200 Hobbies and Interests to Include in Your Résumé

Need some inspiration on what hobbies and interests to include in your résumé? We’ve got you covered.

Image showing list of attractive hobbies for your resume

Isn’t it inappropriate to list my hobbies and interests on my résumé?

Well, sometimes. But not always.

In fact, including your pastimes when writing your résumé can help you show employers that you’re a great cultural fit and present yourself as a more well-rounded candidate.

Okay, sold. But what exactly should I list?

Well, that’s what this article is for. Here you’ll learn when to include hobbies and interests in your résumé and how to choose suitable activities — plus 200 suggestions to consider adding that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Should you include hobbies and interests in your résumé?

For the most part, no. You shouldn’t include hobbies and interests in your résumé.

Although they give employers a better idea of your personality and what additional skills you may have, they generally provide little value to your overall application. Employers are far more interested in your qualifications and accomplishments than in how you spend your free time outside work.

That said, there are a select few situations where mentioning your hobbies and interests on your résumé is perfectly acceptable — and even encouraged — such as:

  • You’re just starting out in your career and you have limited work and educational experience.
  • Your hobbies directly align with the duties listed in the job posting.
  • The employer specifically asks about your hobbies in the job posting.
  • You have limited skills that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.
  • The employer is looking for unique candidates.

Most importantly, you should only list hobbies and interests in your résumé if you have the space for them.

How to choose hobbies and interests for your résumé

If you’ve decided to add a section for your hobbies and interests to your résumé, it’s important that you’re strategic in what you choose to list. Here’s how to do just that:

Step 1: Research the company

Before you start listing your hobbies and interests, do some research into the company that you’re applying to so you can better understand their culture. You can do this by reading the job description, browsing through the company website and checking out their social media pages.

This will, essentially, help you tailor your interests to the job. For example, if the company arranges regular hikes for its staff, it’s a no-brainer that you should mention your love of hiking (provided, of course, that it’s applicable). Remember: the more tailored your résumé, the better your chances are of getting noticed.

Step 2: Focus on your transferable skills

When choosing which hobbies and interests to list, think about the specific transferable skills and personal qualities that they demonstrate, and how these can be translated to the job.

For example, if you’re applying for a customer-facing role, then you’ll want to showcase your confidence and interpersonal skills — and hobbies like acting and improvisation can help you achieve this. Likewise, sports-related hobbies are perfect if you want to demonstrate your teamwork abilities.

Step 3: Show variety

It’s always a good idea to have some variety between the hobbies and interests you list.

Not everyone is musically inclined, for example, so mentioning that you enjoy songwriting, playing the guitar and collecting vinyl records limits you to a very specific audience. But by listing a variety of interests and activities, you can relate to different people — not only the hiring manager reading your résumé but also your future coworkers and clients.

Step 4: Make sure you’re memorable (for the right reasons)

Don’t be afraid to list unusual hobbies and interests, such as African drumming or collecting keychains — as long as you can relate them to the job, of course. This will further demonstrate your personality to employers, and it helps you stand out from other applicants who have chosen more traditional hobbies.

That said, there are some no-go areas, including hobbies and interests that:

  • are controversial
  • are potentially dangerous, violent or illegal
  • reflect antisocial behavior
  • are listed as a joke that could be misinterpreted
  • reveal political or religious affiliations

Get more information on résumé hobbies with this video:

List of résumé hobbies and interests to include

Need some inspiration? We’ve compiled a list of 200 hobbies and interests to consider adding to your résumé.

Arts and crafts

  1. Animation
  2. Architecture
  3. Calligraphy
  4. Candle making
  5. Cardmaking
  6. Ceramics
  7. Crocheting
  8. Drawing
  9. Embroidery
  10. Fashion design
  11. Filmmaking
  12. Floristry
  13. Furniture building
  14. Gardening
  15. Glass painting
  16. Home decorating
  17. Jewelry making
  18. Knitting
  19. Origami
  20. Painting
  21. Photography
  22. Quilling
  23. Quilting
  24. Scrapbooking
  25. Sculpting
  26. Sewing
  27. Sketching
  28. Soap making
  29. Pottery
  30. Woodburning
  31. Woodcarving
  32. Woodworking

Collecting

  1. Action figures
  2. Amateur geology
  3. Antiques
  4. Autographs
  5. Cars
  6. Coins
  7. Comic books
  8. Dolls
  9. Fine art
  10. LEGO sets
  11. Model diecast cars
  12. Movie memorabilia
  13. Music memorabilia
  14. Sports memorabilia
  15. Sports trading cards
  16. Stamps
  17. Vinyl records
  18. Watches

Food and drink

  1. Baking
  2. Bartending
  3. Beer tasting
  4. Brewing
  5. Coffee roasting
  6. Cooking
  7. Grilling
  8. Mixology
  9. Sushi making
  10. Whiskey tasting
  11. Wine making
  12. Wine tasting

Games

  1. 3D games
  2. Arcade games
  3. Billiards
  4. Board games
  5. Bridge
  6. Card games
  7. Chess
  8. Crossword puzzles
  9. Dominoes
  10. Geocaching
  11. Jigsaw puzzles
  12. Sudoku
  13. Table tennis
  14. Video games
  15. Word scrambles

Model, electronic and tech

  1. App building
  2. Blogging
  3. Car restoration
  4. Model airplanes
  5. Model cars
  6. Model railroading
  7. Model rockets
  8. Model ships
  9. Podcasting
  10. Programming / Coding
  11. RC boats
  12. RC cars
  13. RC helicopters
  14. RC planes
  15. Robotics
  16. Scale miniature building
  17. Web design
  18. YouTubing

Music

  1. Choir singing
  2. Composing music
  3. DJing
  4. Mashups
  5. Opera
  6. Playing a musical instrument
  7. Rapping
  8. Singing

Performing arts

  1. Acting
  2. Ballet
  3. Breakdancing
  4. Historical reenactments
  5. Juggling
  6. Line dancing
  7. Magic tricks
  8. Puppetry
  9. Salsa
  10. Standup comedy
  11. Swing
  12. Tango
  13. Waltz

Pets and animals

  1. Animal breeding
  2. Animal rescue
  3. Animal training
  4. Beekeeping
  5. Dog walking
  6. Fishkeeping
  7. Pet fostering
  8. Pet grooming

Spiritual and mental

  1. Astrology
  2. Astronomy
  3. Freelance writing
  4. Genealogy
  5. Journaling
  6. Languages
  7. Meditation
  8. Neurolinguistic programming
  9. Novel writing
  10. Online classes
  11. Play writing
  12. Poetry
  13. Reading
  14. Screenwriting
  15. Sign language
  16. Songwriting
  17. Speed reading
  18. Volunteering

Sports and outdoors

  1. Acrobatics
  2. Archery
  3. Badminton
  4. Backpacking travel
  5. Base jumping
  6. Baseball
  7. Basketball
  8. Birdwatching
  9. Bodybuilding
  10. Bowling
  11. Boxing
  12. Camping
  13. Canoeing
  14. Croquet
  15. Cycling
  16. Darts
  17. Diving
  18. Fantasy football
  19. Fencing
  20. Figure skating
  21. Fishing
  22. Flying
  23. Football
  24. Go karting
  25. Golf
  26. Gymnastics
  27. Hang gliding
  28. Hiking
  29. Horse racing
  30. Horseback riding
  31. Ice skating
  32. Kayaking
  33. Marathon running
  34. Martial arts
  35. Mountain biking
  36. Mountaineering
  37. Paintball
  38. Paragliding
  39. Pilates
  40. Rock climbing
  41. Running
  42. RV traveling
  43. Sailing
  44. Scuba diving
  45. Sightseeing
  46. Skateboarding
  47. Skiing
  48. Skydiving
  49. Snowboarding
  50. Squash
  51. Surfing
  52. Swimming
  53. Tennis
  54. Travel
  55. Water skiing
  56. Weight training
  57. Windsurfing
  58. Yoga

Top 10 hobbies and interests for your resume - infographic

Key takeaways

To sum up, here’s everything we covered about including hobbies and interests in your résumé

  • Only list hobbies and interests if it makes sense to do so (they’re directly relevant to the job you’re applying for, for example) and you have space for them.
  • Research the company, and tailor your hobbies and interests around their culture.
  • Choose hobbies and interests that demonstrate your transferable skills and unique personality traits.
  • Stay away from controversial hobbies or potentially illegal activities (such as gambling, pole dancing, hunting and hacking) or interests relating to your political or religious affiliations.

Meanwhile, if you decide to include your hobbies and interests in your résumé, keep these things in mind:

  • Add a dedicated section for them at the end of your résumé.
  • List them as separate bullet points and, ideally, briefly expand on each one in up to one sentence.
  • Don’t list more than five hobbies and interests.

Got a question about including hobbies and interests in your résumé? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Originally published on 31 October 2019.