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Should you include ‘hobbies and interests’ on your CV?

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Lizzie Tasker Job Search, Tips, CV...

CV writing can seem like a total minefield with dos and don’ts aplenty; make it detailed - but not too much, be professional - but also show your personality.

It’s really no surprise that work-seekers are sometimes left feeling confused as to how to get the balance right. 

After all, it’s potentially one of the most important documents you’ll write - only for recruiters to spend just a few seconds looking at it (see here).

A quick online search will give you lots of options for CV templates. A template can be a helpful starting point but it’s important to remember there isn’t one ‘perfect’ CV and we’d always recommend tailoring your CV to the job you’re applying for.

Some sections of a CV are fundamental - work experience or qualifications, for example. These are the areas that a recruiter is likely going to look at first to establish if you’re a match.

Other sections, such as hobbies and interests, are not essential. So, does that mean you shouldn’t include them? Not necessarily…

What counts as a hobby?

Firstly, what exactly is a hobby or an interest? Really, it can be anything you enjoy or do in your spare time. Activities such as sports, music, reading or volunteering/charity work, for example.

The positives

  • If your CV is lacking in personality then including your hobbies and interests can be a great way to give a recruiter a little bit more insight into who you are
  • If you have a really interesting, unusual, or philanthropic hobby it could pique the interest of a recruiter, giving you an advantage over other candidates
  • Some hobbies and interests can be used to demonstrate relevant transferable skills, again giving you an edge over the competition - especially if you’re starting out or changing careers
  • They can make a handy talking point at an interview

The negatives

  • If your hobbies and interests don’t add anything to your application then they can waste valuable space which would be better used elsewhere
  • Some hobbies and interests might be irrelevant to the job you’re applying for, and, in a worst-case scenario actually be a turn-off for employers (putting something like ‘socialising’ can be seen as a bit of a cliché)
  • Some recruiters don’t like them and they might be a distraction

In summary

As a general rule, if you think adding your hobbies and interests is going to add value to your application then go for it! But don’t feel that you have to include just for the sake of it and definitely don’t make something up! If you do choose to include it, it should appear towards the end of your CV.

Our trained Recruitment Consultants are experts in their markets and are able to give you feedback on your CV, just ask during the registration process.