Should You Include Hobbies On Your Resume? (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 21, 2022 | Published October 18, 2021

Updated October 21, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Hobbies are activities you enjoy in your personal time away from work. Adding hobbies to a resume is typically uncommon but can help make your application more effective in certain situations. Understanding why and when you should include hobbies on your resume can help your application stand out and remain memorable to a hiring manager. In this article, we explore whether you should include hobbies on your resume, explore the hobbies to include, learn how to choose the hobbies to include, and uncover three critical rules for adding hobbies and interests to your job application.

Wondering whether you should include hobbies on your resume?

If you are wondering whether you should include hobbies on your resume, you can first assess the purpose and intent of doing so. Adding hobbies and interests to your resume is not a conventional strategy, but there are times when this information is helpful. It's essential to remember that space on a resume is minimal, and each section presents unique information to the hiring manager about your skills, traits, and qualifications. Here are several reasons why it may be a good decision to add hobbies to your job application:

To show your fit with the company culture

Adding hobbies to your resume to show that your personality fits with the company culture can help improve your chances of being noticed and remembered by the hiring manager. If you have researched the organization and found that they focus on specific values within their team, adding corresponding hobbies can show your ability to fit in with your potential colleagues. For example, if you know that a company fosters a culture of adventure, highlighting your backpacking trips into the mountains on weekends can set you apart from the competition.

Related: What is Corporate Culture?

To add to your education or experience

If you have minimal educational training or work experience for a particular job, adding hobbies and interests to your resume can help demonstrate your personality, skills and abilities that relate directly to the job's duties. This can be especially helpful for people entering the workforce or changing careers or industries. For example, suppose the job you're applying for is seeking someone with supervisory experience. Highlighting your experience as team captain for your community basketball team can show the hiring manager you have the skills necessary to lead a group to success.

To show alignment with the position

Adding hobbies to your resume may be especially helpful when they align directly with the position. For example, suppose you are applying to work as a salesperson in a craft store. Including your many hobbies of knitting, painting, and sewing can give you an advantage over other candidates, as you already have knowledge in these areas. In addition, this can minimize product training for the business, saving them time and money.

Related: What Is a Hobby? How To Make One Your Job (With Examples)

Hobbies to include on your resume

The best hobbies to include in an application relate directly to the skills or traits required for the role. Selecting appropriate hobbies helps to show the hiring manager you're a great fit for the position. Below are several categories of hobbies to include:

Creative hobbies

Creative hobbies demonstrate you have various perspectives and an open mind. They also convey your creative thinking abilities and innovation. Creative pursuits also show your ability to learn and develop new skills. Examples of creative hobbies include:

  • painting

  • drawing

  • photography

  • graphic design

  • writing

  • blogging

  • cooking

  • baking

  • woodworking

  • playing an instrument

Team sports

Team sports highlight several crucial skills that employers find attractive. For example, playing on a team requires communication, active listening, problem-solving, and collaboration. Team sports also encourage leadership and cooperation, which are vital to success in the workplace. Some examples of team sports include:

  • baseball

  • basketball

  • football

  • hockey

  • bowling

  • volleyball

Individual sports or exercise

Taking part in an individual sport or exercise shows your independence, self-awareness, and focus. Depending on the sport, it can also show your dedication, determination, and perseverance. This is the case for endurance sports such as marathon running or swimming. Some examples of individual sports or exercise include:

  • yoga

  • archery

  • swimming

  • running

  • cycling

  • cross-country skiing

Thinking or mind hobbies

Hobbies that require strong intellect show your ability to analyze, think critically, and problem-solve complex issues. Using your mind or thought process to pursue a hobby also shows your ability to think strategically and thoughtfully. Examples of thinking or mind hobbies include:

  • trivia

  • chess

  • puzzle games

  • logic problems

Community-based hobbies

Hobbies that focus on community involvement can be great choices to include on your resume. They show a potential employer awareness of the community you live in and your interest in interacting with others in a positive and supportive way. Community-based hobbies can show compassion, empathy, teamwork, and inclusion. Some examples include:

  • volunteer work at an animal shelter or food bank

  • reading programs at a community library

  • helping at a senior's home

  • supporting a local charity by selling goods

Read more: Example of Hobbies and Interests to Include on Your Resume

How to choose hobbies to include on your resume

When deciding to include hobbies on your resume, follow these steps:

1. Research the company

Start by researching the organization you're applying to in order to learn more about its mission, vision, and values. This research can provide insight into the company's culture and what they feel are essential characteristics of their team members. You can learn about a company by reading its website, which often includes a mission statement or "about" section. You can also look at its various social media accounts and search the organization online to find news articles about them. You can also ask other professionals in your network if they have any information to share.

Related: How to Answer "What Do You Know About the Company?" Question

2. Review the job description

Next, review the job description thoroughly. A company often includes characteristics or traits they look for in a qualified candidate. These soft skills can help you determine the hobbies that show your skills in specific areas. For example, if the job description defines focus and attention to detail as critical attributes, listing your pursuit of competitive archery can be an excellent match.

Related: What Are Resume Keywords and Why Are They Important?

3. Tailor your hobbies to the role

Once you have completed research on the job description and the company's values and culture, you can tailor your hobbies to fit the role. Consider how any hobbies align with the qualities the organization is seeking. For example, if the job posting states that a qualified applicant has strong teamwork skills, you can highlight your membership on your local community baseball team as a team captain.

4. Provide a variety of hobbies

If you have chosen to include hobbies on your resume, be sure to provide a variety of them. When you list several hobbies you're passionate about, it helps to show the employer your diversity. Various hobbies also show unique interests and the ability to handle various situations, people, and ideas.

Related: Determining the Answer to "What Are My Interests?"

3 tips for including hobbies on your resume

Here are three tips to remember if you decide to include interests and hobbies on your resume:

1. Be honest

Being honest and truthful on your application is essential, including any information about hobbies or interests on your resume. When listing hobbies, provide an accurate representation of your knowledge or expertise and avoid over-embellishing. For example, you can say that you enjoy painting pet portraits in your spare time, but if the hiring manager asks about your interest during an interview, be sure you are able to answer their questions.

Related: How To Answer the Interview Question: "What Are Your Hobbies?"

2. Be specific

Rather than listing your hobbies at the end of your resume, choose several hobbies and give a brief description of your interest in the area. For example, instead of listing travel as a hobby, provide a specific explanation ensuring it applies to the role. Writing "travel, such as my most recent trip to Oslo, Norway, to learn about geothermic and solar-powered heating" is much for specific and can set you apart from other candidates.

3. Be memorable

Adding hobbies to your resume can help you stand out from other candidates and help make your application unique. You can increase your likelihood of having a memorable resume when you include hobbies that relate directly to the values of the company or skills required in the role. For example, listing that you are the captain of your basketball team can help show your attitude towards teamwork and leadership with your colleagues.

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