Hobbies and interests on a CV are often overlooked, with work experience and education stealing most of the limelight. This means there is often little space to list things such as your hobbies or interests, but the truth is that they are just as important and a key ingredient to creating an effective CV.
While it is easy to list your academic background or your previous work history, some may find it more difficult to pinpoint the things that interest them and choose their favourite hobbies.
Everyone has a hobby or an interest, if not many, and sometimes these may link directly to the work sector in which you work. For example, working as a graphic designer whilst enjoying drawing, painting and photography in your free time. This shows recruiters that you are creative, interested in art, design and photography and can be an effective way of showing more than just professional experience or educational training and qualifications, as interests fuel out desire to learn and work.
Dos and don’ts for CV hobbies section
- Keep your hobbies and interests relevant to the job specification
- List them in bullet points, small phrases or a short paragraph which encases all your interests and hobbies together
- Reinforce your job application through your interests and hobbies
- Place the hobbies and interests section at the beginning of your CV. This section does not merit more importance than other sections, such as your academic background or your work history
- List random hobbies or interests which have 0 connection with the job role or work sector
Write too much or go off topic
- Include anything political, religious or intimate (on UK CVs, less personal information is not divulged)
Make any hobbies up or lie about interests
Should you include your hobbies on a CV?
Some might consider including your hobbies and interests on a CV unprofessional or off-topic, when in fact your interests are a great section of your CV.
First of all, this small bullet listed section doesn’t take up much space, yet explains and says a lot, making it a beneficial and worthy section of your CV.
Secondly, recruiters can gain some insight into your personality, character and interests.
Thirdly, this section can make you stand out from the rest by presenting recruiters with a group of unique interests or hobbies (which complement the job specification or can be used for the job role).
Lastly, not only does this section allow you to demonstrate personal characteristics and relevant skills for the job, but it’s also a talking point which can help to ease the interview environment, as well as an opportunity to connect with your prospective employers.
How to list your interests on a CV
Make sure you format your CV template with a solid structure and presentation. This entails placing more important sections, such as your work experience, at the top of your CV, and less important sections, such as your interests, at the bottom.
Title the section as you feel appropriate. For example: hobbies and interests, interests, personal interests.
Choose whether you would prefer to bullet point the list of hobbies or write a few phrases about your hobbies and interests in a short paragraph.
After writing the hobbies and interests section of your CV, reread it and compare it with the job specification to see how compatible your personal profile is with the job role. If you feel that there is an irrelevant hobby or interest listed or that you have forgotten something which might interest recruiters or boost your employability, edit this section accordingly.
What are good hobbies to list on a CV?
The reason the hobbies section is sometimes overlooked by hiring managers is mainly due to the fact that many hobbies don’t relate to the job specification and therefore hold no relevance with the job application. Although this isn’t the case for all hiring managers, it is wise to keep your interests and hobbies within the same area of topic.
Technically, you can choose to list any hobby you have on a CV: however good hobbies to list on a CV are often considered ones relevant or related to the field of work. This is fairly easy to accomplish as often your interests come hand in hand with the type of job you wish to do.
If applying for a job as an Editorial assistant with an interest in books and reading, listing reading and even specifying the genre of interest would be a productive hobby to list on your CV.
Don’t forget: your hobbies don’t have to be directly linked to the job role. Instead, you may choose to list interests which complement the job, or transferable skills which can be used in many job sectors. I.e., foreign languages.
Hobbies and interests CV examples
Here are some hobbies and interests CV examples which you can use to help write your own hobbies and interests section.
Bullet point format
Good hobbies and interests to list for a journalist or copywriter:
- Travel blogging
- Travel photography
- Foreign languages
Good hobbies and interests to list for a P.E. teacher:
Hobbies and interests CV example for a personal trainer:
Motivated marathon trainer and runner and yoga teacher on the weekends. Devote my spare time to training for marathon running, as well as training in a run club weekly. I also enjoy trying new recipes and preparing healthy dishes. Last year I completed the London marathon in 4:17:45 and am currently training for the Paris marathon next year. Other interests include pilates, beach volleyball and swimming.
Types of hobbies
- Book club
- Team sports
- Board games club or group
Active & sporty hobbies:
- Marathon running
- Tai Chi
- Digital scrapbooking
- App building
- Social networking
- Web design