Why Hiring Managers Want to Know About Your Hobbies

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Including your hobbies on your resume is optional – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important, especially for employers who value individuality. When recruiters are struggling to make a decision about which is the best candidate for a position, they go for the one whose personal profile matches the company’s culture, values and ethos. In simple terms, they turn to the person who seems to be most suitable for the job taking into account their personality.

If you are wondering why employers make such a big fuss about your hobbies, take a look at the possible reasons:

#1 They Want to Get to Know You

Employers want to hear about your hobbies as these can help them get a sense of who you are; to assess your personality and as such determine whether you are a good fit for the job. For a recruiter, an interview question that asks ‘Tell me about yourself’ could simply mean talk to me about you interests to help me make a decision that benefits both of us. Hobbies help employers come to conclusions about how long you are going to stay with the company as well as how you can thrive in the role.

#2 They Want to See if You Are Well-Rounded

When employers ask about your hobbies, it means they want to know about your informal education. This type of learning refers to the development of skills that you haven’t learned at school but managed to get through real-life examples and experiences. These are skills that no teacher will preach about as you have developed them on your own. These may include communication skills, decision-making, critical thinking and social responsiveness.

#3 They Want to Know You Won’t Be Distracted at Work

Most employers want to be sure that you are 100 percent ready to commit to a job. If your hobbies show that you may have interests outside the job that may be preventing from performing the way you should at work, then employers will reconsider hiring you. For example, if they see that you have entrepreneurial interests on the side, they won’t be thrilled about it. They will think that you are only applying for the position to get salary or work experience that will help you start a business in the nearer future.

#4 They Want to Know You Are Not Too Passionate

When you are interested in a job, it is tempting to turn your hobbies into activities that more or less have to do with your work. But while it is important to make these relevant to the position, employers are more interested in your personality. Listing down your outside-of-work hobbies gives you a chance to show employers who you are as a person, without having to explain yourself. Simply put, you are allowed – and should have some other interests in your life. Don’t try to make everything about work, present yourself as you are and don’t be afraid to show that you are actually human.

#5 They Want to Know if You Stick to Goals

Hobbies can give a great deal of information to employers. Apart from the obvious skills that they are looking for in candidates, employers are also after other qualities that cannot be easily ‘seen’ while going through their professional qualifications. Dedication, commitment, drive, determination and goal-setting are qualities that are crucial in any job and can be backed-up by your hobbies. So if you have worked on a project or reaching a milestone, you should let them know.

See Also: Writing a Resume is Not as Hard as it Seems

Next time you are sending your resume out to recruiters, you should make sure that your hobbies section gives the best possible impression to employers. The same applies for your job interview.  Instead of simply stating your hobbies, refer to examples that make you look good. So you could talk about the hobbies that help you improve skills such as teamwork, leadership, initiative or activities that focus on self-improvement.

So, what are the best hobbies to include in your resume? Let me know what you think in the comments section below…