Resume sculpting: Top 18 hobbies to mention on your resume

Although too much personal information can make your resume overly long, adding relevant info about yourself can help you catch the eye of hiring managers. After all, the best hiring companies will be looking to invest in people - not robots - so those without much experience to fill up their resume should include a brief section on their hobbies and interests. However, if you are a senior professional or a candidate with lots of work experience and have already filled an A4 sheet, it’s recommended you leave them out.

The more inexperienced candidates, like school leavers, graduates and those with spare space on their resume, should take this opportunity to highlight impressive hobbies and in this article we will unpick ideas on the best hobbies to include, why and how to discuss them if asked. 

Active hobbies

Adventure sports

Depending on the specifics of the roles you’re applying for, listing a hobby that showcases your confidence and ability to take risks and push boundaries while keeping your cool can do you favors if included on your resume. The drawback is they may worry you push it too far and need time off work due to injury. 

Cookery 

Certain jobs, like those in the food and drink or restaurant industry, will clearly favor candidates who enjoy cooking and in those cases you should include this hobby. However, if you are stuck for things to include on your resume, cooking is still a good chance to highlight your creativity and ability to follow instructions closely. It can also show you are fond of looking out for others and taking care of people which is important in many jobs. 

Endurance sports

Recruiters for many roles, from sales to teaching, will find an interest in endurance sports, like cycling, swimming, and running, a valuable attribute. These activities will help to portray you as a dedicated, persevering, and hardworking individual, especially if you can share some impressive personal-bests or regularly participate in competitions.

Outdoor and conservation activities

Outdoor and naturalist activities like gardening, hiking, birdwatching, fishing, swimming and involvement in environmental conservation projects are a good thing to include on your resume. Activities like these can help to demonstrate your patience, conscientiousness and health-focused approach. Plus, according to statistics from the Pew Research Center, only 5% of Americans participate in hobbies related to the environment so that has got to help you stand out.

Team sports

A commitment to regularly playing a team sport, like football or hockey, is a great way to show your ability to work well in a team and corporate with others - skills which are a necessity in almost any job. Plus, that extra competitive streak that comes with playing a sport is often a deal-breaker for many hiring managers, especially for a role in a sales, marketing or another target-orientated job.

Travelling

Travelling is a good hobby to include due to its challenging and adventurous nature. Yes, it usually involves a lot of relaxing on the beach and drinking in hostels, but aside from that anyone who has gone traveling for several weeks or months will know how challenging it can be. It helps you develop the skills and characteristics to adapt, stay calm and take calculated risks in new and confusing situations. Learning about other cultures is also likely to make you more understanding of the various people you will come into contact with in your work and give you a good perspective on the world. Also, jobs in the travel industry will give preferences to those who have travelled. The only danger is your new employer fearing you might be asking for extra time off to embark on that next adventure, so please try and ensure them you’re willing to commit to the role. 

Yoga

As well as having the benefits many sports can claim, yoga has the potential to make even more than an impression on hiring managers. Its ability to help you cope with stress, pressure and difficult situations while remaining level-headed and professional are attributes that anyone who understands the hobby is sure to appreciate.

 

Creative hobbies

Completing DIY projects

Emphasis on the ‘completed’ as nobody is impressed by a job half finished. Having a hands-on hobby that involves DIY can help portray you as practical-minded, self-starter with great problem solving and creative abilities. Plus, you never know when woodwork skills, or whatever area you are most adept in, will be needed in the workplace. 

Creative pursuits

Drawing, sketching, painting and activities like these are a good thing to mention if an artistic approach could add value to your role. Most jobs do require some element of creativity and out-of-box thinking, so focusing on these is an especially good idea when discussing your artistic hobbies in an interview.

Mentally challenging activities

Any hobby that challenges you mentally, like reading, puzzles, mathematics, or chess, is likely to show you are of high intelligence and have the patience and focus to persevere in work tasks, complex discussions, and lengthy workdays. Just make sure you can talk seriously about these hobbies and don’t include them if they are fleeting interests you don’t understand in depth. 

Playing a musical instrument

To be a decent musician you need to practice doggedly and if you are willing to put the time and dedication into a hobby, you can expect your boss to believe you would put a similar level of effort into your work commitments too. Plus, as we explore later, artistic pursuits like composing music can have their own benefits in the workplace. 

Modern hobbies

Design and video production

Not only do these hobbies show you have a creative side, but these technical skills can also be leveraged in the workplace which, making them valuable to your employer. After all, which businesses don’t need great social media content these days? If you have a portfolio site be sure to include a link to that on your resume and list it in your skills and hobbies sections. 

Gaming and other tech-based hobbies

Although most gamers may not feel their hobby is the most impressive thing to mention on their resume, if you talk about any tech-based hobby in the right way it can be a good thing to mention. An interest in technology, whether that is playing video games, establishing and impressive following on social media, designing websites, or fixing mobile phones shows you are modern and tech-savvy - skills that will be invaluable in most workplaces. 

News and current affairs

Keeping up with news and current affairs - whether this is business specific or global news - shows you have an interest in the world and understand the importance of staying informed on the latest developments. Of course, most of us can argue we are interested in this to some extent so it is best to have an answer prepared in case you are asked to elaborate if asked and try to relate your knowledge of current affairs to your work. In the interview, feel free to mention different channels you use to find out this info. This could be anything from your membership to a professional body, a subscription to the Financial Times, podcasts, trade magazines and newsletters, or regularly tuning in to informational TV programs.

Writing or blogging

Often needed in the workplace and a sign of intelligence, strong communication skills and creativity; including writing or editing as a hobby is likely to impress your hiring managers. This can be anything from having your content published online to writing your own stories or poems, just be prepared with an example in case you are asked. In addition to these attributes, running your own blog on an interesting and work-safe topic also shows you are up-to-date with current mediums and able to build a personal brand.

Social hobbies

Community and volunteer involvement

Any community of volunteer projects you are involved in are always great to include on your resume. Not only do they demonstrate that you're caring, conscientious, and community spirited; they also show that you are able to collaborate and willing to go beyond what’s expected of you.

Mentoring and coaching

Whether you are helping a friend or family member learn something new or running your own classes and coaching sessions for the general public, anything that shows your desire to help others should not be left off your resume. Plus, hobbies like this will demonstrate your capabilities as a leader or teacher, and your ability to inspire, motivate and build relationships which are usually vital in the workplace.  

Participating in campaigns

This may seem like an unlikely hobby, but if you have worked for local government, helped a friend with a marketing or fundraising project or arranged a fundraising project yourself you can usually consider that as having a hobby that demonstrates campaign experience. So don’t shy away from including that on your resume and prepare to talk about your experiences and successes in the area during your interviews especially if they are for sales or marketing related roles. 

Conclusion

The hobbies mentioned above offer just a few of the great hobbies you can include and how to relate them to your work. For more ideas on what to discuss, take a look at my article ‘Resume tips for starters and students: Transferable skills, use of language and more’. Remember, although your resume’s primary focus is to promote you as the right person for the job, it is also a way to show your personality, quirks and uniqueness. At the end of the recruitment process, it is often these special character traits that help an applicant surpass other similar candidates in interviews, so showcasing these early on can be extremely beneficial.


Author

Vicky Blom

As a recruiter, I have been helping candidates find a new job for over ten years. On this website I share my knowledge to help you make a good resume.