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Should You Include Hobbies in Your Resume?

As you start drafting your resume, some of your subheadings will align with your credentials in straightforward, obvious ways. Your education section will include your degrees, for example. And your work experience section will include your previous jobs. But what about the bits of information and vital statistics that don't fit neatly into these assigned categories? How should you share the personal details that are part of who you are but that technically have nothing to do with your career? If you're an avid downhill skier, for example, and you compete on a national level, how should include this in your resume for a marketing position?

Your Hobbies and Your Resume

Some experts suggest a simple answer to this question: don't. According to this logic, your professional profile should make no mention of your personal life, and any details you include that don't obviously apply to the job description might make you seem frivolous and more interested in play than work. Having to read a line or two about your hobbies may even (gasp!) waste your reviewer's precious time.

There's not much danger in choosing the path of omission. If you choose to skip the discussion of your hobbies and share only information that relates to your target job, that's fine. A "Hobbies and Interests" section is usually considered optional, and if it's missing, most employers won't notice or mind.

Most importantly, those who advocate this move have at least one valid point: if you delete your hobbies, you can use the space on the page to discuss other very relevant credentials the employer might be looking for.

Reasons to Share Your Hobbies and Interests

As a counterargument, if you omit this information, you may miss a valuable opportunity to stand out. Many people who apply for this job will hold the basic requirements; if the post demands a bachelor's degree in accounting, most resumes will proudly boast a bachelor's degree in accounting. Sharing your hobbies can add an extra detail that humanizes you and makes your application a little bit more memorable.

For smart, savvy reviewers, your hobbies also bring layers of additional meaning to your profile. What might your skiing championships suggest about your personality? For starters, they show that you like to pursue difficult goals, you have a competitive instinct, and you have the energy and general bandwidth to chase this goal in addition to working for a living. ("She won this industry award, but she still has the drive to ski at a national level. Her ambition and time management are amazing!")

A "hobbies" section can also give you a point of connection with your reviewer. Imagine your resume falling into the hands of an executive manager who also loves to ski. If the two of you share this interest, you may share other traits as well, and this simple disclosure can lay the groundwork for a lasting relationship. In the meantime, even if your employer doesn't ski at all, personal details can provide fodder for discussion and can help the two of you break the ice during an interview.

If your hobbies frame you as a well-adjusted person with a passion for excellence and a vibrant life outside of work, share them! Just keep the details short and concise and ensure that you're not sacrificing the inclusion of any other valuable skills and credentials that the employer will absolutely want to see.

Visit MyPerfectResume for more on how to create a winning profile that sets you apart from the crowd.


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