Interests On Your Resume: Why Add Them In The First Place?



Should you add a list of hobbies and interests on your resume? Will it have an effect on your job applications? These are common questions people ask and in this guide, we’ll talk about the main pros and cons for a list of hobbies in your one-page resume.

Why add interests to your resume?
Should you add interests to your resume
Which interests should you add to your resume
Which interests should you leave out of your resume?
Where and how to add your interests to your resume?

Also, we’ll show you which interests you should include in your resume template and which ones you should leave out. Last but not least, we’ll explain where and how to add them to your resume. Let’s begin!

Why add interests to your resume?

why add a list of hobbies and interests on your resume

There are several pros and cons for a list of hobbies on your resume.

Pros for adding interests on your resume

  • Interests prove valuable skills: For example, if you have an interest such as writing a blog, that can show you have writing, communication, and editing skills.
  • Get your personality across: The resume can sometimes be a bit boring, so adding a few can help the recruiter know your unique traits. Also, it will make the document more exciting to read.
  • They make you stand out: If you’re applying for a role and there are a lot of similar candidates in terms of qualifications and experience, then adding a list of hobbies can make you stand out against the crowd. Just like when instead of writing a lengthy, dull resume, you use our one page resume to get a model that will set you apart and actually land you an interview.

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Cons for adding interests on your resume

  • Interests can be irrelevant: Sometimes, people’s hobbies have nothing to do with the role. Therefore, including them in the resume won’t add any value to the job application.
  • A list of interests wastes space: Many people will argue that a resume is primarily about work experience and qualifications. Practice how to make a resume efficiently, and avoid wasting space with an extensive section on hobbies and interests.
  • Interests can put employers off. If you have a list of interests the person reading your resume doesn’t agree with or finds offensive, that might cause them to move on to the next resume.

Should you add interests to your resume?

Now that we talked about the pros and cons of adding a list of hobbies to your resume, we’ll help you decide whether you should do it or not.

Who should add a list of hobbies to their resume?

  • Junior candidates: If you’re a graduate or a school-leaver, then chances are you don’t have much work experience, which gives you very little to write about. Therefore, adding some hobbies and interests on your student resume and extracting some skills and knowledge from them is a good way to compensate for the lack of experience.
  • Work-related interests: If yours are highly-related to the work that you’re applying for, it’s recommended to write about them. For instance, if you’re applying for a role in the IT field and you happen to build websites in your spare time, then there are plenty of relevant skills you can pull from that and list them on your resume.
  • Spectacular interests: If, for example, you climb mountains, run marathons, or raise money for charity, then you have some non-work-related interests that can impress recruiters and make them more inclined to invite you for an interview.

Who shouldn’t add hobbies on their resume?

  • Those with common interests: For example, going out to eat, spending time with friends, or going to the cinema won’t really knock the recruiter’s socks off, so there isn’t any point in putting them into your resume.
  • Experienced candidates: Not that they shouldn’t, but they don’t need to add a list of interests on their resume. With seven years in your field and applying for relevant jobs, your interests might not significantly impact your application. If you have some work-related or spectacular hobbies and interests you could add them, but they won’t make a big difference.

Which interests should you add to your resume?

resume interests and hobbies

If you’ve decided to add some, here are a couple of examples that might make a good impression on recruiter expectations:

  • Writing: If you write for a website, have a blog, or write poems, stories or novels, you should include that in your one-page resume. This is an essential skill for many jobs, whether it’s writing emails, documents, or bids. It’s a transferable skill that employers appreciate.
  • Travelling: This is an interesting one, since a lot of modern, open-minded companies love seeing travel listed as a hobby on resumes. It can mean that the candidate is a well-rounded person, sociable, and likes to experience things, for example.
  • Volunteering: A study done by AmeriCorps in 2021 shows that over 60.7 million people engaged in formal volunteer work, contributing more than 4.1 billion hours of service. If you’re volunteering or you volunteered for a charity or a business, there are tons of valuable skills you can pull from that and relate them to the role you’re applying for.
  • Sports teams and clubs: If, for instance, you play for a basketball team or you’re part of a golf club. That can show motivation, dedication, and proactivity. Also, there are plenty of skills that can be extracted, such as teamwork and communication.
  • Events: If you were involved in any kind of event, whether running them yourself or supporting them, that proves you have skills like organization, project management, and planning, all of which are super important in numerous roles.

Carefully chosen interests can provide a glimpse into your character and values, making your resume stand out in a sea of candidates. Choose interests that reflect your unique qualities, making your application authentic and memorable.

Which interests should you leave out?

It’s well worth looking at some of the hobbies and interests that you should best leave out of the resume.

  • Interests related to sensitive topics: Avoid anything that could be deemed offensive to somebody. Some examples are strong political views and religious views.
  • A list of common hobbies: These are common activities shared by most individuals, such as socializing with friends, going to the cinema, or dining out, which are not significant resume focus points.
  • Passive hobbies: Things like watching TV are not something you’re actively getting involved in. That means it won’t be very spectacular to the employer.

In conclusion, exclude divisive, common, or irrelevant interests from your resume for a more effective job application. Avoid polarizing interests like political affiliations or controversial hobbies that could overshadow your professional qualifications and fit with company culture.

Moreover, exceedingly common interests may fail to differentiate you from other candidates. Strike a balance by selecting unique, appropriate, and relatable interests that enhance your profile. The key is to focus on how your personal qualities can contribute positively to your professional role.

Where and how to add interests on your resume?

The best thing you can do is to add the list of interests at the bottom of your resume. For example, your education, qualifications, and work experience are more important. Write about those first and leave interests more towards the bottom.

List each interest and add some details about each one. The idea is to show some of the achievements that you’ve made within those interests. It’s also to demonstrate the hard and soft skills that you used to do those things.

At Reedact, we’re here to help you build an awesome resume that will do just that. Show your education history, qualifications, achievements, hobbies and interests on one single page. Ready to make your resume stand out? Let’s get started!

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