Let’s be frank. A CV is a highly professional business document and it is NO place to talk about your hobbies or your personal interests… right?!
Well, not exactly.
Employers love knowing about the applicant’s hobbies and interests. Here is why:
Prospective employers invest in people; they hire and work with human beings, not robots. It is because of this that employers look for every clue in their prospective employees to find out about their true skills and competencies. What better way is there to achieve this than by looking at their hobbies and interests…?
Littleford et al. In their book Career Skills (2004, pg.14/15) state under “other interests”:
“You should include hobbies and other interests, especially if they involve social and community activities. These activities are important – cover membership of societies, sports clubs/teams, etc. All these activities and the extent of your involvement give the recruiter clues about the real you and your interests.”
|Computing:||Good with technology|
|Swimming:||Keeps fit and healthy|
|Puzzles:||Excellent problem-solving skills|
|Football/Soccer:||Team work skills|
|Socialising with friends:||Team player (rather than loner)|
|Squash:||Highly competitive, motivated|
Martin Yate, a best-selling careers author, outlines three broad categories of sports to include on your CV in his book The Ultimate CV Book (Pg.35):
• Team sports (baseball, basketball, football, etc)
• Determination activities (running, swimming, cycling, climbing, etc)
• Brain activities (chess, etc)
The following is a sample of a CV’s Hobbies section with too many hobbies:
Ask yourself: how do these interests add value to my application? Try to highlight your ability to interact, help and/or communicate with others.
Different activities can be interpreted differently depending on the job you are applying for.
For instance, playing computer games as a hobby may sometimes portray you as a self-absorbed individual living in their own little (cyber) world.
However, the same hobby can give tremendous weight to your CV if you apply for a job as a video game developer, graphics designer or as a shop assistant at your local games shop!
The rule of thumb is only to include activities that contribute and strengthen the application. If you cannot draw this valid connection then do not include those activities.