We 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 on 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.
We’ve put together this list of 75 of the best ideas (and what they say about you) to help you get started!
1. Board games: You’re a strategic thinker and a problem-solver.
2. Bodybuilding: You’re focused and self-disciplined.
3. Chess: You’re intelligent, analytical and good at developing business strategies.
4. Gambling: You’re a risk-taker. This makes a great addition for venture capital and banking CVs.
5. Golf: You are dedicated, accurate and strategic.
6. Investing: You have strong planning skills, and you take risks.
7. Martial arts: You have discipline and humility, and are focused and confident.
8. Meditation: You are calm and collected and have self-discipline.
9. Mountain biking: You’re highly competitive and determined.
10. Parachuting: You take calculated risks.
11. Running/Jogging: You’re determined, competitive and tenacious.
12. Singing: You are confident and comfortable with public speaking. Singing in a choir, meanwhile, also shows that you’re a team player.
13. Acting/Drama: You have excellent communication skills.
14. Crafts: This shows your intelligence and flair. If you sell your handmade crafts, for example, it shows that you’re business savvy and that you have a head for sales.
15. Dancing: You’re disciplined and artistic. Try to avoid pole dancing here, especially if you’re applying for a more serious job such as a lawyer, for example.
16. Musical instrument: You’re focused, dedicated and disciplined.
17. Origami: You’re creative and a problem-solver.
18. Painting: You have a creative mind. This makes you more appealing to employers in industries such as marketing and advertising.
19. Photography: You’re artistic and patient.
20. Pottery: You’re patient, creative and able to work independently.
21. Childcare: You’re a responsible individual.
23. Online classes: You’re passionate about learning.
24. Reading: You have a thirst for knowledge, a particular passion for a subject matter, and you may make a great researcher.
25. Volunteering: You work well with other people, and you’re altruistic.
26. Jigsaw puzzles: You have excellent problem-solving skills.
27. Tennis: You’re determined and passionate.
28. Archery: You’re focused and precise.
29. Backgammon: You enjoy thinking strategically.
30. Basketball: You’re committed and able to multitask.
31. Car restoration: You have excellent problem-solving and engineering skills.
32. Cooking: You’re creative and an excellent improviser.
33. Landscaping: You are detail-oriented and an excellent planner.
34. Lego building: You’re patient, dexterous, imaginative, and a problem-solver.
35. Robotics: You’re technology-driven.
36. Skydiving: You push boundaries and take risks.
37. Cricket: You’re a team player and driven.
38. Knitting: You’re a great multitasker and have strong planning skills.
39. Skiing: You’re physically fit, and you have perseverance and excellent spatial reasoning skills.
40. Swimming: You’re passionate about keeping fit and healthy.
41. 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.
43. Club leadership: You are passionate, take initiative and have excellent interpersonal skills.
44. Football: You’re a team player and a driven person.
45. Mountain climbing: You’re focused and driven. This may help you enter the travel industry if you have no direct experience.
46. Paragliding: You have tenacity and drive.
47. Rock climbing: You’re decisive, and you have strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
48. Socialising: You’re a team player. Be careful, though: some employers may translate this as ‘gossiping and turning up to work with a hangover’!
49. Coding/Programming: You have strong analytical skills and the desire to learn.
50. Drawing: You’re good at discerning patterns.
51. Fishing: You are patient and focused.
52. Hunting: You have strong planning skills, and you display patience and concentration.
53. Snooker/Pool: You have strong strategic and analytical skills.
54. Video games: You’re focused and determined.
55. Video production: You’re precise, focused and detail-oriented.
56. Cycling: You’re passionate and focused.
57. Hiking: You’re focused, and you have a clear head.
58. Model building: You’re patient and detail-oriented.
59. Papermaking: You have a strong attention to detail, and you’re creative.
60. Squash: You’re highly competitive and motivated.
61. Woodworking: You’re confident, and you have a vision.
62. Amateur radio: You’re creative and able to work to deadlines.
63. Blogging: You have excellent planning and communication skills. (Don’t forget to include a link to your blog but remember: no personal blogs!)
64. Calligraphy: You strive for perfection.
65. Creative writing: You’re imaginative. Use this for editorial positions or social media roles.
66. Crossword puzzles: You have a broad vocabulary and may make a great writer.
67. Surfing: You’re proficient in assessing your immediate environment, while you’re also a risk-taker.
68. 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.
69. Amateur astronomy: You’re patient, determined and detail-oriented.
70. Collecting: You have a strong attention to detail, and you’re passionate about your personal interests. Sadly, ‘compulsively collecting cats’ is discouraged.
71. 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.
72. Genealogy: You have strong research skills.
73. Marathon running: You’re determined, and you enjoy taking on big challenges. It also shows tenacity and dedication.
74. Recycling: This demonstrates environmental responsibility.
75. Sailing: You are precise and assertive.
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- 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!
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!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 24 October 2017. It was written in collaboration with Melina Theodorou.