A well-written resume should provide a potential employer with a solid idea of which skills and abilities you'd bring to the job. Beyond that, there are ways to add some personality to your resume, and show how you'd be a good cultural fit. You do that by working personal interests into your resume.
Personal interests belong in a separate section on your resume. Do not place personal interests in the skills section of your resume. If you want to add personal interests to your resume but are unsure how to, put our Resume Builder to work.
Below are some common personal interests that you could consider adding to your resume.
Personal Interests for a Resume
1. Volunteer Work/Community Involvement
Many companies are actively involved in their local communities, so any community involvement or volunteer work you reference could easily be considered relevant. If you've done any regular volunteering—with or without your relevant work skills—consider including the role(s) in a separate resume section (titled something like "Volunteer Experience").
2. Club Memberships
If you're a member of any professional clubs or associations, you should consider including them. Even if the club memberships are hobby-oriented, your role in the club can speak volumes about you. If the job you're applying for is highly people-oriented, whether it be dealing with customers or interacting with co-workers, club memberships can really show off your abilities with working well with others.
Blogging is an interest that can easily be made relevant to your desired position. Blogging shows the ability to create, to communicate, to network, to market, and more. Just keep in mind that as a general rule, personal blogs should be avoided if there is any content that's not appropriate to share professionally.
A reference to the sports you play on a regular basis can be a great way to enhance some of the soft skills listed on your resume, such as being a team player, being able to work well with others, or having leadership abilities. Plus, maybe the employer has a sports team, or supports a local one, and would be interested in a sports-knowledgeable employee.
Are you creative in any way? Do you paint, take pictures (hello, Instagram), sculpt, or create through some other artistic medium? Creative people are often creative problem solvers. Companies across all industries are always looking for creative problem solvers!
Many companies, especially in the IT world, encourage multiplayer video gaming as a team-building activity and as a way to de-stress. If you're aiming for a job in tech, noting gaming as a personal interest could prove beneficial.
Exhibiting a desire to experience new cultures and environments—especially if your role would involve working with foreign colleagues, partners or clients—can really help your resume shine.
8. Child Care
Whether it be babysitting for friends, taking care of your own kids, or working as a camp counselor, something like child care can be used to illustrate the fact that you're a responsible person who thinks of others (and who knows how to take care of others).
9. Pet Care
People love their pets, and pet owners definitely appreciate other pet owners. As with child care, this interest shows you as someone who can be counted on; it also shows off your warmth and compassion (two traits that are valuable to almost any employer).
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 in the process of learning to play the violin, use this as an example of your perseverance and willingness to learn new skills.
Additional Personal Interests to Consider
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 of your profession. Collectors often have great organizational and networking skills—two skills that could really come in handy in a variety of different jobs.
This is such a broad topic that you shouldn't have too much trouble referencing books or articles you've recently read that somehow relate to your field. Avid readers usually have expanded vocabularies, and know how to process content in written form (i.e., understand it).
The personal interests that you work into a resume should be relevant in some way to the skills and abilities you'll need to perform your new job. That can't be emphasized enough! The large majority of job ads do not require applicants to list personal interests on a resume, so don't feel like you have to.
But if you do, check what the targeted employer is sharing on social media—and on their company website about employee events—to learn which of your personal interests would be most relevant internally, and focus on those personal interests in your resume.
If you've got your personal interests on lock-down but need help figuring out what to focus in your resume when it comes to job title and industry, check out LiveCareer's resume examples and resume templates.