Most CV templates and advice about CV writing will suggest that a jobseeker should have a small section of their CV dedicated to personal hobbies and interests. The jury is still out as to whether this section helps to make an employer’s mind up when employing a candidate; however there is no reason why having this info on your CV should put an employer off; providing that you avoid the common pitfalls.
I’ve put together some advice and information to show you the right way and the wrong way to tackle this section of your CV, so you can make sure that your CV is flawless from start to finish.
Relevancy is the key
You might have an amazing passion for knitting, but does it have anything to do with your vocation? If it does and you happen to be a trainee fashion designer for example, then go for it! But remember the thing to avoid at all costs is any irrelevant hobbies that just fill space and don’t actually support your CV. Remember this isn’t your Facebook bio, it’s your CV- the aim of which is to secure your dream job. So be ruthless and even though your hobbies might be great, it might not be something your employer needs to know.
This is not to say that all hobbies and interests don’t belong on your CV. A lot of hobbies have transferrable skills which could reinforce your suitability for the position.
For example, being the coach of your child’s football team highlights your ability to manage a team and excel in a leadership role.
Running a book club emphasises a keen passion for literature and your ability for creative thought and organisation.
If you are applying for a job in an active environment, then showing off your sporting passions will not be out of place on your CV.
Don’t be modest about any achievements you may have in a professional, sporting or skill based capacity. This shows passion, enthusiasm and talent, which are all great qualities. Boasting about winning the class spelling bee in primary school is not quite what I have in mind here- keep it relatively recent!!
What NOT Write
Not everyone is going to have an exciting array of hobbies and interests to list on their CV- but don’t worry, it is probably best to leave this section out altogether than make the following mistakes...
“I like to socialise/ I enjoy going out with my friends”- Ok, so points for not being a recluse, but in the working world it’s about as useless as writing that you enjoy 3 square meals a day.
“I enjoy going to the cinema”- you may do, or you might enjoy long walks in the park or collecting stamps, but does this help the employer see why they should employ you? This kind of info might be more appropriate on a personal ad than on your CV, so have a good think about the relevance of what you put down.
Any kind of lie is not a good idea- if you put that you are a keen scuba diver and have never touched a flipper in your life, then this is just over-padding and pointless. You need to ensure, like with any part of your CV, that if an employer asks you about it in more depth, you know what you are talking about. The last thing you’d want is to find out that your interviewer is also a passionate scuba diver- but a real one- you could find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation!!