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When and how to list hobbies and interests on a CV with examples

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When and how to list hobbies and interests on a CV with examples

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · November 01 2022
  • · 4 min read
Hobbies and interests

Table of contents

Should you add hobbies and interests to a CV? Well, that depends. The short answer is yes, but only if they are relevant. A strategically written CV must include core sections such as education or work experience but do not overlook additional sections such as hobbies and interests. As our cornerstone article explains, this is an optional section on a CV and can be seen as a part of additional experience. You can either leave this section as is or, alternatively, strategically incorporate it into the additional experience. At CVMaker, we aim to assist job seekers in their careers. Create professional documents to help land more interviews. With our CV Builder tool, you can choose from 20+ professional templates depending on your experience level or personal preference. Alternatively, you can reach out to one of our experts to help write your professional career documents. Visit our CV Writing Service for more information.

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What are hobbies and interests?

Hobbies are defined as activities that you do in your spare time. They take place outside working hours, and it takes around three to four weeks to develop a hobby.  On the other hand, interests are intentional feelings and desires directed towards specific subjects. For instance, if you’re interested in music, you might start studying it, learn a new instrument, or perhaps create a musical band on your own. 

What is the difference between hobbies and interests?

Although both terms are interrelated, in reality, they are two different things in reality. Interests do not elicit the same level of dedication that hobbies do. If a person has an interest in something, it does not necessarily imply that it will be evolved into a hobby. In other words, unlike hobbies, interest does not require action. Instead, you carve out time for them to pursue them. For example, if you want to become an architect, you might be interested in photography, arts, modelling, or other fields. Therefore, your hobbies will be taking photos on the streets, sketching, and using software to create designs. If you aspire to progress further in your career, turn your interests into hobbies! 

How to add hobbies and interests on a CV? 

Your hobbies and interests are not as important as skills, work experience, education or other CV parts. However, the general rule of thumb when adding hobbies or interests on a CV is to include skills relevant to your job targets. Remember, you can acquire skills from your work or training and hobbies and interests. So, if you want to stand out from other candidates, try incorporating them to show off some of your strengths. 

Where to mention hobbies and interests on a CV? 

Experts at CVMaker recommend incorporating this section under additional experience. Consider renaming this section and avoid placing it at the very top of your CV, rather, at the end. Doing so will allow the information not to be completely forgone from your CV but rather allow you to elaborate within an interview. 

Examples of hobbies and interests on a CV 

Some hobbies to list on a CV can include the following:

  • Playing a musical instrument

  • Cooking or baking

  • Painting 

  • Graphic design

  • Woodworking 

  • Bartending 

  • Community service.

Some interests to list on your resume include:

  • Fine arts

  • Travelling

  • Blogging

  • Theatre

  • Music production.

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Hobbies to leave out from your CV

Before listing a hobby or interest, carefully consider the impact you want to have on your employer. When asking yourself whether you should include them on your CV, think if your employer will find hobbies and interests favourable to the job you are applying for. If the hiring manager or recruiter doesn’t see the relevance, it’s best to exclude them. Keep in mind that hobbies and ways of spending free time are not the same things. See the examples below for more information.

Hobbies to stay away from on a CV:

  • Generic hobbies or interests: watching a TV series show, socialising with friends, playing Dungeons & Dragons, or using social media.

  • Extreme hobbies that can come off as brutal or dangerous.

  • A joke about a hobby or interest that can come off as unprofessional in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager.

  • Hobbies or interests that reveal personal information you may not want to share with employers, such as political or religious affiliations.

Examples of job-specific hobbies and interests on a CV

Below you can find three examples of jobs and corresponding hobbies and interests relevant to each position.

Architect CV hobbies and interests 

  • Sketching and drawing

  • Travelling and exploring

  • Graphical modelling 

Travel writer CV hobbies and interests

  • Personal blog

  • Photography

  • Language learning

Event planner CV hobbies and interests

  • Organising fundraising events

  • Leading commercial exhibitions

  • Developing invitation letters 

What are the benefits of adding hobbies and interests to a CV?

Including hobbies and interests can strengthen a CV of a person with little to no work experience. Firstly, it showcases interests that look beyond work experience and education. Adding hobbies and interests helps build a more personal connection with the employer. In other words, it gives a personal touch to your application which certain employers value. Lastly, it shows your personality outside of working hours.

Additional benefits of adding hobbies and interests:

  • Displays your eagerness to learn new skills.

  • Demonstrates your ability to adapt while striving to achieve the best results.

  • Shows off your problem-solving, analytical or creative skills.

  • Proves that you’re ready to commit to your goals or stick to your routine.

  • Makes you stand out from the rest by making your CV more personal.

What are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when adding hobbies and interests to a CV?

Including hobbies and interests on a CV can have a reverse effect on your application. Here are some expert reasons by CVMaker as to why you should leave them out.

  • They are often irrelevant to the position you are applying for.

  • They could take up unnecessary valuable space on your CV that could have been used on relevant information like education and work experience.

  • They might sound unprofessional to recruiters or hiring managers.

  • They can be used against you as an employer might not like the sound of your hobbies or interests.

Key takeaways

All in all, the general advice by CVMaker’s experts is to exclude hobbies and interests from a CV unless they are directly related to your job. Whether you should or shouldn’t include hobbies on your CV depends on your level of experience, the position you are applying for, and the industry. In rare cases, this optional CV section can profoundly impact your CV. It can make you stand out from other candidates and become a great addition to your career goals. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of strategic CV writing. Remember that your CV needs to be tailored to your career goals. Following our tips and tricks, you’ll get one step closer to landing your dream job. Consider writing this section at last once you’re done with the must-have CV sections, such as work experience or skills. Our CVMaker team wishes you the best of luck in your career and future applications. 

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Updated November 01 2022

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