Including a hobbies section can help provide your CV with some personality, which could work in your favour if you’re applying for a customer-centred role, but not everyone agrees that hobbies and interests have a place on a professional CV. The most important aspect of CV-writing is to tailor your CV to the job, advises the National Careers Service. If you decide to include hobbies and extra-curricular interests, rather than just listing them, think about how they relate to the specifications of the job for which you’re applying.
Hobbies can help to show leadership if you don’t have a track record of this at work, suggest Monster Jobs. For example, if you play in a sports team you might have shown leadership by captaining the team or helping to run training sessions. Include the specifics, like the name of your team and your role in it. Likewise if you’ve acted as chairperson for a society or interest group, this shows your ability to lead and work with a group of people.
Some jobs require you to show that you’ve held a position of responsibility in the past and you may be able to use a hobby to show you’ve got what it takes. If you’ve acted as secretary or treasurer for a sports team or special interest group, you can use this experience to show that you’re a reliable character possessing the specific skills to fulfill that role and its responsibilities. Think about what you had to do in the role, for example taking minutes or handling cash, and briefly include an outline of any aspects relevant to the job you’re interested in.
Including interests and hobbies can make you seem a more attractive person to have around the workplace, says Dr Catherine Armstrong of Manchester Metropolitan University, but you should avoid general statements. For example, rather than writing that you enjoy “reading” or “films” include specifics, such as particular genres of book or film. Unusual hobbies like taxidermy or needlework can provide topics for conversation, suggest London-based company Neil’s Recruitment, but some employers may be put off if your interests are too obscure or, like trainspotting, tend to have strong negative stereotypes.
Need for truth
While it’s important to present yourself in the best light on your CV, never lie as you could be exposed at interview. If your interviewer turns out to have an interest in a hobby you falsely claim to know about, the interview will go bad very quickly and you’ll appear untrustworthy, warns Monster Jobs. Some interviewers will specifically ask you to talk about one of your interests to check that you haven’t tried to deceive them, so if you do include hobbies on your CV, be prepared to talk about them.