You've recently graduated - congratulations! Now it's time to put together a great resume so you can land your first exciting role. You might already have a good idea of how to structure your CV, but it can sometimes be confusing knowing what you need to include. One of the most frequently asked questions when writing a resume is "should I include my hobbies?". If you've found yourself in this position, don't panic.
This guide will look at the pros and cons of including your hobbies to help you make an informed decision while writing your own graduate CV:
When a recruiter begins scanning through a CV, they're primarily looking for the right qualifications, skills or previous experience. So, on a standard application, it’s quite likely that they’ll stop reading before they even reach the hobbies section.
That said, if your hobbies are genuinely interesting and relevant to your industry or the role you're applying for, these can be very beneficial - particularly on a graduate CV.
So, in a nutshell, recruiters aren’t generally focused on looking for a list of your hobbies, but these can help you to stand out if you include something which they find valuable to the role.
There are several reasons you might want to include your hobbies on your CV.
Firstly, it helps the recruiter to build a better picture of who you are.
Secondly, they can be used to showcase your passion, knowledge and skills. For example, if you spend your free time coding and creating your own website, this suggests you’ve got strong digital skills.
This section can also make up for your lack of work experience, especially when you’ve just graduated.
For example, if you want to work in a communications role but have no previous experience, the fact that you blog in your free time can show the recruiter that you’re passionate about writing and are actively building a relevant skillset.
Simply put, yes you can. If you don't have relevant hobbies, or your CV is already chockablock full of details about your degree and relevant experience, then there’s no need to include this extra section.
Your CV should be no longer than one or two A4 pages, so if including a hobbies section is going to make it too long, then you can choose not to include one.
The best hobbies to include in your CV are those that show off your skills and interests. A few examples could be blogging, coding, designing, reading, volunteering or coaching a team.
Hobbies to avoid including on your CV are those that add no real value to the role and show no skills at all. These might include things like hanging out with friends, listening to music, fishing or watching TV.
Taking into consideration all the above information, you should now be able to decide whether or not to include your hobbies on your resume.
If you choose to do so, be sure they are relevant to the role and demonstrate desirable transferable skills. They must also show you are passionate about your industry. Sitting down watching TV all day is totally fine every now and then - but it certainly isn't going to impress a recruiter!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV - he is a former recruitment consultant and contributor careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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