With the increase in online help it’s only natural that the standard in CV writing has risen dramatically. In turn, the employer is also expecting to receive a higher standard of application. So to write an impressive CV you need to utilise every section available – and that includes the hobbies and interests section.

This is one of the most underrated sections on a CV. Why? Because you can actually include soft skills and further demonstrate your abilities.

So do employers really care about your CV hobbies? We say yes, and here’s why!

The hiring manager wants to know more

Your skills, qualifications and experience will not provide the employer with an insight into your personality – but your hobbies will. To make your CV more personable you can include some unique hobbies and let the employer know a little bit more about you as a person.

The company will have a certain culture, and it’s important to them that they hire people that will fit into it. Everyone needs to get along well and work together to reach a common goal. That can only be achieved if everyone understands the culture and shares the same beliefs. Your hobbies may just provide the employer with a little bit more info on your personality and if you’d be a suitable fit.

Whilst not every employer cares about what you get up to outside of work, some do. They may even share a similar hobby which could make for a good conversation in an interview. So be a little more creative with your hobbies section and don’t be afraid to go into a little detail about something you’re passionate about outside of a working environment.

Employers wants to see your soft skills

One of the most important aspects an employer wants to see on your CV is soft skills. The unfortunate thing for most job seekers however is that they fail to include them – or even understand what they are!

A soft skill relates to a personal trait or attribute that is used on a daily basis at work. How are you at communicating with other co-workers? Are you able to problem solve easily on your own? These are all common soft skills which must be demonstrated on your CV to give the employer a better indication of how you perform.

The great thing about the hobbies and interests section is that you can provide further evidence of your soft skills. Do you captain a sports team or are you a part time artist? These hobbies would show leadership qualities, good communication skills, and a creative flair.

Do you now see how your hobbies could add value to your CV?

Avoid the mundane

You do however need to be careful not to write down generic hobbies on your CV. The types of hobbies which rarely add any value to a CV are – walking the dog, reading, going to the cinema, and socialising with friends on the weekend.

This doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t include these on your CV, but we would definitely say that you could also safely miss out this section if you want. This would leave more room for you to focus on skills, achievements and work experience.

But if you have a creative or sporty hobby, or anything else that would be classed as a unique or quirky interest, then go ahead. Let the employer know how passionate and dedicated you are to your hobbies and show your interesting and creative side.

There are lots of different soft skills which can be taken from your extra curricular activities. Here are a few examples of hobbies and the soft skills or benefits which can be found:

  • Captain of sports team – leadership, trust, organisation, communication, problem solving
  • Arts and crafts – creativity, flair, idea generation
  • Gym and sports – Dedication, general health and well-being, less sick days
  • Sing or play in a band – Confidence, communication, public speaking, creativity

So you can see from the above examples that there can be a lot more to be gained by not ignoring your hobbies section. Take advantage of them and demonstrate to the employer has many soft skills as you can.

Include hobbies in your personal statement

If one of your hobbies is particularly relevant to the job – i.e. it strongly demonstrates one of the employer’s most desirable skills – make sure you drop it into your personal statement. This is the 3 – 4 line summary at the top of your CV which states why you’re suited to the job. It’s quite different from the personal statement you might have written for university.