CV Tips: How to List Hobbies and Interests on Your CV
Graduate Coach shares how hobbies and interests can help you get a job
Hobbies and interests are useful when it comes to finding a job because they help you develop a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience. This can help you to stand out from other candidates, which is useful in competitive job markets.
Have you included hobbies and interests such as reading, rowing, travelling singing or playing board games on your CV? Research shows that around 96 per cent of candidates do, but most don’t go any further to show how their hobbies and interests can be an asset to the employer.
There is another reason why you should know how to list hobbies and interests on your CV properly. When people talk about their hobbies they tend to speak about them with passion. This passion can be really contagious and useful when used in an interview context.
How to list hobbies and interests on your CV
The following will help you to know how to list hobbies and interests on your CV, as well as how to think and talk about them in an interview context.
Your hobbies and interests develop your skills
Swimming can make you disciplined and focused; so can playing chess. Scramble can develop your thinking skills and trekking your ability to solve problems and to remain determined to the end. Many hobbies also require the ability to work well with others. All it takes is to look at the skills you use in the course of pursuing your hobbies and interests and to translate them into those an employer would prize on the job.
Your hobbies and interests give you valuable experience
Imagine you are at an interview and you say to the employer, ‘I have been part of a rowing club for three years and it has taught me how to work with my team members to get out of difficult situations. Could you use experience like that?’ What’s the interviewer likely to say? ‘Most certainly!’
Think of experiences such as leading others, planning events, communicating with people or solving problems and include those hobbies and interests on your CV.
How long have you been involved in that hobby or interest? Two years? Five years? Well that’s a lot of experience you will have developed over the course of time. Why waste it?
Talk about hobbies and interests at the interview
You will naturally talk about your hobby or interest with passion so find it easy to describe the sort of tasks involved and experiences you have gained in the interview. This will help you come across as credible and ignite that same enthusiasm in the interviewer.
Be as specific as you can
If you have an interest in reading be more specific and include what type of stuff you like to read. If you trek or swim pick out what is unique about the interest you have. When you combine this type of detail with other experience and skills you have it will help present you as unique, one of a kind, which is an asset when looking for graduate jobs.
Demonstrate your hobbies and interests at the interview
Usually, if you go for a job in an area such as marketing, design or journalism the interviewer will ask you to show a portfolio of work (make it a habit to bring one even if they don’t ask!) Think about how you can demonstrate your hobby or interest in the interview. The best way to do this is to provide an example when you talk about the hobby itself, so you may be describing a singing style that has helped you to get your words across better while presenting. Use it! Take your stamp or coin collection and explain how it has developed your skill to spot unique details no one else sees. At the very least a little bit of dramatics can give the interviewer a break from the monotony of taking interviews.
How to list hobbies and interests on your CV – tailor them to the job!
Many graduate recruitment coaches suggest tailoring your CV to each job you apply for. Think about doing the same with your hobbies or interests, particularly if you have lots of them. Choose the one that you think the interviewer may be able to relate to, perhaps one that has the most resonance with the job or industry.
Hobbies and interests had colour to your personality. They help paint a picture of the sort of person you are and how well you relate to other people. They provide something interesting to talk about and can ignite both interviewee and interviewer with excitement. So it can help you to stand out as unique if you include hobbies and interests on your CV.