Some job seekers are not sure whether they should include hobbies and interests on their resumes. If you do decide to include your hobbies and interests, you may not be sure which ones to list. In this article, we will discuss when and how to include hobbies and interests on a resume and examples of what types of hobbies and interests are appropriate to include.

At one time including hobbies and interests on a resume was unimportant. However, today many companies are looking for employees who can fit in with the company culture, and having a good idea of hobbies and interests is one way to do this. If you are going to include hobbies and interests on your resume, you want to make sure they make you a more attractive job candidate.

The difference between a hobby and an interest

Although the terms “hobby” and “interest” often get used interchangeably, they are different. Interest is a more vague term. As an example, you might have an interest in cricket. You can watch games on television, follow statistics and cheer for a certain team, but simply liking the sport is not a hobby.

However, if you play for a team or local league, then you can consider baseball a hobby because you participate in regular activities. Just because hobbies and interests are different, that does not mean you need two different sections for them on your resume.

Rules for including hobbies and interests

When you are putting together your hobbies and interests list for a resume, you have three important rules you want to keep in mind.

  • Be honest. You should always be honest throughout your entire resume, and this includes your hobbies and interests section. If you put that you like to read Greek novels on your resume, you want to make sure you’ve done more than skim the CliffsNotes version of the “Iliad.” After all, the last thing you want is to sit across from a hiring manager who’s a Greek enthusiast.
  • Be specific. Along with being honest, you should also be specific. Listing travel as a hobby isn’t unique since many people travel. However, mentioning that you traveled to London for a conference on global aid will help make your resume stand out.
  • Be memorable. You want your resume to be memorable for all the right reasons. Saying that you play on a bocce ball team on the weekends is unique and shows you can work with people in a team. However, listing that you’re interested in base jumping shows a risky side that might scare some employers away.

Good hobbies and interests for a resume

The best hobbies and interests for a resume have some form of relevance to the job you are interested in and show the hiring manager you are a good fit for the job. Examples of good hobbies and interests for a resume include:

  • Creative hobbies: Examples include painting, drawing and writing. These interests show you have a creative mind and can take a look at problems from an innovative perspective.
  • Team sports: Examples include cricket, basketball, volleyball and football. They show that you can work well with other people, have leadership qualities and have the ability to cooperate.
  • Endurance sports: Endurance sports includes marathon running and swimming. They showcase your drive and perseverance.
  • Individual sports: Yoga and archery are examples of individual sports you can include on your resume. They can demonstrate you are calm, controlled and focused.
  • Thought hobbies: Examples include chess, sudoku and playing a musical instrument. These hobbies show that you enjoy thinking strategically and that you display analytical and creative skills.
  • Social hobbies: Examples of social hobbies can include book clubs and garden clubs. They demonstrate that you are experienced with collaborating with others and participating in group projects.
  • Collecting: Collecting rare books, stamps and coins is something you can include on your resume. Managing your collection shows a passion for your interest and a dedication to detail.

Choose good hobbies for your resume

When you are trying to come up with a list of hobbies and interests for a resume, a good place to start is the company.

  • Research the company. Begin by looking at the company and gathering information about its work culture. Take a look at the job description and see what traits the company would like the new employee to have. Next, go to the company’s website and look at the employee profiles to see if they list their hobbies. You can also check LinkedIn and other social media accounts for this information.
  • Tailor your interests. If you notice that the job description asks for outgoing candidates who are good team players, tailor your list of hobbies around this. For example, instead of listing one of your hobbies as stamp collecting, which is often seen as a solitary project, mention that you play for a local basketball team, which exhibits both qualities the company would like to have.
  • Provide a variety of hobbies. When you are selecting hobbies and interests for your resume, try to choose a variety. By providing different hobbies on your resume, you show that you can relate to different people and are flexible enough to handle various situations.

Listing interests on your resume is a good way to boost its effectiveness. Now that you know how to include interests and hobbies for a resume, you can show companies that you are a candidate they want to hire.

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