Best Hobbies and Interests to Add to Your Resume in 2024

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
by Eric Ciechanowski  Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 
Last Updated: March 06, 2024 

Why should I list hobbies and interests on a resume?

Listing hobbies and interests can add depth to your resume by showing who you are as a person behind the employee. It can also reinforce skills you bring to the job by showing you find joy and meaning related to your work and have interests outside of work.

Recent grads, for example — who recently moved out of their student accommodations and may not have a lot of work experience yet — could benefit from and appeal to hiring managers by listing relevant hobbies and interests on their resumes.

However, if you’re a professional with years of experience — enough to fill a one-page resume — you needn’t necessarily include a hobbies and interests list.

If a job post or ad asks you to include your hobbies and interests on your resume, always do so.

What’s the difference between hobbies and interests?

Hobbies

Hobbies are activities done in one’s own time for pure enjoyment. Pursued for fun or relaxation, common hobbies include cooking, hiking, dancing, gardening and stamp-collecting, to name but a few. Hiring managers will appreciate the skills imparted in your pursuit of hobbies like teamwork, attention to detail or organization skills which can easily transfer to the workplace.

Interests

Interests refer to a wide range of topics and subjects that pique your curiosity and that you want to learn more about. Common interests include travel, gaming, art and photography. A love and interest in art and travel, for example, could translate to hiring managers that you’d be a great fit for a curatorial role.

Pro Tip

PRO TIP

If you put hobbies or interests on your resume, they should live in the same section like “Interests” or “Personal Activities.”

15 top hobbies and interests examples to put on a resume

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  1. Learning languages

    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.

  2. 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 volunteered, 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.

  3. Dance

    Dancing takes grace and coordination. It also requires a lot of physical stamina and flexibility. It may help to point it out if you dance. It can be extra beneficial if the job is physical or involves syncing into a workflow with a team.

    Skills dance interests support:

    Gracefulness, spatial awareness, bodily coordination, high energy and rhythm.

  4. Writing

    Writing is an excellent hobby because it can prove helpful in 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.

  5. Blogging

    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.

  6. Photography

    We live in a visual world. If an employer knows 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.

  7. Yoga

    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.

  8. Music

    This can include everything from instruments you may play to DJ-ing, being an avid concertgoer, or 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.

  9. Travel

    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.

  10. Sports

    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 sports hobbies support:

    Physical ability, stamina, building regimens, preparation, team spirit and motivation.

  11. Reading

    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.

  12. Art

    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.

  13. Child Care

    Whether it be babysitting for friends, taking care of family members, or working as a camp counselor, child care illustrates that you’re a responsible person who thinks of others (and knows how to take care of them).

    Skills that child care supports:

    Responsibility, awareness, trustworthiness, empathy and patience.

  14. Pet Care/Animals

    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 valuable traits to almost any employer).

    Skills that child care supports:

    Compassion, following directions, friendliness, maintaining a schedule and reliability.

  15. Gaming

    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

Here’s a cheat sheet with the top hard and soft skills each hobby or interest reinforces. Mentioning each hobby could imply these resume skills to a hiring manager.

Top hard and soft skills

Want to find more skills to add to your resume? Check out our Resume Builder.

It will ask you to input the job title you are applying for. Once you do, it will autosuggest 100+ skills you can select from and add to your resume!

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When to include hobbies and interests on a resume

Include a hobbies and interests section for two reasons:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Does that answer your questions about hobbies and interests? If so, create your resume using our most powerful tool, Resume Builder.

The builder walks you through writing your document section by section and provides guidance, text suggestions and a resume review.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to create a resume. You can have it ready to send to employers in just a few minutes!

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How to add hobbies and interests on a resume

Now that you’ve identified the hobbies and interests that may boost your hiring potential, listing them correctly on your resume is key. Consider the following information:

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.

One exception: If you’re writing a CV –– an academic or international version of a resume –– it’s standard to include hobbies and interests.

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 child care 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:

  • Museums
  • Swing dancing
  • Folkloric storytelling
  • Blogging

Or, separate the interests with commas: Museums, swing dancing, folkloric storytelling and blogging.

4 tips when listing hobbies and interests

  • Connect what you enjoy about your hobbies and interests to the job

    For any hobby or interest you consider adding, always ask yourself: Is my passion for this related to the job I’m applying to?

    That’s a good way to check whether or not it might strike an employer as a big plus.

    If there’s a connection between your passion for the hobby and your interest in the job, you could mention that in your cover letter!

  • Be honest

    Only include hobbies and interests you feel ready to discuss. Stay in your comfort zone.

    The last thing you want is to have a softball interview question about one of your hobbies and interests turn into a dealbreaker when you don’t know how to answer!

    Your hobbies and interests should reflect your true passions and knowledge.

  • Be specific

    Being specific expresses your personality.

    For instance, explaining that you’re into “Japanese wood prints” or “watercolors” adds a lot more character than just saying you like “art.”

  • Keep these hobbies off your resume

    There are certain hobbies and interests that you should leave off your resume, including:

    • Joke hobbies, e.g., “Being awesome” or “Making my mom proud.”
    • Anything seen as illegal or illicit, such as “partying” or “street art.”
    • Hobbies that are physically aggressive or dangerous, like “kickboxing” and “daredevil tricks.”
    • Hobbies or interests that reveal your political or religious beliefs unless you’re applying to a secular organization.

Key takeaways

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 on who you are
  • Spark a conversation

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!

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Resume hobbies and 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 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 qualifications, 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.

It’s also beneficial to 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 shows compassion and well-adjustment.

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 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 insight 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 can take advantage of every opportunity! So, be sure to research the company culture.

About the Author

Eric Ciechanowski

Eric Ciechanowski Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a B.A. double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. His career background includes fields as diverse as education, hospitality, journalism, copywriting, tech and trivia hosting.

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