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How to Put Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

Sujata Iyer
The section containing the hobbies and interests on a resumé can be the most confusing one to compose. Read this story to clear some of the doubts that you may have regarding it.
Writing a resumé is one of the most important steps to finding an appropriate job. You may have the necessary, or even more than the necessary qualifications for the job. These qualifications will definitely give you the much-needed confidence to get to your dream job.
But if you do not have a well composed resumé, then it may slacken the chances of acquiring that job. Especially, the hobbies and interests on your resumé.
They can be the making or breaking point on your profile, which may help the reader decide if you should be called for an interview or not. So read ahead to know the importance of this section in your resumé.

Why to Include Them in a Resumé

Many people debate about the necessity of this section in resumé writing. Some say it is just a waste of time and that if the reader is unimpressed with the first half of your resumé, he will rarely go ahead and read this section. Earlier, the personal interests section was generally dedicated to writing about some personal or professional achievements.
Or to write about any special club or group that the candidate is a member of. Employers never really bothered to read it because their requirements and the interests mentioned rarely matched.

These days, there is a broader approach to the whole concept of hiring a candidate.
Along with education, an employer is also looking for soft skills while recruiting a prospective employee. So, it has become vital that the hobbies and interests of the person be mentioned on a resumé.
Today, before calling a person for an interview, employers make it a point to read this section, just to see what he/she does in his/her free time. This can be a point or THE point on which they base the call for the interview.

How to Include Them

Give below are some resumé writing tips to keep in mind to write a good resumé so as to highlight the special interests.
  • Get a Hobby: Many candidates worry because they feel they do not have any concrete hobbies that they can list down. My advice to such people would be to get one!
  • Keep Them Real: For heaven's sake, do not include a hobby or interest that you do not actually have. There are quite a few chances that the employer is going to ask you to elaborate on the interests that you put down. For instance, if you don't read, don't put it down.
The interviewer is very likely to ask you what you're currently reading the minute he sees the 'reading' in your hobbies section. You don't want to in that situation if you don't actually read!
  • Keep it Simple: Agreed that you can use this section to highlight some achievements, but don't go overboard. Keep it plain and simple, stressing on only the relevant achievements and not unnecessary ones. Like, if you're applying for a job as a Math teacher, listing the awards you've won at cooking competitions does not really help.
You can mention it as a hobby and if asked to elaborate, you can verbally tell the interviewer about your achievements.
  • Complement: Another tip is, write down those hobbies and interests that you know will be an asset to your resumé. It should enhance the value of your resumé. 
For instance, while applying for a job as an art teacher, you can mention if you enjoy photography. Since it's an art job, there's a high possibility that the interviewer may also be interested in photography. It'll help build an easy rapport.
  • Be Prepared: This point will tell you why you cannot fake having a hobby. Example, an interviewer will be able to gauge immediately if you're actually a follower of a genre of music or not, when he asks you to recite the lyrics of your favorite song from that music genre.
Or if you've put down swimming, he may ask you some questions related to swimming moves. If you say singing, he may ask you to sing something for him. Imagine if you can't sing and end up croaking like a frog!

An Example


Name: _________

Date of Birth: ______

Educational Qualifications: ____________

Professional Experience: ____________

Hobbies & Interests: Given below are some of the things that I enjoy doing in my free time.
  • Reading: Prefer reading fiction. Favorite authors include ______________
  • Writing: Have written more than 100 poems and short stories. Have a blog that I regularly update.
  • Dance: Trained in _________. Performed at _________. Also enjoy _________ style.
Now, you know the importance and also how to put your hobbies and interests on a resumé. So go ahead and make yourself an impressive and real resumé! Good luck!