The ‘About Me’ or ‘Hobbies and Interests’ sections on a job application seem innocent enough, don’t they? Think again.
What you include in these sections can give your prospective employer an idea of your personality, what you can offer them and what you may be like in the workplace. This is especially true for graduates who are applying for entry-level roles or who may not have a lot of professional experience. These sections, therefore, need to really sell who you are and you should use them to showcase your attributes.
Discover what your hobbies say about you.
Listing anything to do with animals or your pets in the interest’s section of your CV can suggest a couple of things to employers. The most obvious assumption they may make about you is that you are caring. If this is a personality trait that fits in well with the role, the animals/pets are definitely something to include on your CV.
If you say that you enjoy walking your dog, then the employer will likely assume that you are an active or energetic person which is a positive thing. You may also enjoy training your dog and participating in dog shows which suggests that you are competitive and dominant. These are great skills to have particularly when you are going for a leadership role.
While saying that you enjoy the cinema or theatre is a perfectly valid interest it doesn’t add much to your CV. The employer can’t fathom any of your skills from this interest and it is also fairly common so won’t set you apart from your competition. Try to think of something different to include in your interest’s section.
Cooking doesn’t tell employers much about you. It suggests that you like a homely environment and perhaps also a stable one. If you do enjoy cooking you may also want to pair it with eating out as this is an interest that suggests you have good social skills.
Saying that you are interested in gaming will suggest to an employer that you are technologically minded. This is great if you are applying for an IT role.
If you’re applying for roles that require top people and communication skills, however, gaming may not send the best message to an employer. Gaming isn’t considered to be a very social interest.
Golf is generally a good interest to highlight. It suggests that you are competitive, outdoorsy and mature. Employers may also make assumptions about the type of background you come from if you list golf in your interests.
Fitness is a positive interest to list on your CV. It shows that you are an energetic person and requires a fair amount of dedication. Fitness also suggests that you look after your health and employers obvious want to have healthy employees.
More and more graduates are taking time out after their studies to see the world – but how does this look to an employer or recruiter?
The move from University or school straight into work can be a culture shock for some. Travelling often softens the blow by helping you develop character traits and skills that you will need in the workplace: independence, communication skills and adaptability.
Your prospective employer will be able to make deductions about you from your travelling. Additionally, someone who has been travelling is usually perceived to be open-minded, resilient and curious, which are all great things to be in the workplace.
Whether you’re a footballer, a tennis player or even an Ultimate Frisbee champion, being involved in sporting activities can show recruiters that you are competitive, driven, motivated and, depending on the sport, a team player. Any achievements you have within a sport, whether on an individual or team level, will demonstrate that you are a committed and passionate person, and these are indispensable attributes for many roles.
Many students and graduates often take the opportunity to be involved in charity work or volunteering, which is not only fantastic for the wider community but can really make a job application stand-out. You can learn a lot by taking part in charity schemes: you can learn about other people, develop empathy and humility and boost your communication skills. All in all, this can really help you become a more rounded person – which recruiters will take note of. When an employer sees charity work on your CV or application, they will know you are a caring, enthusiastic people-person.
Those involved in societies are usually outgoing, sociable people who have a passion for a particular subject or activity. If you have experience of starting or leading a society or club, you’re bound to impress anyone reviewing you as a job candidate with your leadership skills, influence and drive.
The digital world gets bigger and bigger every day, and social media is now commonplace both inside and outside of work. Personal blogging is a hobby that may seem irrelevant to a job application, however, depending on the job you’re applying for, it can highlight valuable skills and characteristics. For example, creativity, good writing skills, motivation and commitment are all required to maintain a blog or page, and if you run a particularly successful or popular site, this shows that you understand how to market or promote. Don’t underestimate the power of a blog!
Bringing it all together
Is your hobby not included in this list? Don’t panic! If you think cleverly about how you describe your hobby, and consider carefully the skills and traits it requires, then you can make it work to your advantage whilst on the job hunt. On the other hand, if you don’t have any hobbies, awards or achievements to include on your CV, then it may be worth getting involved in something you will enjoy.
As a Graduate seeking employment, you need to make yourself shine. There’s a lot of competition out there and using your hobbies to highlight your talents and character is a great way to stand out from the pack.
Need help getting started with your CV? Why not download our free CV Template! Once your CV is ready, be sure to register with CV-Library too, so employers and recruiters can contact you about relevant opportunities!
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