The hobbies and interests section of your CV is a tricky one. What interests should you include? Will employers value them? Should you even have an interests section?
We always recommend including CV interests as it gives you the opportunity to further show off valuable skills and personality traits that the job requires to potential employers. However, when it comes to interests some are better than others in the eyes of employers.
Pick out your personal interests in the quiz below to see what they might be telling employers about you. Remember, the interests section of your CV needs to make just as much of an impact as all the other sections and it needs to be relevant to the role you are applying for.
As the name suggests, adventure sports tell employers that you are adventurous, daring and out-going. It also implies that you have a lot of energy. This is fantastic for roles that require you to have a lot of drive and self-motivation. If you’re applying for a more detail-focused role such as administration or accounts an employer may question whether you have the right personality for the job.
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 interests 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.
Listening to music is a very common interest that won’t add much to your CV, however playing a musical instrument is a lot more valuable. It shows that you are committed and may also suggest that you are quite creative so if you’re applying for creative roles be sure to mention it.
Politics is a tricky one. On the one hand, being interested in politics highlights that you are opinionated, intellectual, and up-to-date with political affairs. These are all traits that employers may find very appealing. On the other hand, it is a topic that involves a lot of differing opinions and the person reading your CV may have quite different views to you.
If you do want to list politics as an interest on your CV, keep it simple and don’t give much away about your stance. While your views may be important to you, they are unlikely to have much to do with you job.
Obviously, if you’re going for a political role go all out!
Listing reading in your interests suggests to an employer that you are quite analytical and probably intellectual. It’s not however a particularly social activity. Consider the traits and skills required for the role and weigh up whether reading shows any of these before including it on your CV.
Socialising with friends
This is generally a good interest to include on your CV as it shows that you are sociable and out-going. Let’s face it, social skills are extremely important in the vast majority of job roles, so listing ‘socialising with friends’ is only going to benefit your application.
Swimming highlights that you are an active individual however it is quite an independent sport. It’s not team focused and involved only working on your personal goals. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you are applying for roles which involve a lot of teamwork and have other interests that involve teamwork then you should favour those.
Team sports and the position you play within them can tell an employer a lot about you. The most obvious thing is that you’re a good team player which is something the vast majority of employers like to see. If you’re a team captain for your uni football team, for example, then you are also demonstrating that you have good leadership skills which can always be transferred to your job.
Having an interest in technology or gadgets is really effective when applying for roles in IT or similar sectors. The employer is likely to assume that you are technologically minded and potentially a bit of a geek (loads of employers love geeks). On the flip side, if you’re applying for a role that requires a lot of social skills, listing technology in your interests may not be as good a match.
A lot of employers like to see travelling as an interest on CVs. This is because travelling suggests that you are independent, curious and daring. You’re not afraid to try something new and travelling often helps boost confidence too. Travelling is also considered to be a social activity, so if you list it on your CV employers may assume you have good social skills which can only be a positive thing.
Volunteering suggests to employers that you are a caring person who is motivated by job satisfaction more than money. This is great for job roles that involve care and for companies driven by altruistic values, however it wouldn’t work well if you’re applying for sales roles for example.
Walking is an interest that suggests you are active, independent and mature to an employer. It’s not as sociable as many other interests, however it can highlight some positive attributes on your CV.
Bringing it all together
Including hobbies on your CV can certainly help boost the skills and experience you already have. What you do in your spare time can tell employers a lot about you. Just make sure you’re letting them know that you have the right personality for the job!
Bridgewater Resources build real, lasting relationships with our clients in order to help shape their businesses and we get to know our candidates’ personalities, skills and ambitions so we can find them a role that changes their lives for the better.