I don’t need to tell you how confusing, infuriating and often soul-crushing writing a CV can be – I’m sure you all know exactly what it’s like. And it’s often the more simple sections that make the whole process so darn difficult: should I include my home address in my contact details? How should I organise my skills section? Should I include my hobbies and interests?
Regarding the latter, you don’t necessarily have to – but (depending what you include) it can help reinforce your application.
So, what kind of hobbies and interests should you include in your CV?
Well, if you’re stuck for ideas and need some inspiration, don’t panic. I’ve put together this list of 75 of the best ideas (and what they say about you) to help you get started!
- 1. Acting / Drama – You have excellent communication skills.
- 2. Amateur astronomy – You’re patient, determined and detail-oriented.
- 3. Amateur radio – You’re creative and able to work to deadlines.
- 4. Animals and pets – If you have several pets (in my case: six cats), you could apply your love for furry, feathered or scaly animals in a job as a pet sitter or veterinarian.
- 5. Archery – You’re focused and precise.
- 6. Backgammon – You enjoy thinking strategically.
- 7. Basketball – You’re committed and able to multitask.
- 8. Blogging – You have excellent planning and communication skills. (Don’t forget to include a link to your blog but remember: no personal blogs!)
- 9. Board games – You’re a strategic thinker and a problem-solver.
- 10. Bodybuilding – You’re focused and self-disciplined.
- 11. Calligraphy – You strive for perfection.
- 12. Car restoration – You have excellent problem-solving and engineering skills.
- 13. Chess – You’re intelligent, analytical and good at developing business strategies.
- 14. Childcare – You’re a responsible individual.
- 15. Club leadership – You are passionate, take initiative and have excellent interpersonal skills.
- 16. Coding / Programming – You have strong analytical skills and the desire to learn.
- 17. Collecting – You have a strong attention to detail and you’re passionate about your personal interests. Sadly, ‘compulsively collecting cats’ is discouraged (although I am admittedly seriously tempted to include it on my own CV).
- 18. Cooking – You’re creative and an excellent improviser.
- 19. Crafts – This shows your intelligence and flair. If you sell your handmade crafts, it shows that you’re business savvy and that you have a head for selling other products.
- 20. Creative writing – You’re imaginative. Use this for editorial positions or social media roles.
- 21. Cricket – You’re a team player and driven.
- 22. Crossword puzzles – You have a broad vocabulary and may make a great writer.
- 23. Cycling – You’re passionate and focused.
- 24. Dancing – You’re disciplined and artistic. Try to avoid pole dancing here, especially if you’re applying for a more serious job like a lawyer, for example.
- 25. Drawing – You’re good at discerning patterns.
- 26. Fishing – You are patient and focused.
- 27. Football – You’re a team player and a driven person.
- 28. Gambling – You’re a risk-taker. This makes a great addition for venture capital and banking CVs.
- 29. Gardening – You care about nature and the environment, and this can effectively give you an advantage over the other candidates if you’re seeking a role in sustainability and clean energy.
- 30. Genealogy – You have strong research skills.
- 31. Golf – You are dedicated, accurate and strategic.
- 32. Hiking – You’re focused and you have a clear head.
- 33. Hunting – You have strong planning skills, and you display patience and concentration.
- 34. Investing – You have strong planning skills and you take risks.
- 35. Jigsaw puzzles – You have excellent problem-solving skills.
- 36. Knitting – You’re a great multitasker and have strong planning skills.
- 37. Landscaping – You are detail-oriented and an excellent planner.
- 38. Languages – You appreciate diversity and have a keenness for culture.
- 39. Lego building – You’re patient, dexterous, imaginative and a problem-solver.
- 40. Marathon running – You’re determined and you enjoy taking on big challenges. It also shows tenacity and dedication.
- 41. Martial arts – You have discipline and humility, and are focused and confident.
- 42. Meditation – You are calm and collected, and have self-discipline.
- 43. Model building – You’re patient and detail-oriented.
- 44. Mountain biking – You’re highly competitive and determined.
- 45. Mountain climbing – You’re focused and driven. This may help you enter the travel industry if you have no direct experience.
- 46. Musical instrument – You’re focused, dedicated and disciplined.
- 47. Online classes – You’re passionate about learning.
- 48. Origami – You’re creative and a problem-solver.
- 49. Painting – You have a creative mind. This makes you more appealing to employers in industries such as marketing and advertising.
- 50. Papermaking – You have a strong attention to detail and you’re creative.
- 51. Parachuting – You take calculated risks.
- 52. Paragliding – You have tenacity and drive.
- 53. Photography – You’re artistic and patient.
- 54. Pottery – You’re patient, creative and able to work independently.
- 55. Reading – You have a thirst for knowledge, a particular passion for a subject matter and you may make a great researcher.
- 56. Recycling – This demonstrates environmental responsibility. Of course, this doesn’t refer to taking out the recycling every Tuesday but, rather, participating in community litter collection and recycling activities.
- 57. Robotics – You’re technology-driven.
- 58. Rock climbing – You’re decisive and you have strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
- 59. Running / Jogging – You’re determined, competitive and tenacious.
- 60. Sailing – You are precise and assertive.
- 61. Singing – You are confident and comfortable with public speaking. Singing in a choir, meanwhile, also shows that you’re a team player.
- 62. Skiing – You’re physically fit and you have perseverance and excellent spatial reasoning skills.
- 63. Skydiving – You push boundaries and take risks.
- 64. Snooker / Pool – You have strong strategic and analytical skills.
- 65. Socialising – You’re a team player. Be careful, though: some employers may translate this as ‘gossiping and turning up to work with a hangover’!
- 66. Squash – You’re highly competitive and motivated.
- 67. Surfing – You’re proficient in assessing your immediate environment, while you’re also a risk taker.
- 68. Swimming – You’re passionate about keeping fit and healthy.
- 69. Tennis – You’re determined and passionate.
- 70. Travelling – Visiting different countries and exploring the world is seen as a valuable life experience. It shows that you have an appreciation for other cultures and it helps you broaden your horizons.
- 71. Video games – You’re focused and determined.
- 72. Video production – You’re precise, focused and detail-oriented.
- 73. Volunteering – You work well with other people and you’re altruistic.
- 74. Woodworking – You’re confident and you have a vision.
- 75. Yoga – You’re calm and in control. This makes you an attractive candidate if you’re seeking a role in a busy and fast-paced environment.
- Don't simply write a list of hobbies and interests; elaborate a little bit on each one.
- Be careful with controversial hobbies and interests - they might go against the hiring manager's own beliefs.
- Tailor your hobbies to the job you're applying for.
Don't be afraid to include unusual hobbies to help you stand out more.
- Don't place precedence on your hobbies - skills and experience are far more important.
- Don't lie as you'll quickly get caught out!
Alternatively, if you're still struggling, then why not enlist the services of a professional CV writer to help spruce up your application?
What hobbies and personal interests have you included in your CV? How did they help you land a job? Can you think of any other ideas and examples to add to the list? Join the conversation down below and share your thoughts and experiences with us!
Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive guide on highlighting your volunteer work on your CV!