Listing the right hobbies on your resume is an art form that allows you to demonstrate positive personality traits, soft skills, accomplishments, and relevant hard skills that traditional resume sections miss.
Hobbies showcase abilities and expertise that provide a complete picture of you as a candidate. Choosing strategic hobbies tailored to each job highlights your most relevant strengths and experience. Effective hobby selection grabs attention, sparks meaningful interview conversations, and portrays you as a well-rounded candidate.
With the right brevity and presentation, resume hobbies demonstrate strategic thinking and an understanding of what employers want in top candidates.
Why Hobbies Matter on Your Resume
Hiring managers are often looking for well-rounded candidates who have more to offer than just their work credentials. The right hobbies on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants and land more interviews.
When choosing hobbies for your resume, your goal is to demonstrate positive traits about yourself that make you seem like a great cultural fit for the company and position. You want to come across as someone the hiring manager would enjoy working with by highlighting common interests you share.
Recruiters also look for hobbies that show important soft skills needed for the job, like communication, teamwork, creativity, leadership, diligence, problem-solving, and more.
The key is choosing resume hobbies that emphasize your most relevant skills for each specific job you’re seeking. Avoid superficial hobbies that don’t offer any meaningful insight into your personality or abilities.
How to Choose Good Resume Hobbies
Here are some tips for choosing the best hobbies to include on your resume:
- Pick hobbies that highlight relevant skills. If you’re applying for a marketing job, strategic games like chess could showcase analytic skills. For teaching roles, mentoring hobbies like coaching a children’s sports team may be ideal. Think about what abilities each hobby requires that overlap with the job.
- Focus on transferable skills. Most hobbies demonstrate capabilities like leadership, communication, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving. Emphasize these types of universal skills when describing your hobbies.
- Avoid controversial or divisive hobbies. Don’t include potentially polarizing interests like political activism. Stick to broadly appealing hobbies.
- Make sure they sound professional. Hobbies should highlight your maturity and work ethic, not youthful recklessness. Dangerous or illegal hobbies are an obvious no.
- Choose impressive feats. If you ran a marathon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, won a championship, published a novel, or achieved high ranks in competitive endeavors, mention it. Big accomplishments grab attention.
- Find shared interests. Research the company’s mission and team culture. Align your hobbies with their values and interests where possible.
- Don’t include too many. One to three hobbies are usually sufficient. Only include more if they’re highly relevant. Too many look like resume padding.
- Be honest. Never lie about hobbies you don’t pursue. You’ll get caught in interviews when asked about them.
Hobbies to Include On Your Resume
Here are some examples of good hobbies and interests to include on your resume, and how to describe them:
Avid reading demonstrates strong communication skills, open-mindedness, and intellectual curiosity. Writing shows creativity, articulation, and mastery of language. For resumes:
- Book club participation: Critical thinking, discussion/debating, and interpreting other perspectives.
- Writing blog posts: Ability to produce engaging content and articulate ideas.
- Published works: Strong written communication talents and storytelling abilities.
Participating in sports shows competitiveness, health, teamwork, and perseverance. Individual sports also showcase strong self-discipline. Describing sports hobbies:
- Team captain: Leadership and management abilities.
- Marathons or triathlons: Determination, motivation, and work ethic.
- Coaching: Mentoring, leadership, and communication skills.
- National rankings: High achievement and competition skills.
Playing an instrument demonstrates creativity, the ability to master complex skills, and attention to detail. Musical hobbies on a resume:
- Performing: Showcases public speaking skills and ability to thrive under pressure.
- Composing: Highlights creativity, originality, and artistic talent.
- Community band/orchestra: Teamwork, commitment, and dedication.
Arts and Crafts
Artistic hobbies prove creativity, vision, and strong soft skills like concentration and patience. For the resume:
- Painting/photography: Attention to visual detail and ability to see things differently.
- Jewelry-making: High manual dexterity, concentration, and appreciation for beauty.
- Sewing/woodworking: Patience, precision, spatial intelligence, problem-solving.
Traveling exhibits cultural awareness, independence, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities. Describe travel on a resume:
- Backpacking abroad: Adventurous spirit, independence, and resilience.
- Volunteering locally/abroad: Strong sense of social responsibility and cross-cultural communication.
- Learning foreign languages: Intellectual curiosity and inclination to pursue new skills.
Strategic games like chess showcase analytical thinking, measured decision-making, and intellectual sharpness. High rankings prove natural talent.
Volunteering demonstrates selflessness, social awareness, and dedication to serving your community. It highlights leadership, coordination, and communication abilities.
- Leading projects: Organization, motivation, and team management skills.
- Public speaking: Confidence and poise speaking to large groups.
- Event planning: Coordination, multi-tasking, and problem-solving.
Outdoor hobbies exhibit athleticism, survival skills, environmental awareness, and an adventurous spirit. They show abilities to thrive in challenging settings.
- Hiking, skiing, climbing: Strong physical fitness, stamina, and coordination.
- Camping, survival skills: Resourcefulness, discipline, and ability to remain calm under duress.
- River rafting, scuba diving: Willingness to take smart risks.
Technology and hands-on building hobbies prove strong logic, spatial reasoning, and interest in continuous learning. They show attention to detail and the ability to follow complex instructions.
- Coding/app building: Logical thinking, persistence, and creativity in solving tech problems.
- 3D modeling/printing: Spatial intelligence, precision, and ability to leverage creative tech.
- DIY remodeling: Patience, planning, manual dexterity, and problem-solving.
Enjoyable Hobbies That Show Personality
Hobbies don’t need direct relevance to offer value. Unique, interesting pursuits give hiring managers insight into who they are as an individual.
Some examples include:
- Cooking or baking
- Hiking, camping, or outdoor activities
- DIY projects like woodworking or home improvement
- Antique Collecting
- Wine Appreciation
Avoid anything potentially controversial, like politically affiliated groups. The goal is to show an intriguing, well-rounded applicant – not divisive or unprofessional interests. Moderately personal hobbies are fine, just keep DESCRIPTIONS professional.
See Also: Hobby vs. Job: Exploring The Differences
How to Write About Hobbies on Your Resume
Once you’ve chosen the right hobbies to include, here are some tips for effectively describing them:
- Be specific – Rather than just “sports”, maybe it’s tennis, soccer, or running marathons.
- Showcase skills/traits – Explain HOW the hobby provided relevant experience. E.g. scrapbooking enhanced creativity.
- Tie it back – If possible, directly connect the hobby to the job. How could it benefit your future work?
- Keep it short – 2-3 lines per hobby maximum. You want enough to pique interest, not dominate your resume.
- Use numbers – Quantify accomplishments to emphasize achievements, like races completed, rank attained, hours volunteered, etc.
- Possessive tense – “My blog on film history demonstrates attention to detail and strong written communication skills”.
Following these guidelines will ensure your hobby descriptions demonstrate meaningful skills, traits, and interests – not just random personal activities.
How to Describe Hobbies on Your Resume
Once you’ve selected relevant hobbies to include on your resume, you need to describe them effectively. Follow these best practices when listing hobbies:
- Keep descriptions concise – Use one to three brief bullet points per hobby. Focus on concrete skills and achievements.
- Quantify accomplishments – Where possible, include numbers and metrics that demonstrate proficiency like rankings, hours invested, accomplishments, stats, etc.
- Emphasize transferable skills – Tailor your hobby descriptions to highlight job-relevant capabilities, not just personal interests. Align them to key skills needed for the position.
- Showcase uniqueness – Pick hobbies that allow you to stand out from other applicants and make you more memorable.
- List hobbies in order of relevance – Put your most applicable, important hobbies first. Lead with your strongest interests.
- Use action verbs – In descriptions, use active verbs like led, founded, represented, published, attained, etc.
- Exclude niche details – Don’t clutter descriptions with overly specific details. Keep them broad enough for any reader to understand.
By strategically choosing hobbies and summarizing them effectively, you can craft an engaging skills profile that gets you noticed. The right hobbies enhance your brand and show you’re a well-rounded candidate. Just remember to tailor them to each job and highlight transferable skills.
Where to Include Hobbies on Your Resume?
Crafting an excellent resume section for your hobbies requires more than just choosing the right interests. You also need to determine the ideal placement on your resume.
There are a few options for where to highlight hobbies:
In a dedicated hobbies section
This is the most direct approach. Include a separate section titled “Hobbies and Interests” or something similar at the bottom of your resume. Place it after your work experience and education sections.
A dedicated section highlights your relevant hobbies upfront. It gets their value across directly. However, some career experts argue it’s better to integrate hobbies fluidly throughout your resume rather than sequester them in one section.
In your resume summary
Your summary or profile statement at the top of your resume presents an overview of your qualifications. This is a natural spot to mention one particularly noteworthy hobby:
“Dedicated middle school teacher with a passion for mountain biking and camping seeking to share my enthusiasm for the outdoors and experiential learning with students.”
Summarizing an applicable hobby helps your introduction stand out while emphasizing a relevant interest or skill up front.
In your skills section
For hobbies that demonstrate hard skills, consider listing them in your skills section to emphasize proficiency. For example, you could list “Digital Photography” alongside technical abilities like Photoshop and Lightroom.
Similarly, relevant languages, instruments, athletic feats, and other skill-based hobbies make sense in a skills section. Just make sure they’re directly relevant.
In experience descriptions
Look for ways to integrate hobbies into your professional experience bullet points to highlight how you apply relevant skills on the job. For example:
“Manage 20+ bloggers as lead editor, applying communication and quality control skills honed as editor-in-chief of my university’s anthropology journal.”
This approach discretely weaves in hobbies to enhance your work descriptions without dedicating prime resume real estate just for them.
In education descriptions
Just as hobbies can complement work history, mentioning them alongside your academic credentials can also work well. For example:
“Earned BA in Marketing and Business Administration with a minor in Fine Arts, spotlighting creative expertise gained from 10+ years of oil painting.”
This demonstrates how you put relevant hobbies to use academically.
The ideal resume placement for your hobbies depends on their relevance and your overall experience. Test different options to determine what structure highlights your interests most effectively while keeping critical career sections easy to find.
Mistakes to Avoid When Listing Hobbies
While hobbies offer useful insights into your personality and abilities, there are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t include overly personal hobbies – keep it professional. Hobbies should highlight your positive traits, not raise eyebrows.
- Don’t list anything controversial or divisive based on politics, religion, etc.
- Don’t exaggerate or lie about hobbies you don’t do. It will come off as disingenuous.
- Don’t include overly commonplace hobbies like reading, watching TV, spending time with family, etc. Try for unique examples.
- Don’t list too many – 3-4 hobbies maximum. Only include hobbies where you can explain the value.
- Don’t write vague descriptions like “reading” or “sports” – elaborate on specific examples that you actively pursue.
Following these guidelines helps ensure the hobbies you choose provide meaningful insights vs. risking annoyance or disbelief from an employer.
Common Hobbies to Avoid on Your Resume
While highlighting certain hobbies can improve your resume, other interests are better left off. Here are some hobbies you generally want to avoid including:
- Gaming – While gaming shows concentration and perseverance, it often carries negative connotations of laziness and immaturity. Avoid listing it.
- Religion/politics – Strongly held beliefs should not be on a resume. Anything controversial risks alienating recruiters. Keep resumes neutral.
- Dangerous hobbies – Daredevil hobbies seem risky. Hiring managers may see skydiving or extreme sports as a liability.
- Obscure niche interests – If few people would recognize or understand a hobby, exclude it. Stick to relatable interests.
- Luxury/expensive pursuits – Flaunting wealthy hobbies like yachting, polo, or a rare wine collection seems pretentious.
- Solitary indoor activities – Hobbies without any interaction or skills don’t offer value. Reading, video streaming, napping, etc. are not worth including.
The key is choosing hobbies that make your resume more attractive, not niche interests that have no relevance or could be detrimental. Keep it professional.
What Are the Best Hobbies to List on a Resume?
When it comes to listing hobbies on a resume, it’s important to choose activities that showcase your skills and interests relevant to the job.
Consider including hobbies like blogging to highlight your writing abilities or joining a local sports club to demonstrate teamwork and discipline.
Tailor your selection to align with the job requirements and make a positive impression on potential employers.
Key Takeaways: Hobbies Can Make You Stand Out
Adding the right hobbies and interests to your resume is an excellent way to show well-roundedness while emphasizing relevant soft and hard skills. When determining which hobbies to include, focus on:
- Hobbies demonstrating skills needed for the target job.
- Interests highlighting positive personality traits and work ethic.
- Impressive accomplishments showing expertise and achievement.
- Hobbies emphasize transferable abilities like leadership, creativity, intelligence, communication, and more.
Carefully choose hobbies that cast you in the best professional light for each job you apply to. Keep descriptions concise, quantified, and focused on applicable skills. Avoid any controversial or unprofessional hobbies.
With the right selection and presentation of hobbies on your resume, you can stand out, spark intriguing discussions in job interviews, and show you’re a well-rounded candidate fit for success in a wide range of roles.
FAQs – How to Choose the Right Hobbies for Your Resume
Do employers care about hobbies on the resume?
While hobbies and interests may not be a crucial factor in the hiring process, they can help to give your resume a personal touch and show your potential employer a more well-rounded view of who you are.
How many skills should you put on a resume?
There’s no set number of skills to include on a resume, but generally, it’s best to focus on your most relevant and impressive skills that align with the job you’re applying for. One to three skills per job is a good rule of thumb.
What are the three hobbies everyone should have?
There are no specific hobbies that everyone should have, as everyone’s interests and passions are unique. However, having a mix of physical, creative, and social hobbies can help to showcase different aspects of your personality and skills.
What are professional interests?
Professional interests are areas of interest that are related to your career or industry. These can include specific skills or technologies, industry trends, or relevant news and events.
Why do employers want to know your hobbies?
Employers may ask about your hobbies to get a better sense of your personality, work ethic, and interests outside of work. They can also help to assess your cultural fit within the company, and whether you’d be a good match for the team dynamic. Additionally, hobbies can demonstrate your skills and passions beyond your work experience.