Does the hobbies & interests section of my CV matter?

When it comes to crafting your CV space is paramount – one to two pieces of A4 is all you have to sell yourself. That may seem like plenty of space but it fills up fast, especially if you have a long career history, so things will get cut.

Unfortunately, one of the most common victims of CV editing is the hobbies and interests section. Now you might be thinking that section isn’t really important, is it? After all, do my hobbies and interests really matter all that much?

Why the hobbies and interests section is so important

While it might not seem like it the hobbies and interests section can really make a big impact. This is the section where you can focus on yourself at a more personal level, you aren’t bound by strict guidelines. Basically, this is the section that can really make you stand out from other applicants.

If you think about it many people’s CVs will be similar you’ll have a short summary, work history, and education. Now while there, of course, will be differences the majority of CV’s employers get will be similar. For example, if an employer is looking for an office assistant it’s likely a lot of the applicants will have office and admin experience.

The hobbies and interests section, however, will be different from person to person, so this is an area of your CV that more people will take notice of. The hobbies and interests section also gives you another way to demonstrate your skills and showcase your personality.

The hobbies and interests section is particularly valuable for younger people who might not yet have a lot of work experience. However, while the hobbies and interests section of your CV is no doubt important, you shouldn’t just put anything down. Like all areas of your CV you have to be precise and careful about what you say.

Crafting the perfect hobbies and interests section

Creating the perfect hobbies and interests section for your CV will require a bit of planning. You need to make sure you’re listing things that are actually beneficial to you, they don’t always have to related to the job you’re applying for but you should try to mention a few hobbies/ interests that have taught you or allowed you to further develop your skills.

For example, if you like playing board games you could mention how it helps with communication and problem-solving. The hobbies and interests section is a great place to demonstrate your skills as long as you’re subtle about it for example if you play football or any other sports you could mention how this has helped with organisation and leadership.

Sports and exercise are also good things to mention because they show you look after yourself. If you have a hobby or interest that’s a bit more unusual then don’t be afraid of putting it down as it could be an interesting talking point and will help you standout.

What to avoid

When it comes to writing your hobbies and interests section there’s one key thing you should avoid. Hobbies and interests like drinking and partying shouldn’t be mentioned while they might be honest answers they aren’t going to make you look very professional.

You should also try to avoid generic answers like watching television or movies and things of that nature. You shouldn’t go into a lot of detail with your hobbies and interests section no matter how tempting it may be.

One short paragraph will be enough, remember this will be the last section on your CV before your references so make it short and snappy. Many people ignore their hobbies and interests section but it can be a big benefit to your application so plan carefully and make it a real showcase for your personality and talents.

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