Recently, a resume client asked for my thoughts on the “Hobbies and Interests” section in her resume. She is client care rep who was applying for a client care manager job. According to her resume she has 12 years of experience in customer service, a bachelors degree in psychology and apparently a fondness for painting with water colors. She felt it was important to let the recruiter know about her outside interests and being passionate about her art she felt she should include this but wanted to get my opinion.
Additional sections at the end of your resume can be very useful and even play a strategic part in your application. They can strengthen your resume, leave a good last impression and make your resume more personal giving it a human touch. The important thing is not whether the additional resume information is playing hockey, knitting or painting. The key here is to only include job relevant information. For example, a while back I created a resume for a elementary teacher entering the field. At the end of her resume, I included a hobbies section that indicated she enjoys teaching her nephews how to dance. Not only was this her true passion and past time but it personalized her resume while demonstrating to the recruiter that she truly loves teaching young children. So while you may have fantastic interests and hobbies ask yourself does the recruiter need to know this? The key is to include hobbies and interests only if they related to the job requirements and strengthen your application.
Some other great skills to list as an additional could include (if job relevant):
- Fluency in other languages
- Professional associations and groups
- Public speaking events
- Awards, achievements and recognition
So the above are great suggestions for you to include as additional resume sections.
Some of the ones I would omit unless they are a job requirement include:
- Height, weight, health, marital status and religion
While it may seem new to you, I do see many resumes that indicate volunteering with religious organizations and so forth. Some candidates include this type of information only to get worried and then second guess the decision for fear of discrimination due to religion. My thought is why include this information if you are not sure, and it makes you less confident in the interview. My view is again, unless a job requirement don’t include it. For example, if you were applying for a job as a Fitness Instructor, adding a section in your resume to indicate you are the treasurer for the ABC Religious Organization is not relevant. This might be seen differently if you were applying for a job as a book keeper. Anyway, this concludes today’s post on the “Hobbies and Interests” section in a resume. Until our next post, we wish you much luck and success in your career.