10 Best Hobbies and Interests to Put On Your CV
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The best hobbies to include on your CV are the ones you actively pursue, and the following list is in no way intended to tell you how you should be spending your time.
Instead, this list looks at some popular hobbies, the sort of jobs they might be relevant to and what skills they demonstrate.
Use this as a starting point to think about your own hobbies and how to best reference them on your CV.
Blogging is one of those hobbies that can add value to an application for almost any role you can think of, particularly if what you blog about is directly related to your field of work.
It shows a depth of knowledge and a desire to share it with others, which any employer would be happy to see.
More broadly, blogging helps to demonstrate written communication skills, creativity and a level of IT literacy, all of which are relevant to any role.
Some careers for which blogging is an ideal hobby include:
This is probably the most common hobby recruiters come across, and for good reason – the right sports involvement can show a range of highly valuable transferable skills.
Playing as part of a five-a-side football team, for example, requires good communication, teamwork and dedication.
If you are going to include this type of hobby, however, make sure it’s something you’ve shown a long-term commitment to.
It's even better if you can demonstrate a level of authority within the team, like being the captain, as this can draw an employer's attention to your leadership skills.
Some industries that team sports could be particularly useful for include:
- Personal training
- Sports journalism
- Sports statistical analysis
- Sports psychology
- Team leading
Well-being in the workplace is a top priority for many employers, primarily because happy, healthy employees are generally more productive and more dedicated to their jobs.
Mindfulness practises like yoga and meditation show a commitment to your own well-being.
They also paint a picture of someone able to maintain composure and stay calm under pressure, making them good hobbies to mention if applying for roles in high-stress professions such as:
- Investment banking
- Emergency services
A general interest in music is nothing special, and not worth a mention on your CV. Everyone listens to music.
However, it’s a different story if you play an instrument to an advanced level.
There’s a strong link between musical proficiency and analytical thinking, so this hobby tells an employer that you’re likely to be a good problem solver and highlights your creativity and dedication.
This is a hobby applicable to any role related to music, but may also strengthen an application for roles that require keen problem-solving abilities in areas like:
- Computer programming
- Software development
- Social work
This could be anything from coaching a local junior sports team to acting as a student mentor at university.
It also helps to show you have a sense of responsibility and are driven to help others succeed.
Coaching and mentoring can support applications for roles in industries such as:
- Occupational therapy
- Personal training
This one may seem like a bit of a cliché but traveling can show you as an outgoing person who enjoys exploring new cultures and meeting new people.
This can be attractive to employers with a core focus on diversity and inclusion because they need open-minded people to support their initiatives.
Provided you have a genuine passion for travel and immersing yourself in cultural experiences, this hobby can bring value to any workplace, particularly in industries prioritising inclusion and diversity, such as:
Whether you’re a keen chess player or enjoy strategy video games, a hobby that shows a high level of critical thinking is well worth a mention.
It demonstrates logic, forward planning and an ability to choose the best course of action based on a given problem.
These are skills that can set you apart when applying for roles in areas such as:
- Software development
- Project management
- Events coordination
- IT technical support
- Investment analysis
Almost every DIY project requires a creative thought process and a flexible approach to problem-solving, since things rarely go to plan.
These are highly transferable to all roles. Additionally, due to the practical nature of DIY, it’s a hobby particularly well suited for applications to jobs in:
- Interior design
- Quantity surveying
Much like traveling, this can be somewhat of a cliché but still has space on a CV provided you’re specific about what you read and why.
Non-fiction can be particularly useful as it shows a desire to learn and an analytical mind.
As it’s such a private hobby, it’s wise to combine reading with other activities that show your sociable side. Consider book clubs or journal discussion societies.
Of course, the fact that you enjoy time alone can stand you in good stead for roles in areas like:
- Librarian science
- Video editing
Mention of voluntary work looks great on any CV as it combines a personal interest with practical work experience.
It’s also a worthy way to spend your free time and is looked on favourably by employers.
The strongest examples will be linked to your career plan – like volunteering with an animal charity if pursuing a career as a vet – but they don’t always have to be.
Volunteering of any kind is a great way to highlight key soft skills like teamwork, communication and time management.
As it is such a valuable addition, you might want to consider a dedicated voluntary work section on your CV.
Your CV is more than a list of your work history and qualifications. It is your personal marketing tool through which you have an opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer.
In many cases, this is enough. If you have extensive experience in your field then what you do outside of work may be of little interest to an employer.
However, there are some circumstances where including your hobbies can add real weight to an application.
For example, referencing hobbies is a good way to create a compelling CV when you have little to no work experience, which may be the case if you’re a school leaver or recent graduate.
It can also be beneficial if your hobbies are directly linked to the job on offer, like mentioning a personal YouTube channel when applying for a role in digital marketing.
If you’re unsure whether or not you should include your hobbies on your CV, this article should help you decide how appropriate doing so would be, the value it may add and how best to go about it.
First, the difference between a hobby and an interest needs to be established.
A hobby is an activity you regularly participate in, like being part of a sports team or book club.
An interest is a subject or activity that you're curious about, but may not actively pursue.
Hobbies add more value to your CV because they are what you actually do, as opposed to something you think about or would like to do.
Still, it’s OK to talk about your interests, provided you show why they’re relevant to the application.
For example, if applying for a digital marketing job, you may state: “I have a keen interest in photography, and after graduation I intend to enrol in a part-time course to expand my skill set”. This sentence does more than merely state an interest.
It shows an intention and that you’re thinking about your short-term career goals, which can be impressive to an employer.
When referenced effectively, hobbies and interests can further boost your CV in the following ways.
For example, as a group scout leader, you have likely developed skills like organisation, communication and leadership, all of which are highly sought after, particularly in graduate recruitment.
Remember this is an opportunity to sell yourself. While your CV should be formal in tone, there’s nothing wrong with adding a splash of your personality.
The most engaging roles bring the best out of people by allowing everyone to express their personality.
Including your hobbies is a good way to do this. It tells an employer about the type of person you are and how well you might fit into the company’s working environment.
Recruiters have to sift through a lot of CVs, many of which will have similar content, making it hard to separate one candidate from another.
Your hobbies could well prove the differentiating factor, particularly if they relate to a social cause, like running a community garden project, or if they’re unique – your hobby of swimming with sharks could be the key to keeping your resume in a recruiter’s mind.
If you’re selected for an interview, your hobbies will provide a nice topic of conversation outside of typical interview questioning and can be a good way to build a rapport with the interviewer, particularly if there’s a common interest.
Positive rapport between you and your interviewer can benefit your application through the halo effect. If you bond well over your shared interest in niche hobbies like extreme ironing, this good feeling will spread over into their feelings about your application.
The extent to which your hobbies matter to your CV is largely subjective. Some employers see them as a core part of an application, others will skim over them out of courtesy.
Given there’s no way of knowing how significant they’ll be, if you think they add value, and you have room to spare on your CV, there’s no harm in including them.
It’s worth reiterating here that you should only include hobbies and interests if they bring something to your application.
Eating out with friends and going to the gym may be how you spend most of your free time, but they tell an employer nothing about your strength as a candidate.
Focus first on writing an outstanding CV that highlights your skills and experience over anything else. This should be no more than two pages long, with well-spaced formatting.
If there’s room to spare, your hobbies should appear at the bottom of the second page, and support everything that has gone before.
Here are some tips to follow for best practice:
- Be specific – You’re attempting to show this is something you actively pursue, so avoid anything that sounds vague or generic. For example, it’s not effective to say: “I enjoy dancing”. However, it may catch an employer’s eye if you say: “Competitive street dance – five-year member of a multi-award-winning crew”.
- Keep it short and to the point – As the above example shows, you don’t want or need to go into too much detail. One sentence per hobby is a good rule of thumb, and be sure to focus on why it’s relevant to your application.
- Tailor your hobbies to the job description – Just as you’d tailor the rest of your CV to fit with job specifics, consider how well your hobbies match the role requirements and adjust them accordingly. Not all hobbies will be appropriate to all applications.
- Be honest – If you include hobbies on your CV, there’s a good chance they'll come up in conversation at your interview. You’re likely to get caught out if you’re anything other than honest.
You should only include hobbies and interests that add value to your CV, which means eliminating anything irrelevant.
For example, you may go to the cinema every week but unless you’re applying for a job in the film industry or are part of a film-study group, it’s not going to be applicable for most roles.
You should also avoid anything that could be seen as controversial or detrimental to your career, like an interest in extreme political views or anything that puts you in harm's way.
There’s a fine balance to strike when choosing how many hobbies to include on your CV. One on its own can look a bit out of place, but any more than four and you’re confusing your CV rather than adding value.
Two or three is a good rule of thumb, as this gives you scope to highlight a diverse skill set without taking up too much room.
The main purpose of your CV is to show you have the right skills, qualifications and experience for the job. This should take precedence over any of your interests.
Your hobbies section should appear at the very end of the document, and only if there is sufficient space.
If you feel like you’re sacrificing on layout, or your CV is rolling onto a third page, it’s time to remove the hobbies section.
Given that you’re struggling to fit it all in, it’s likely that you already have sufficient skills and experience to prove you’re a strong candidate, so there’s little value to be had from trying to squeeze them in.
Including hobbies and interests on your CV can make for a stronger job application, provided they are relevant to the role and/or set you apart as a candidate.
However, their inclusion should not be to the detriment of your CV’s main function. Before you reference your hobbies, you should have already proven that you’re qualified for the post by highlighting your skills, academic achievements and work experience.
The hobbies section, if needed, should add that little bit of extra sparkle that gives an employer one more reason to invite you to interview.