Hobbies and Interests in the CV – Why Bother?

Interests

Up until recently I felt that the hobbies and interests section was a thing of the past and should be left out of the CV. My mind was changed recently after meeting with Human Resources personnel of some of the top 10 companies in Ireland. The majority of them said that they really like to see hobbies and interests on the C.V. as it gives them valuable information about you. The hobbies allow the employer to get to know you better, they show the employer what you are passionate about, interested in, and what extra skills you may have.

Here are some of the reasons why recruiters say it is a good idea to put hobbies and interests on your C.V., and how they can help to increase your chances of being called for an interview:

  • Personality

The hobbies help the recruiter to get a more rounded idea of who you are. They will get an idea of your personality and show if you fit in with the culture of the company. If you play sports; it could show that you are competitive, a good team player and committed, if you like arts and crafts; this could show that you are creative and innovative, if you like volunteering; this can show that you are caring and empathic.

  • Balance

It shows that you have a work-life balance, the HR manager of a large transport company mentioned that

“The work is very stressful so it is good to know that people have a way to de-stress. It might also show extra external skills that you will bring to the role.”

  • Rapport

They are a good conversation starter and help to build a rapport with the employer. Try to make the hobbies as interesting as possible so that they catch the attention of the employer.

  • Ambition and achievement

The hobbies also show ambition and achievement. It can be a really good idea to mention, if you ever won a competition or performed at an event. The hobbies should add value to your C.V. so shouldn’t be ‘going to the cinema or meeting friends’, they should be more achievement based with detail. If your hobbies don’t add value it might be a good idea to omit this section all together.

It is really important to sell yourself in the hobbies section. Always try to mention an achievement, or membership of a group or team. It is important to give detail so that the employer can have an image of your personality and ability.

For example, instead of just mentioning music, think of the type of music, the genre, gigs that you like to attend, gigs have you been to recently, an instrument that you play, a choir or band that you have been a member of. So then instead of just ‘music’ your hobby becomes more impactful e.g.

‘Soloist with the Jesse Tree Classical Choir, having performed in various concerts in The National Concert Hall, Olympia and Gaiety.

Here are some samples of more hobbies and interests with detail and achievement.

  • Travelling – Travelled to over 21 years to countries worldwide including Tanzania, India, Colombia, France and Germany.
  • Painting – Participate in weekly Art Classes in The ‘Nature Dome Gallery’ on Bolton Street. Had pictures featured in both the Christmas exhibition in the National Art Gallery and in the yearly calendar which has raised over €50,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland.
  • Hiking – Member of the ‘Bring it on’ hill walking group, have completed the four peaks challenge twice.

Consistency and effort

The hobbies and interests section is often one of the last sections of the C.V. and can receive less effort or momentum than the other parts. Every part of your C.V. is important. If you spend time and effort on the final and smaller sections, this shows that you pay high attention to detail in everything that you do and are consistent. Therefore make your hobbies and interests section great.

Breda Hegarty is the Pre-employment Trainer in Business in the Community, supporting people with barriers gain employment and author of the blog www.thejobmotivator.com . For more information and to book an appointment for a place on our next free training course in relation to C.V.s . cover letters and Interview skills call (01) 8743840 / (01) 8743814 or e-mail employmentprogramme@bitc.ie

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