How to Include Hobbies on Your Resume in 2020 (With Examples)

Learn when and how to professionally list your hobbies on your resume.

Katerina Frye
Written by Katerina Frye • Last updated on Jul 07, 2020
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Resume example of a data analyst

What are Hobbies?

Hobbies are activities that you do frequently and in your spare time. It can be anything from collecting postage stamps to working out to volunteering. The key here is that hobbies are activities you perform regularly -- they are more than an interest. An interest is more passive, it’s something you’re curious about but have yet to pursue. 

For example, perhaps you have it on your bucket list to scuba dive. That makes scuba diving an interest, because you’re in the research stage. It’s only a hobby if you’ve actually gone scuba diving, and continue to do so on a semi-frequent basis. 

It’s important to leave interests out since they can be misleading, and since you don’t yet have the skills associated with that interest.

What Hobbies Should I Include on My Resume?

Hobbies are a great way to show a company who you are and what you value. That being said, try to avoid listing potentially touchy hobbies, as you don’t want it used against you in the hiring process. 

Avoid:

  • Political associations
  • Controversial hobbies  
  • Religious affiliations 
  • Irrelevant hobbies

If you do have a hobby that fits in one of the above categories, “rebrand” it so that you can still convey your skills. For example, if you coach your church’s basketball team, leave out the religious component and just write that you coach youth sports. Similarly, if you campaign for a political candidate, note that you can rally your organization and fundraising skills to support an individual or mission.

See the infographic below for examples of hobbies to include on your resume.

How to Include Hobbies on Your Resume

Have you ever thought about listing your hobbies on your resume? While it seems like “scuba diving” or “baking” may have no place on a resume, your hobbies can actually show that you're a strong candidate for the job by revealing hidden skills. 

For example, let’s say you’re applying for a writing position and you keep a personal blog in your spare time. Mentioning this hobby on your resume shows your passion for writing -- you do it even when you aren’t at work! -- your ability to manage time, to research, and to keep your creative juices flowing. 

Similarly, if you’re applying to work as a waiter and you’re an avid baker, you should add your love of cookies to your resume. It shows employers that you enjoy the food environment and have an understanding of the time and diligence that cooking requires. 

But before you start listing everything you’ve ever done on your resume, let’s break down a few do’s and dont’s. 

Waiter

Why Include Hobbies on My Resume?

Hobbies impart some sort of skill, whether it’s implicit or actively learned. They can show a company what you have to offer. Your goal is to list your hobbies in a way that conveys these skills. 

In other words, think of your “hobbies” section like a more interesting “skills” section on your resume. 

For example, if you enjoy an endurance sport like running, it shows that you have diligence, determination, and patience -- all skills that cannot be taught through any job or educational opportunity. Skills like these are called “soft skills” because they are implicit in your personality.

Soft skills convey your communication and relational abilities. Some soft skills include:

  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-Solving
  • Creativity
  • Work Ethic
  • Responsibility 
  • Interpersonal Skills such as conflict resolution, empathy or mentoring
  • Time Management
  • Leadership 
  • Attention to Detail

In contrast, if you enjoy a hobby such as designing art using a software like Adobe Illustrator, this is considered a “hard skill.” Hard skills are those that are learned and gained through a degree, certificate, or another form of education. These include trainings and technical knowledge, such as accounting or software acumen or medical expertise. 

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Technical Writing, such as email blasts, client relations and research 
  • Computer Skills, including Microsoft Suite 
  • Analytical Skills such as data analysis
  • Marketing Skills like SEO, SEM, CMS
  • Presentation Skills
  • Management Skills like database management
  • Project Management, include softwares that you are familiar with, such as Trello, Spredfast, and Zoho
  • Copywriting
  • Foreign Languages
  • Design Skills, including Adobe Creative Suite, UX design, UI design 
  • Mobile and Web Development
  • Network Security such as encryption algorithms or authentication systems

When to Include Hobbies 

Not all resumes should include hobbies, and it depends heavily on the company to which you’re and its culture. For example, if you’re applying to a firm on Wall Street, it’s best to skip the hobby section. But if you’re looking to work for a local mom-and-pop store or for a more artistic company, then jot down a few hobbies. 

Let’s break it down a bit more below. 

Relevance

Only include hobbies if they are relevant to the position to which you’re applying. Ask yourself, what skills does this hobby require, and how does it fit with this job?

For example, don’t include “drawing” on your resume if you’re pursuing a managerial position at an accounting firm, since the two have no common denominator. But, if you’re seeking a job as an event planner, a talent for drawing could help show that you are adept at bringing your ideas to life and communicating them to clients. 

Event Planner

Company Culture

A lot of companies today are concerned about their image -- they want to be a fun place for employees to work. If you feel that one of your hobbies shows that you “fit” right in, then list it. 

For example, if you’re applying to be a blog writer for a magazine, feel free to note that you love watching films. This could open the door for you to write movie review articles, or it may show that you fit right in with the entertainment-focused atmosphere of a magazine like Cosmopolitan or The New Yorker.

The best way to determine if you should list your hobbies on your resume is to research the company beforehand. Read their “about us” section on their website and browse what former employees have to say about their experience on sites like Glassdoor. 

Blog Writer

Ice-Breaker and Networking 

Interviews are pretty awkward, and it’s hard to stand out when the tired interviewee has already seen dozens of hopeful job applicants. Listing an interesting hobby on your resume can make you memorable. The person interviewing you may even enjoy the same hobby, which will help break that awkward interview tension. 

Even if you don’t get the job, having a conversation with a company employee about a common interest is a great way to expand your network. They’re more likely to remember you if you happen to reach out in the future about another opening. 

What to Do Next

Brainstorm the hobbies that you enjoy and think about the skills they impart. Now, how well do they match the job that you’re applying to? Be sure to only include hobbies that are relevant to the job description or to the company’s culture. 

Customize your hobbies on our modern and professional templates. We also have more tools for writing the perfect resume, adding colors to your resume and listing your certifications

Good luck and happy writing! 

Katerina Frye
Katerina is a junior studying English and Marketing at Johns Hopkins University. She has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.
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