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How to choose which hobbies or interests to put in your resume

For CVs, hobbies should be relevant to the role you're applying for and show your personality before the interview. Read this article to find the best pastime activity examples for your resume.
IT expert drafting a resume in front of a laptop
Article author
Written by
Aldona Milej
Published on
October 7, 2021
Last updated on
April 29, 2024

What are best hobbies to include in a CV? What personal interests should you put in your resume? What are the adequate hobbies for an engineering resume and what are the suitable hobbies in resume for freshers? Many job seekers ask these questions, and they are pretty difficult to answer. There are so many things to consider when writing down what you do in your spare time - how much time you spend doing these activities, how competitive they are for jobs, and if any of them could be seen as negative. The truth is, when it comes to hobbies to list on a resume that there really isn't a "right" answer.

Most people mention things like: reading books, traveling, listening to music or watching movies. But that doesn't tell the recruiter anything about you! You have to be more specific about your interests and hobbies. Maybe some of them will fit into the role, you are applying to? We will help you find some ideas about what might work for your situation, so let's get started!

Where to put hobbies and interest

Adding hobbies and interests section of a CV is straightforward. Always list hobbies at the bottom of your resume. They are important area of interest in resume for some hiring managers but not as important as soft skills and hard skills. You won't get hired because you have the same passion as the recruiter, but because of your attitude and technical skills. On the other hand, you have to show what you are enthusiastic about and prove that you are developing yourself even in your free time. It also gives a glimpse of who you are after work. Note that the difference between hobby and interest is subjective, so there is no need to separate these two in a resume.

Types of hobbies

We can split interests and hobbies for CV into 4 groups:

1) Sports - there are many sports activities that you can do in your free time. All types of sports show that you have a goal and can work hard. It often means that you also know how to just have fun with others.

2) Learning - there are hobbies that force us to learn new relevant skills and connect dots. If you are reading, writing, painting or anything similar in your free time that's great. It shows that you are creative and focused on self-development.

3) Social - most social hobbies are for extroverts that want to spend time with other people. Dancing, public speaking groups and volunteering are all good examples. Those hobbies force you to interact with others and learn about them, their differences and needs.

4) Unique hobbies to include in a CV - in this category you can put everything that comes to mind, from cooking up to traveling. Some people do woodworking, others love gardening or yoga. Anything can be a hobby - it's more important how you talk about it and can you connect it to a job description.

Most popular hobbies and interests

Below, you'll find seven hobbies and interests worthy of mentioning in a CV. Example hobbies to list on resume include:

1) Reading books

Almost all of us read books, but we don't read the same ones. If it's your hobby you should definitely add it to your resume, but be a little bit more specific. Don't say only "reading books", it's much better to write "reading Sci-Fi books from the 1980s" or "reading books from Frederik Pohl". You can also say what topics interest you the most, be it fiction, science or anything else.

By being a bit more specific you can find a common interest with the recruiter, you can like the same author. This will give also a bit more insights into your character, you will surely stand out!

2) Sports

But what kind of sports do you do?  There are many different sports, and it's much better to add a bit more information. Do you do weightlifting? Are you on a basketball team? If so then write "weightlifting" and "basketball". Or maybe you're just an amateur fan of some sport? Write that too!

Exercising means that you are disciplined and you have a goal. If the recruiter asks about your results and achievements, you should say them proudly: "I managed to lose 12 kg of weight in the last year." It's very important to always stay truthful and avoid exaggerations.

3) Travelling

There are many people that love traveling, but do you have a place where you feel best? Maybe you are a person that feels good in the mountains, or at the sea. Maybe you like sightseeing in old cities, or you are more of a nature lover. Whatever it is, make sure to put your favorite place on the resume.

You can also travel with different vehicles, if you traveled across a whole country on your bike, make sure to mention it. There are many interesting things about each one of us, we just have to think more about what makes us unique.

4) Dancing

Do you know tango or modern dances? It’s good to mention it on the resume and describe your dancing skills. People love dancing, and if you are a good dancer, you should be proud of it. Hobbies mentioned in your CV (personal interests you put in your resume) should emphasize what makes you unique.

5) Video Games

Maybe your hobby is playing video games? Do not hesitate to mention it on the resume! People appreciate honesty in its simplest form. If the recruiter asks you about this hobby you can talk about your favorite game and what you learned thanks to it.

There are many games that force you to be a team player. Software engineers relax while playing video games and build relationships with fellow gamers. There is a good chance that you won't be the only gamer in your new team!

6) Writing

Writing is often an underrated skill and hobby, but it's the one that can give you the biggest leverage. If you are writing a blog that's even better, it means that you are building your own brand in your free time! Companies want to hire individuals that share knowledge and take matters into their own hands.

There is a good chance that your new employer will support you in brand-building. The marketing team will surely want to share some tips with you. You just have to tell them what you like to write about.

7) Volunteering 

A typical hiring manager would love to give someone with some volunteering experience a chance. After all, we have to be socially responsible, and it's our duty to make the world a better place. If you are a volunteer, it's proof that you are open to helping others. It often suggests that you possess other valuable traits, such as teamwork or leadership skills.

In Maxima Consulting, we are taking part in the Hacker Community, created by the Sarigato Foundation. We support children from foster care, foster families and families in difficult situations. We teach them new technologies, develop digital competence and support them in school learning.

How to choose the right hobbies for your resume

Think about the skills needed in the new role, you probably have a hobby or personal interest that will fit into it. If it's a leadership position, you should definitely mention that you like public speaking. If it's a position for a focused individual, then chess can be a better hobby to mention. Relevant hobbies are always better than random ones.

You can also think about the work environment. Do you need to have a positive and creative attitude? Mention that your hobby is creating music, which will show this aspect of your personality. If it's more of a team-oriented position, then mentioning team sports or games would be good for showing skills in working with others. If the company has a basketball and you love basketball, why not mentioning it?

Conclusion

There are many things to consider when choosing what interests and hobbies to include in a CV. This section of your resume is the place where you can show your personality before the first in-person interview and make a good first impression. However, it is important to choose hobbies that are relevant for the position you apply for and interests that relate to the job description provided by recruiters and hiring managers. Curriculum vitae interests that work best are the ones that can result in gaining some transferable skills, like teamwork, creativity, or an investigative approach.

Do some research about the role and company culture before applying to increase your hiring chances. There are things that make you unique, think about them and use them to grow your career!

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