As a new graduate, having happily waved goodbye to essays, dissertations and textbooks, the last thing you’ll want to do is sit down and spend time working on a CV. True, it isn’t the most fun activity on the planet but, if you put in the time and effort, you will reap the benefits in the long run.
This means that you should think carefully about every section of your CV and don’t underestimate the power of each one. This is particularly relevant when it comes to your ‘Hobbies and Interests’ or ‘Personal Achievements’ section, which is often considered unimportant. Wrong!
Why you should include hobbies
A prospective employer can learn so much about you from this part of your CV or application, and you can really use it to sell your strengths, skills, attributes and personality, especially those that the job requires.
For a lot of graduates, the ‘Work Experience’ section will still be a work in progress and might not showcase who you are and what you can do. We know that getting relevant experience to showcase is tricky! Therefore, your ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section can be a great opportunity to grab the attention of recruiters to make them want to hire you.
How to add hobbies and interests to your CV
What do your hobbies and interests say about you?
Here’s a list of hobbies and interests with some information about what they tell employers about you.
Hockey champ? Rugby legend? Quidditch captain? Whatever you’re into in your spare time, if you regularly participate in a team sport, you should most definitely put this on your CV. From this, a prospective employer will see that you are competitive, a team player and that you are committed.
If you’re more into solo activities, don’t worry! Try to think about measurable achievements in your chosen activity that you can include in your CV. For example, have you won any competitions or awards? How have your progressed since you started? Did you meet a target you set for yourself? This way you will come across as a self-starter, proactive and driven to reach your goals.
When scrolling through social media, there certainly isn’t a shortage of travel photos. People posing outside Buddhist temples, hugging pandas and eating exotic dishes fill up your news feed. With the popularity and accessibility of travel, more students and graduates are packing their shades and rain jacket and taking time out to see the world. However, because of this we often take it for granted and don’t see its value as a life experience.
Employers, on the other hand, will think about job candidates with a bit of travelling under their belt a little differently. Travelling can portray you as someone who is independent, curious, adaptable and open-minded. These are all great attributes to have in the workplace.
Your skill set can be developed by travelling, too. For instance, your communication skills and abilities to build relationships can all be boosted from time abroad.
Being a member of a society or club
Whether you’ve been involved in a debating club, a political society or film club, including this in your CV could work in your favour. People who take part in such groups and their activities need to be friendly, outgoing and passionate. All things an employer would value.
If you have started or run a club, you will have a high level of organisation and leadership skills. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short by missing this out of your CV.
Writing blogs or articles
With the digital age in full swing, it’s easier than ever to produce your own online content about, well… Whatever you like! If you regularly write articles or blog posts, you may think that this hobby isn’t worth including in your CV. But think about it for a second…
To commit time to writing shows that you are creative, eloquent, have a well-written manner. Given the quality of the content, it can showcase your intelligence too.
If your page or personal blog does particularly well, you’ve clearly got a good understanding of the basics of marketing and promotion. If this is a field you’re trying to get into, be sure to tell people all about your online success!
These are all examples of interests and hobbies that can really enhance your CV. Can’t see your hobby here? Not to worry! Consider activities you take part in or hobbies you have and think about the skills and characteristics they require of you. If these skills are transferable to the workplace, then these hobbies should really be on your CV.
If your ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section is looking a little bare, then it is a good idea to get out there and get stuck into something that you’ll really enjoy whilst boosting your skills and employability!
Remember, the graduate job market is fast-moving and full of high calibre applicants. You must do all that you can to outshine the competition and your hobbies and personal interests are a great way to show off exactly why a potential employer should hire you.
Don’t know where to start with your CV?
If you’re struggling to get started, here’s a fantastic and free CV template that will help you impress any hiring manager.
Once you’ve perfected your CV, be sure to upload it to CV-Library so that employers can get in touch with you about relevant jobs!