I'm a 3rd-year college student applying for internships and co-ops. My career advisor generally encourages putting a "Personal Interests" section on resumes.

Generally, not many of my real personal hobbies are immediately relevant to my career. I'm applying for computational biology positions, but I like playing clarinet and oboe, kayaking, and listening to podcasts.

I think talking about these things helped me get a job in the past--mentioning podcasts while interviewing with scientists for my last co-op was good, since it showed that I'm familiar with tedious lab work--podcasts help to pass the time during long assays--but the relevance may not be immediately clear to a hiring manager/etc. My career advisor tells me that it helps with small talk during the beginning/end of interviews.

Should I still include this section? I see a lot of advice talking about starting hobbies like blogging just for the sake for career development, but that feels dishonest to me.

  • An example: I run a gaming community focusing on tactical realism and communication. My duties include Linux administration, working with Docker, NodeJS, GCP (for our forum), and then training other admins, writing down server procedures, making up a training schedule for new and old members (weapons, communication etc). That's a hobby with real-world skills and, yes, it's on my CV.
    – rath
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 9:41

9 Answers 9


I am not a fan of putting any personal interests on resume, but applying for co-ops and internships with no work experience, means you might need to. In that case, be careful not to put anything that might be offputting or illegal.

So a mention of podcasts is good if they were on a technical subject or neutral subject (like music), but not if they were about how to groom children to molest them. Avoid anything political unless you are going for a political type job. Same with anything overtly religious.

In discussing podcasts, you might write a description including the kinds of things you did such as researching the topic, writing the script, creating the podcast, editing it, marketing it. This shows all kinds of relevant skills and it is a plus if they were on a technical subject related to your field.

However, in the US, once you have your first professional position, take this section off. It is not relevant aft you have a good work history. I understand that is is more common in some European countries.

  • I ended up choosing this answer after some deliberation, especially since this one isn’t up-voted. I chose this one because (1) HLGEM clearly states a lot of work experience in their profile and (2) that work experience—database work—is more relevant to my target employer—computational biologists—than the fields listed by other posters. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:25
  • I’d never considered a podcast on grooming children to molest them could even exist, let alone that a listener would ignore common sense and put it on their resume. Not the example I would have chosen to illustrate your point (which I do agree with) and, if it’s an attempt at a joke, I’d say it’s a total miss.
    – Greenstick
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 23:01
  • Why would I joke about that? You might be amazed at what stupid things people put on their resumes.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 14:42

I don't list my personal interests on resumes, though I am prepared to answer questions regarding my hobbies and interests if asked.

In pursuit of keeping things neutral, I only list things that are relevant to the job and its requirements.

My resume is very concise. I give enough details that the interviews can formulate their own questions regarding the subjects. This encourages dialogue.

Good luck OP.

  • You risk appearing some what anti social by doing this - I specifically mention outside interests for this reason. Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 13:15
  • This is a great and concise answer/input. Thank you! Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:26

Depends. If it's relevant to the position, it can be quite helpful. I work in the audio industry. Being an active musician, doing home recording or having some stuff on Spotify can be a big plus here.

You may also want to check your digital footprint. If some of these activities pop up when someone googles your name and it could be misinterpreted, you may want to put it on your resume proactively.

  • The google search and response seems like a fantastic thing to keep in mind. Thank you for the help! Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:28

I do not specifically mention something as a hobby, instead at the end of my CV I have a small list of 'Other Achievements'. For me this includes completing a charity 10K run and winning a football league cup, but could include anything such as completing a musical instrument grade or being a mentor to someone.

This shows the employer that you have other interests and gives them a more rounded view of you as an individual without listing them as just hobbies or pass times - you are showing you have actually achieved something by doing these things.

Good Luck.


Although most answers are about not mentioning your personal hobbies, I'd advise just the contrary, but only put one of them, the one you feel most comfortable talking about and of which you know the most: as you mention yourself you are just a student, so during a hiring process it makes no sense talking about your career or other professional achievements. So one thing you might be asked to talk about, is that one hobby you have mentioned. If you can explain this hobby in a clear and motivated way (don't overreact though), you might be able to demonstrate that you are a highly motivated person who knows what he's talking about, which is exactly what lots of firms are interested in.

Example: you like playing the clarinet and the oboe. If asked about this you might explain why you play both, I'm guessing that you play in some kind of group, and you can say that although you prefer the clarinet, sometimes you fill in a gap in your group by playing the oboe when desired (which demonstrates that you are a flexible person, ready to change when needed). Be cautious not to sound like "it's just something I'm doing to keep myself occupied", and try to show a positive attitude, e.g. "First I joined a group not far from where I live, but I felt too restricted by the limited repertoire, so I decided to leave the group and create a new one, I'm playing both instruments in my newly group, we have a more elaborated repertoire, which is a more challenging environment, exactly how I like it!".

Good luck


I put all my main hobbies on my CV. I list the ones I am most passionate about, and this gives interviewers points to talk about.

Every interview I have ever had has asked me about at least one of them! Some on the interesting range of countries I have lived/worked in, or various sports, or things I have created etc.

The value to you is that you know your hobbies, so you can easily talk about them, either as a conversation starter - sometimes used at the start of an interview - or as a way to demonstrate you have a life outside work once the functional part of the interview is complete.

When I interview candidates, I place a lot of value on this sort of thing, as if the candidate passes functional interview, I still won't hire them if they are not going to fit in the team. To know that, I need to hear them talk about things they are passionate about - and hobbies are the perfect place.

  • Thank you for the help! This is what I’ll end up doing, I think. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:30

Several companies want employees who fit in with their work culture. For instance, Google hires people who are open and playful because that is Google’s work culture. And Google wants new employees to fit there well.

So, if applying to Google, you can let them know that you are the best fit by carefully selecting unique hobbies for your resume that shows you are an open and sporty person. A gist of what your hobbies or interest says about you:

Individual Sports (Running) – You’re fit and love challenges.

Team Sports (Football) – You are good at teamwork.

Tech Hobbies (Computing) – Tech savvy and introvert (not good for social jobs).

Puzzles (Crosswords) – An analytical thinker with troubleshooting skills.

Games (Chess) – You are good at making strategy.

What we mentioned is only a few examples, there are thousands of hobbies that you can put on your resume but be sure, that they are really your hobby and interest. I hope you will like this information.Thank You.

  • This answer is from here without proper citation.
    – Nobody
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 11:11

Be yourself.

List your ongoing interests separately to achievements, but make it brief, MAX two lines. I would usually recommend not mentioning things like watching YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. But maybe in this case, for lab work, being interested in podcasts is fine. I would specify that you are into listening to podcasts, it can be read that you are playing at making podcasts, which could be a red flag.

Overall it gives a small flavor of who you are to the reader and helps you stand out and differentiate against other candidates with similar technical, educational or career histories.

Best of luck.



In my opinion, not everything in a resume or application need be 100% relevant to the position sought, as a secondary purpose is actually to stand out from other applicants.

When one has very little working experience, adding a 'quirky' or unusual personal interest - like playing the clarinet or oboe - can serve exactly that purpose. Imagine your application alongside 20 similar ones; chances are the employer will remember you as the clarinet-player.

As long as the personal interest is merely listed and not elaborated on, the upside seems a lot larger than any potential downside.

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