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I have recently come across the following articles that put a lot of emphasise on displaying a persons hobbies, interests and activities on a persons CV.

Articles 1, 2, 3

CV itself meaning as a rough translation is a follows: [the] course of [my] life.

This shows that a potential employer is also interested in your life outside of work and anything that you would take an interest in would help show you on paper before an interview would even take place.

How should the hobbies, interests and activities be displayed and listed on a CV?

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    Don't - nobody is interested. – Matt Sep 23 '13 at 13:27
  • Are they relevant? Or do you just want to show you have a life? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 24 '13 at 11:01
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    @Joe-Strazzere - nobody who has to read your CV is interested... – Matt Sep 24 '13 at 11:47
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How should the hobbies, interests and activities be displayed and listed on a CV?

In my opinion, you should not include hobbies, interests, and activities on your CV.

I've read thousands of CVs/resumes in the years I've been a hiring manager. I've never once seen anything in a list of hobbies that made a candidate more appealing, but I've seen a few that made the candidate seem rather geeky/odd. (It's hard to determine if something we find personally interesting will seem equally interesting to others, or just odd. Many times it is the latter.)

I remember reading one resume from a candidate who seemingly thought that online "gaming" was a sufficiently big part of his life that he listed the number of years he had played a particular game. Yet, he hadn't read a single book related to his profession. Not a positive from my perspective at all.

For me, your CV needs to be professional. You want to convey your abilities for the job at hand. As an interviewer, that and your fit within my team are pretty much all I really care about.

When we speak during an interview - that's the time when your personality can come across. And if I ask you something like "What do you do when you are not working?", that's when you can decide to inject a bit about your outside interests.

The only exceptions I could think of, would be if you happen to know your interviewer shares a particular hobby/interest with you or when the hobby happens to be directly relevant to the job at hand. Perhaps then it would be appropriate to include them on your resume in hopes of catching her/his attention.

If you do decide to include them on your CV anyway, just list them in a section at the bottom of the CV titled something professional like "Interests". Don't go crazy here - you don't want an interviewer to think your hobbies are more important to you than your work (even if that is actually the case).

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    My opinion is similar, however I have worked with people who judge two seemly equal CV's (skill/experience wise) give preference to the person who sounds the interesting person, especially when there isn't the time to interview every candidate - I think this is probably more prevalent in smaller companies. – Mr Shoubs Nov 11 '13 at 10:42
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    If a person has room to waste on this information, they don't have any experience at all. That's ok if they are entry-level (although like you I still don't find hobbies in the slightest bit helpful), but if you have more than 1 year of experience and you can't fill up a resume without this information, I am not interested in hiring you anyway. If you go over 1 page for inexperienced people or 2 pages for others, then this information is just padding and may well get the resume tossed as too long. – HLGEM Feb 4 '15 at 19:56
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    +1 for "The only exceptions I could think of, would be if the hobby happens to be directly relevant to the job at hand." Contributing to open source is definitely a plus for programmers. – bpromas Jul 14 '15 at 11:28
  • Valid point. However, I don't think that listing a hobby that's considered to be geeky is a bad thing if the candidate can reflect on it and show how the skills acquired from it can be used in the real world. Let's use the gaming section for instance: some video games require ~30 people to work together as a team, a single point of failure will result in a failed mission. To be able to function at the hardest kind of games one must show excellent leadership, the ability to learn and adapt, communicate and so on, depending on the role. Just pointing out that it's interesting sometimes. – Jonast92 Mar 13 '17 at 10:42
  • Engadget has an article on this topic: engadget.com/2008/05/12/… – Jonast92 Mar 13 '17 at 10:44
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There are relevant hobbies and there are irrelevant hobbies. I once landed a contract in part because mentioning offhandedly that I had a web server in my living room and was working on a Raspberry Pi made those conducting the interview feel that I was the kind of person who was interested in learning new things for the sheer challenge of it, which was a good thing to them since I was unfamiliar with the technology stack they were using and therefore would need to absorb a lot of new information in order to get up to speed. Similarly, my resume lists a number of personal projects I have undertaken in my own time in order to learn new technologies, as a way to supplement my formal education; those could be considered "hobby" projects as well. One of the articles you linked mentions things like informal leadership positions when going for a management job; these also seem relevant, though they're soft skills more than technical skills.

However, I can't envision a scenario where the fact that I enjoy costume making or baking would land me a job in IT; that kind of hobby is more of a "fun fact" to bring up at mixers than something to put on the resume.

As far as how to go about doing this: I created a section called "Notable Projects" where I listed a few of the more interesting/relevant projects. I put it below the work history and skills sections, as it's less important; if I don't fit the basic requirements nobody wants to wade through bonus material to find that out.

  • I would not consider Programming personal projects to be a hobby but a listing of relevant experience. – HLGEM Feb 4 '15 at 19:57
  • I don't think that's what the OP means by hobbies. You're right to put that stuff though, it's great. – Nathan Cooper May 20 '15 at 6:51
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You should include hobbies inasmuch as they showcase skills and experience relevant for the job. For example, dancing might not help your CV, but being treasurer of your dancing club indicates financial awareness, bookkeeping, organisational skills, and perhaps proficiency with accounting software.

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As a recruiter I kind of like it when people include hobbies at the bottom. It breaks up the monotony of looking through resumes and reminds you that you're dealign with people and not just a collection of data points. That said, I can honestly say in nearly 20 years of recruiting a person's hobbies/interests has never helped get them an interview. It's never hurt either.

2

If you think there is a benefit, then include it in your cover letter. One of your hobbies could be a connection to why you are interested in this company and/or their industry. If you don't have a lot of job experience (recent graduate), a hobby or interest is a way to show why you've chosen a particular field.

Otherwise, you're wasting valuable space on a resume. There is an outside chance a person bias against one of your hobbies could be held by a potential employer. Avoid the chance of irrelevant information clouding their judgement.

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My name is Filly and I am a career expert at Uptowork, a career and resume building resource.

Many of the responses here have scoffed at the idea of including hobbies and interests in your CV, and although they may be right in certain instances, they could also be wrong in others.

The conventional approach to resume writing tells you to avoid hobbies at all costs; they’re nothing more than distractions that your employers couldn’t care less about. Well, we live in unconventional times, and job market is evolving rapidly in ways that very few people have anticipated.

While major established corporations might take a no-nonsense approach to resumes, smaller and younger companies will often try to have a diverse company culture that sets them apart from the pack.

The first thing you’ll want to do is find out if the company you are applying to belongs to the former, or to the latter group.

If you’ve discovered that the company you’re applying to belongs to the latter, then it could certainly help your odds to include some relevant interests that will give your resume a bit of personality.

Interests and hobbies should typically be kept towards the bottom of your resume when included. Consider them as more of a footnote that gives some insight into the motivations you have outside of work.

Think of how your interests could play to the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a management role, your position as captain of the local softball team could show your employers about your ability to effectively coordinate a group of people.

Just remember, if you do include hobbies and interests, keep them relevant!

If you feel like this answer was not specific enough, I would recommend reading as much about the subject as you can. We have an article about the subject on our blog, but I encourage you to research the question anywhere that people are discussing it!

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