Which Hobbies Should You List on a Job Application?

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

We all know that preparing an impressive resume is an important step to landing your dream job and staying competitive for promotions and new positions.  In addition to listing previous work experience in detail, as well as any other achievements acquired, many people include a skills section to list abilities they may not have used in a work setting, but contribute to their appearance as a desirable employee. This sometimes includes hobbies. 

It is becoming increasingly popular to list certain hobbies as part of your skills on resumes and online profiles. While golf, bridge, poker, and chess are among the most commonly listed, some are starting to list  fringe hobbies such as online gaming and fantasy sports leagues.  The applicable skills acquired from socially-oriented games or those that involve mathematics and reasoning are easy to deduce, but how do you determine which hobbies will paint you in a positive light, which have no effect but clutter on your resume, and which could ruin your chances of getting hired? Here are a few tips in case you’re wondering.

Don’t Ruin the First Impression
The impression you give through your resume can make or break your chances of being considered for a job even before you meet for an interview. While honesty is important when relating your work history and education (which can be verified), you don’t need to share too much personal information on a resume…save that for your dating profile. In some cases, too much information about yourself (your personality, preferences, some of your hobbies, your political views), whether or not it reflects your job skills, can immediately leave the impression you’re (1) unprofessional, (2) a risk,  or (3) a basket case.

With this in mind, some of your hobbies won’t relate to your hire-ability, but some might. Don’t be afraid to list a hobby that is a noteworthy example of key skills you’re demonstrating for the job you want. Don’t just list the hobby; list the applicable skills this hobby has given you that relate to work skills, in general (including working well in team settings), as well as specific abilities that make you more qualified for the job than anyone else.  Keep in mind that, even if you’ve gained work-related skills from some of your hobbies, they might not be appropriate for your resume. Always consider your audience. Will they know what the hobby is? How does it make you look, from their point of view? e-

Avoid a Cluttered Resume
Resumes aren’t meant to be biographies. They’re designed to give a brief overview of your experience, skills, and potential as an employee. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a lot of job experience. Fully explain what skills and experience you have, but don’t fill your page(s) up with useless clutter just to make it look like you’ve done a lot. Succinct resumes don’t have to be bland, either. Use exact words, proper grammar, and maintain a confident and positive tone throughout to make your resume stand out above the rest.

Your Are What You Do for Fun
Hobbies really do say a lot about the kind of person you are, specifically your dedication and proficiency. If you’ve had a noteworthy hobby for a long duration of time, it shows you’re able to commit to something and stick with it. Furthermore, if you excel at it, it shows you give 100% of your effort and have a personal drive for excellence. Furthermore, social hobbies that require networking demonstrate people skills that are useful in management and human relations.

Take a look at your hobbies and consider whether you want to list them on your resume. Showcasing your skills and character through your hobbies might just be the key that gets you the job you’ve always wanted.

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