“Reading, Cooking, Keeping Fit”-should you have hobbies on your CV?

Reading, Cooking, Swimming – does anyone CARE?

I’m often asked if you should include hobbies and interests on your CV.  Some would argue it’s a way to give potential employers a glimpse of you outside the work setting.  Others argue it’s a waste of valuable CV space and employers don’t care if you like to read, jog or do pilates in your spare time!

International Cuisine!

My advice to clients is to make your hobbies and interests achievement based.  Use the heading of Interests and Achievements and include them there.  For example rather than the usual dull list of walking, swimming and international cuisine (believe me I see that last one A LOT), try;

Walking – member of local hill walking club

Swimming - train with club and have helped with junior swimming classes

International Cuisine -enthusiastically attempt new recipies on friends and family.

Sport - member of local soccer team and train underage teams

Reading – founder member of local book club

The Interests and Achievements section is also the place to include things like:

Holder of full (clean-let’s hope!) driving licence, Fluent French, Holder of current First Aid Certificate, Awarded Gold Medal for end of year assignment in college, etc, etc…

Employers need to see skills and competencies coming through in every line of your CV – you are wasting an opportunity if you just list interests and hobbies and don’t take the opportunity to make them achievement based.

I once reviewed a CV where the candidate had put “playing the playstation and going to the pub with my friends” in their Interests and Hobbies.  He is probably still wondering why he hasn’t been called for one interview.

Sinead provides advice on all aspects of CV and Cover Letter writing.  Contact Sinead for a free initial consultation.

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