Is there a place for hobbies and interests on your CV? What you do and don’t include on your CV is what makes you stand out from the crowd. So we say yes, stand out and be different!
While hobbies and interests certainly have a place on your CV, there’s still a number of “dos” and “don’ts” that you should follow. For example, you don’t want to be just another person that writes “reading” and leave it at that. “Reading” is too vague and cliché. You can improve this by putting what you like to read – and bonus if it is industry related! E.g.: “I enjoy reading and keeping up to date with articles from RICS”.
Here’s a list of “dos” and “don’ts” of how to word your hobbies and interests on your CV:
- Be accurate and truthful. Only list genuine interests, interests that you can talk about. The interviewer may have shared interests and be an expert
- Use job or industry related or transferable interests. “I like to travel and see the different types of architecture around the world”
- Include health/exercise related hobbies e.g walking, camping. Sport can show certain personality traits like discipline, determination and motivation, go into some detail not just have Football – is it watching? Playing? What team? “I enjoy playing Rugby – I have represented London Wasps at front row age 18”
- Group based activities show teamwork skills e.g. dance, marching band
- Always list interests, it can be a real ice breaker at interview and can sometimes softener that strikes up a repour with the interviewer.
- Lie. If you say fishing and your interviewer is an avid angler, you are going to struggle to keep up that charade
- Be too vague or use generic comments – socialising, reading etc
- Political activities e.g. canvassing
- Negative social activities e.g. binge drinking
- Don’t brag. If you’re good at something, there’s no need to list every cup, trophy and award you have ever received
- Avoid anything that might be considered a bit odd e.g collecting hunting knives.
Hunter Dunning Architectural Lead, John Watson said: “Including your hobbies and interests is important because it helps us to match your interests to the culture of the businesses we work with, creating better matches which are not purely based on skills and experiences.”
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