You use your resume/curriculum vitae (CV) to apply for a job. It gives you a chance to highlight your professional qualities, but it is nevertheless a fairly dry and businesslike document. You can add a personal touch to your resume by including a statement listing your interests. In this blog post, you will learn why it is sometimes advisable to add (some of) your interests to your resume and how you should do it.
Tips to listing interests in a resume
It may definitely be worth your while to list your interests on your resume, though at times it may not be. You might not realize it, but what interests you outside of work can also come in handy at work. Recruiters look for this sort of thing and always make sure to read about how candidates like to spend their free time.
Below, you'll find some examples to help you understand what a recruiter can deduce about you from your interests. If you like to tinker with motorbikes, you are likely to be patient and possess extensive technical insight. If you like to paint, you have a sharp eye for detail and plenty of creativity. If you have five dogs, chances are you are caring and have strong organizational skills. Your interests have to do with what you are passionate about, which means you can happily devote countless hours to them. If the qualities you need for your interests are also needed on the work floor, you will quickly feel right at home there.
Interests to put on a resume
Perhaps you have interests that tie into a course or training program that your future employer offers. Maybe you are passionate about something that will become relevant in some way when you are promoted. As you can probably tell, we are being reasonably vague because the possibilities are virtually limitless. Our advice is therefore to consider listing unusual interests on your resume. No matter how irrelevant they might seem to be to the job you are applying for, your potential employer might see the seeds of your professional development in them.
Interests in a CV that lead to a “click”
Hiring managers are only human. Perhaps your educational and professional background is not enough to pique recruiters’ interest at first glance. However, they might change their mind when they read about your interests. After all, not everyone plays ultimate frisbee or cares for ponies. Your interests can be a great way to break the ice during a job interview; a recruitment manager loves to hear candidates talk passionately about something. The interviewer can then compare the passion and ease with which you talk about your interests with the interest you show in the vacancy.
How to list them on your resume
If you have just entered the employment market and want to beef up your resume a bit, you can choose to include your interests in the form of a list. In other words, use one line for each interest. Chances are, however, that you have some professional experience under your belt and do not want to waste any space. In that case, it would be best to list your interests sequentially, as shown in the resume interests example below.
Interests: East Asia, antique furniture, sociology
Personal interests: What not to include
No matter how good it is to add a personal touch to your resume, there are some lines you should not cross. Feel free to include any interests on your resume that do not seem tasteless or give the impression that they might get in the way of your job performance. Still, you don’t want to look too frivolous either. Here are just a few examples of interests that are best left off your resume:
- Listening to heavy metal
- Keeping snakes and spiders
- Eating chocolate croissants
- Picking up women
- Engaging in BDSM
- Playing video games
- Going out