Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CVS / APR. 27, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests on Your CV

When applying for a job, some employers may request a curriculum vitae (CV). In the U.S, a CV is more common for academic and medical careers. However, in the UK, it's often the first item that employers receive from job applicants. 

A CV is comparable to a resume, but there are key differences. A resume is a brief summary of qualifications, education and experience, and these are typically one page in length. A CV, on the other hand, provides an in-depth overview of a person's experience and qualifications, and it's not unusual for a CV to be two or three pages in length. 

If you're asked to write and submit a CV to an employer, you'll need to provide personal information, your education, your work experience, your accomplishments, your skills, your references and your interests/hobbies. Regarding the first six items on the list, you may easily expand on these and provide the employer with useful information to help him assess your qualifications. But with regard to the hobbies and interests section of your CV, you might hit a brick wall. 

Naturally, you may question what to include and what to exclude from this section. 

Understand, however, that although a seemingly insignificant section of your curriculum vitae, your hobbies and interests give employers insight into your background and personality. In addition, your interests can indicate how well you'll perform in certain roles. Therefore, you need to provide valuable information. 

Here are a few tips to help you write about your hobbies and interests on your CV. 

#1. Brainstorm your interests and hobbies on a scratch sheet on paper. For example, do you enjoy playing sports? Are you an avid reader? Do you belong to any clubs or organizations? Do you play a musical instrument? How do you spend your vacations? 

#2. Provide details for each hobby or interest on your list. For this section of the CV, some job seekers include one-word bullet points to describe their hobbies and interest -- hiking, running, swimming, dancing, cooking, etc. However, to make your CV standout, give the employer more. Rather than list "volunteering" as a bullet point, flesh out the point and provide background information. You don't need to tell a long story. But at least mention where you volunteer. Likewise, if you play a musical instrument, do you play with a band?

#3. Tailor your curriculum vitae to each employer. It's tempting to create a generic section for hobbies and interests. However, your chances of getting an interview increase if you customise or tailor the section to each position. Your hobbies and interests probably include a mixture of team-focused activities and solitary activities. Rather than bombard employers with too much detail, only list relevant hobbies and interests. 

Let's say that you're applying for a job that requires a lot of social interaction and team work. Given the nature of this job, you should focus on hobbies and interests that convey your experience working with a team or your ability to socialise.

Then again, if the job entails working alone, including non-team or group activities indicates your ability to work independently. There are no hard and fast rules regarding what to include or exclude. Just make sure your hobbies and interests are relevant. Here are a few examples of items to include, and what they say about you.

  • I enjoy running and recently finished a marathon (you're active and healthy)
  • I'm presently enrolled in a beginner's cooking class (you're a social person)
  • I enjoy playing sports and recently joined a community football team (you're a team player)
  • In my spare time, I enjoy completing crossword puzzles and playing chess (you're a problem-solver)

Only include four to five hobbies and interests. Do not mention controversial interests, such as witchcraft. Also, exclude any risky hobbies, such as base jumping or skydiving. These might turn off the employer. 

What hobbies and interests are included on your CV? Please give us some hints…


Image Credit: [Flickr]

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