Do hiring managers have any interest in your hobbies?
Pretty much like all the hard and fast rules of resume writing, it depends. We would strongly advise you not try to impress hiring managers with your gardening skills or the fact that you like to read unless you're applying for florist or fact checker. One rule that cannot be dismissed: everything should be relevant to the position you're applying for and highlight the company's values and objectives.
Before you decide to include a Hobbies & Interests section, here are five testimonials from hiring managers on how they feel about them.
What stands out for me are interests that show the person's on a completely different level. That their passions show drive. I had a candidate who didn't just engage in extreme water sports, she volunteered to teach others how to safely enjoy those sports. That impressed me. - Gretchen J.
I'm on the fence. I've looked at resumes that listed sports and been impressed with the potential for tenacity and performance. Some jobs will need that. People that mountain climb or sky dive tells me you push the boundaries and take risks. Again, something you might be looking for. Creative hobbies could be of interest to marketing, public relations, design and the like. Of course, none of this will supersede any professional background. - George R.
I do a lot of job searches for the hospitality industry. It's nice to know your passion for cooking or entertaining extends beyond your day job. Letting me know you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or learning about table design and other relatable experiences goes a long way. And of course I'd pass that information onto the company so they'd be more interested as opposed to ignoring it. - Kurtis B.
Truth is, if I wanted to see your hobbies, I'd go to your Facebook page. But I will admit if the rest of the resume holds up and the hobbies have some relevance... Sometimes I get the impression people include this stuff because if we like their hobbies, they'll get the interview. Trust me, no hiring manager's going to waste their time because you both collect comic books. - Vivian P.
Your hobbies should at least demonstrate transferable skills. For instance, if you're looking to make extra money teaching music, it's good if you play piano. Your hobbies and interests should exhibit professional potential. Look at your list carefully. If it doesn't demonstrate skill, take it out. - Don J.
Keep in mind many companies do look for fits to their cultural environments. Hobbies and interests can be a scale for gauging personality matching. Read the job description with a fine tooth's comb and decide if you do have a hobby that could influence the hiring manager's decision to pick up the phone and set up the interview. But make sure the rest of the resume is exemplary. Studies show hiring managers spend a total of six to 10 seconds on any individual resume. Most go straight to the Skills and Work History sections. If these aren't strong, don't believe for a second hiring managers will ever get to the Hobbies & Interests section at the bottom of the page.