Including Hobbies and Interests on Your CV
Your CV is your chance to show employers why you’re perfect for the job. You can do this by showcasing your work experience or highlighting key skills and qualifications. But there are other ways to prove your strengths and qualities to hiring managers. Listing your hobbies and interests can add a personal touch and showcase relevant skills. In this article, we discuss the best ways to include hobbies and interests on your CV.
What are Hobbies and Interests?
Hobbies and interests are anything you do for enjoyment in your leisure time. These could include various activities, such as collecting items, taking part in arts and crafts, participating in sport or physical activity, reading, writing or membership of groups and societies.
Of most relevance to your CV are hobbies and interests that help prove your skills and experience. Casual interests such as watching sport on TV, reading novels, watching movies or home baking might not be suitable. Many people enjoy these, and the hobbies may not provide proof of any particular relevant skills or qualities. Hobbies or interests that need a specialist skill or knowledge are much more suitable. This is particularly true if they match the requirements in the job description. If you pursue any hobbies of this type, consider adding them to your CV.
Why Include Hobbies and Interests on a CV
Adding your hobbies and interests can strengthen your CV in many ways. Recruiters and hiring managers may receive hundreds of applications for each position. It can be difficult to differentiate between candidates. Reading hundreds of CVs can also become repetitive. As such, it’s a good idea to consider adding anything to your CV that can differentiate you from other candidates and make your CV stand out.
CVs that follow a clear, established structure and format can also become impersonal. There’s only so much you can say about your working style and your passions through your CV summary or work experience. If they’re relevant to the job description, including hobbies and interests on your CV can give the hiring manager greater insight into your personality. This can help them to better understand how you might fit the role and the wider company culture.
Only add hobbies and interests to your CV if they're relevant to the job description. Think about whether your hobbies require a skill that you could put to use in the workplace. If they do, they're worth mentioning on your CV.
Different Categories of Hobbies and Interests
These categories of hobbies and interests could be useful for your CV, depending on the role you’re applying for:
- Sports and leisure: Team sports and solo sports use different personality traits, so consider which of these might be useful to mention. They can reflect skills such as leadership, teamwork and determination. You could also mention wellness activities and outdoor pursuits, such as yoga or hiking.
- Arts and crafts: These activities can prove your creative side. Activities include drawing, painting, pottery, sewing/knitting or photography. Anything that requires a skill included in the job description is particularly useful, such as sketching for graphic design roles.
- Reading: Listing reading can show you’re intelligent and keen to learn. Try to be specific with any areas of interest you like reading about. This might include ‘reading political biographies’ for government or public sector positions.
- Writing: You could include creative writing, blogging or writing for publications on a voluntary basis. Any of these can help prove your communication skills.
- Travel: A passion for travel can show you’re open-minded, ambitious and you like to live outside your comfort zone.
- Music: An interest in music, and particularly playing a musical instrument, shows your dedication and willingness to learn.
- Collecting: Any hobbies involving collecting items show attention to detail, passion and organisational ability.
- Society and community membership: Involvement in societies and community groups can help you show various skills, including public speaking, event organising or even administrative and bookkeeping skills, depending on your role in the group.
If they’re relevant to the job description, including hobbies and interests on your CV can give the hiring manager greater insight into your personality.
Listing Hobbies and Interests on a CV strategically
Before writing your CV, read the job description thoroughly, so you understand what types of skills and experience the employer is looking for. Next, consider which of these skills and experience you’ve gained through your previous jobs. You can reference these in your work experience section, when explaining your responsibilities and achievements. You can also list them in the skills section of your CV.
If after writing your work experience section and skills section, there are skills in the job description that you know you can prove through your hobbies and interests, now’s the time to consider adding them. Only add hobbies and interests that reflect the skills and qualities the employer is looking for. This could be a hard skill (for example, bookkeeping skills from acting as treasurer for a society) or a soft skill (for example, attention to detail from model making). It could also be a personality trait or quality (such as leadership, from captaining a sports team).
For help writing a well-structured CV that showcases your skills and experience, CVwizard has a range of tools and CV templates. It takes just a few minutes to get started and you can choose from a range of templates and examples using our online CV maker.
Formatting strategies for a professional appearance
Hobbies and interests typically sit at the bottom of your CV, below the essential sections of work experience, education and skills. Present your hobbies and interests in bullet point format.
Under each hobby or interest, add a sentence explaining what you do, or your role (if the hobby includes an informal position within an organisation, such as club secretary). Emphasise any skills from the job description that you use in your hobby. Include two or three hobbies and interests at most. The number of entries in this section will depend on your work experience, and how well you’ve been able to prove your skills elsewhere on your CV.
Practical Examples of Hobbies and Interests
Take a look at these practical examples of hobbies and interests for CV-writing inspiration:
- Golf: Dedicated golfer with 16 handicap, acting as social events secretary at Woodcliffe Golf Club for the past five years
- Sketching: Creating free-hand sketches of landscapes and still life in pencil, pastel and charcoal
- Blogging: Writing and managing a parenting blog with three weekly posts, sponsored content and social media accounts (Instagram: 1,470 followers, X: 2,015 followers)
- Web design: Keeping track of current trends in web design and developing a portfolio of ideas and creative concepts for personal projects
- Mentoring: Leading a small group of 15-16 year old girls at a local community centre, providing career advice and connecting girls to local organisations and services
- Football: Vice-captain for Lee Valley Wanderers FC senior ladies team, assisting with the organisation of fixtures, kit, training sessions and facilities
Dos and Don'ts of Listing Hobbies and Interests
- Consult the job description: Review the job description for a list of skills required for the role. Consider whether any of your hobbies and interests use these skills.
- Add hobbies where you’re lacking work experience: You can use your hobbies and interests to plug gaps in your experience and skills. If you’re applying for a junior role and don’t have very much work experience, it’s acceptable to show your skills via your hobbies and interests.
- Reference the skills you use: Reference specific skills and abilities your hobbies and interests use. These could be hard or technical skills, such as the use of certain software. They could also be soft or transferable skills, including leadership, organisation or communication skills.
- Include hobbies that aren’t relevant to the job description: Resist adding hobbies and interests that aren’t relevant to your role, even if you think they’re interesting.
- Exaggerate or lie about your hobbies: Interviewers are likely to ask you about your hobbies and interests at the interview stage, so don’t exaggerate or lie about them.
- Repeat skills and activities you’ve already mentioned elsewhere: Hobbies and interests can be a great addition to your CV if you’re lacking experience in certain areas. However, you don’t need to mention them if you’ve already shown you have the skills or experience in other sections of your CV.
Key Takeaways for Adding Hobbies and Interests on your CV
When carefully and strategically placed on your CV, hobbies and interests can make a big difference to your chances of success. They’re a valid way of proving you have the skills and experience necessary for the job. This is particularly useful if you’re lacking relevant work experience. Make sure the hobbies you include are relevant to the role and show which skills they use. Avoid adding general activities you enjoy and focus on hobbies where you develop or exercise specific skills.
CVwizard can help you display your hobbies and interests on your CV, using eye-catching templates that makes an impression with hiring managers. Sign up to create and download beautiful CVs and cover letters. You can also apply for roles and track your applications using CVwizard.