Should You Put Hobbies on a Resume? Probably Not

By Melissa Ricker

A resume is crucial to landing a job. So one of the critical questions for how to write a resume is what should you include on it. You may be wondering if you should include hobbies on your resume. After all, hobbies can show more of a personal side outside of your work experience, and they certainly can be more interesting.

So, should you include hobbies on your resume?

Generally, the answer is a strong no. The recruiter does not need or want to know that you love watching football every Sunday. You are wasting their valuable time. The hiring manager will not be swayed to choose you because you are a talented karaoke singer or ballet dancer.

Including hobbies and personal interests on your resume is a rookie mistake according to Monster.com, and recruiters do not want to hire a rookie. Why is it a rookie mistake? Because adding personal data, in general, is unprofessional. Keep it professional.

 

When and How to Include Hobbies on Your Resume

If you do decide to list personal interests or hobbies on your resume, do so with caution. When determining hobbies to put on your resume, ensure they are relevant and meet certain strategic criteria.

Does your hobby reflect a skill required for the job?

If your hobby is pertinent to the position that you are applying for, it might be appropriate to list it. For example, if you are applying for a high school football coaching position without prior experience, then listing that you coach a peewee football team on the side might help. Keep in mind though that your hobby must be highly applicable to the position in order to add value to your resume. Do not list that you are learning to play the guitar in hopes to portray that you are open to trying new things. It won’t be relevant enough.

Does your personal interest show leadership ability?

If you are the president (or another key position) of a society or club outside of work, it may be helpful to list it on your resume especially if you are applying for a leadership position or a job that requires leadership skills. Only list societies or clubs that are well known and socially accepted. It will not do you any good to list that you are the president of your neighborhood’s poker team.

Are you lacking applicable experience?

If you do not have applicable experience, and your hobby or personal interest portrays an important attribute you would like to highlight to your potential employer, it may be appropriate to list it on your resume. Volunteering, for example, is a great hobby that will show your dedication to humanity and teamwork. This might not help you as much for an engineering job, but it may be the reason you get an interview for an entry-level human resource position.

The content that you list on your resume needs to reflect what you want the recruiter to know about you in about two minutes or less. If your hobby or personal interest is something you absolutely want them to know, list it. If you do not have enough professional experience, perhaps your hobbies will help reflect your abilities. Having doubts? Err on the side of caution and list only applicable professional experience. In most cases, recruiters are only looking for relevant professional capability so only list hobbies on your resume if they make a strong case for the position for which you are applying.

Melissa Ricker is an Engineering Manager and Writer who covers career topics for JobHero.

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