You should put interests on a resume if you lack work experience and want to give employers a better idea of what you’re like outside of work (which often translates to what you’d be like in the office).
Interests and hobbies help show that you’re a well-rounded applicant, and in many cases demonstrate important soft skills. For example, being part of an amateur football league shows that you’re dedicated and capable of working with a team (or a “team player”).
However, if you already have a few years of work experience and can fill a one page resume with relevant professional skills and qualifications, don’t put hobbies and interests on your resume.
Sports are one of the best hobbies for your resume. Playing a sport shows that you’re energetic, healthy, and if it’s a group sport, capable of working with a team. Additionally, being the captain of an amateur sports team demonstrates leadership skills and interpersonal skills, both of which are highly valuable in any professional setting.
Some great sports to list on your resume include:
2. Outdoors activities
Putting outdoors activities like hiking or camping on your resume is a great way to show employers that you lead a balanced life and stay healthy. Not only that, but getting into nature in your spare time is helpful for mental health and avoiding burnout at work.
Some outdoors activities to put on your resume include:
- Mountain climbing
An interest in art tells the hiring manager that you’re creative and have a keen eye for detail. Artistic interests are especially good to put on your resume if you want to work in a creative or design-focused field, like UX/UI, cinematography, or art curation.
Some examples of artistic hobbies to put on your resume include:
4. Volunteer work
Putting volunteer work on your resume is a great way to showcase your civic engagement, generosity, and time management skills. If you’re applying for a role at a not-for-profit organization or a company that values social responsibility, volunteer experience is a great addition to your resume.
If you like to travel, you’re probably open-minded, adventurous, and tolerant. Travel is a great interest to include on your resume if you’re applying for jobs that require you to travel internationally, have knowledge of different cultures and business customs, or involve working within a multicultural team.
6. Blogging / Video production
If you maintain a personal blog, podcast, or YouTube channel, mentioning it on your resume is a great way to show-off your creativity, organizational skills, and technical skills. Blogging and vlogging are especially relevant to jobs in marketing or advertising. However, only mention these interests if your media is work appropriate.
7. Foreign languages
Including foreign language skills on your resume shows perseverance, initiative and of course, communication skills. An interest in learning foreign languages is especially beneficial if you’re applying for jobs that involve international travel, multinational sales, or tourism.
Video games aren’t the niche interest they used to be. Today, many employers recognize that video games can help demonstrate problem solving and remote collaboration abilities.
However, you should still be mindful of the job you’re applying to before listing your interest in video games anywhere in your application.
For example, if you’re applying for a role in the tech industry, citing gaming as a personal interest is likely to get a positive response, and may even be relevant to the position. However, mentioning your interest in gaming when applying to a law firm could be seen as unprofessional.
Playing or creating music requires discipline, innovation, and dedication. Additionally, being a member of a band requires collaboration and people skills. Adding music as a hobby on your resume is a safe choice for any industry, and demonstrates a variety of valuable soft skills.
Some specific musical interests for your resume include:
- Music composition
10. Club membership
Membership in a social club or association shows hiring managers that you’re an active member in your community and enjoy socializing. Listing membership in a local sports, social, or academic club as an interest on your resume is a great way to showcase these skills to potential employers.
Additionally, adding a fraternity or sorority on your resume is a great choice if you’re applying to any people-focused role, such as a customer service representative or team lead.