How Hobbies Are Relevant on a CV

It is an oft-neglected part of the CV: applicants will list generic interests because they think the interviewer or prospective line manager will not even look at the section, let alone ask about any of their interests. However, bosses do read these sections and the reason they will not ask about your choice of venue for a meal out, your favourite type of film and where you like to go for your country walks, is that it may be hard to see how these hobbies are relevant on a CV and to your application.

Which Hobbies Are Relevant on a CV?

What will make you stand out demonstrating that these hobbies are relevant on your CV. It’s difficult to angle how going to the cinema may give you life skills unless you are applying for a job involving film or media reviews.. It is also important to differentiate between passive interests (such as spectator sports) and hobbies (such as playing for a local sport team) too. Passive interests will not necessarily teach you anything, but a hobby that requires active participation will do generally.

Hobbies are easy to pass over in terms of work skills, but you will be surprised at which hobbies are relevant on a CV – they may not be at first glance, but they may be to a potential employer.

Think of the Skills

Make a list of your hobbies – all of them preferably – and divide them into two groups: passive and active. A passive interest, as described above, will be such things as clubbing, going to the cinema and meals out; most people enjoy these things and their value on a CV will be fairly limited most of the time. These are all things that you are unlikely to learn a skill because the participation is passive. There are exceptions though, if eating out led to you building a curiosity and interest in fine wines, or if country walks led to an interest in native flora conservation, then you could angle these as having learnt research skills.

That’s not to say that these hobbies are valueless in themselves: by all means include them on your CV as they could provide interesting talking points. Some interests may not be relevant for job skills, but if they are particularly obscure then they can provide a talking point in the interview. Simply choose one or two that make you stand out and focus on what value the employer will obtain from employing you.

The following list of examples represents which hobbies are relevant on a CV:

  • Coaching a local sport team – organisation skills, teamwork, problem solving, bringing the best out in people, leadership
  • Treasurer for a local committee – bookkeeping, record keeping, dealing with paperwork, dealing with multiple interested parties, overseeing meetings
  • Genealogy – research skills, organisational skills, interpersonal communication, problem solving
  • Blogging – social media expertise, a love of learning technology, communication skills and promotion (both ideal for marketing)

While you are focusing on these skills and what makes you employable, do not forget to allow your personality to come through at the same time because it is what makes you stand out that will ultimately win you the job.