As the traditional career advice goes, you usually shouldn’t include your hobbies on your résumé because they take up valuable space and waste the precious few seconds a recruiter spends skimming your résumé.
But in some situations, they can actually add value to your résumé and help you stand out in a good way.
If you’re looking for an internship at a company like Google, for example, one previous intern says hiring managers want to see interesting personal details on your résumé. “This is your time to shine and share some of the quirkier aspects of your personality that other, more traditional companies may not appreciate,” she writes.
Other companies may appreciate seeing a hobby on your résumé if it’s somehow related to the job you’re pursuing. And if there’s a chance your hobby makes you stand out as a more attractive candidate, you’d be wise to include it, Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of career consulting and personal branding firm Résumé Strategists, tells Business Insider.
“When a potential employer sees a candidate’s hobbies, it provides insight into personality traits, industry knowledge, and can make you more attractive for a role,” she says.
“But remember, anything you include on your résumé is fair game during an interview, so make sure you can really talk about your passion for the hobby and why you included it on résumé,” Gelbard notes.
Here are 12 hobbies that you should consider including on your résumé if you actively pursue them, as well as one you definitely shouldn’t:
Yoga demonstrates your ability to stay calm and in control, Gelbard says. 'If you're seeking a role in very busy, high-energy environment, like an advertising or PR agency, it can make you more attractive because you can better handle pressure,' she explains.
Extreme adventure sports
Extreme sports like ultramarathons, racing mountain bikes, or sky diving can show potential employers that you're comfortable pushing boundaries, you're disciplined, you don't fear the unknown, and you are a calculated risk-taker, Gelbard says. 'These traits are desirable for any leadership role, especially in younger, growing organisations,' she says.
Video production as a hobby can make you an appealing candidate for an event planning or production role. Broadcasting and live streaming are often components of events/conferences, so your knowledge/interest in video production can be helpful in the job. It also shows that you are precise, highly-detailed and focused - all key to events positions.
Competing in endurance sports like marathons, triathlons, or cycling show drive, tenacity, and dedication, Gelbard says. These qualities are desirable for business development, account management, and sales roles, among other jobs, and may boost your candidacy in the hiring manager's eye.
Captain of a team sport
Not only does playing a team sport like water polo, soccer, or volleyball help you look like a team player, but Vicky Oliver, author of 'Live Like A Millionaire (Without Having To Be One)' and '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions,' tells Business Insider that being a captain adds leadership ability to your list of skills.
'Studies show that those who played competitive sports usually do very well in corporate environments,' she adds.
If you're on the hunt for communications or marketing jobs, showing off your blogging skills can enhance your candidacy, Gelbard says. She notes a few caveats, though: make sure your blog is current, entries are well-written and mistake-free, and the topic is a positive reflection of your personal brand.
Gelbard says including your passion for mountain climbing and that you've hiked major peaks in 10 countries not only shows strong personality traits to potential employers, but it can also be helpful if you're interested in roles in related industries.
'If you want to work in the travel industry, but don't have direct professional industry experience, this hobby shows your interest and experience with travel,' she says. 'And if you've organised hiking trips, then that's a major bonus!'
'Passion for gardening can be good for potential employers to know when you're seeking roles in sustainability and clean energy,' Gelbard says. 'You clearly care about nature and the environment, which can give you a leg up over other candidates.'
In certain fields, like venture capital and banking, Oliver says it might be good to show that you're a bit of a gambler.
Gelbard says that photography can be a valuable hobby to list if you're looking for an account or creative director position at a digital marketing agency since it communicates creativity, positioning, and patience, 'all of which can be helpful in your target roles.' If you have a current, well-curated website, be sure to direct potential employers there with a link to your site, she says.
Playing an instrument
'Aside from music-related careers, showing that you play classical guitar or violin can increase your attractiveness to potential employers when seeking roles that require laser focus, dedication, and discipline, like civil engineering,' Gelbard says.
Anything unusual (in a good way)
Whether you create your own perfume or practice jujitsu, hobbies that might lead to an interesting conversation may be worth including, Oliver says. Just be sure the conversation isn't interesting for all the wrong reasons -- exotic animal hunters need not apply.
What you shouldn't list as a hobby: Reading
For one thing, most people in the world know how to read, so it's not a particularly unique hobby. And while you may think noting that you're well-read shows you to be more thoughtful and knowledgeable than the next person, Oliver cautions that saying you spend a lot of time reading could make you look like a loner.
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