Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Should I Include My Hobbies and Interests on My Resume?

On doing some resume research, it seems there is some debate over whether it's ok to include personal interests on a resume. Does listing interests or hobbies on your resume really show you are a well-rounded candidate or does it just add extra unneeded information on your CV?

According to, a resume writing service for attorneys, say this:

Your resume needs to present you as a qualified candidate for a job. Even if you are fluent in Swahili and a gourmet chef specializing in white truffles and the interviewer happens to have those exact same talents, he/she is not going to give you a job for which you are completely unqualified.

Their stance is that most recruiters will assume that you have other interests besides what you do for work. A company generally doesn't really care what you do outside of work and even if it makes for good conversation, just because you can converse well with the hiring manager or recruiter doesn't mean you'll necessarily get the job. All good points.

Let me offer this example: one of my hobbies is learning HTML and other website coding. I don't do it professionally but I like learning and my newest venture is PHP. So that I have added as a skill set on my resume, because in this case, my hobby or interest was relevant to the profession I was trying to find work in. In fact now that I find myself maintaining a blog that interest has become a great help to me!

Try including association membership or leadership roles that you have taken on. Personal interests that showcase your leadership skills or some other skill set that can translate into your ability to do a job and do it well. While these may not fall under the interests category, it will fall under Groups/Professional Associations or Community Leadership Roles. But your resume should only display information that shows your qualifications for the job you are applying for. The fact that you are a dog lover or love to watch Carolina Panthers football is not usually relevant (unless you're looking to become a vet technician or a sports writer.) Even then I think that information is best suited for your cover letter where you can explain your qualifications.

I don't think that employers are going to think because you don't list crocheting or that you dress up every year for the Star Trek convention you are not a well rounded individual. Just remember, the purpose of a resume is supposed to show your professional qualifications, show your mad skills and help the recruiter to know why you're the best person in Charlotte for the job.

Live Long and Prosper... and Good luck!

-Rosie Reilman
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