Table of Contents
- Why is it Important to Talk About Hobbies and Interests
- How to Tailor Interests and Hobbies to a Job
- The 4 Main Sets of Hobbies and Interests
- Creative Hobbies and Interests
- Athletic Hobbies and Interests
- People-oriented Hobbies and Interests
- Analytical Hobbies and Interests
- How to Connect with A Recruiter
Hobbies and interests are a vital, yet overlooked part of a resume.
When applying for a job, it’s not enough to just flash a perfect resume with tons of experience and brand names. Employers care about you as a whole. What this means is that you have to show them who you are outside of the office through your hobbies and interests.
This is why it is extremely important to paint a clear picture of yourself, demonstrating your passions and values. All successful resume templates include this section.
That being said, not all hobbies and interests are created equal. There are ways to leverage the things that excite you and tailor them according to the company you are applying to.
in this guide, we will teach you:
- Why it is important to talk about hobbies and interests on your resume
- How to leverage your interests and tailor them to the specific company
- The four main sets of hobbies to mention
- What your interests say about your personality
- How to connect with recruiters based on interests
Let’s dive into it. Remember, regardless of which hobbies and interests you decide to put on your resume, you have to be genuine. Don’t pretend to have interests you don’t, because that will make you look like a fraud.
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Have you noticed how companies often talk company culture during the recruiting process?
Recruiters need to make sure that each employee will fit in with the company culture. This is important, as every successful business needs people that communicate and work well together. People are inherently different and having common hobbies tends to break the ice quicker and over time bring people together.
It all comes down to research.
The company website gives you everything you need to get the job. You just have to dig and find the key pieces of information that talk about interests and hobbies.
For example, if a boutique hotel lists on their website that they value:
- Honest people with a high level of integrity
- Social butterflies who enjoy travel
- People who will take care of guests like their family
- Those who go the extra mile to make every experience memorable
You can choose to list your interests and hobbies that reflect these values. It would look like this:
Passionate Monopoly player who always wins fair and square.
What does this say? If you like to play Monopoly, you are clearly a social butterfly because the game usually includes a group of at least four people and is very emotionally expressive.
Saying that you won fair and square demonstrates your honesty and integrity without you having to say “I’m honest.”
When listing your hobbies and interests on a resume, you really let them show who you. It’s a subtle and elegant way of painting yourself in a good light.
Organize meet-ups for travelers in the city, aimed at building new friendships and showing them around town from a local perspective.
This shows that:
- You care to help strangers feel accepted and make friends; this is a great social skill to bring to a job that requires customer interaction for example
- You go the extra mile to find locals from your city and convince them to show travelers around, so that they could have a memorable experience
Given the fact that you are applying for a hotel, mentioning the word travelers is very important. You have to know the audience the company is going for and show your engagement with it.
While your hobbies and interests may be extremely diverse, there are 4 main categories in which they typically fall. These are:
We will look at each group individually to see what examples best reflect these hobbies and interests and what skills they convey.
What comes to mind when you think “creative” hobbies? Those could be:
- Painting/ sculpture
- Design (websites, clothes, bags)
Now, what skills do you think someone with creative hobbies would have?
Creative people usually:
- Think outside the box
- Are able to see a challenge from a different angle
- Can make links between two projects that seem totally opposing
- Are good with big workloads, as they get bored easily
If you are applying for a position where problem-solving is one of the main tasks, listing these six hobbies and interests on your resume will be helpful. Same goes for jobs that require someone with a visual understanding of things.
Athletic hobbies and interests are very important. Why? Because they demonstrate a few key characteristics of job applicants:
- Competitive spirit
- Desire to win (sometimes at all cost)
What are some athletic hobbies and interests to put on your resume? Take a look at some of the best options:
- Club sports (baseball, basketball, football, swimming)
- Running marathons
- Dancing (competitive; couples)
- Coaching a team
- Hiking, camping
- Doing races - Spartan Race, Mud Run, obstacles
What skills does someone with athletic interests bring to the table?
Sports are no easy task, so someone who lists these interests and hobbies tells the recruiter that they are:
- Can work in a team
- Like to win
- Strong (both physically and mentally)
For example, if you have the motivation to play basketball three times a week at your local court with friends, that shows commitment which tells the recruiter that you are reliable.
If you take time off your day to coach your kids’ middle school football team, it shows leadership and that you are generous with your free time.
If you go on races with obstacles and various physical challenges, that exhibits strength and perseverance. A 10K race through the Irish mud trails is not for weak people, so if you do this for fun, it increases the chances that the company would want you on their team.
If you are a fan of hiking and camping, this shows that you aren’t afraid of the possibility to get stranded in the mountains and that you come prepared ahead of time. Planning ahead is always a useful trait, especially when it comes to company projects.
If you dance, that shows a few things - you have a great coordination and attention to detail; you can follow instructions; you get along with others enough to dance in a couple.
If you do sports, it's always a great idea to have at least one athletic hobby on your resume, so take your pick.
Chances are that wherever you apply to work, the recruiter would want to see that you work well in a team and get along with others well.
These are the top hobbies and interests to put on your resume in order to demonstrate your social skills:
- Organize events/ meet-ups/ parties
- Help out at a local homeless shelter
- Teach others (languages, drawing)
- Host dinner parties
- Volunteer to chaperon your kids’ school events
- Like to volunteer as a tour guide in your city
All of these hobbies are very social. For example, if you are someone who likes to organize events, you must do well with groups of people. Events and meet-ups require a ton of coordination, figuring out logistics and doing a fair amount of marketing and promotion.
Having these skills is very valuable for many job functions and industries such as Business, Sales, Hospitality, Education, Travel.
If you like to teach others, this exhibits a high level of patience, dedication, and care. It’s challenging to teach others new skills. For example, very high levels of frustration could build up when you’re trying to teach someone a new language, even if it’s your family.
Showing that you handle yourself well in these situations is key. Volunteer projects always look great on a resume, because you do something and expect no reward in return. This shows character.
If you volunteer at a local homeless shelter, it suggests a role of a community leader and is very likely that you are someone well-respected and selfless. This is the type of person companies want.
While people and leadership skills are very valuable, we must not forget analytical qualities. These are the hobbies and interests that best illustrate your analytical side:
- Master sudoku/ cards/ board games player
- Book club member
- Play chess
- Read philosophy
- Play real-time strategy computer games
- Tutor others in science/ math/ literature
There are many ways to show that you are an analytical mind. For example, if you’re a member of a book club, this shows that you can think about different plots and context and draw conclusions.
The fact that you do so in a group of people shows your social side as well. This is sometimes a factor which analytical people have to pay attention to. Of course, companies would want a smart, detail-oriented employee, but you would not be any good if you don’t communicate.
Reading philosophy is another great hobby. Though a bit less social than book club, it shows that you are open-minded.
If you tutor others in math, science or literature courses, this shows that you like to help others solve problems. This type of character is always a great addition to a team.
Connecting with a recruiter is always imperative, but it's not an easy task. The worst thing you can do during an interview (well, besides having a meltdown under pressure), is bore the recruiter to death.
While it’s their job to talk about your professional portfolio and the tasks that the job requires, recruiters are people too - they get tired of formalities. This is why it’s a great idea to do research on the person interviewing you and prepare your most suitable interests and hobbies for your conversation.
LinkedIn is an invaluable resource when it comes to finding out information about someone’s professional history and personal interests. There is even a special section dedicated to it, so do your homework.
If you see that the recruiter shares updates on fishing or hiking, that means that they are an outdoors person. If you can identify with these hobbies, the recruiter will realize you share something in common. AT that moment, you'll stop being a piece of paper, and start being human.
You can casually slip in your love for the mountains when asked how your weekend was. Simply reply that it was great and that you went hiking.
Recruiters like to talk about interests outside of the work place because otherwise, their days can get very boring.
If you see that the recruiter shared a book review on LinkedIn, it may be worth it to read a quick synopsis of the book and mention it. Sometimes, recruiters would ask what book you are currently reading.
This is meant to be something of a “smart” test. Successful people typically read a lot and can always recall what’s on their radar at any given moment. If you admit that you haven’t read books since college, your honesty is more likely to hurt you than not.
Check out what the recruiter likes to read and learn a few things. If they follow magazines and news sites like The Economist, Bloomberg or Entrepreneur, give them a follow and see what updates come up. Chances are that you will find a topic to bond over.
Taking it a step further than LinkedIn, Twitter is the key to your recruiter’s hobbies and interests. This platform is easy to use and lets you send out frequent updates on your activities, as well as share things from the web that are interesting to you.
If the recruiter is interested in travel and constantly shares beautiful photos from England or the Bahamas, talk about your last trip and mention your passion for globetrotting.
Chances are that if you are seriously considered for the job, recruiters will also check out your social media.
Interviews and resumes don’t have to be all work and no play. Don't be shy and talk about your hobbies and interests on your resume. You still should, however, do so strategically.
Begin by finding out the values and mission of your desired company. Then tailor your own interests to theirs.
A key factor here is to keep it genuine. If you say that you love to read but can’t recall the name of the last book you've picked up, this will look bad. If on the other hand, you say that you enjoy travel and you’ve got a great story to pull out of your sleeve, this can bring you major points.
Remember that the hobbies and interests on your resume communicate a message about your character.
If you say that you volunteer to coach your children’s baseball team, this shows leadership and patience. It is much more valuable than you saying “I’m a patient leader.”
Connect with recruiters based on your common interests. Remember that recruiters are people like you and anyone else. They get bored talking about job duties and personality tests all day. Bond with them over your shared love for media, sports or art.
Make sure that your social media reflects your personality by mentioning your interests in hobbies. The best way to see if someone is really into running is to go on their Twitter and see whether they post any 5K race updates or have a bunch of Usain Bolt motivational quotes reposted.
Remember that companies want well-rounded individuals, so take your resume to the next level by adding your hobbies and interests.