You want your CV to showcase the very best of you and make you seem like an appealing candidate for the job. You carefully cultivate your career history, proofread to perfection but are stuck with one area. Should you include hobbies in your CV?
Unfortunately there’s not a straight yes or no answer, but there are a few handy tips to hopefully help you navigate the issue. There are factors to consider like relevancy and professional experience, and we’re here to address them all.
Be a relevant elephant
‘Is it relevant?’ is one of the top answers to the question ‘should you include hobbies in your CV?’ While you may want to share your love of Tuvan Throat Singing (google it – trust us) with the world, potential employers may not find it useful to know or relevant for the job. That is of course, unless you are applying to join a Tuvan Throat Singing choir.
Examine your hobbies and see if any could be seen as relevant for the position you are interested in. Obvious examples would be a passion for writing or blogging if you are going for creative or social based roles, an interest in coding or programming for jobs in the tech sector or even strategy games, puzzles or chess for problem solving careers, project management or development roles. Make sure you don’t just list a hobby, mention the useful transferable skills it has given you.
Keep It Simple Stupid
If you do have relevant hobbies that you’re going to include, follow the KISS principle and make sure they are just an added extra and not a new version of the Odyssey. They should add a small boost of colour your CV and give the reader a taste of who you are as a person, but not form the whole story. Also keep in mind that CVs can have an optimum length with 91% of employers saying this is two pages, so use it wisely. Try to keep each hobby to one short bullet point.
Don’t wife swap, life swap
This swapping happens as you gain more professional experience over time. If you’re just starting out in the search for a proper job, for example if you’re a graduate, then useful hobbies may play a bigger factor on your CV. If you have a decade of experience under your belt then this shouldn’t be the case and you will start to swap hobbies for more points about your career history. You may even reach a point where you have gained such fantastic experience that you don’t need or want to include any hobbies as the rest speaks for itself.
The truth will set you free
We all want to make a good impression on our CV’s, but flat-out lying isn’t the way to go about this. Don’t lie about your professional experience and don’t lie about your hobbies and interests either. Unless you really are a world-class pianist best not include it for risk of the interviewer happening to have a piano in the office and wanting to see you play Flight of the Bumblebee to secure the job.
Don’t boast about how your sports skills mean you crush the opposition, instead talk about how they benefit your abilities to work as part of or lead a team. Lastly, if you think your hobbies aren’t relevant, particularly interesting to an employer or you just don’t have that many, try and leave them out.
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