Should You Include Your Hobbies & Interests on Your CV?
Most people’s first experiences of writing a CV can be traced back to school where they learnt the basics: personal information (name, address, etc.); qualifications; an “about me” section; and your hobbies and interests. As time goes on and you grow up, however, certain elements of your CV become more relevant. Employers are arguably most interested in your work experience and why you’d be a good fit for the job. This begs the question, should you include your hobbies and interests on your CV at all?
The Argument For
Who you are as a person plays a massive part in the hiring process these days and your hobbies and interests can tell someone a lot about your personal values. For example, an interest in volunteering could indicate you’re a selfless person, and playing an instrument shows an appreciation for the arts. Your hobbies and interests can also demonstrate the various soft skills employers are on the lookout for. By mentioning you take part in a group sport like hockey or football you could be demonstrating your ability to work as part of a team without even realising it!
Hiring managers can sometimes see upwards of 30 very similar CVs a day. Including something interesting about yourself like a fun hobby can make your CV more memorable and help you stand out. When two candidates are equally qualified, choosing who to invite to an interview can come down to something as simple as thinking one person would be more interesting because they had a memorable hobby. Of course, it’s a big help if your hobby is related to the position you’ve applied for.
The Argument Against
On the other hand, some hiring managers will only be interested in the relevant information on your CV. This is especially true of more technical jobs or jobs that require a very specific set of skills or experience. Adding additional information such as hobbies and interests to an already lengthy CV just makes more work for the person reading it and could demonstrate poor editing skills. In contrast, a CV that is heavily weighted towards hobbies and interests but is especially short on other content can make a candidate look under-qualified.
Candidates who don’t have any real hobbies or interests can sometimes be tempted to write something vague or clichéd like “socialising with friends” or “watching Netflix” just because they feel they have to include something that isn’t work related on their CVs. These do the exact opposite of helping you stand out and tell potential employers very little about your personality or work ethic.
We recommend only including hobbies and interests that will add value to your job application. They don’t have to cross over entirely but more relevant they are to your field the better. Try and put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager and ask yourself what this information tells them about you as an employee. Why would this information make them want to hire you? Whatever you do, don’t shoehorn hobbies and interests into your CV in an attempt to add more personality. You’re more likely to be hired for having an amazing personal profile, the right qualifications, and the relevant experience. Remember, you can always show off your sparkling personality in the job interview.
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