Hobbies can be a great asset in your resume. They can also be a big waste of time for you and your potential employer.
Employers are looking for the candidate that will add the most value to their company and you have a small window of opportunity to sell yourself.
Therefore, you need to include only hobbies that will give you the best chance of getting hired. Most recruiters won’t care about details that are irrelevant to your application.
The hobbies that you choose for your CV should:
- Showcase your strengths and skills.
- Trigger curiosity and conversations that will help you to stand out and be memorable.
- Align with the company culture and values.
I have done a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts of including hobbies in your CV (See: Should You Include Hobbies in Your CV?) The article will help you to avoid some of the common mistakes that can sink your resume.
In this article, I will go through the best examples of hobbies that you can include in your resume. I will also explain why these particular hobbies are the best for a resume.
Whether you are a fresher or you have some professional experience under your belt, you are bound to find a hobby that will give you a leg up when applying for any job.
Here are the top hobbies you should include in your resume.
Blogging is a great skill to have because it teaches you how to communicate effectively on paper. With blogging, you can communicate in real-time and receive instant feedback.
If you want blogging to boost your career, you need to write about topics that are relevant to your expertise. For example, if you are applying for a data science position, having a blog that discusses all the current trends in data science can help to sell you as a topical expert.
Starting a blog is quick and easy even if you don’t consider yourself to be a techy person.
Also, blogging doesn’t have to take too much of your time. If you can spare 30 minutes to an hour a day, you can build a successful blog.
Why is blogging good for a resume?
Blogging is a great hobby to include in a CV because:
- It can help to showcase your knowledge in a particular field. Potential employers don’t know the extent of your knowledge- your blog can give them a good snapshot of your expertise.
- It can demonstrate that you have good communication skills (in writing). Of course, your blog needs to be well-written otherwise it can work against you.
- It can signal that you have tangential skills that come with blogging such as SEO, web design, digital marketing, copywriting, and graphic design.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include blogging in your resume.
- Blogging: I run a tech blog (datatech.com) where I discuss various data science topics
2. Computer Programming
The world is heading to a future where technology will be indispensable in any career and the best way to be technologically savvy is to learn how to code.
When you apply for a job that requires technical expertise, you need to be ready to demonstrate that you have what it takes. You can do this by creating interesting coding projects such as a to-do app, a website, or a calculator.
Why is programming great for a resume?
Having coding as a hobby in your resume shows that you:
- Understand the tech world. Learning how to code helps to you understand technology at a much deeper level. Most people tend to have a surface-level understanding of tech and this can give you a competitive edge.
- Have the capacity to learn difficult skills. Some aspects of coding can be difficult to pick up and mastering them requires consistent practice and perseverance. Therefore, the ability to quickly learn new and difficult skills is an asset.
- Are analytical and detail-oriented. Even if you are not naturally analytical and detail-oriented, coding helps you to develop these skills.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include coding in your resume.
- Coding: I create machine learning models in Python.
Language skills are important if you are applying for a job that will require you to travel internationally or interact with people from different countries.
If your target company has an international presence, then language skills can boost your prospects.
Foreign languages that are widely spoken (that is, in many countries) are best for career purposes. For example:
- English. Spoken by 370 million people from 67 countries.
- French. Spoken by 300 million people from 40 countries and territories.
- Spanish. Spoken by 470 million people from 20 countries.
- Chinese. Spoken by 1.3 billion people from 5 countries and territories.
If you were to learn English, French, and Spanish, you would be comfortable almost anywhere in the world.
Why are languages great for a resume?
If you speak a foreign language or enjoy learning new languages, you definitely need to say this in your CV because:
- It shows that you can be an asset in case anyone in your company needs to communicate with someone who speaks another language.
- If your company regularly receives international visitors, you can be the unofficial tour guide. This will allow you to meet high-powered executives.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include languages in your resume.
- Languages: I can speak and write fluently in English, French, and Spanish.
Traveling enables you to see new places, meet different kinds of people, eat diverse kinds of foods, and experience cultures that are different from your own.
This can be an advantage if you are looking for a job in a multicultural environment or if the job you are applying for requires a lot of traveling.
Why traveling is great for a resume
Traveling, especially international travel, is a good hobby to amplify in your CV because:
- It signals that you have experience interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.
- It shows that you are not afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and having new experiences.
- If you already have a passport, you can be ready to travel internationally should an opportunity arise suddenly.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include traveling in your resume.
- Traveling: I have back-packed in 5 countries (and 3 continents).
Sports are great for character building and that is why many organizations (such as schools and universities) have it as an important part of their activities.
Any kind of sport is great for your CV, however, the most advantageous ones are:
- Team sports such as basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and hockey.
- Endurance sports such as marathons, triathlons, and orienteering.
These hobbies show that you have traits that can be harnessed within the work environment.
Why sports are great for a resume
You should include sports hobbies in your CV because:
- Participating in sports, especially a team sport, shows that you can work collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal. It also shows that you can take directions and work under authority.
- Participating in an endurance sport like marathon running shows that you can be persistent even under difficult circumstances.
- Sports show that you have the discipline and consistency to practice and become good at a particular sport.
- Some companies and organizations (such as universities and schools) have sports teams that would be glad to have you if you are good at your sport.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include sports in your resume.
- Sports: I have finished within the top 200 contestants in 5 marathons.
A coach is someone who helps to bring out the best in others. They can identify the strengths and skills of others and put them to good use.
If you have experience with coaching, any company would love to have you. However, it depends on how you sell yourself.
For example, if you coached your local league and they won the local championship, then this is a big achievement. You probably learned a lot of lessons about where to deploy players, how to motivate them, and how to deal with misbehaving players.
You should be ready to expound on such lessons in an interview (remember to give specific examples!).
A common interview question is: ‘Show us how you have demonstrated leadership in the past’. This can be a good opportunity to bring in your coaching experience and sell yourself.
Why coaching is a great hobby for a resume
Coaching is great for a resume because:
- It demonstrates your leadership ability. Leadership brings people together to achieve a common goal and that is what a coach does.
- It shows that you have experience dealing with difficulties. As a coach, you will experience painful losses and over time, you learn how to deal with them.
- It shows that you can get the best out of people. Coaches have to motivate, encourage, and console the people on their team. These skills are also crucial in a company.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include coaching in your resume.
- Coaching: I coached my neighborhood basketball team to three county victories.
Reading is an efficient and affordable way to get new information and ideas.
Many successful entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet spend enormous amounts of time reading. It is not a stretch to assume that this has contributed to their success.
Given that many people are likely to have reading as a hobby in their CV, you can stand out by being specific about what you read.
Also, you want to tailor your reading preferences to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job as a financial advisor, saying that you enjoy reading Fantasy Romance won’t add much value to your application.
Why is reading a great hobby for your resume?
Reading is a great hobby to include in your CV because:
- It shows that you keep up with new information in your industry. You must be prepared to demonstrate what you have learned and how it can help you in the job you are applying for.
- It shows that you may also be good at communication. Good readers also tend to be good communicators (especially in written communication). The more you read, the more you are likely to absorb the language and communication style of your favorite authors.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include reading in your resume.
- Reading: I enjoy reading about finance, especially financial black swan events.
8. Public Speaking
Speaking in front of an audience can be a nerve-racking affair, yet it is a skill that is crucial for many job positions.
Therefore, if you can communicate clearly and effectively in front of others, this can be a big advantage when you are looking for a job.
When you list public speaking as a hobby in your resume, you need to be ready to provide supporting evidence. For example, that you participate in or are a member of:
- A Toastmasters club.
- A debating club.
- A drama club.
Why public speaking is great for your resume
Having public speaking in your CV shows that:
- You have put in the effort to be a good communicator. Public speaking does not come naturally to many people. It is a skill that you have to practice, much like riding a bike or playing the guitar.
- You have leadership potential. Many people are afraid to speak up in public. If you can articulate issues effectively in public, then people will seek you out when they need certain issues to be addressed.
- You are good at understanding difficult topics. For you to talk persuasively about a topic, you first need to understand it well and then figure out how you can communicate what you know clearly and effectively.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include public speaking in your resume.
- Public speaking: I’m a member of my local toastmasters’ club.
9. Online Teaching
Online communication is now essential for many careers. You need the ability to communicate your ideas clearly through online tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Experience with online teaching through online platforms can demonstrate that you are an effective online communicator.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and platforms that can facilitate you to teach online. These include YouTube, Udemy, Skillshare, and Teachable.
Why is online teaching great for your resume?
Including online teaching in your resume shows that:
- You have camera confidence. Communicating effectively through a camera requires some practice. Even some good public speakers struggle when talking to a camera.
- You are technologically savvy. Online teaching enables you to learn technical skills. Many of these tech skills are also useful in many work environments.
- You are willing to innovate and try new things. Many people hesitate to teach online because they are used to doing things the old way. Being stuck in the past can be a disadvantage when looking for a job.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include online teaching in your resume.
- Online teaching: I run online classes in English twice a week.
Chess is a strategy game that requires thinking two or three moves ahead.
Learning chess is important because what happens in a company or organization is basically one big chess game. You are playing against your fellow employees or your bosses and your company is playing against other companies.
If you want to win against your competitors, you have to learn how to think strategically.
If you feel like you are weak in strategic and analytical thinking, chess will be a good hobby to pick up because it will force your brain to start thinking differently. You can think of it as a gym for your brain.
Why chess is a good hobby for your resume?
Here is why you should include chess in your resume.
- It shows your capacity for strategic thinking. Companies are looking for strategic thinkers who can think their way out of problems.
- It shows that you can handle competition. Competition is a fact of life and how well you can handle it can propel you ahead or hold you back. A hobby that lets you taste both victory and defeat is an asset.
- It will make you look smart. Companies want to recruit smart people and if you are good at chess, many people will automatically think that you are smart.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include chess in your resume.
- Chess: I’m a two-time high-school chess champion
Your volunteer activities can tell a lot about you. They are like a giant window into your soul.
Therefore, you need to be strategic when listing them down. For starters, you need to ensure that your activities are in line with the company values and culture.
For example, if you love volunteering for church activities, it can be an asset when applying to a faith-based organization but a liability when applying to a secular institution (or if the recruiters are of a different religion).
Some examples of safe volunteer activities include:
- Working with animals, for example, volunteering at a local shelter or zoo.
- Making the environment better, for example, beach clean-ups, and tree planning.
- Working with seniors, for example, helping to deliver groceries to house-bound seniors.
Why is volunteering a good hobby for your resume?
You should include volunteer activities in your CV because:
- They give an insight into what you care about. This can help recruiters to understand how they can make the best use of your interests.
- They show that you are concerned about the well-being of others. Recruiters try to avoid selfish people and if you can demonstrate selflessness, then this could be to your advantage.
- They show that you make good use of your free time. If all your hobbies involve lounging or idly entertaining yourself, people can wrongly conclude that you are lazy. It is more strategic to show that you choose to spend your free time working in the service of others.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include volunteering in your resume.
- Volunteering: I volunteer twice a week at seniors’ homes in my area.
You need at least one hobby in your resume that will help you to stand out from the crowd and make you memorable.
Magic, if you are good at it, can help you to do that.
Everybody loves magic tricks (well, almost everybody). Depending on how you include it in your CV, it can be a great conversation starter. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to do a trick or two.
And you don’t have to be a professional magician to pull this off. You just need to practice two or three skills to perfection. When asked to do a demonstration, you can say: “I was not expecting this, but I can show you one or two tricks.”
Why magic is a great hobby for a resume
Magic is a great hobby to put in your CV because:
- It helps you to be unique and stand out, especially if you are called for an interview. You don’t want to be lost in the crowd.
- It can be a great ice-breaker for interviews. It can be a fun break for the interviewers who have probably been cooped up for hours.
Example in a CV
Here is an example of how you can include magic in your resume.
- Magic: I love doing magic and I specialize in mentalism and card tricks.
There are many more hobbies that you can include in your resume depending on the position you are applying for.
I hope that this article has given you some ideas on why some hobbies are better than others and how you can assess whether you should include a hobby or not.
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