I was asked recently if hobbies should be included on a CV and in my opinion they can serve a purpose by including them. However, there are a lot of differing thoughts on the subject out there and people seem to be either strongly for or against the inclusion of hobbies on CVs.
On my own CV, I include some details of my sporting interests & achievements over the years. A few years ago, I played rugby to a provincial representative level and also captained my club side which could be seen as demonstrating leadership skills and a competitive nature – good in the recruitment job I’m in (which is very sales focused)! Gracefully retired from rugby a few years, I now participate in triathlons which I feel shows I’m not adverse to hard work and dedication. As you can see although they are merely hobbies they still highlight character traits.
There are definitely pros and cons for each side of the argument as to whether you should include hobbies; I’ve listed some below so you can form your own opinion.
1. Hobbies can add a personal touch to a CV and could possibly serve to get yours to stand out from the crowd if it makes for interesting reading.
2. Many hobbies can demonstrate additional skills or indeed reinforce skills you already allude to in your professional employment history.
3. The Interviewer might share an interest with you creating some common ground in an interview situation, always a good ice breaker and conversation starter.
1. Listing hobbies that don’t really serve a purpose will only use up valuable space on your CV.
2. It is possible that listing too many hobbies will encourage the hirer to think (a) Does this person really do all of those things or are they spoofing? Or (b) When will this person find time for work?
3. A very time consuming hobby could create question marks about your time commitment to a job, particularly for very demanding senior level roles.
4. Your hobbies could create contention with the interviewer if they have affiliations with religion, political or are culturally radical. This could hinder conversation and cause an awkward atmosphere which you do not want.
If you do decide to include hobbies on your CV, I would advise you to:
- Make sure the hobbies are not fake! For instance, if you say you play golf regularly and the interviewer is a golfing enthusiast they may question you on this to build rapport. If you’ve lied they’ll realise it quickly and it could turn things sour.
- Quality over quantity – Listing 2/3 hobbies is sufficient
- Make sure your hobbies are worth noting otherwise its just generic ‘space filling’.
Examples of Hobbies:
- Marathon Runner – Demonstrates drive and commitment
- Chess Player – Demonstrates strong analytical skills
- Figurine Painting – Demonstrates strong attention to detail
- Watercolour Artist – Demonstrates creativity
- Volunteering – You care about the world
- Writing/Music – You have creativity
Space Filling Hobbies
(These are generic activities that most people enjoy)
- Stopping to smell the flowers – You’re easily distracted
Question: What are your thoughts on including hobbies on your CV?