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Hobbies and Interests

The Hobbies and Personal interest section is one of the smallest on a CV but it is also the one which gives rise to the most debate.  The debates are along the line as to its value or its relevance.  To do one or not to do one – that is often the question.  However, everyone tends to agree that if you are running out of space on your CV then this wold be one fo the first sections to sacrifice.

A unanimous opinion is that it should not look like a shopping list, for example, reading, swimming, going to the cinema.  That’s a bit like listing your interests for a pen pal or foreign exchange partner from the time when you were at school. 

If you do include “Hobbies and Personal Interests” section then you need to make it work for you.  It can be a super way to work on your personal branding in bringing your personality to your CV.   It can help an employer or recruiter get an idea about who you are as an individual.  First and foremost though, your hobbies must be real – pure and simply actual hobbies of yours.  They should either act as a talking point or an ice-breaker or demonstrate some value-added transferable skills.  

Talking point or ice-breaker hobbies are generally interesting and unusual ones.  They can provoke non-related work conversation for example hobbies such as scuba diving, skiing, dancing and horse riding.  Whilst these may not seem unusual to the person who actually practices them they can be a great talking point.   Golf may not seem an unusual hobby but its big in the corporate world. 

Value-added hobbies are those that can help demonstrate additional transferable skills.  For example team player qualities can be demonstrated by rugby, hockey or football.   Quiet and patient traits are intimated by fishing.  The ability to handle technology demonstrated by photography and animation.  Leadership skills could be shown if you are captain of a local football team.  People skills can be indicated if you are volunteering at Citizens Advice Bureau or The Samaritans etc.

Caution is needed if you list reading as one of your hobbies. Whilst many like to read you need to have recently read a book and be able to name and talk about it.

Don’t overload the hobbies and interests section of your profile. Make sure you can talk authoratively about anything you include.  Do not lie or put down a hobby of something you had an interest in 10 years ago.  You never know it may be something that the interviewer is passionate about and could be your downfall and get you marked down as a “Liar”. 

Our conclusion is that this section generally won’t do you any harm as long as they are real interests and hobbies.  Ultimately it’s down to your personal choice.