Are you making the most of your hobbies?
Whilst mentioning your hobbies and interests in your CV isn’t essential, they can be a great addition if done in the right way. Especially if you don’t have much relevant work experience in the industry you’re applying for.
Here’s how to effectively include hobbies in your CV, and some of the top activities you can use to stand out from the competition:
If you’re looking for marketing & media jobs…
Hobbies to include: video production, photography, blogging, art.
As the creative industries are particularly competitive, emphasising your relevant skills with hobbies could be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Not only is it vital to ensure they demonstrate your creativity, it’s also key to link them back to the other skills needed for roles in this field – from attention to detail and patience, to communication skills and commercial awareness.
Some great examples are using your interest in blogging to stand out for a marketing position, or your passion for photography to land a job in design.
If you’re looking for management & business development jobs…
Hobbies to include: team sports, mountain climbing, sky diving.
Employers in this field are primarily looking for candidates who have tenacity, are able to take calculated risks, and can effectively lead a team.
High risk pursuits or any kind of team sport are the perfect way to demonstrate these attributes, so make the most of any clubs you’re a part of. Especially if you’re a team captain, or you play a big part in the organisation of a sports team.
Just make sure what you include is accurate. Saying you dabble in the occasional sky dive might seem like a harmless white lie, but it might not be as easy to keep up when you’re asked about it at an interview.
If you’re looking for tech jobs…
Hobbies to include: programming, web design, gaming.
Luckily, IT is used in a variety of mediums, both in and out of the workplace – so you shouldn’t struggle to find a way to make your hobbies relevant. Especially if you have a genuine interest in the field.
Aside from expressing a knowledge of hobbies like programming and web design (which would certainly improve your chances for roles in this area), you can also think about hobbies that are not as directly linked.
For example, IT positions primarily require excellent analytical, problem solving, and quick learning abilities – which can be demonstrated in strategic mind games (e.g. chess, Sudoku) or even video games (providing the role bears some relation to their development).
If you’re looking for construction & engineering jobs…
Hobbies to include: playing an instrument, model making, Lego.
You might be surprised at the ways you can demonstrate your technical mind, focus, and project management skills, just by talking about relevant hobbies in your CV.
For example, experience playing a musical instrument doesn’t only show you’re musical, it also says a lot about your determination, patience, and attention to detail – skills which are particularly sought after in civil engineering.
An interest in a practical pursuit such as woodworking or model making could also help you to stand out when it comes to being considered for roles in architecture or construction – especially when it comes to showing off your project management skills.
Just leave the Duplo at home.
If you’re looking for HR & customer service jobs…
Hobbies to include: performing arts, drama, improvisation, community group involvement
Whether you’re looking for work in customer service, sales, healthcare, or any other industry that centres on people – it’s key to make your interpersonal skills known to employers.
Interests like performing arts, drama, and improvisation all demonstrate confidence, team working abilities, and communication skills, which could help you emphasise your suitability to roles in this field.
Mentioning any involvement you might have had in after school clubs, youth centres, community groups, or anything else that requires a high level of understanding and empathy, could also be key – especially for roles dealing with sensitive situations.
Should I include hobbies and interests in my CV?
Whether you choose to include hobbies and interests in your CV depends on your individual situation.
For example, if you don’t have any hobbies relevant to the role, you need to cut back on space, and you have extensive experience to back up your skills elsewhere – hobbies are probably not a prerequisite.
However, for jobseekers with little experience, or whose interests relate directly to the role in question, including them could be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Just remember: if you’re not comfortable talking about your hobby in detail at an interview, it’s probably best to leave it out.
Need more CV advice?
It takes an employer just seven seconds to save or reject a job applicant’s CV. This means creating a succinct CV is absolutely vital if you want to land that all-important interview.
To find out how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, buy James Reed’s new book: The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview.
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