Hobbies On A Resumé

Sometimes when I review resumés, I see at the end the job seeker has listed their hobbies.

And I cringe.

I’m not sure why candidates feel the hiring manager wants to know the sports they are interested in, or their weekend relaxation activities such as reading and watching movies.

I’ve read in some articles it helps with adding “personality” to your resumé. Some experts believe when the reader acknowledges you are technically qualified from skills and experience, they use the hobbies section to assess if you’re a good fit.

I respectfully disagree.

The purpose of the resumé is to decide if you will be shortlisted to a screening interview call. That is its only purpose. Your hobbies do not influence a recruiter to make that decision.

Whether you’re a good fit or not will be decided during the screening, and other subsequent interviews.

Your resumés purpose, and ONLY purpose, is to get shortlisted for a screening interview.

As such, all content on your resumé should be reserved for speaking to skills and experience.

There are only two exceptions where you may want to include your hobbies.

Add your hobbies to fulfill any one of these reasons:

  1. You’re a fresh graduate and you don’t have a lot of experience to fill an entire one-page or two-page resumé
  2. Your hobby promotes that your values are in sync with the company.

For example, if you’re applying to a sports brand like Nike or Reebok, it’s good to include running as a hobby.

Or if you’re applying for a social media roles or writing roles, it’s OK to include hobbies such as blogging.

In the end ask yourself the question “Is including these hobbies proving that I’m a better fit for this role or company?” If the answer is yes, only then, can you add your hobby.

When in doubt, don’t include it. You’re better off reserving that real estate on your resumé for your education or related work experience.

Your interests and hobbies can always be included in your LinkedIn profile, which the recruiter will certainly review if your resumé has done its job.