by Julie Gray
Some recruiters completely ignore hobbies and interests, while others appreciate any additional insights they could give into the person whose CV they are reading.
Activities that you excel at or participate in at a high level may indicate additional skills and qualities not covered elsewhere in your CV. If so, they could be a useful addition. They could also be detrimental though. Extreme sports enthusiasts may be seen as having confidence and positive risk-taking qualities, but could also be seen as ‘likely to lose work time through injury’. Socialising or clubbing could suggest a lively, sociable person more likely to get along with everyone else in the office than a solitary stamp collector – but might they stay up all night and work poorly the next day?
Could a great CV get binned just because of what you do in your free time? If you are a pessimist, there are probably more reasons to exclude hobbies and interests than to include them. It shouldn’t count against you if you decide to leave this section out - in the US, for example, you wouldn’t normally see interests on a resume.
Still can’t decide? Every time you tailor your CV for a new application, as yourself three questions:
Do your interests add proof to your argument for being able to do this job really well?
If yes, include them. Recent school leavers and graduates are more likely to need this section. Ensure you clearly show any skills and explain the benefits.
Are your interests relevant and more important than other information?
When you’re over two pages, is horse-riding or teacup-collecting a priority? No.
Could your weird, wonderful or dangerous interests discourage a recruiter?
If there’s any chance they could, leave them out. If all your interests fall into this category, leave the whole section out.
Finally, never be tempted to invent a hobby to make yourself sound more interesting.
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