When to Include Hobbies and Interests in a Resume
One of the common mistakes that most job applicants make when crafting a resume is putting in information that is not related to the work they are applying for. These are the type of information that does not in any way help in the performance of the job. These kind of details should not be included in the resume. It takes away valuable resume writing space that can otherwise be used for information that could increase your chances of being hired.
A resume that is quite long and filled with irrelevant information is a bore to read. Do you think employers will hire you for the job when your resume does not address the key requirements of the role? Always, a resume should be tailored to answer what the employer seeks.
Trivial information like your age, culture and ethnic background, religious and political inclinations or your marital status are not key requirements in satisfactorily performing a job. Do not include these in your resume. Besides, you don't want to be the subject of discrimination by providing these details in your resume.
Other times, some job applicants try to include a picture of themselves when making their resume. This is absolutely unnecessary. Unless you look extremely attractive in your photo, this can often ruin your chances of getting the job interview. But even if you are, your picture in your resume is out of place.
Do not sell yourself and be judged by how well you look but rather by your skills and specific competencies that make you better than the rest. Pictures of yourself are not suited for a job resume. While in some cases it may be required, as in the modelling and acting professions, for the corporate environment, resume photos are completely out of place.
So, what about your specific hobbies and interests? Should your hobbies and interests be made part of and included in your resume? Or are hobbies and interests better left out of the resume?
Professional advices regarding the inclusion of hobbies and interests in a resume are often contradictory. There are those who advice that it is better if you put your hobbies and interests in your resume while others are against it.
If you research some resume templates and resume samples on the world wide web, you will often find some resume samples with a section for hobbies and interests while some resume samples will not give hobbies and interests much thought.
Which should you follow? What is the best course of action to take when deciding to include hobbies and interests in your resume? Or should you include hobbies and interests in your resume at all?
Before you decide to put hobbies and interests in your resume, give it a thorough and careful examination. Do these hobbies and interests support your resume objective or career objective? Are these hobbies and interests related to the role that you are applying and vying for? Are the skills you learned from your hobbies and interests helpful in performing the requirements of the job?
The best criteria in deciding whether to include hobbies and interests in your resume is when it supports your resume objective or career objective and when it provides additional relevant information for the employer to decide your suitability to the job being offered.
All the information presented in your resume should answer the employer's question on why he should pick you from all the other job applicants. Your resume should present information that makes you the best candidate for the role.
When writing a resume, you are limited with the number of pages to sell your skills and competencies. Do not waste this limited space. Provide relevant and significant information. If your hobbies and interests are relevant, then include it in your resume. If not, leave your hobbies and interests aside.
Say for example that you are applying for an entry-level position as an electronics technician in a big manufacturing firm. One of your many hobbies and interests is playing tennis. Do you think that by including this in your resume, it will help you in landing the job? Of course not. This is as unrelated as you can get.
But what if one of your hobbies and interests is being an electronics hobbyist where you like to assemble and test electronic circuits or do some electronic repairs in your spare time?
As an electronics enthusiast, you have learned a lot about the ins and outs of electronic circuits and components in general. Through constant practice and exposure your manual soldering ability and skill would have definitely improved. In all likelihood, you would be very excellent at it.
Do you think that by mentioning this in your resume, it will increase your chances of being called for the job interview and getting the position. It definitely will. It is always worthwhile to include hobbies and interests where the skills learned can help you in satisfactorily performing the job tasks.
Listing hobbies and interests is best done by putting it as a functional section of your written resume. This is especially appropriate for a resume of the functional resume layout where you focus more on skills and competencies rather than a chronological listing of your employment.
If we take the example above where you are looking for an entry-level role as an electronics technician, then you might include a functional section displaying your soldering skills and ability. The section can be aptly headed as "Soldering Ability". You can then proceed to mention that you are good at soldering because one of your hobbies and interests involves a lot of soldering and taking out electronic components and you have mastered this skill through constant exposure.
You may not know it but some of your hobbies and interests can definitely help in your quest for a good role if listed properly and in context.
You may have a passion for writing. If you are applying for a role that requires making a lot of written reports, then it may good to mention this passion in your written resume. It will help the employer see that you are probably good and quick at generating reports since you have a good command of the language perfected though constant exposure from one of your hobbies and interests.
As a concluding statement, your hobbies and interests do have a certain place in a resume. If done right and in the proper context, your hobbies and interests can actually boost your chances of landing the role if included in the resume. Just make sure that the hobbies and interests that you list and include in your resume are pertinent to the role you are applying for.