How important is the hobbies section of my CV?
The hobbies and interests section is by far the most overlooked when it comes to creating a CV. But why would an employer be interested in what I do outside of work?
Although there are employers out there that don’t read the hobbies section of a CV, there are some that do. If you have fairly run of the mill hobbies like walking the dog, going to the cinema, or socialising on weekends, you are probably not going to add any value to your CV. But, if you have creative or sports related hobbies, you are going to provide the hiring manager with a much better insight into what makes you tick.
If you’ve always wondered how important the hobbies section of your CV is, read on for more of an insight…
Your hobbies tell a story
The hiring manager has never met you but may end up working with you, so they want to know what type of person you are. Do you have an outgoing personality? Do you like to be the centre of attention? Or do you seem like quite a shy and reserved person?
Rather than keeping the employer in the dark, the hobbies and interests section is the place where you can project your personality and provide a window into your personality. So rather than just putting the standard ‘I like to socialise on weekends’, you can get much more creative.
Don’t underestimate voluntary work
If you’ve volunteered in the past or even still currently volunteer, then this would be a fantastic place to start. Working for a charity in your spare time shows the employer that you are willing to go the extra mile for no monetary reward, so overtime clearly won’t be a problem for you.
Other charitable examples are working for your local country park. It could be cutting grass or helping maintain forestry and paths etc. Or maybe you’ve even taken part in helping to organise the local fate. Any of the above need to be included as hobbies and will look great on your CV.
This section would be great for achievements that aren’t already listed on your CV, and it doesn’t matter if they are not related to the role. A good example could be achieving grades in music. It could be that you got to grade 5 in piano a few years back, or might even still be studying the grades. Musical talent shows creativity and flair, and makes for a more interesting read.
You might currently play in a band, so why not put down the link to your website or social media page. Once an employer starts to flick through your videos and pictures, you’ve already sparked their interest and you’ll certainly be remembered (hopefully for the right reasons!). You might even find that they like the same music as you which would be an added bonus.
And it doesn’t have to just be music, as any website that you’ve either created yourself or are affiliated with in some way should be linked to on your CV. No matter what your are passionate about outside of work, you need to portray that passion on your CV. Employers love passionate and interesting people, as they know how well they may fit into their company – especially if the role is an outgoing creative role. Sales, call centre, management, marketing etc. Whatever the role you are applying for, your personality is the key to success.
A further way to demonstrate soft skills
There are lots of soft skills, like communication and problem solving, that an employer would like to see evidence of on your CV. Your hobbies section could be another way to showcase these soft skills. If leadership qualities were important to the role, then being the captain of your local basketball squad would clearly demonstrate this.
There are lots of other soft skills that can be showcased via your hobbies – communication, dedication, passion, problem solving, creativity, and much more. Another great reason why you shouldn’t underestimate the value of your extracurricular activities on your CV.