10 Examples of Personal Interests for a Resume (With Tips)
Updated 28 February 2023
If you're writing a job application, you might wonder what personal interests you can add to your resume. Your personal interests or hobbies are activities you enjoy doing outside work, such as sports or programming. Knowing what hobbies to include can help you create an impressive resume. In this article, we briefly explain what a personal interest for a resume is, list 10 hobbies you can include on your resume and provide useful tips for writing a great job application.
What is a personal interest for a resume?
A personal interest for a resume highlights a non-professional activity that demonstrates your skills, qualities and values. You include this to provide further information about your personal traits, habits and interests, and it can provide evidence of your character and lifestyle. Including your personal interests can also provide potential employers with a better understanding of what type of employee you are and what kind of work environment you can thrive in.
For example, someone who enjoys outdoor activities may be better at working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment if they're comfortable with change and have a proactive attitude. If you include a section on hobbies on your resume, you can place it at the end of the document and briefly mention a few relevant activities demonstrating your character. Keep your language positive and relate the hobby to the job you're applying for.
10 personal interests to include on a resume
Here's a list of personal hobbies and interests you can add to your job application:
1. Volunteer work
Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills and experiences, help others and connect with your community. Include any volunteer work you do and describe its impact on your life. For example, if you volunteer at an animal shelter, describe your work and the value it brings to you and the animals. Relate it to the job role by highlighting the transferable skills you developed. For example, you can mention your organisation, leadership and problem-solving skills.
2. Sports and physical activities
Playing sports or engaging in other physical activities can show potential employers that you're proactive and like to stay physically active. It can also demonstrate teamwork, time management skills, dependability and leadership qualities. By highlighting the positive skills you gain from sports, you can demonstrate how you might use those skills in the workplace. Describe the activity clearly, and ensure you state what you enjoy about it. Showing an employer that you're active also indicates that you can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
3. Art and music
The arts include activities such as painting, illustration, photography, music and performance. Highlight the transferrable skills you acquired through your interest in the arts. These can include creativity, critical thinking, adaptability and communication. Make sure to mention any art-related activities that you've done. Emphasise how they helped you develop. List any awards or accolades you received for your work.
Writing is a great way to practise expressing yourself clearly. List any published work you have, such as a blog or website, and what kind of writing you do. Ensure you include any interesting topics you've written about. Showing an employer that you can communicate professionally is helpful if you apply for a job in journalism, marketing or public relations. Blogging can be beneficial to include on a resume because it demonstrates your writing, networking and marketing skills. You can include a link to your blog or website.
Travelling can include visiting different cities or countries and exploring new places. Mention how travelling helped you gain valuable insights into other cultures. Alternatively, state how you developed independence and resilience. You can also combine this with any volunteer work you did while abroad. This could include teaching English or helping to build a school. It can demonstrate that you're open-minded, have a global outlook and can adapt to different cultures.
6. Club memberships
Club memberships can include anything from book clubs to chess clubs. Describe the activities you participate in and the kind of influence they have on your life. This can include developing organisational skills, working in teams and making new friends.
It's also a good way to show employers that you have hobbies outside work and a healthy work-life balance. The type of club you join often demonstrates important qualities you can transfer to the job. For example, if you want to work in a social job requiring a high amount of customer interaction, then a debate club membership can indicate to employers that you work well with others.
Gaming can be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills if you want to work in the technology industry. This might include PC or console, competitive or virtual-reality gaming. Describe any achievements or awards you've earned while gaming. Employers might also look for individuals with a good understanding of the gaming industry or problem-solving and analytical skills. Gaming can teach you many transferrable skills, including planning, troubleshooting and strategy. Workplaces also sometimes use multi-player gaming as a team-building activity, so having an interest can help you adapt to the company culture.
Crafts activities include sewing, crocheting, woodworking and 3D printing. Describe the projects you've worked on and any recognitions or awards you've received. Employers may value your ability to think creatively. Crafts activities also require dedication and patience. These skills can help you when you're performing challenging or complex job duties. Other transferrable skills you can gain from having crafts as a hobby include organisation, attention to detail and the ability to manage time and resources.
Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting allowing users to create, share and listen to audio content, including news, interviews, stories and music. Listeners can download them via the internet onto their computer or mobile device. If you have your own podcast, include it on your resume. This can demonstrate your knowledge in a particular area and is especially beneficial if you want to pursue a media or journalism career. Include any podcasts you're a part of and share the topics you discuss. This can also demonstrate good communication and networking skills, including your ability to research and report on topics.
10. Language learning
Becoming multilingual can improve your career prospects. It often makes you more marketable. It shows employers you're able to adapt to new challenges, have an interest in other cultures and possess a dedication to learning. Describe the language you're learning and your current progress. You can also mention if you have any language qualifications or certificates. Some companies also have international offices or operations, so being able to converse in another language can prove advantageous for future job opportunities.
Tips for including hobbies on your resume
Follow these tips when writing a resume section dedicated to your personal interests:
List a small number of hobbies
Try to include no more than five hobbies on your resume. This makes it easier for potential employers to read and process your application. It helps you be more specific, meaning you can go into more detail about each activity rather than listing a large number of generic hobbies.
Tailor it to the job description
You can find important keywords to help tailor your resume. Carefully read through the employer's job description to find these keywords. Once you have a list of keywords, you can use this section to target them. Mention the personal interests that most relate to these keywords. For example, if you want to demonstrate your strong problem-solving skills, you might include gaming or woodworking activities.
Employers may ask questions about the activities you included on your resume during a job interview, so be honest about your hobbies. Include the ones you have knowledge or experience in. Being honest reinforces your commitment to the organisation, demonstrates integrity and establishes trust between you and the employer.
A resume that's easy to understand can help convince the employer to read the entire document. When describing your hobbies, use simple language and be brief. Only include the most necessary information and ensure everything you write is relevant to the job. Only use one or two sentences for your descriptions, and remember to use non-technical language. This can help a hiring manager who isn't an expert in a particular field comprehend your resume. Using words that are easy to understand can help the employer better judge your experience and knowledge.
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