Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Write About Interests on Your Resume

August 25, 2020

Your resume should show hiring managers that you're qualified for the position. It should include your education, experience and skills so employers can determine if you're the You can show a hiring manager additional skills with writing about your interests. In this article, we list some interests and provide tips on how to include them in a resume.

Why write about interests?

While your resume gives a hiring manager information about your skills, experience and education, adding interests to your resume shows who you are as a person. Hiring managers not only want to know your qualifications but also how you would fit in with the company's culture. You can show a hiring manager your adaptability to their organization's culture with your interests. By adding your interests to a resume, you are adding your personality and will be more likely to stand out in a pile of resumes that may otherwise be similar.

Should you include interests in your resume?

Many people benefit from using interests in their resumes because it helps recruiters learn more about you as an individual. You can include interests on your resume if you have space and if they relate to the job you're applying to. If you don't have a lot of traditional work experience, it could be beneficial to add interests to fill any gaps. Otherwise, you can talk about your interests at some point during the interview. You can also use the interview to go into more detail about the interests you put on your resume.

The difference between interests and hobbies

Interests are often the activities you do in your spare time that involve dedication and translate directly into a professional setting. For example, volunteering for an organization would be an interest.

Hobbies are activities that you usually do for fun during your leisure time. For example, stamp collecting is a hobby. Usually, you would not include hobbies in your resume unless they relate directly to the role. A car mechanic could list rebuilding classic cars as a hobby.

Good interests to put on your resume

The right interests can make you stand out to a hiring manager as a job candidate. Here are some suggestions of interests to put on your resume:

  • Blogging
  • Sports
  • Art
  • Volunteer work
  • Foreign languages
  • Music
  • Club memberships

Blogging

Blogging is an interest that's relevant to many positions, especially if the blog is about the same industry of the job application. Being a blogger shows that you have communication, network, social media and marketing skills that are applicable to the job application. Blogging also includes vlogging (video blogging) and podcasting. These two interests are especially important if you are applying for media or communications jobs.

Sports

Participating in a sport shows leadership and teamwork abilities. Team sports and endurance sports are both ways to show a hiring manager your skills as they relate to being on a team. Team sports show you can work with other people, while endurance sports can show that you have focus and determination.

Art

An interest in art shows a hiring manager you are creative with an eye for detail. Art is a great interest to put on your resume if you want to in a creative or design-focused field. If you include creating art as an interest, it can be helpful to include a link to an online portfolio in your resume so recruiters can review it.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work on your resume is a good way to show your management skills and involvement with the community. Having volunteer experience is necessary if you are applying to a not-for-profit organization or company that values social responsibility. Your volunteer work can also help to showcase new skills you have learned or developed such as social media, web development, leadership and more.

Foreign languages

Learning a foreign language is essential if you apply at a multinational company, sales position or in the tourism industry. Foreign language skills also are important if you are a writer or otherwise work in communications.

Club membership

Being a member of a club or association shows hiring managers you're an active community member. Club membership demonstrates you have a talent for a people-focused role, such as a salesperson or a customer service representative.

Tips for choosing interests for your resume

Including interests isn't always necessary. Often it is enough to have just your resume to explain who you are to a hiring manager. However, here are some tips about how to include interests in your resume.

  • Use resume space wisely: Put interests on your resume if you are new to the workforce or don't have enough work experience to fill one page. Write first about your professional skills and your accomplishments from past jobs.
  • Be relevant: Look for keywords in the job posting that match your interests. Use interests that are relevant to the advertised job position in your resume.
  • Do research**:** Research the company and the company culture to see if the company values individuality and work-life balance. Include interests that are relevant to the job if the company encourages creativity and individuality.

How to list interests on a resume

Knowing how to list interests on a resume is as critical as the interests themselves. Here is information on how to list interests on a resume.

  1. Place your interest section correctly: Add your interests at the bottom of the resume after your education and work experience.
  2. Arrange your interests: Group your interests together, and add a title such as “Interests” to separate it from the rest of the resume.
  3. Include a description: Include a short one-line description to explain how your interests are relevant to the job.
  4. Be original: Make sure that you use original information that you have not listed in other areas of your resume, such as extracurricular activities or volunteer work.

Resume example with interests

When you write a resume with interests, an example can help you get started. Here's an example you can use:

John Wingarden

jwingarden@email.com

604-234-1223

Writer

Education

University of British Columbia

B.A. in English Literature, 2015

Professional Experience

Roundabout Publishing, Vancouver, BC

Literary Writer, September 2016–Present

Works as a literary writer for a humanities database focused on classical literature and contemporary authors. Writes essays and biographies as well as edits other contributors' essays and work.

Quorum Holdings, Vancouver, BC

Social Media Writer, June 2015–September 2016

Worked as a social media writer with a team of four writers managing social media content for a law firm.

The UBYSSEY (University of British Columbia student newspaper)

Staff Writer, September 2011–September 2015

Wrote about campus events and news in the greater Vancouver area. Edited articles for grammar and spelling for other staff writers and reporters.

Skills

  • Proofreading and editing
  • Research
  • Attention to detail
  • Various CMS platforms
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Various writing styles

Volunteer Experience

Writing Coach ESL Club Vancouver, September 2018–Present

Coaches and mentors ESL students, including refugee populations. Teaches basic writing and pronunciation skills. Mentors a club newsletter during evening sessions.

Interests

  • *Foreign language: Fluent in Spanish and French. Use them regularly with the ESL Club.*
  • *Team sports: Play intramural football with the same team every spring.*

Resume writing tips for interests

Follow these tips when you include your interests on your resume:

  • Use resume examples: Use examples or templates to help you write about your interests. However, make sure you write about your interests in your own words.
  • Use the correct format: Keep the resume format to a simple black and white format, which makes it easy to read. Use a standard font such as Times New Roman in 11- or 12-point, double spaced. If you are an artist or other creative professional, use colour, design and fancy fonts as part of your portfolio, either in hard copy or online.
  • Proofread for grammar and spelling: Proofread for grammar, spelling and style before you send your resume to a hiring manager. If you tailor your resume to each job you apply for, make sure you review it each time.
  • Get a second opinion: Ask a colleague or a trusted friend or family member to look at your resume to give you feedback about whether your interests are appropriate to the job application or to the company. Choose someone who will give you constructive criticism about how you can improve or change your resume.

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