Now this is a hotly debated subject in resume writing circles and you’ll find plenty of conflicting advice on what to include in your resume/CV. Many job seekers wonder if they should include their personal interests on their resume or not. Some experts believe that your resume should be just about your career with no mention of any activities or interests outside of your working life. Yes, your resume is your career story but what you’re involved with outside of your working life can have a big influence on how your act and become engaged in the workplace. We develop and evolve from our life experiences and who you are transfers over to how you work. Your hobbies and interests can make a big difference in the selection process.
They’re a great ‘ice breaker’ in the interview
Job interviews can be a nerve wracking and daunting process for the both the job seeker and the interviewer. Don’t assume that the interviewer isn’t just as nervous as you are. Many employers prefer to ease into the interview with chit chat about your local rugby team or the book club you belong to, as this helps to break the ice and make everyone feel more relaxed.
They reveal more of your true personality
Provide a range of interests which showcase your personality. If you’re someone who enjoys salsa dancing, Italian cooking and training for triathlons, I think you could be a potentially interesting character.
It’s an opportunity to be strategic
Be strategic and highlight those interests which are professionally relevant but show a good balance: team and leadership roles as well as introverted, extroverted, competitive and non-competitive activities. Don’t forget to mention if you played a sport at a high level (even if it was some years ago) as it demonstrates your focus, discipline and energy. It’s also easy to research companies and if the hiring company are involved with an activity which genuinely interests you – include it on your resume.
So like all things on your resume, choose and use your information wisely.