Hobbies and interests: Should I include them in my CV?

Whilst to some it may seem simple to list your education or work history, trying to put your pastimes down on paper can be far more of a challenge. If you’re not sure whether your hobbies and interests are worth including, here are a few things to remember.

3 mins read
Getty Images 1374727786

12 Jul, 2024

​What are hobbies?

Hobbies are activities or pastimes that are carried out regularly in your spare time – usually for fun but could also be a great way to supplement your income simultaneously.

Shared hobbies and interests could include anything from sports, music, and dance, to art, blogging, or reading.

Why include hobbies and interests in my CV?

To put it simply, hiring managers are nosy.

While your CV tells the story of your qualifications and your career, the hobbies and interest section reveal a little more of your personality.

Benefits of including hobbies on your CV include:

  • Demonstrating your relevant skills for the role

  • Helps

  • your CV stands out from the crowd

  • Makes your CV more individual

  • Allows you to show voluntary and community-focused projects

  • Gives you something to talk about during your interview

Do recruiters read the hobbies on my CV?

Here’s the problem with hobbies: they’re subjective.

Some recruiters are absolute advocates, believing them to be an integral part of the well-rounded application. Conversely, some may only consider them essential if it’s a close decision, or if company fit/culture becomes a factor.

As a general rule, most recruiters will only be interested in your hobbies if they’re relevant to the role and, crucially – if you’ve ticked all the other boxes.

Where should I include my hobbies on my CV?

It can be great to show what you do outside of a working environment, but you should never place precedence on your hobbies.

If you do include them, always make sure they come at the end of your application.

Use them to seal the deal, rather than as your key selling point.

Do my hobbies always need to be relevant on my CV?

OK, so not everyone’s a fan of Morris Dancing. But surely, it’s better to include something to help sell yourself than leave more blank space, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s a fan of traditional English folk dancing. And unless you’ve applied for a job where these skills will be particularly useful, they’ll probably not help you get the job.

Wherever possible, your hobbies and interests should reinforce your application and the idea that you’ll be the right fit for the role – even if it’s just through transferable skills.

Hobbies and interests CV examples

Some examples of relevant hobbies include:

  • Coding or programming (for technology jobs)

  • Fashion and beauty blogging (for Journalists and Copywriters)

  • Sports and conditioning training (for Personal Trainer and jobs in sport)

  • President of a society or club (for management positions)

  • Strategic games/puzzles (such as chess) (for Project Managers and Developers)

  • Mentoring, coaching, and tutoring (for Teachers and jobs in retail)

  • Model making and DIY (for jobs in construction and engineering)

  • Cooking/baking/flambéing (for jobs in the catering industry/those who want to become professional flambé-ers)

What’s more, your hobbies don’t even necessarily need to be related to your role directly. Many transferable skills may come across in your hobbies and apply to your application.

Examples include acting or drama skills for jobs in the sales industry, coaching a local football team and demonstrating your motivational skills, and even being a metal detectorist for those looking to break into archaeology.

How should I write my hobbies on my CV?

If you do decide to include some hobbies, style can be just as important as substance.

Bullet points are fine but should not be used as a way to list all of your activities individually with zero context. The most effective CVs have their hobbies backing up everything the recruiter has read so far.

For example, a weekly five-a-side game with friends becomes a lot more attractive when written as successfully organized a range of regional five-a-side football tournaments, including managing all bookings, venues, and participants and helping coach my team’.

Are you looking for the next step in your career? Contact us today.

You may also be interested in...

Tackling hiring fraud guidance – free download
3 mins read

Tackling hiring fraud guidance – free download

Hiring fraud is an insidious practice that undermines trust and poses significant financial and reputational risks for businesses. As employers strive to find the right talent, they must remain vigilant against fraudulent activities that can tarnish their operations and brand integrity.

Hiring fraud manifests in various forms, from falsified credentials and fabricated work histories to identity theft and impersonation. These tactics often deceive even the most astute recruiters, leading to the unwitting employment of unqualified or dishonest individuals. The consequences can be dire, ranging from decreased productivity and morale to legal liabilities and damage to company reputation.

Detecting fraudulent applications has become increasingly challenging. However, employers can use several strategies to safeguard their recruitment processes.

Most recently, Reed has contributed to the first guidance of its kind to help organisations protect their recruitment practices. ‘Tackling hiring fraud: the response to a growing problem’ serves as a frontline tool in the battle against fraudulent hiring activity.

Steps to a secure hiring process

The guide, fronted by the Better Hiring Institute, identifies nine types of fraudulent activity: reference fraud, qualification fraud, fake application documents, CV-based fraud, employment scams, manipulation of artificial intelligence, dual employment, immigration fraud and fraud as a result of recruitment agency usage. Each is addressed in detail with case studies and expert guidance on prevention.

As a rule, thorough background checks are indispensable. Employers should verify the authenticity of educational qualifications, professional certifications, and employment histories provided by candidates. Utilising reputable background screening services, such as Reed Screening, can help uncover discrepancies and ensure that prospective hires possess the credentials they claim.

Identity verification measures are essential. Adopting biometric authentication or identity verification technologies will help, reducing the likelihood of impersonation and identity theft.

Stringent interview processes can also serve as a deterrent against fraudulent candidates. Conducting multiple rounds of interviews, including in-person assessments, and soliciting detailed responses can identify genuine candidates from impostors.

Technology can automate and streamline recruitment processes. Candidate tracking systems equipped with fraud detection algorithms can flag irregularities in applications, adding a further layer of protection.

It can also help to raise awareness of hiring fraud with your employees – encouraging them to report suspicious activities and provide avenues for whistleblowing. Providing guidance on how to spot red flags can have a ripple effect, protecting both the business and employees from falling victim to fraud in their career.

Protect your business with our hiring fraud guidance – free download

Technology has enabled criminals to take advantage of traditional recruitment processes, and organisations must adapt if they are to avoid CV fraud, employment scams, manipulation of AI tools and many more tactics.

Reed Screening, together with Better Hiring Institute and other partners, have defined hiring fraud as any fraud committed during the hiring process, which may be committed by an individual against an organisation, or by an entity against a jobseeker.

This comprehensive guide, ‘Tackling hiring fraud: the response to a growing problem’, identifies how employers can protect their organisations, using expert advice on how to prevent the most common criminal activity.

"Employers should be very worried about hiring fraud. At Reed Screening, we have made huge progress over the last few years in making hiring faster globally, including being referenced by UK government for our work on digital right to work. However, with the development of technology and improvements in the speed of hiring, we have seen an acceleration and amplification of fraud."

Keith Rosser
Director of Group Risk & Reed Screening – Reed

The new Better Hiring Institute free guide on tackling hiring fraud, co-written by Reed Screening and Cifas, contains a really useful checklist for HRDs (human resources directors) and CPOs (chief people officers) to use to ensure the company they represent has all the right defences in place.

Download our free hiring fraud guidance to help safeguard your organisation using the button at the top of this page.

Hiring fraud: how to safeguard your organisation
6 mins read

Hiring fraud: how to safeguard your organisation

​To combat the rising tide of hiring fraud, Reed Screening recently joined forces with the Better Hiring Institute and fraud prevention experts Cifas and ST Smith, to launch guidance for employers. This free, comprehensive eBook is now available to download and provides the latest insight into the gravity and scale of threat facing organisations today.

Complete with case studies highlighting common criminal activity, such as resume fraud and employment scams, the guidance offers solutions to counter these tech-based crimes, helping to protect your recruitment teams from falling victim to imposters and impersonators.

We spoke to Keith Rosser, Director of Group Risk & Reed Screening – Reed, about the new guide, Tackling hiring fraud: the response to a growing problem.