Are you a football supporter? Or perhaps you enjoy spending your Sundays taking long walks in the wild? Is hiking your favorite spare time activity? Are you the absolute connoisseur of wine? Does Baroque architecture fascinate you? Did you just add all of your hobbies in your CV? If yes, stop for a moment and think: how is it relevant to the recruiter?
Generally, when judging personal interests, quality prevails over quantity. The same applies to hobbies listed in your CV. In other words, mentioning your position as a captain of the hockey team back in high school and your current involvement in projects related to ethnography is relevant only if the job you applied for requires leadership and project management skills. Superfluous activities such as fishing or dancing should be left out.
Opinions on whether candidates should include or not hobbies and interests in their CV are divided amongst headhunters. In the end, it is your choice, but beware of the upsides and the downsides of this action:
- Hobbies add a personal touch to the resume; generally, executive recruiters are interested in the job seeker’s personality
- If the listed hobbies reveal personal traits relevant to the candidate profile, you’ve scored an extra point
- There is a chance that your favorite pastime activities could help you bond with the recruiter
- The enumeration of irrelevant interests makes you come across as the type of candidate who does not customize his/her CV
- In case you exaggerate (by saying, for instance, that you are a devoted fan of 19th century French literature), this might be easy to detect with a simple question during your job interview (‘What’s your opinion on Balzac’s realist technique?’)
- Getting too personal exposes you to a higher level of subjectivity from the recruiter’s side; and that might work against you
At a glance, it may seem that the ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section in your CV is too insignificant to majorly influence the headhunter’s opinion on your potential as a candidate. But why take the risk and discover later that it, in fact, does have an impact?