4 Reasons Why Hobbies and Interests are Important in your Resume

Importance of Interests and Hobbies

With the emerging realities and contemporary challenges in the workplace come new standards, norms, and attitudes. Previously, the focus of companies and organisations was solely meeting the bottom-line and having a “whatever it takes” attitude to achieving goals and objectives. Propelled with a financial and output-based motive, these approaches proved to be detrimental to the quality of work conditions for employees. It also created a workplace culture that valued conformity and the ability to take orders unconditionally without any dissent or disagreement. When the priority was to get things done, the culture prioritised uniformity instead of diversity.

Contemporary workplace culture and human resource practice, thankfully, has shifted towards having a more equitable and people-centric slant. The competition to attract, retain, and develop competent personnel remains fierce. Apart from achieving the financial bottom line, more performance indicators have also risen in importance. As such, recruiters are looking at more diverse aspects in their hiring practices to account for applicants’ culture fit, skills development, and exposure to opportunities for professional growth. This has given rise to what industry professionals call social recruiting.

In this new model, the importance of candidates’ personal brand, skills, and unique perspectives are critical. It is important to no longer solely look at numbers or on-paper credentials. Prospective employees are much more well-rounded, dynamic, and interesting than they seem on their documents, and providing an opportunity for employees to highlight other aspects of their personality also give you a quick glance at how they will fit in the culture of your company.

On the other hand, as a candidate, it is essential to take this opportunity to present more information about your personal interests and passions. The reality is that it is more productive for companies to look at personal motivations and aspirations. By presenting your skills and interests outside of the context of work, you are able to provide your future employer with a clearer picture of who you are as an individual. The focus of traditional hiring approaches force the candidate into a role of salesperson, contrived to sell his own strengths and skills and disguising flaws and weaknesses. On the other hand, a more clearly positioned statement of one’s interests and hobbies outside of the workplace can present savvy recruiters with more information on how they could use their candidates interests to their advantage.

At Hobart Resume, we advocate stating your interests, hobbies, volunteer opportunities, and other extra-curricular activities in your resume. Here’s why:

Skills are transferrable

Outside the workplace, employees may be part of leisure-based groups, community associations, or interest groups. In any of these situations, recruiters gain a perspective into your leadership skills. For positions that require extensive management and leadership abilities, interests outside of work can serve as a fantastic indicator for future success. Your ability to work in a team or without one can also be gauged by your hobbies. For instance, team sports such as soccer or rugby may signal your awareness of the importance of team dynamics. On the other hand, highly individual tasks such as knitting, crochet, or collecting may prove your ability to self-motivate without any direct supervision. Volunteers at organisations and charities may also signal their ability to organise with or without any supervision.       

It shows breadth of knowledge

Regardless of your hobbies, taking up a skill or an interest usually requires work to be put in. Each interest that your recruiter uncovers convey key information about you. For example, if your hobby is to write, you will likely excel at professional communications, research, and publication. Showing your research interests in your resume will also likely communicate to your recruiter the type of work you should be assigned should you get hired. Vocational skills that are applied in hobbies, such as technical skills, working with tools, or working in creative pursuits may also translate to abilities that are essential to completing tasks at work.

Hobbies show discipline and perseverance

Activities outside work reveal other important aspects about your talent. By showing your enthusiasm for your hobbies, your recruiter is aware that you are passionate, dedicated, and self-motivated. This will translate in real-life situations where you are required to complete milestones and deliverables. Moreover, somebody with diverse hobbies outside of work may also provide an excellent case for management, multi-tasking, and prioritisation.

Work-life balance

The ability to take on personal development through skills enhancement, practice, and hobbies is increasingly important in this day and age. More and more employers are aware that workaholics and “robots” seldom grow. Change management, balance, and innovation are key to a more robust and well-rounded personnel pool. One can argue that a person invested in activities beyond work is well-rounded. Persons with hobbies are often sources of information, insight, and perspectives. They are known to take risks, experiment, suggest improvements and have a better and more well-rounded understanding of their world.

As contemporary hiring practices are highlighted, passionate individuals find that they have a prime opportunity to present their personal brand in more compelling ways. It is important, therefore, to consider that recruiters are advancing beyond just matching resumes to job descriptions. They now have the power to champion talent, invest in people that go above and beyond, and fill positions.