Many people believe that including a hobbies or interests section on your CV is a waste of valuable space. Yet, if done right, this can actually be the perfect place to demonstrate key skills. It’s also a chance to make yourself stand out as a person in a lively and thought-provoking way.
Rule one: Be clever
You’ll have done your research to understand exactly what this role requires, and you can use this section to plug any gaps in your skill-set. Perhaps you’re going for a management role, but you’ve never been in charge of a team of people at work before.
For example, you could mention the years you’ve spent coaching a football team or running a Scout group. It’ll prove you can take charge, deal with different personalities and be a leader.
Rule two: Volunteer information
As well as being good for the soul, charitable work is great for your CV. This is especially true if you haven’t got much of a professional track-record, or you’ve been away from the workplace for a while. Be sure to detail the work you did, what skills it required and who it benefited. Employers will be impressed by your dedication, selflessness and achievements.
Rule three: Be specific
Get into the detail of your hobby to point out why it makes you a brilliant candidate. If you are a chess champion you’d talk about how you’ve sharpened your strategic thinking to win a title. Maybe your ability to think three moves ahead saw you top the league.
Consider what it takes to be good at your past-times and what you’ve learnt. Tie it into how you can bring those experiences into the workplace.
Rule four: Be honest
It’s never a good idea to lie on your CV, but even fibs in the hobbies section are a no-no. It may seem like a good idea to mention interests that you think will grab the imagination.
What if you lie about making cheese every weekend but happen to be interviewed by your local Cheddar aficionado? You’ll look like a fool and a liar, neither of which is going to see you soar to the top of the candidate list.
Rule five: Be fascinating
Sorry to break this to you, but your love of squash and going to the cinema is going to send a potential employer to sleep faster than Nytol. However, if you’ve got a particularly unusual hobby, speak up!
Recruiters flick through hundreds of CVs. The candidate who mentions they made their entire wardrobe themselves will stand out. It’ll also get you a great talking point for the interview – and make you someone they are intrigued to meet.
Recruiters want to know that they’re hiring a well-rounded person. If you’re currently out of work, finding a new hobby has never been easier. Why not look on local forums for events to go to, or see what your local library is putting on. Websites like meetup.com will help you find things to do where you live. This could also be a great opportunity for networking! If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, there are plenty of free online courses on sites like futurelearn.com which take as little as 2 hours per week.