Should hobbies & interests be mentioned on a resume?

Leave an impression with an employer – job interview portfolio
February 17, 2017
Re-evaluate your job search process
February 17, 2017

Recently, a resume customer approached me to ask about my opinion on including “Hobbies and Interests” section in her resume.  She is a Sr. Client Services Representative who was applying for a manager position.  According to her resume she has over 10 years of client services experience, a bachelor’s degree in business and a fondness for painting and sculpturing.  She felt it was important to let the employer know about her outside interests and being passionate about her art.

In my opinion, additional sections at the end of your resume can be very useful and even play a strategic part in your application.  They can strengthen your resume, leave a good last impression and give your resume a personal human touch.  The important thing is not whether the additional resume information is playing sports, sculpting or painting but whether it is relevant to the position. For example, I created a resume for a pre-school teacher entering the field.  At the end of her resume, I included a hobbies section that indicated she enjoys teaching kids dance.  Not only was this her true passion and past time but it personalized her resume while demonstrating to the employer that she truly loves teaching young children.  So while you may have fantastic interests and hobbies ask yourself does the employer need to know this?  The key is to include hobbies and interests only if they are relevant and related to the job requirements and strengthen your application.

Some other great suggested skills to list as an additional could include (if job relevant):

  • Fluency in other languages
  • Professional associations and groups
  • Publications
  • Public speaking events
  • Awards, achievements and recognition
  • Volunteer work

Some of the ones that can be seen as discriminatory and should be omitted unless they are a job requirement include:

  • Height, weight, health, marital status and religion

Also, many clients include volunteering with religious organizations only to get worried and then second guess the decision for fear of discrimination due to religion.  My thought is why include this information if you are not sure, and it makes you less confident in the interview.  Again, unless it pertains to the job requirement don’t include it.  For example, if you were applying for a job as a Fitness Instructor, adding a section in your resume to indicate you are the treasurer for the ABC Religious Organization is not relevant.  This might be seen differently if you were applying for a job as a book keeper.


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