Should You Include Your Hobbies on Your Resume?
When job seeking, your resume is very important. It is a summary or account of your education and employment experiences and qualifications. It is a presentation to a potential future employer when applying for a job and it is understandable when candidates want to go the extra mile in making sure that their documents are spick and span. However, resumes require just vital information and do not need aesthetics or irrelevant details. It needs to be straightforward and succinct. Therefore, some people have argued that hobbies should be kept far away from a resume. Another point of view though supports adding hobbies to a resume. After all, the people doing the hiring are humans like you and want to get to know you better and know your interests. When relevant hobbies are added to a resume, it can give it a facelift and make it look professional. These two viewpoints look conflicting and raise the choice: to include or not? As with most decisions concerning a career, this is not an easy choice to make. Many job seekers have found it difficult to decide on adding their hobbies to their resume or leaving it out. The decision is not one to be made in a rush. It requires considerable thinking and contemplation. To make the work easier for you, we have prepared four aspects you should consider before concluding.
- How Related the Hobbies are to the Job You are Applying For: Before you add your favorite pastimes to your resume, ensure that they are connected to the position you are applying for. The hobbies should be relevant enough to prove to the hiring manager that you applied to the job because you cultivated a love for the career, enough passion to want to do more than practice it at just share times. The hobbies should also show that you already know the roles and responsibilities and tasks associated with the job. That even gives you an edge over other applicants. Swimming is a healthy and enjoyable hobby but it is not going to look good on your CV when you are applying for the role of an editor but listing “reading and writing of fiction and non-fiction” as a hobby will put you in a positive light.
- The Company and Role You are Applying For: This requires discernment because no company will outrightly tell you what they want you to add to your resume. The more serious the role and company looks, the lesser your chances of including your hobby. To illustrate: If you are a creative applying for jobs like content creation, social media manager, or any other Gen Z roles, listing relevant hobbies won’t hurt. It shows the company that you have the kind of vibe and creative energy they need. On the other hand, if you are applying for a job in a corporate firm or a position in the medical line, then it is not advisable to list any hobby. Research is therefore important when making your decision. Before sending in your resume and application, check the work culture of the organization. Check the social media pages and career pages. Read reviews too. A start-up company that allows employees to dress down and be unique is more likely to be concerned with your hobbies and interests when compared to a suit and tie kind of place.
- The Worth of the Hobby: Do the hobbies you want to list increase your skillset? To determine if a hobby is useful, ask yourself if it equals a skill, either hard or soft. A hobby like watching football is very common but technically valueless when it comes to applying for a job (except you are applying as a sports presenter). Some hobbies like volunteering, playing tough board games like chess, coaching, or playing team games like football show that you have interpersonal skills like leadership and team playing. A hobby must be valuable enough to add to your worth and make you appealing to a recruiter.
- When the Hobby is Proof of Your Determination and Hard work: Your hobbies are worth mentioning if they show how hard you have worked to carve a niche for yourself or follow a career path. If you are applying for a role you have interests in but do not have qualifications for or did not study in college, listing the hobbies associated with the role is a smart way of telling the hiring manager that you deserve a chance because you worked hard and want to turn a hobby into a full-time career. For instance, if you took an interest in computer software and self-taught yourself coding during your spare time by watching YouTube videos and taking online classes but have a degree in Pharmacy, listing your hobby on your resume may convince a computer software firm to give you a chance when you apply. In this scenario, listing your hobbies will also point a recruiter towards your hard work and eagerness to be part of the firm and career even though it wasn’t your first love.
Your resume is your ticket to your prospective employer. It is also a form of identity card, representing you even before the hiring manager sees you in person. If you decide to add a hobbies section to your resume, make sure that the hobbies you add do not misrepresent you or throw you in a bad light. If you are applying for a job that requires agility and you list watching television as a hobby, the recruiter might be forced to view you like a potato couch. Be careful not to add pastimes that can hurt other people’s sensibilities. For instance, it would be negative to mention that your hobbies are hunting or engaging in swordplay. The hiring manager might tag you violent. Do not mention hobbies that reveal personal information “my hobby is having sexual intercourse”. When it comes to your resume, every section should be taken very seriously, your hobbies section inclusive if you decide to add them. The factors listed in this article should help you discern what kinds of hobbies are acceptable and relevant to the job you are applying for.
Some candidates after much deliberation, decide to exclude any mention of hobbies in their resume because of the position they are applying for or because they have enough education and work experience to tide them over. We hope that you make a decision that favors you.