C.V. Advice: Hobbies & PastimesPosted: 27th of August 2015 by
“I enjoy socialising with friends, eating out, and going to the cinema.” These are all classic things to put on the hobbies or pastimes’ section of your C.V. but the trouble is they are pretty irrelevant. I mean, let’s face it, who doesn’t like spending time with their friends (and if you do I suggest you have a think about finding some new ones!). Such obvious statements don’t add anything to your C.V. – you might as well also put that “I enjoy doing things that I like” for all the information this offers about you. Your hobbies should show something extra about you, give an insight into your personality, or even better somehow link to the job you are applying for or the skills you’ll need to do it. That being said, the hobbies on your C.V. are subjective – what if your new boss has a pathological hatred of chess, for example, or thinks that only idiots play rugby, for example? Should you always include hobbies on your C.V. – and if so, what sort of things should you look to include?
- Will Including Hobbies Help My Application?
In some cases, including a good set of well thought out, relevant hobbies will make all the difference in getting a job.. This section of your C.V. can show a little of your personality and can make you stand out from others applicants with similar qualifications and skills. The trouble is, employers view your hobbies differently from each other. Some will be interested to see what sort of person you are, while others will see them as irrelevant. Many employers only take the hobbies into consideration if they need to choose between two candidates.
- Can My Hobbies Hurt My Application?
Yes, most certainly. Obviously don’t put down anything that may be illegal or otherwise show you in a bad light. “Going out to the pub” may just show that you like a drink a bit too much and may come into work feeling the worse for wear. Other hobbies may actually turn an employer off if they have a particular dislike for something. It is hard to be sure, but as a general rule, try to make your hobbies relevant to the job you are applying for. An employer is not really interested in how you spend your free time – but you can use this section to add an extra touch to your C.V.
- What Should I Include?
The answer depends on what job you are going for and have some sort of relationship with the role itself. Of course this is easy if, as a skateboarder, you are applying to work marketing them, but what about less obvious examples? You might want to mention your blog if you are going for a job in journalism, or if what you are blogging about is relevant, fashion for example. Don’t just think of direct examples, but also the skills that you use in your hobbies too. If you organise your five-a-side team – those are management and maybe also motivational skills, for example. Make sure you list the skills you use as they relate to the job you are applying for too. So, that 5-a-side team could explain that you “organise meeting times, coaching, and also manage the team formation.” Suddenly your game of football has a relevance to workplace skills.
- What If I Can’t Think Of Anything?
If you can’t think of anything that you could put down that is relevant, it is probably best not to put anything at all in this section. You need to be adding value to your application, not just padding it out. Also, don’t be tempted to make something up, or even embellish your real pastimes. Writing down a made-up eye-catching hobby could get you into an awkward situation if the employer asks you about it (and you just know they’ll be an expert!).
Generally-speaking, if you don’t have much on your C.V., then hobbies can be a great way to add some an extra edge to your application. This is true of school-leavers as well as graduates who may not have much by way of work-history, experience, or skills yet. Of course, if your hobbies just so happen to align with the job you are going for then you should make the most of it and include them. However, remember keep them relevant and keep them to a minimum – they should add a little garnish rather than being the main part of your application.
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