Should I include my Hobbies and Interests in my CV?
Knowing whether to include hobbies and interests in a CV or resume can be tricky but there is a way to decide whether your CV should include this extra section of content.
There are many varying opinions about what a resume or CV should look like, some favour photographs being included, whilst others consider this to be totally unnecessary and possibly even detrimental. There are very sound arguments around whether a CV should be written in the first or third person, and there is an age old argument about the perfect length of a resume, should it be one page, two pages or three? But amongst all of these common debates the most common of all is arguably whether a hobbies and interests should be included.
Hobbies and Interests - The Argument Against
The hobbies and interests section has historically been tagged on to the end of a CV to give the reader a bit more information about the job applicant’s other interests outside of academia or work. Sometimes this section can provide a fascinating nugget of information that will make the applicant stand out from the crowd or at least intrigue the employer enough to call them in for an interview. But more often than not this section lacks anything inspiring, interesting or indeed important. And if this is the case then it may be wise to consider removing the section all together, after all, space is valuable on a CV, and this space could be used to highlight another achievement or relevant skill, rather than state that you like reading or going to the gym.
Hobbies and Interests - The Argument For
On the other hand of course some job seekers may be struggling to fill the space on their CV, particularly if they have little or no work experience and/or little or no academic history. As such the hobbies and interests section can be a real gift, allowing an individual to highlight skills and interests that could be transferable into the workplace or that demonstrate that they are a well-rounded person despite their lack of experience. If this is the case, then the way in which the particular hobbies and interests are dealt with is very important, simply listing activities is not the way forward! Instead the hobbies and interests section should be written as either a paragraph or as extended bullet points, for example:
I am passionate about environmental issues and I volunteer at a local charity promoting the importance of recycling. I also co-ordinate the charity’s fundraising events, with proceeds being fed back into the local community. In addition I like to keep fit and healthy, and I participate in team sports on a regular basis, these include football and netball and I am also the club secretary at the town’s hockey club.
The above paragraph shows an employer that the individual in question has a social conscience, is hard working, driven, committed to a cause, a team player, able to demonstrate organisational skills and has administrative experience. This paragraph therefore would certainly add value to a CV or resume that was otherwise lacking. And this point is the key to deciding whether your CV or resume should include a hobbies and interests section, if it adds value, and there is room for it then it should definitely be included. If not, then use the space for some alternative content or to allow for more white space around your CV.