Do employers want to know about your hobbies?

“Hobbies”, “Hobbies and Interests”, “Personal Interests”, “Extracurricular Activities”; these are all possible résumé section titles.

Hobbies can tell the employer that there is more to you than just work and education; but do hobbies really have a place on a modern résumé?

Including hobbies was once standard practice; today it’s less common.  Employers started to question the value of knowing that a job seeker enjoys “Reading and Photography”.  Did hobbies help them decide whether or not to offer the person an interview?

Job seekers also started to question the value of using space on their résumé for information that may not help their chances.    They even wondered if they risked being judged harshly by employers who didn’t share their passion for golf and movies.

Your Decision:  To help you make your decision, consider the following questions:

  1. How could including my hobbies improve my chance of getting offered an interview?
  2. How could including my hobbies hurt my chance of getting an interview?
  3. Will my hobbies help an employer see that I am the right person for the job?
  4. Do my hobbies link in some way to my work (e.g. skills for the job or personality for the job)?

Case Study

An employer screening résumés for the the position of “Early Childhood Educator” reads the hobbies section on two résumés.  Which applicant do you think they would see as a better fit for the position?

Applicant 1

  • Music (Guitar and Piano), Sports (Soccer and Baseball), Theater and Crafts

 Applicant 2

  • Reading, Movies, Swimming, Gardening, Running and Wine Tasting

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