Should I add my hobbies and interests to my CV?
If I do include my interests… Where should I put them?
I hear these questions from candidates all the time, so I’ve written this post to help you decide whether or not you should include your hobbies in your CV,
Plus there’s 27 example hobbies that you can use to wow potential employers.
When should you add hobbies to your CV? (With examples)
Including hobbies isn’t always essential for your CV, but sometimes they can make a big impact on getting selected for interview.
So, when should you add your hobbies to your CV?
If you fall into one of the following categories, adding your hobbies will be hugely beneficial.
Which hobbies should you be add to your CV?
Hopefully the above sections have given you a better idea on whether or not you need to include your hobbies and interests in your own CV.
If you are going to add some hobbies, here are some examples I would recommend:
It doesn’t matter whether you play for a team or you prefer individual activities as all sports involve dedication, organisation and self-confidence. That being said, team sports also show collaboration, communication and teamwork.
So adding these activities to your CV can demonstrate that you have plenty of favourable characteristics and soft skills.
Plus, including team sports proves you’re physically fit which is great for your concentration, well-being and productivity. All of which can impress recruiters, for example:
- Captain of the local under-21s football team, leading weekly training sessions and coordinating matches
- Playing Wing Defence for the local Netball Club
- Played an integral role in my university’s women’s hockey team, placing second in the Hockey National League Division 2
If you’re a keen gamer, whether that’s board, strategic or even online games, you might not think this is something you should include on your CV.
However, this can actually be a great way to show that you are bright, tactful and good at making calculated decisions. It can also highlight other important transferable skills like problem-solving, critical thinking and logical reasoning. Some examples could be:
- Completing crossword puzzles on a daily basis, both on paper and online
- Escape room enthusiast with the ability to solve puzzles quickly when under pressure
- Attending a friendly poker game with friends and family once a month
Writing or content creation
If you enjoy writing in any form as a hobby, this can be worth mentioning on your CV as it shows a number of transferable skills.
It doesn’t have to be long-form content or novels either, whether you contribute to online publications, have your own blog or write poetry, it can all help to showcase your skills.
It shows creativity, strong communication and discipline. Where possible, you can also use figures to back this up and impress the recruiter, for example:
- Started my fashion and beauty blog back in 2016 and now receive 2,000 visitors a month
- Self-published a Little Book of Poetry. It has been downloaded over 500 times in the last six months
- Contributed several travel-related articles to industry publications, including Travel Magazine
Volunteer work will always be a great addition to your CV, especially if it’s for a good cause. You might even get bonus points with the recruiter if this cause is directly related to your target roles or industry.
But even if it’s not, volunteering experience can highlight plenty of desirable qualities and skills that an employer might be looking for, such as empathy, compassion, dedication and organisation. For example:
- Regularly volunteer at the local food bank during weekends and holidays
- Carried out street fundraising for Cancer Research, helping to raise £1,500 over three days
- Volunteering at the Saturday Youth Club, assisting adults and children with learning difficulties
Do you ever get involved in organising or planning events in your spare time?
Whether these are charity fundraisers, after-school clubs, social events or local community events, there are lots of workplace skills you can demonstrate by including this in your hobbies section.
For example, this suggests to recruiters that you are organised, passionate and good at communicating, amongst other things. Some examples could be:
- Organised and promoted a picnic in the park to raise money for local charities
- Founded and ran the after-school photography club for three years
- As captain of the university’s football club, I was in charge of arranging weekly socials and team-building activities
Marathons/ runs, mountain climbs etc.
Endurance sports like marathons, mountain climbing and training for these events require a great deal of dedication. So, if you spend your free time tackling these physical challenges, why not shout about it on your CV?
You can prove to potential employers that you’re strong mentally and physically and that you’re dedicated, adaptable and goal-orientated. This might look something like:
- Keen marathon runner, jogging at least four times a week to sharpen my skills
- Currently training to complete the Three Peaks Challenge, hoping to complete this within 24 hours
- Took on the 12-mile Tough Mudder obstacle course, raising £800 for the local Children’s Trust
You might be worried about adding travel to your CV as it can appear as though you were just off on a jolly holiday. However, this is not the case and lots of modern employers really love to see travel as a hobby.
This is because travel involves lots of planning and confidence, and it teaches you a lot about different cultures and lifestyles. So, for example, you might include:
- Currently go abroad two or three times a year to volunteer as a nurse. I have been to India, Vietnam and Australia to name a few
- Learning Mandarin at home after spending my gap year in China
- Driving my campervan to explore new places around the UK every weekend
Although this hobby will apply mainly to candidates looking for engineering, trade or more practical roles, if you do have hobbies that involve building or fixing things, this can be a great way to show your skills.
As well as technical hobbies like woodwork, building cars or tinkering with electronic devices, this might also encompass digital skills like computer programming.
Giving examples of how you put these skills to use in your spare time can be a great way to prove your ingenuity and technical know-how. For example:
- Putting my coding skills to the test by collaborating on open-source projects
- Building and operating Air:bit 2 Programmable Drones at the weekend
- Creating intricate metal jewellery using sea glass collected on my local beach
Artistic or creative hobbies
In order to do any kind of art form you must be imaginative and passionate, as well as a whole host of other qualities that employers find desirable.
So, if you’ve got a creative hobby, be sure to add this to your CV.
This could be anything from traditional art forms like painting drawing and photography to others like cooking or baking. Here are some examples of artistic hobbies you might include:
- Keen artist, passionate about painting landscapes and coastal scenes
- Amateur wildlife photographer, previously featured in UK Wildlife Magazine
- Passionate baker who loves to experiment with new recipes, particularly vegan and gluten-free alternatives
Which hobbies should you keep out of your CV?
Create images for each of these hobbies (same style as above but put a red cross on them to signify a mistake)
The following hobbies probably aren’t going to make a huge difference to the success of your CV, so leave them out.
Common pastimes are essentially hobbies that 99% of the population take part in. Things like eating out, going to the cinema, reading or socialising. These hobbies will not set you apart from other candidates, so there’s no need to waste space on your CV by writing about them.
If you have hobbies that involve any subjects that could be considered sensitive (topics such as politics or religion) then I’d advise leaving them out to be safe and ensure you don’t encounter any discrimination.
Hobbies such as supporting a football team or watching television don’t require much input from you personally, so it’s not worth mentioning them. Any hobbies you include should show recruiters skills and achievements, and add value to your CV.
How to add hobbies to your CV
If you decide that adding your hobbies to your CV will enhance your application, you need to know how and where to include these activities. You can’t just place them randomly throughout the document, so here’s what you need to do.
A dedicated hobbies section at the bottom
You should add a dedicated hobbies section at the bottom of your CV. This way, it does not detract from the most important details, like your education or experience, but it can help to highlight some of your other top skills and characteristics.
Add a ‘hobbies and interests’ subheading like you will have done for the other core sections and use bullet points to set out your hobbies and relevant details.
Where possible, give some context to your hobbies, either quantifying your achievements or proving how these activities make you more employable.
In your CV profile
You might also wish to include your biggest hobbies in your CV profile, but you should only do so under certain circumstances.
Only add these to your profile if your hobbies are related to the position or industry you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying for a copywriter role and you have a successful blog.
You might also wish to include your hobbies if they are particularly impressive (and you can back this up with facts and figures), if you’ve recently left education or if you have little to no work experience to shout about.
Quick tip: If you struggle with written English, try using our quick-and-easy CV Builder to eliminate the risk of making mistakes.
When should you NOT add hobbies to your CV?
If you fall into one of the following categories, you will probably not benefit from adding your hobbies to your CV:
You have plenty of relevant work experience
If, for example, you have 10 years of IT project management experience and you’re applying for IT project management roles – you should focus on detailing your experience and qualifications.
Adding your interests in poetry and line dancing isn’t likely to add much value to the CV in most cases here, and will waste space.
If you have common interests
There’s nothing wrong with liking television dramas or football, but writing about those things on your CV is unlikely to make a big impact on recruiters – because most of the other candidates they are screening will probably have the same interests.
To put it another way, in my years of working as a recruiter – I never heard a hiring manager say, “find me somebody who likes going to the cinema and socialising with friends”.
So, in 99% of cases, you should probably leave common interests out of your CV
Should you put your hobbies in your CV?
Hopefully this post has provided you with everything you need to make up your own mind about including your hobbies (or not) when writing your CV.
Ultimately, your decision will come down to relevancy.
You have to ask yourself, “Will including my hobbies make a positive difference to my applications?”
If the answer is yes, then include them.
If not, exclude them and save space for something that will.