70+ Hobbies and Interests for Your Resume [2020 Updated]

hobbies and interests

When filling out an application online and it says "Hobbies and Interests", what should you put there? And does that mean you should put hobbies and interests on your resume? We're going to help simplify what you need to do to make sure you put hobbies and interests on your job application or resume correctly. The catch? It shouldn't be every hobby or interest that you have.

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Table of Contents

When Should You Put Hobbies & Interests On A Resume

Putting hobbies and interests on a resume isn’t absolutely necessary. It can definitely help to break the ice during the start of an interview. For instance, your interviewer might say, “Oh I see you like rowing, I row too!” But that’s as far as it’s going to get you.

The likelihood of your hiring manager or interviewer taking your hobbies and interests into account as they evaluate your fit for the role is slim. But what hobbies and interests can do is help you to make your resume more robust.

hobbies and interests

Pro fact: CareerBuilder.com performed a study and found that 48% of hiring managers will automatically dismiss a resume or cover letter that isn’t customized or tailored to the job posting.

Listing hobbies and interests is highly recommended for those who are recent graduates. This is because your resume might not contain a heavy set of previous experience or skills that you can list. Thus, impactful hobbies and interests can help to ensure the interviewer knows you’re invested in the job.

What Should You Avoid Putting As a Hobby or Interest

The biggest mistake is listing all of your hobbies and interests. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s say you have a hobby of knitting or fishing. Are those truly applicable to the job you’re trying to apply for? Probably not.

Be sure that you’re only listing hobbies and interests that show the interviewer that you are invested in learning more about the job function you’re applying for. Meaning, you spend time outside of the workplace developing and honing in your skills.

Avoid hobbies and interests like:

Anything that could either be interpreted as a negative, for example, “politics” or doesn’t add much value to your resume as a whole, like “fishing.”

10 Hobbies & Interests For Marketing Department Resumes

If you’re applying to a job in the marketing department, you should consider listing hobbies or interests that show you’re interested in human behavior, personal growth or marketing.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

10 Hobbies & Interests For Creative Department Resumes

If you’re applying to a job in the creative department, you should consider listing hobbies or interests that show you’re interested in creative functions. Or another to put it is flexing your creative abilities during off-hours.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

Pro tip: NACE’s Job Outlook Survey performed in 2019 mentioned that the three key skills employers want to see as part of their resume (for experienced professionals or recent graduates) is communication skills (written and verbal), problem-solving skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

10 Hobbies & Interests For Sales Department Resumes

If you’re applying to a job in the sales department, you’ll want to show hobbies and interests that lean into the fact that you are a player/coach or that you simply don’t give up. These are activities related to personal or team development.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

10 Hobbies & Interests For Leadership Resumes

If you’re applying to a job as a leader, you’ll want to lean into the fact that your hobbies and interests include building fruitful ventures. And yes, hobbies can definitely indicate some of those things.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

10 Hobbies & Interests For Accounting/Finance Resumes

If you’re applying to a job in the accounting or finance department, it’s going to be great to lean into hobbies and interests that show you’re passionate about numbers or fine details. Or passionate about analysis as a whole.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

10 Hobbies & Interests For Teachers

If you’re applying to a job in higher education (teacher, teacher assistant, professor or other) then you want to lean into hobbies and interests which show you are continually trying to educate yourself or improve your communication techniques.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

10 Hobbies & Interests For Nurses

If you’re applying to a job as a nurse, it will go a long way when you lean into hobbies and interests that show you are continuously trying to learn about the human body and optimal performance of such. That would mean things such as dieting, nutrition, wellness, and fitness.

List of hobbies you can copy & paste:

Job Seeker FAQ's

Below are common questions job seekers have about including hobbies and interests on their resume and more.

Will the hiring manager ask me about my hobbies and interests?

They might. A hiring manager might ask you, "What do you do in your spare time?" during the interview. Which you'll have an answer for because you've spent the time to include your hobbies and interests on your resume.

Should I include skills and abilities instead of hobbies and interests?

You can. Though, it shows a little less of your personality. And it may confuse the reader as they're looking for what you're passionate about in your free time.

Should I include activities?

You certainly can. Activities like hiking or activities like field hockey are both great examples. They show some competitive nature and determination. As well as show an ability to have teamwork in some circumstances.

What are good hobbies and interests and bad ones?

As described in this write-up, a good hobby is one that aligns your personal passions during leisure time that you might require or be executing during your workday or align with the company's culture. That is what would be considered a good hobby to include. A bad one would be the opposite.

What about social activities? Should I include those?

If your social activities are group yoga sessions or group meditation, then yes. They show the ability to be adaptable and to be seeking awareness. Other social activities like going to bars or clubs, would be less applicable and should not be included.

How can I find out more about my prospective employer and their work culture?

If you're searching for ways to determine how you'll align your hobbies and interests, the company about page is always a great resource. They usually include information about their work culture and pillars of success. The company LinkedIn page can also be a great place to find this information.

How can I use my work experience to make unique hobbies and interests?

If you have years of work experience, you should be able to align some personal passions to company culture more easily. For example, you might spend your time attending conferences and educating yourself on the future of your industry.

Should I reference time I spend on social media?

Most likely, no. Unless you're applying for a Social Media Manager position, you'll want to avoid mentions of how much time you spend on social media. It risks appearing as though you lack work ethic as these services often distract us (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

What are hobbies and interests that align with my career?

If your career isn't listed in this guide, think about what might be required to advance yourself. Is it time spent reading the economist if your career is in economics? If so, then include that. Remember to align your interests what the qualities you think your employer will value in the position you're applying for.

What part of the job application does this go in?

Some people have a resume section that they include hobbies and interests in. While other employers have an interests section on the job application. Be sure to place a relevant hobby into those sections when you create them.

What are extracurricular activities?

These are things like running, competing, swimming, doing anything that is considered an advancement of yourself out of work. It is similar to a leisure activity. But you would not want to add "boating" to this section as there's no connectivity to the job. Instead, volunteer work or a team sport might be more fitting.

Should I include unusual hobbies or a unique hobby?

To be perfectly frank, your hiring manager or potential employer isn't going to look over this section in detail. I wouldn't place a significant amount of emphasis on it.

Should I include hobbies that only a young person would know of?

I don't think it should be a hobby that is specific to an age group. Your hobbies section should simply support the fact that you are generally interested in advancing yourself and focus on it after work hours, as well. Some people would classify these as "outside interests" as well. It is simply saying that out of working hours, you are advancing yourself.

What types of hobby supports leadership skills?

Team sports are great. Being a captain of a team, for example, can certainly be a good example of leadership. It is a very specific hobby, as well. A more creative hobby, like painting, might not be a great example for a leadership role. Social hobbies are great, but not something like "going to bars".

Should these be transferrable skills?

They should not be. Think of something that speaks to your personality traits and makes you feel like a unique applicant than just listing each skill that you have. It should be about displaying where your personal interest is focused, plain and simple.

Resume Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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