Why Your Hobbies and Interests CAN Make Your CV Stand Out

Posted 1/7/2019 by James Selway
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Many candidates ask me questions relating to best practice when it comes to CVs. The truth is a CV is highly subjective based on the personality of the person who actually receives it. That’s a fact I’m afraid!

One of the most common questions I get asked about CVs is this: "Should I put my hobbies and interests on my CV?" 

This is an interesting topic to debate, as it certainly divides opinion. Now years ago, you were always told to add this hobbies and interests on your CV right at the end, but it’s not years ago anymore is it! Just because people always 'used to do' it doesn’t mean that it's still the right thing to do! 

There are two schools of thought with hobbies and interests on your CV. Some say, yes you should put your hobbies and interests down, and some are just dead against it.


Straight from the get-go, my key advice on hobbies and interests on a CV is this.


If you DON'T really have any specific hobbies and interests, don’t put anything down at all.



Why do I say this?



1. It doesn’t add anything to your CV and is a waste of valuable space.

2. Nothing screams ‘just like everyone else’ when you put down, walking, socialising with friends, going to the cinema and listening to music. We all do that on the most part. It’s the equivalent of saying ‘I breath.’


I personally feel that the only hobbies and interests that should be included on a CV are ones that add weight to, strengthen, or evidence your key skills and experience.

Now, a good hobby or interest is sometimes extremely useful not just to add to your skills and experience, but to build rapport with the end user!


They say people buy people, and that people are drawn to people like themselves.


So, if the hiring manager loves golf, and you love golf, surely this could add weight to your desirability. If you love a bit of amateur dramatics, and so too does the HR Manager, what topic do you think may be mentioned in interview which may build that instant rapport?



So, what type of hobbies and interests should you put on your CV?





Should I put my hobbies and interests on my CV, FusionHub Recruitment Agencies in Bedfordshire



Being in a sports team, whether you are a member, captain, organiser etc is a great hobby or activity to add to your CV. It demonstrates and adds weight to key skills such as teamwork, dedication, competitiveness, determination, reliability etc.

All great traits to have within the workplace would you not agree?



Music, Drama and Literature


Hobbies and interests on a CV, Music, Art, literature



Partaking in the above arts can demonstrate a number of key skills which are ultra-useful and valuable to possess in the workplace. You very may well perform in front of people, which takes a large degree of self-confidence, which is always nice for sales, business development and customer service roles.

These types of interests certainly add weight to your creativeness, confidence, dedication, attention to detail as well as many others.

Also, with music, if you play in a band or play an instrument it demonstrates that you have put time and effort in to get better at something.

Who wouldn’t want to see this trait in an employee?



Volunteering and/or Fundraising


Interests and hobbies onto a CV, Volunteering and fundraising, volunteers



Volunteering and/or fundraising for a worthy call demonstrates both your selflessness and dedication to helping others. It also involves a commitment on one's behalf and depending on what type of volunteering and fundraising you do; it definitely adds to key skills.

For example, if you worked in a charity shop you will 100% add to your communication skills and customer service skills for example.

If you a fundraiser you need to be good a sales and you need plenty of resilience! That's for sure! 

Although you may not be being paid for these activities, it’s certainly useful to have this type of activity on your CV to demonstrate that you are working for a company in this capacity. Especially if your paid work history isn’t extensive.



Foreign Languages & Travel


hobbies on a CV? Travel, foreign languages, culture, interests



Now as I said above a lot of people put on their CV ‘travelling’ as their hobby. As you probably are aware the word ‘travelling’ is somewhat open to interpretation.

I go on holiday to different places each year (less so now!) and I am always being dragged along kicking and screaming on European City breaks. But, I wouldn’t class myself as a traveller as such.

I believe that if you want to put travelling as a hobby or activity you should mention why you enjoy it? Is it to push you out of your comfort zone as you visit some not so common tourist destinations? Is it because you love to learn about other cultures? Both are positive traits in an employee.

Another big thing here is foreign language learning. Some people just love to go travelling to immerse themselves in another language. Language skills are a much sought-after commodity in the current job market. So, if this is one of your hobbies, then 100% put it down as such.



There’s so many more out there!


There are loads of different hobbies and activities one could use as an example to add weight to a CV or application.

Blogging and photography, for example, to name just two off the bat.

Let me give you one final example. Metal Detecting. Something I am very much likely to get into soon if I can find another like-minded soul to come with me! Nobody is biting here!

What skills are transferable in this? Well, one would be researching. You would have to do your research to find what areas are of historical interest. Effective communication, as you have to convince a landowner to let you detect on their land.

Patience and resilience, because let's face it, it’s probably years before you find anything decent, and you probably will mostly just find old metal ring pulls. Ethical and moral fortitude. When you find something classified as treasure you have to inform the relevant authorities and navigate this process.



Key takeaways on interests and hobbies on your CV


  • The important message to take away from this is it all depends on who’s reading the CV

  • If you don't have any real hobbies or interests just don't add them to your CV. Use the extra space to dazzle.

  • Think about your activities and hobbies and how they add weight to your skills and experience. Like the ones mentioned above.

  • Don’t assume that you're perceived off the wall and wacky hobby shouldn’t be listed. If there are key skills being honed and utilised, then consider adding it to your CV.




What are your thoughts on hobbies and interests on a CV? 



Please comment below, and share this post! 



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