: Regularly explore local trails and enjoy outdoor adventures.
  • Photography: Passionate about capturing moments and experimenting with different techniques.
  • Cooking: Love trying out new recipes and hosting dinner parties for friends and family.

Please note that the information provided here is for demonstration purposes only.

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