Building an impressive resume is a crucial step of a job seeker’s journey, and while sections like objective, work history, skills, education, etc, are must-haves, the hobbies and interests section is optional.
This situation can make job seekers like you ponder the question: is it a good idea to include interests & hobbies on the resume?
The answer is simple- Hobbies on your resume can add value to your candidature if done right.
In this blog, we will try to understand the value that hobbies bring to your resume and answer the question of the hour- How to list hobbies on a resume? along with examples of best hobbies and interests for your resume.
Should you add hobbies and interests to your resume?
Lacs of people are on a job hunt as you read this article. As the competition gets tough by the day, landing the right opportunity gets tougher, making it crucial for you to stand out.
Since a resume is your first chance to make a great impression, doing it right is very important. Adding the hobbies & interests section on the resume can help you stand out, making it a great idea to add hobbies to your resume.
Hobbies can help reflect personal qualities like patience, teamwork, discipline, etc., making it a great idea to add hobbies and interests to the resume. Another reason why you can consider adding this section is to stand out in a sea of applications with interests and hobbies that allow the recruiter to learn more about you.
How to list hobbies on resume?
The interests & hobbies you choose for your resume can impact your chances of getting hired, and how you list them can make a huge difference. Here are a few ways that will help you understand how to list hobbies to draft a powerful resume:
1. Identify the hobbies that are relevant to the role you are applying to
Listing hobbies that resonate with skills valuable to the company can have a positive impact on your candidature. Use interests that showcase personality traits that would seem ideal for the job.
For instance, if you are applying for a job in a tech company, then having technology-related hobbies on your resume can work for you.
If this is not the case for you, do not worry! You can also list hobbies closer to the soft skills needed for the job. For example, if the job requires you to be a team player, hobbies like team sports can be suitable hobbies that explain your personality, and hint at your suitability for the role, making it easier for the recruiters to choose you over other candidates.
2. Use Interests as the heading
By definition, a hobby is an activity done for pleasure and may sound casual to the recruiters. Adding hobbies to a resume can be a tricky task since it is a professional document sent to recruiters.
To avoid giving a casual outlook to your resume, name the section Interests.
While both hobbies and interests would talk about the same things, interests help recruiters gauge your likes, personality type, and strengths without the risk of sounding too casual.
3. Place the Interests section at the end of your resume
As per the format, a resume begins with a professional summary/objective, followed by work history, education, skills, and other details.
Since Interests is an additional category used to add more depth to your candidature, place it at the end of your resume, after having conveyed all the crucial information.
4. List 3-4 relevant interests to your field
All hobbies have a certain value associated with them, and the hobbies you choose for your resume must bring out your strengths relevant to the job you are applying for.
Listing relevant hobbies on the resume can increase your chances of getting hired. For example, if you are a writer and your hobbies include reading, slam poetry, or other related activities that make you better and more creative, then make sure to add them to your resume.
The idea is to choose 3-4 interests that highlight your strengths and have the potential to get you hired. For instance, if you are applying for a sales job, choose hobbies that showcase public speaking skills like debating, theatre, fine arts, etc.
5. Find the right kind of hobby to list from the job description
A thorough reading of the job description can help you identify the hobbies for your resume. Most job descriptions list the skills they want in a candidate. Use that list to identify your hobbies that may have the transfer value of the soft and hard skills.
6. Do not add hobbies on your resume if they make no sense to the profile
After brainstorming, if you are unable to come up with hobbies that can impact your job hunt, do not stress!
Adding hobbies and interests to your resume is optional, and if you can not think of any hobby that is directly or indirectly relevant to your job hunt, then save the space and do not add this section.
7. Add hobbies on your resume only if you have space for it.
Ideally, a resume should be no longer than 1-2 pages. Adding the hobbies section to an already long document can be futile since recruiters do not spend a lot of time gauging the resume.
So, before adding hobbies to your resume, make sure you have enough space for them.
Best hobbies to include on a resume
While all hobbies bring some quality transfer value, it is important to identify which one will be the right fit for the resume. So, here are 7 soft skills and some hobbies that can help reflect them
1. Team player
Sports activities (Basketball, football, volleyball, etc)
3. Communication skills
4. Analytical thinking
Playing an instrument
Organizing book clubs
When compared, a resume without hobbies will seem a bit bland versus a resume with hobbies as it will bring a lot more personality, additional information, and creativity to the table.
The hobbies added on your resume say a lot about you personally and professionally, and allow the recruiters to access what can work in your favor if done right. So, try to free up some space on your resume, and let your interests help you land your dream job!
All the best!