Landing that new job or study position depends on the quality and readability of your CV. Per a study by The Ladders that was published in The Huffington Post, recruiters make an initial determination after only six seconds of scanning your profile document. With proper formatting and the right keywords, you will make it to the next step, where your carefully crafted history will get another, longer perusal.
At this stage, it is essential that your educational, professional and personal experience stands out from the crowd. Often, a pool of qualified individuals are all vying for the same job, and the only way for a recruiter to make the difficult determination is to delve into the details, including your CV hobbies and interests section.
A Well-Rounded Individual
The purpose of this segment of your CV is to show hiring managers that you are a well-rounded individual and that you will make a great addition to their team. When you include the right type of information and utilize an appropriate tone, the CV hobbies and interests section can make you seem more personable and more perfectly fit for the position and team they are hiring for.
Individuals who take time outside of work to participate in professional organizations, service opportunities and other hobbies often enjoy a happier quality of life and therefore make great employees. Recruiters look for this type of experience when sorting through job candidates. For students just seeking their first professional position, detailing participation in college clubs, athletics and community organizations helps assure senior staff that you have the skills to succeed in the real world and that you possess an understanding of how to apply what you have learned during your years of study.
While including a few of your outside interests or activities can help set you apart, it also has the potential to cast you in a negative light in the eyes of some hiring managers. You should not include any information that could seem offensive, odd or undesirable. You are not under any obligation to mention all activities, even those that may be your priority outside of work time. Give information regarding only those pursuits that have the potential of representing you in the best light.
Less Is More
Listing every extracurricular activity or outside endeavor you participate in is rarely a good idea. Less is more when it comes to including your personal life on your CV. Compile a list of all the items you might possibly include, and then narrow it down to those that help make you look like an attractive employee. A few activities, hand-picked for their applicability, say much more about you than a generic list of all your interests and activities. Each item you ultimately end up including should suggest a viable skill that you bring to the new position, such as leadership, organization, compassion or teamwork.
Taboo CV Hobbies and Interests Section Topics
There are certain topics or activities that, no matter how strongly you feel about them or how big of a part of your life they may be, should never be included in your CV hobbies and interests section. Participation in political campaigns or partisan groups is off-limits unless you are applying for a position with a political organization that shares similar viewpoints. Adding this type of information can cause hiring staff to become prejudiced against you if they don't share your beliefs. For the same reason, take care when listing activities related to your religion. Including one or two amid a diverse group of other experiences is usually acceptable, but be sure to avoid populating your entire interests section with religious experiences.
Common interests such as reading, traveling or watching movies need not be included. The goal is to show off skills and personality traits that may not be easily inferred from your work or educational background. This section should always portray you in the best light to give you an advantage over other job competitors.