Should I include my hobbies in my CV?

Talking about your hobbies and interests is a great way to reveal more about yourself. It allows you to show some individuality and can help your CV stand out from the crowd.

Voluntary and other projects that might not fit into professional work, can be introduced here and you can even use this as a talking point in an interview. For example, if the recruiter asks ‘tell me about yourself?’, this can be a great starting place!

It is important to ensure your hobbies section improves your CV rather than hinders it, so to make the most out of your favourite pastimes, take a look at the tips below:

  1. What is a hobby?

A hobby is a leisure activity done regularly, for fun and in your spare time. It can range from football, dance and music to volunteering, writing and painting.

Hobbies are a great way to learn new things, pursue interests outside of work and can show the recruiter you are a well-rounded applicant.

  1. Is it relevant?

Anything you write in your CV should help strengthen your application, so before adding your hobbies think about what you have learned and how you can transfer these skills and implement them into your future job.

This section can be particularly useful if you have little or no experience in the role already or if you are a graduate/school leaver.

Recreational activities can provide great socializing opportunities, help you de-stress or give you some much needed ‘me-time’. For example, dining out or watching a movie. However, these hobbies are unlikely to add anything to your CV.

The activities that a recruiter might want to see in your CV are those that relate directly to the job you are applying for or those that allow you to develop transferable skills. These are skills that you can adapt to fit in a professional work place.

Some examples of hobbies that relate directly to the job:

  • Cooking: Chef, catering industry, baker
  • Drawing/art: Fashion design and beauty
  • Sports: Personal trainer, health and fitness industry
  • Swimming/surfing: lifeguard
  • Tutoring/coaching/mentoring: teaching, childcare
  • Computing/programming: technology-related jobs

Some examples of hobbies that link directly to key skills:

  • Sports captain: teamwork, leadership
  • Tutoring/coaching: communication skills, initiative, organisation
  • Charity work/volunteering: dedication to a cause, motivation
  • blogging/writing: time-management, creativity
  1. Always be truthful

Do not be tempted to embellish your hobbies! It may be appealing to portray yourself as a kickboxing champ after a weeks classes, but be aware the employer may examine you about it in interview.

It is important to always tell the truth in a CV, as recruiters want to hire honest applicants. Being caught out in a lie may result in your application being rejected.

  1. Who wants to see my hobbies?

Some employers want to gage how well you will fit into the work culture or environment. Others want to employ people with a range of different skills. A section on hobbies and interests in your CV can provide the employer with greater insight into you as a whole.

  1. Professionalism vs. personal development

As you develop your work portfolio, the need for hobbies may be reduced.

Personal development does not take precedence over your professional experience, so make sure to include the important aspects of your CV, like education and work history, first.

The information you include in your CV should be concise as space can be limited. Therefore, if you feel you do not have a hobby that will add anything to the job role, or maybe you have plenty of experience in the job sector that will represent you better, then do not feel obliged to include them.

  1. How to write about hobbies?

Writing about personal experience can be more difficult than listing your academic and professional achievements. Here are some tips on writing about your hobbies:

Begin with a heading and then introduce each hobby as an individual point.

Next to each hobby write a brief description of what you have learnt or the key skills you have developed. Space is valuable, so keep it concise.

The most relevant skills that the recruiter is looking for can be found in the job description. Try to include these in your CV.

Use bullet points to break up the text, it saves space and makes it easier to read.

Include this section at the end, after your education and professional experience. It should be used to reinforce your application, rather than as your key selling point.

Post by Maryam Tashfeen.

Maryam Tashfeen was raised in North East England and is a fourth year medical student at Medical University Pleven, as well as a former student at the University of Bradford. She has previously held work-experience roles in a number of different countries, including England, Bulgaria and Jordan. Currently, alongside her studies she works within the retail sector and volunteers for a number of great charities. Through a combination of her personal journey as a student and her experience in the working world, she can provide you with great insight into all things relating to student life, jobs and careers.