Hobbies and Interests on a Resume: Why and How to Include Them

When searching for a job, your resume needs to shine. But, should you put hobbies and interests on yours? The answer is: it depends. Learn when to include them, and read our tips for adding hobbies and interests on a resume!

Your resume is not a dating profile.

Duh.

However, it is similar to a dating profile. You do want your resume to attract potential employers and show them that you are a qualified candidate and an interesting person to work with.

Your resume is a reflection of who you are professionally, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be stuffy and boring. By including your hobbies and interests on a resume, you can express your unique personality and set yourself apart from other applicants.

But what type of hobbies or interests should you include or not include? And where does the hobbies and interests section fit with the rest of your resume?

Read below for a guide on how to include hobbies and interests on a resume!


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Now, let’s get started!

Why Include Hobbies and Interests on a Resume?

There are some sections of a resume that are absolutely necessary, such as education and work experience. Many other resume templates include a section for skills, awards and achievements, or volunteering.

But the hobbies and interests section is relatively new to the game.

Research the company you’re applying at and list hobbies and interests examples you have which are relevant to the job posting, the team or department, and the company culture. Relevant hobbies and interests on your resume will be different for each job description, so don’t use one generic resume for them all!

You should include hobbies and interests on your resume if you can do so authentically. Don’t make up a bunch of activities that you’ve never done to try to impress a potential employer. Lying on a resume is never a good idea, as you could be asked to expand upon or verify your experiences during an interview. But if you do have relevant resume examples of interests and hobbies, it’s a great way to connect with the folks hiring manager or recruiter reviewing your application.

No one likes to be bored – including hiring managers, CEOs, and heads of human resources. Using your resume as a glimpse into your life outside of work is a way to break up the monotony of reviewing resumes. And it will help reviewers remember who you are.

Adding a section on interests and hobbies can also bolster your resume if you don’t have work experience directly related to the job. Instead, you can use your list of hobbies to show you have the knowledge and skills needed for the job. Review the job description a few times before selecting which hobbies and interests to choose.

Need some resume examples of interests or hobbies to get your creative juices flowing? Keep reading below!

Related Read: 55 Resume Tips, Hacks & Expert Advice to Help You Score a Job Interview

Resume Examples of Hobbies

Hobbies are activities you engage in for leisure. Playing sports, birdwatching, baking pies, and painting are all great examples of resume hobbies. Start thinking about your own hobbies and create a comprehensive list.

From that list, you can select the most relevant 3-5 hobbies for your resume. Remember that there should be some correlation between the hobbies you list and the job you’re applying for.

For example, say you’re applying for a job on a graphic design team. And the job description stresses how important it is to be collaborative and work well with colleagues. You could include team sports as one of your hobbies to show that you’re very comfortable working with others towards a common goal.

Related Read: How to Write a Resume: Complete Guide for Young Professionals in 2021

Example Resume Interests to Consider

Interests are similar to hobbies but they don’t have to be activities you do. Resume interests are more like things you would enjoy talking or reading about. 

A few examples of interests to include on your resume are music, theater, art, or travel. You should be prepared to talk about any interest you list on your resume. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have a conversational understanding so that if it comes up during an interview you aren’t caught off guard.

Related Read: How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience

How to Include Hobbies and Interests on a Resume?

Your hobbies and interests can be put into one section of your resume near the very end. There are a few ways to incorporate your hobbies and interests on a resume.

First, you could include them as a bulleted list. List the hobby or interest in a word or short phrase, such as:

  • Skiing
  • Opera music
  • Outdoor photography

You could also choose to elaborate on every hobby or interest. This gives you an opportunity to show how that hobby or interest might relate to the necessary knowledge and skills for the job. Below are a few examples of hobbies and interests on your resume:

  • Travel: Explored 3 continents and 14 countries over the last 10 years. 
  • Blogging: Post 2 blogs a week on a vegan cooking and baking website.
  • Volunteering: Helped out at a local soup kitchen serving guests and organizing stock.

If you choose to elaborate on each interest or hobby, make the explanation short and sweet. You might also choose to purposefully leave out all the details so that an interviewer has something they can ask you about. For example, which 3 continents have you visited? Or, what is your favorite vegan cookie recipe?

List hobbies and interests on the resume that round you out as a job candidate. Show your community involvement, agreeable work culture attitude, team skills development during your spare time, professional activities, how much you want to learn, and other creative resume examples which intrigue the employer and get them to want to give you a shot. That’s a great way to bolster your impressive education and work experience sections to get you that interview!

Related Read: 55+ Best Online Jobs for College Students with Flexible Hours and Great Pay!

Things to Avoid in the Interests and Hobbies Section

Remember that you want the interests and hobbies section of your resume to work for you, not against you. As a general rule, you should avoid adding anything related to religion or political affiliation. There may be some exceptions depending on the job for which you’re applying, but if you have any doubt, leave it off.

You should also steer clear of hobbies or interests that are too vague, like “reading.” If you want to express that you are an avid reader, add some detail, such as “mystery novel enthusiast” or “women’s literature book club.  

Another hobby and interest faux pas is to include non-productive activities like watching television or napping. It’s okay that you love binging the latest season of your favorite reality show, but your employer doesn’t need to know that. 

And finally, do not include anything dangerous or inappropriate in your hobbies and interests section. Leave off anything to do with alcohol, gambling, gaming, or other activities that could be seen unfavorably in the workplace.

Finally, a reminder. Don’t add anything which doesn’t add value to your resume! Adding your love of basketball, languages, technology, guitar playing, calligraphy, or yoga may not be wrong, but it all depends on the position you hope to land.

Related Read: How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation: 10+ Tips, Advice & Examples

Ready to Write the Hobbies and Interests Section?

So, what hobbies and interests examples will you choose for your resume? If you follow the guidelines above, you will have an impressive and interesting list of hobbies and interests on your resume that will have employers excited to interview you or offer you a job position.

Remember that hobbies and interests on a resume should be specific, noteworthy, and relevant to the job or company in some way. Have this section put on a resume near the end, as it’s less important than other parts of your resume, and pick the top 3-5.

Now, you are one step closer to crushing that resume and landing the job of your dreams!

Want to read more amazing articles like this one about resume hobbies and interests? Check out our other career and job articles on the Goodwall Blog!

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Goodwall Contributor
Written By Goodwall Contributor
This article was written by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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