To list hobbies, or not to list hobbies? That is the question when it comes to CVs. But in fact, your interests say a lot more about you than you may think.
Employers see your interests outside of work as a valuable indicator of who you are as a person. While your experience, education and skills are, of course, important to match with the role, your interests tell a potential employer a lot about you. Your hobbies can even make you stand out against a competitor with similar credentials, bagging you the all-important interview.
That said, listing ‘socialising’ and ‘Netflix’ are unlikely to have the desired effect. Consider how your hobbies reflect your personality. For example, practising a martial art can show discipline; an interest in art shows you have a cultured side; and flower arranging highlights a creative flair. Each of these traits show you’re open to developing yourself which translates well into working life.
If you feel like you don’t have any particular hobbies, don’t worry, it’s not too late to start. The willingness to find and try new things also shows an adaptability and desire to grow which you can explore at interview stage.
More than meets the eye
Consider these hobbies and what they tell a potential employer about you:
1. Endurance sports
Sporting activities such as long-distance running, cycling, or swimming show that you possess great drive and that you don’t easily give up.
2. Extreme sports
Hobbies such as skydiving, mountain biking or white-water rafting demonstrate that you don’t dwell in your comfort zone and that you’re willing to push the boundaries of what others believe is possible.
3. Team games
Taking part in team activities including tennis, netball, or football show that you have commitment, dependability and the ability to work with others.
4. Creative pursuits
Being creative in your leisure time, whether it’s drawing, photography, or knitting can show that you have a creative mind which is able to approach problems in an imaginative and original way to find innovative solutions. This applies even if the job you’re applying for is not in an obviously ‘creative’ field.
5. Strategic games
Playing chess or spending quiet time doing the crossword highlights a strategic mindset.
Looking for more career advice? Read here: Careers & graduates