Should you include interests on your CV?
This came up in our office today and it got me thinking. Should you include your interests on your CV or not? I would say a cautious yes.
An interesting hobby could provide a great talking point at interview stage. Hobbies can also give the hiring manager a snapshot of your personality in an otherwise career focused document. When there is a lot of competition for a role it can help you to stand out from the crowd. I have heard of people who couldn’t match a CV to an interviewee but refer to each candidate by a memorable quality etc. Without that memorable quality, they become unforgettable or, worse still, something less desirable may be focused on. Would you rather be “the rock climber” or “the hair twiddler”?
If you do anything related to your current or chosen career path then these are also worth mentioning under a hobbies and interests section. This is especially true if you are looking to change sectors as you can demonstrate your existing knowledge in the field. If you are looking to get into a support role and already do 3rd line support for friends and family, tell people about it.
If you want to include your hobbies, there might be the temptation to make some up. That would be a very bad idea though, you don’t want to be discussing your love of campanology if you don’t know what it is! It would be sod’s law that the obscure hobby you’ve chosen turns out to be your interviewer’s favourite past-time. I’m reminded of an advert where someone was at an interview and cited an interest in ornithology, followed by a shot of him running down the street in a chicken costume!
So, why wouldn’t you include your interests on your CV then? Well if they are the commonly cited reading, socialising, going to the cinema etc probably best not to include them in that format. They won’t add anything to your application. If you do want to include ones like these, why not add a bit more detail, lover of graphic novels or attending coding events.
You don’t want your hobbies and interests to take up a large section of your CV but, when used properly, then can be a real boost to your job hunting prospects.
NB Campanology is also known as bell-ringing.
Other CV advice posts that may be of interest to you:
– 15 CV tips from recruiters who have seen it all!
– 10 point CV checklist for maximum success
– Which silly CV mistakes are causing you interviews?