To add some personality to your resume and show you’re a good cultural fit for business, you can add hobbies and interests. Here you’ll find:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Should you list hobbies & interests on a resume?
If a job post or ad mentions for you to include your hobbies and interests on your resume, always do so.
Listing hobbies and interests can add depth to your resume by showing who you are as a person behind the worker bee. It can also reinforce skills you bring to the job by showing you find joy and meaning related to your work.
That said, hobbies and interests eat up space on your resume. If the employer has not requested this information, it’s better to use this space to strengthen other resume sections with more details.
Difference between hobbies and interests
What is a hobby or interest? It’s something that you spend your free time practicing, learning or researching.
Hobbies and interests are almost identical. If you put hobbies or interests on your resume, they should live in the same section.
The main difference is that the word “hobby” often refers to things that are done as a distraction or for fun.
So instead of the common section title “Hobbies and interests,” many opt for a more serious section title like “Interests” or “Personal activities.”
You could include more or less the same information in each section, whatever you choose to name it.
When to include hobbies and interests
Only include a hobbies and interests section for two reasons:
You have resume space, and the hobbies or interests reinforce your passion or skill for the job.
For example: If you’re applying to work in a busy warehouse, the fact that you played college-level volleyball may indicate that you have the team spirit and determination to ace the role.
It seems welcome by the company or nature of the industry to show personality or color.
For example: Google likes to hire people who are fun or playful. You can use this section to showcase the side of your personality that fits the company’s, like your blog on funny-shaped clouds.
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The top 15 hobbies and interests to put on a resume
Community involvement/volunteer work
Many companies are involved in their local communities, so any similar involvement or volunteer work you reference is relevant. If you’ve done any volunteering — consider including the role(s) in a separate resume section titled “Volunteer Experience.”
Skills that community involvement supports:
Positive attitude, compassion, collective mentality and following instructions.
Writing is a great hobby to mention because it can prove useful in so many ways. Businesses rely on writing to communicate internally and with customers. So, if you show a passion and delight for writing, it can pay off when a hiring manager decides who to call for an interview!
Skills that writing supports:
Reasoning, meeting deadlines, clear communication, research and word choice.
Blogging is an interest that can easily be relevant to your desired position. Blogging shows the ability to create, communicate, network, market and more. It’s easy to build your blogging website in a few minutes. Avoid linking to personal blogs if there is any content that’s not appropriate to share professionally.
Skills that blogging hobby supports:
Passion, social media, tech-savvy, design, written communication and audience engagement.
Learning languages shows that you value communication and keep your mind sharp. Language is a continuous practice that can enrich your life. It can also benefit you if an employer sees your interest in language as an asset to the business.
Skills that learning languages support:
Adeptness, translation, cultural awareness, verbal communication and self-motivation.
We live in a visual world. So, if an employer knows that you dabble or practice photography (hello, Instagram), they may need your skills. It could also serve as a good conversation starter in an interview.
Skills that photography supports:
Visual eye, photo editing, image composition, color choice and technical knowledge.
Exhibiting a desire to experience new cultures and environments — especially if your role involves working with foreign colleagues, partners or clients — can help your resume shine.
Skills that traveling supports:
Adaptability, communication, language skills, cultural awareness and open-mindedness.
A reference to the sports you play regularly can enhance some of the soft skills listed on your resume, such as being a team player, working well with others or having leadership abilities. The employer may have a sports team or supports a local one and would be interested in a sports-knowledgeable employee.
Skills that sport hobby supports:
Physical ability, stamina, building regimens, preparation, team spirit and motivation.
In our computer-driven world, so much data comes from reading. Listing reading on your resume as a devoted interest shows you care about comprehension, learning and personal growth.
Skills that reading supports:
Task focus, attention to detail, reports, sourcing information and research citation.
This can include everything from instruments you may play, to DJ-ing, to being an avid concertgoer, to simply being a passionate fan of a specific genre. You can get creative with categories like this. For instance, if you’re learning to play the violin, use this as an example of your perseverance and willingness to learn new skills.
Skills that music supports:
Timing, dedication, collaborative spirit, harmonizing, self-motivation and high-energy persona.
Yoga is a discipline that works out both your body and mind. That’s why practicing yoga can increase physical health and decrease stress. Sharing your love of yoga with potential employers can convey your commitment to mental and physical health and a deeper connection to the world.
Skills that yoga supports:
Self-discipline, attentiveness, active listening, following instructions and flexibility.
Are you creative in any way? Do you paint, draw, sculpt or create through another artistic medium? Companies across all industries are always looking for creative problem-solvers!
Skills that art interest supports:
Creative thinking, expression, design knowledge, trend awareness and content production.
Dancing takes grace and coordination. It also requires a lot of physical stamina and flexibility. So, it may help to point it out if you dance. It can be extra beneficial if the job is physical in nature or involves syncing into a workflow with a team.
Skills the dance interest supports:
Gracefulness, spatial awareness, bodily coordination, high energy and rhythm.
Whether it be babysitting for friends, taking care of family members, or working as a camp counselor, child care illustrates you’re a responsible person who thinks of others (and who knows how to take care of them).
Skills that child care supports:
Responsibility, awareness, trustworthiness, empathy and patience.
People love their pets, and pet owners appreciate quality animal care. As with child care, this interest shows you’re dependable and shows off your warmth and compassion (two traits that are valuable to almost any employer).
Skills that child care supports:
Compassion, following directions, friendliness, maintaining a schedule and reliability.
Many companies, especially in IT, encourage multiplayer video gaming as a team-building activity and a way to de-stress. If you’re aiming for a job in tech, noting gaming as a personal interest could prove beneficial.
Skills that gaming supports:
Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, computer knowledge and problem-solving.
Top soft and hard skills related to hobbies and interests on a resume
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How to add hobbies and interests on a resume
Decide whether you need them
Before you include hobbies and interests, be sure they’re welcome on your resume.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- Does the job post or ad mention hobbies and interests?
- Does the company culture invite a hobbies and interests section?
- Are you just adding them to eat space on your resume?
Hobbies and interests might only be expected or valuable for some roles. It might just seem like you’re padding your resume to include them.
Research the business
Check out their website to see what hobbies or interests a company might value most.
If they have an “About us” page or mission statement about their business, that’s the best place to target for helpful information about their values.
Note what they mention! This is a big hint for what kind of hobbies, activities and lifestyles they want their employees to adhere to.
Choose the right hobbies and skills
Based on your research about what a company values, you can understand which of your hobbies, interests and skills to include.
For example, if a company mentions its commitment to community building and family values, it could be a good clue to mention your community volunteer work or childcare hobbies.
Your volunteer work could work hand-in-hand to reinforce listing “empathy” or “positive attitude” as skills.
Create a separate “interests” section
Your hobbies and interests should come at the end of your resume, after your education section.
It should have the lowest possible placement on your resume because it’s about your personal life, not your professional work.
You can choose a different name for this section depending on your feel for the company’s values, “Hobbies and interests” versus “interests” versus “passions.”
List up to four interests or hobbies
Keep your hobbies and interests section short, with four or five items maximum. Ensure they’re all related to the job you’re applying for somehow.
You can use bullet points:
- Swing dancing
- Folkloric storytelling
Or, separate the interests with commas: Museums, swing dancing, folkloric storytelling and blogging.
4 tips when listing hobbies and interests
6 Personal interests examples by job title
Here are examples of a hobbies and interests section for seven candidates, each in a different career:
Interests and Hobbies
- Community outreach
See more: Copywriter resume examples
Interests and Hobbies
- Drawing tablet gear
- Minimalist design
- Paper arts
See more: Graphic designer resume examples
Interests and Hobbies
- Holiday food drives
- Social justice
See more: HR coordinator resume examples
Interests and Hobbies
- Sound engineering
- 80s memorabilia collection
- AI rendering
- Turkish cinema
See more: Video editor resume examples
Interests and hobbies
- Website design
- Vintage gaming collector
- Escape rooms
See more: Web developer resume examples
Interests and hobbies
- Animal rescue volunteer
- Video blogging
- Craft markets
See more: Sales associate resume examples
Best types of interests and hobbies for resume
Team sports examples:
Baseball, basketball, cricket, football, rugby, volleyball or soccer.
Team sports show that you work well with others. Sportsmanship, working towards a collective goal, and positivity are essential to compete on teams! That can appeal to employers in any group work setting.
Individual sports examples:
Cycling, golf, hiking, jogging, marathon running, mountain climbing, paddleboarding, skiing, surfing, swimming or yoga.
These activities don’t require teamwork or collaboration. Individual sports can help prove that you’re self-motivated for jobs that require a lot of independence, such as remote work.
Adding some sports to your resume will imply that you’re physically fit, dedicated and goal-oriented.
Creative thinking interest and hobby examples
Many employers request problem-solving and outside-the-box thinking.
Practicing activities that require you to be innovative or creative helps show that you have these brain muscles.
For jobs that require a lot of problem-solving, you can list these hobbies:
- Playing a musical instrument
- Found object art
- Escape rooms
Since these activities all require deep levels of thought, planning and practice, they’re all good signs that you’re up for any creative challenge!
Social interest and hobby examples
Some employers want to see this section because they do want a sense of what you’re like as a person.
Including examples of how you like to spend your time and relate to other people can give tremendous insight into who you are as a person!
To show how you like to interact and connect with others, you could include things like:
- Book clubs
- Charity fundraising
- Dance events
- Board games
- Networking events
- Language classes
- Attending lectures
- Civic meetings
These kinds of activities will show employers how you like to spend your free time, what you value and how you like to interact with others.
Unique interest and hobby examples
If you practice or do something that only a few people do, it could cause an employer to notice you!
For instance, if you practice some unique activity like “papermaking” or “beekeeping,” it could cause the hiring manager to think you’re an interesting person and make them want to talk to you!
It also gives a great insight into what makes you different from other people.
Some examples of unique types of hobbies you could include are:
- Performing stand-up
- Travel blogging
- Playing bagpipes
Anything that may help you stand out from the crowd may help get you noticed! Of course, keep it safe for work.
Additional examples of hobbies and interests
While cooking may not be the most relevant of interests to put on a resume (unless you’re applying for a food-related occupation), it can show an ability to follow instructions, improvise and manage time-sensitive projects.
Anything from stamp collecting to a passion for rare antiques can show that you have diverse interests outside your profession. Collectors often have excellent organizational and networking skills that could be useful in various jobs.
Exercise like cycling, weight lifting, running or even surfing prove that you have discipline and a work ethic. People who work out also tend to have a greater mental balance and ability to manage stress. This appeals to hiring managers!
Check what the targeted employer shares about employee events on social media — and their company website — to learn which of your interests would be most relevant internally. Focus on those personal interests in your resume.
If you’ve got your interests on lockdown but need help figuring out what to focus on in your resume regarding job title and industry, check out LiveCareer’s resume examples.
Check out our resume templates if you’re ready to write your doc but need a sharp design!
Hobbies and interests are a great way to express a deeper sense of who you are to hiring managers!
Add them cautiously, only when the job post says to do so.
If you add them, aim to:
- Resonate with the company culture
- Reflect who you are
- Spark a conversation
Now, if you’re ready to start creating your resume, use our most potent tool, Resume Builder.
Our team of career experts created the builder to provide step-by-step guidance and text suggestions to people making their resumes!
It turns writing your resume into a simple three-step process. Best of all, you can finish your resume in under 15 minutes!
Resume interests FAQ
Do I need a personal interests or hobbies section on my resume?
No, an interests and hobbies section is optional but recommended for specific jobs!
Include one if it shows your dedication or passion for your field or if the company wants someone with a personality. Only include interests and hobbies that matter to the job.
Add personal activities, interests or hobbies to your resume only if it will help you get a job because it adds valuable information.
What are good hobbies to put on my resume?
There is no right set of hobbies to list. It depends on the job.
Your best strategy is to mention your hobbies or interests that prove your qualification, background or passion for the role.
Another smart idea is to include hobbies that serve as conversation starters during an interview. For instance, listing “reading 19th-century Russian literature” as an interest sparks more than just saying “reading.”
It also paints a clearer picture of who you are as a person! Keep a mindset of putting forward your best and most unique character traits.
What are good hobbies and interests for students?
The best hobbies and interests for students demonstrate passion, responsibility and uniqueness.
Hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if it seems like you’re dedicated, motivated or driven. That’s where your passion matters.
A hobby or interest that shows your sense of responsibility also helps, like volunteering at soup kitchens or working at an animal shelter.
Or it’s also beneficial that you mention a hobby or interest that shows what a creative or unique person you are. For example, “mixed media art” or “sustainable gardening” might prompt an employer to be interested in you as a person.
What is the most valuable hobby?
While it’s difficult to name a single most valuable hobby, anything related to community service, volunteering or leadership tends to be prized.
Companies often like to hire do-gooder types because they are positive, motivated and hard-working.
Working for a cause greater than oneself, is a sign of a compassionate and well-adjusted person.
Is listing hobbies and interests on a first resume OK?
Yes, of course.
While you don’t want to fill up your resume talking about everything you do for fun, sharing your outside passions, projects and learnings will help!
One piece of advice, if you’re writing a first-time resume and trying to create content to fill it, consider blowing up some of your hobbies into their own section(s).
For example, instead of listing “Volunteering” as a hobby, you could create a devoted “Volunteering” section where you list all your experience(s), whether at an old folk’s home, soup kitchen or animal shelter.
Why do companies ask about personal interests and hobbies?
Your interests and hobbies reflect who you are as a person.
Companies only want to hire people who are a good fit for the kind of culture and workplace they want. To ensure they’re choosing the right people to hire, many businesses look to hobbies and interests as a true sight into who you are.
While being honest about who you are is always required, it’s also good to understand what the company wants to hear. That way, you don’t miss an opportunity! So, be sure to research the company culture.