Hello, again. Hobbies are fun, aren’t they? Talking about hobbies makes a lot of people happy. But what about listing them on the resume? The resume is your best chance to create an impression and share your achievements with the world.
There are various formats preferred by different people. But almost all of them have a small section where you can talk about your interests and activities. Mentioning hobbies is no more attractive. Instead, you call them personal interests and activities. You gave them a new definition to add value to your resume.
The hobby should indicate something about you, which highlights a trait that is useful for the job. Hobbies on the resume should not be vague or random, and should never be mentioned if you do not practice them. Listing a hobby to get a few brownie points could actually hurt your chances of getting a job.
Also, mentioning the activity is not going to be enough. The recruiters need to know a little about how you take up the hobby or what you get from it. And, of course, there are certain hobbies you should never list on the resume. Quirky and exotic hobbies might sound fun, but may not always be useful in getting you a job (with exceptions).
The best way to add your hobbies to the resume is at towards the end. Give the name and follow it up with a single line description. Keep it simple and to the point. You can elaborate on it when the interviewer asks.
To help you make the decision, we’ve listed 21 hobbies that look great on your resume, and how you can use them to market and promote your skills. That said, it depends on the nature of the job and the work culture of the company. You can make a few tweaks and adjustments to your hobbies as and when required. Just remember not to fake any, though.
Reflection of Personality
1. Community Development
Social welfare activities, volunteering at shelter homes or environment protection, collaborating with strangers, and doing something good for the community will reflect your compassion, ability to empathize, understand, plan, and lead groups. Your contribution frequency will show if you are regular or are using it to your advantage.
If you are applying for a managerial role, this is that one hobby, which could give you a considerable edge over other candidates. However, make sure you like to take part in community building activities if you list this one. Your tone and body language during the interviews should show the satisfaction you derive from it. Don’t ever fake a hobby like this one.
2. Mentoring/ Coaching
If you are training or coaching someone (online or offline) to learn a new skill/ sport, it will highlight your leadership abilities with ease. Mention how, where, and when you mentor others. If you are doing it for free, make sure to mention it. You don’t have to over-emphasize; a casual mention will be more than enough.
If the subject is related to the job you are applying for, you can talk about your passion for the subject and how you constantly update yourself and share it with others. You can link it to the certificates you earned and to any other projects you successfully completed at your previous workplace or outside the workplace.
3. Team Sports
Team sports are always welcome and appreciated. After all, they show how well you can work in teams. In the age where employees are expected to work with various people within and outside the organization, being a part of a sports team will bring you a lot of plus points.
If you are regular and have a good relationship with other players, you could mention it during the interview. You can talk about the awards or accolades you and your team received recently. And if you have been a part of the same team for years, it reflects your loyalty towards the team. Organizations look for employees who can be loyal and stay with the company for a long time, so it’s another plus.
4. Extreme Adventure Sports
This is yet another hobby that could land you a leadership role. Extreme sports are risky and exciting. Being able to take part in such activities shows your tolerance for risk and your ability to keep calm in not-so-favorable conditions. Whether you go with you’re a group of people or like to do them on your own, extreme sports show that you can handle tough situations.
Add a line about which extreme sport you prefer. Mention any of the recent adventures you succeeded in. If you are part of a registered team, name it on the resume. You can always talk about certain crucial moments that challenged you or changed your perspective and made you a better person.
5. Traveling- Where, Why, How
Traveling is a popular hobby in many countries. It can add some bonus points to your resume if you use it the right way. What kind of traveler are you? What places have you visited in the last five years? Why did you go, and what did you learn? The answers to these questions will determine whether you possess any special skills or not.
If you are a business traveler, talk about the conferences you’ve attended. If you travel for fun and relaxation, talk about something new and unique you’ve tried. If you happen to write for a travel blog or love travel photography, that’s great too. All of these show that you are capable of interacting with strangers, adjusting to foreign conditions, and have an eye for detail.
6. Writing/ Blogging
You will have to communicate with someone or another when at work. While some jobs require extensive verbal and direct communication, other jobs need you to be fluent in written communication. Emails, follow up messages, etc. are the most common form of communication in companies.
If you are a blogger or a writer, this could very well be in your favor. Mention how long you have been blogging and list the number of articles/ posts you share every month. You can also mention the follower count to show that you are an influencer, and your words are valued by a good number of people. Don’t forget to mention the topics you deal with unless they are not even remotely related to your job.
Podcasting has become famous in the last few years. It is the next step after blogging. Podcasting is where you record audio files and share them on the internet for your followers and other listeners to listen and download. You can podcast your opinions and views for free and share them on the podcasting websites.
The ability to clearly speak your thoughts about an issue will reflect your confidence. How you speak, the points you make, the length of the podcast, the importance of information you share, etc. also play a crucial role. If you speak for an hour and hardly share anything valuable, it may not create a positive impression. Also, remember that if your podcasts deal with controversial topics, it’s safer not to list this hobby.
YouTube is a cool place, isn’t it? Being a YouTuber takes a lot of work and dedication. If you appear in your videos, your appearance, body language, expressions, etc. are also taken into consideration along with the topic/ theme of your channel and the number of followers you have.
Appearing on your videos is usually taken as a sign of confidence. It shows you are an extrovert and are comfortable facing the camera or a group of people and addressing them. This could work in your favor if your job demands you to attend regular meetings and give presentations related to work. If you can align your channel’s theme to the job (say, you have a channel for beauty tips, and you are applying for a job at a fashion house), it’ll be the best.
9. New Languages
How will knowing different languages help you? Does learning a new language create any positive impression on the recruiters? Of course, yes. Learning different languages is not as easy as it sounds. It requires time and effort from your side. If you are learning a language that’s totally alien to your upbringing, it requires you to unlearn a few basics and relearn them.
This shows your nature to easily adapt to and accept things that are different from what you know. It shows that you welcome change and are willing to try something new or different and take risks. Moreover, if you are working for a multinational company, learning other languages will come in handy when interacting with employees from other branches.
10. Marketing- SEO
Digital marketing is the in-thing right now. Even if you belong to another profession, being an SEO expert or even an amateur could come in handy, especially if exposure on social media and networking are crucial for the job. You can be successful at SEO only if you follow the latest trends and keep track of the changing algorithms.
Your ability to increase the visibility of a brand/ person on the internet is a commendable skill. It shows you know your way around the maze of the World Wide Web and can work it to your advantage. If you have helped any small businesses, mention it in the resume. Unless the establishments are the direct competitors of the company you are applying for. That could be tricky and could go either way.
Additional Skills Advantage
11. Chess- Analytical Board Games
Let’s take a look at another set of skills that deal with your behavior and cognitive abilities (sort of). Chess is a game of the mind. You need to be patient, skilled, and a master strategist. One wrong move could kick you out of the game, right? In fact, it’s the same with various strategic board games. You need to know the right moment to make the right move.
Such games reflect your intelligence, your thought process, the extent of your understanding, and your analytical skills. These are essential traits for a manager or a team leader or even a job that requires you to make decisions regularly. Include your latest win in the resume. Brush up the rules just in case the recruiter happens to share your love for the game.
12. Book Club Member
Reading books may not sound like an interesting hobby on the resume. Why? Because just about every person uses this hobby and well, recruiters aren’t impressed anymore unless you can present it uniquely and intriguingly. Now, if you belong to a book club or organize book discussions regularly (online and offline), it will create some interest.
If you have completed any of the book reading challenges, you can mention that as well. Listing your favorite genres is a good idea. If you write book reviews, include that too. It will reflect your analytical skills and your ability to read between the lines. But yeah, try not to make fun of any book no matter how much you hate it. You’ll never know if the recruiter loves it.
Well, well, this is a super cool hobby to have, isn’t it? Fencing is an old sport and requires two people. You use a saber or a foil to attack the opponent and defend yourself. Fencing as an organized sport began in the 19th century.
Should we add that it is not for everyone? Fencing is an intricate sport that helps in improving body balance, making strategies, being alert, and learning when to defend and when to attack. While it may not directly impact your job, it will show that you can think and act on your feet. Since you need to stay fit, it will also reflect your focus on health and fitness.
Calligraphy is a beautiful art. Writing in lovely scripts is such a heartwarming hobby, isn’t it? Learning calligraphy takes time. You need to practice a lot to master the exact strokes required for a particular font. And there are more than two dozen fonts to try. You will also need to use special pens, brushes, and paper.
To be a good calligraphy writer, you need to concentrate, have a delicate yet definite hand stroke, and be able to write in various fonts without having to look up the fonts every time. If you take up commissions, you can include a line about helping friends send handwritten notes and invitations.
15. Standup Comedy or Improv
Standup comedy and improv are stage performances where you need to be spontaneous and entertain the crowd. You should be an extrovert, assertive, quirky, funny, and have a good sense of humor. However, you should not abuse or resort to name-calling and call it a comedy. More so because you never know what your recruiter might like or dislike. Mentioning the link of your show only to find out later that the recruiter took offense would be sad, right?
The most important part of being a standup comedian is the ability to laugh at yourself. Show that you are confident enough to not let a silly comment or a job affect your temperament and that you can reply in a lighter vein.
16. Event Planning
Now, this is a great hobby to have. If you are applying for a managerial or an administrative position, this is going to work in your favor. And if you want to become a professional event planner or join the PR team of a brand, it’s even more beneficial.
As an event planner, you need to be organized, have the required contacts, have good communication and negotiation skills, be friendly and courteous and also be able to visualize the pitfalls and find an alternate way in advance. You should be capable of crisis management, damage control, instant decision-making, and delegating authority and responsibility. Mention the latest event you’ve organized, whether at work or for friends and family.
17. Photography- Be Specific
Though we don’t like saying this, we cannot deny that there are too many people out there claiming to be photographers. Calling oneself an amateur is fine, but unless you have the necessary skills and expertise, it’s better not to claim the tag of a professional.
If you are going to list photography as a hobby, make it a point to add your area of expertise. Whether it is wildlife, travel, portrait, candid, or events and photoshoots. Make sure you know the make and model of the camera, the type of lens, and can talk about the technical details of the pictures you’ve shot. If you have a portfolio, mention it to the recruiter and add it to the resume.
Body and Mind- The Health Factor
18. Yoga/ Meditation
We’ve come to the last section of hobbies that can add value to your resume. The first among those is yoga and meditation. These are ancient and have been followed by the sages to stay fit, improve their mental strength, and survive in extreme weather conditions.
Practicing yoga will show that you can be in control of your emotions and temper. Meditation helps you stay calm, even in the most complex situations. You will exert confidence, composure, and calmness that will create a pleasant atmosphere at work. As with other hobbies, make sure you do practice yoga regularly. It doesn’t count if you’ve done it two years ago.
19. Martial Arts
Martial arts is another exercise form that helps you stay fit and also learn to defend yourself. Martial arts require extensive training. From kickboxing to kung fu to karate, martial arts improve your physical, emotional, and mental balance, and make you stronger from all sides.
If you are training with a famous guru/ trainer, you should include it in the resume. If you participate in competitions, you can list your latest event. While martial arts are a good addition to your resume, they may not be of much help for all jobs. You can, however, list it if you do not have other hobbies.
20. Running Marathons
Is this a hobby? Of course, yes. Marathons are being held quite regularly for various causes. While some people take part in almost all marathons, others choose based on the issue they are supporting, the distance, and the location where it is being held.
Even if you participate in the yearly marathons, you’ve got to work for it throughout the year. You need to build endurance over time and follow a healthy diet to stay fit. It shows your dedication to achieve something you want, and the effort you are willing to put in for the same.
21. Healthy Living
We come to the last hobby that would add value to your resume. Healthy living is a mix of eating right, exercising, being positive, being conscious about the environment, and leading by example. It is about letting go of old habits and acquiring new ones to bring a positive change in your lifestyle and become a better person.
Even though healthy living is more of a way of life rather than a hobby, it is a continuous and lifelong process. It is a reflection of how you are striving to improve yourself. This trait is admired by recruiters irrespective of which job you are applying for.
You’ve got a clear idea of what and how hobbies would work in favor or against you, right? Make sure you don’t mention anything that’s not needed. Stay away from politics, religion, and sex, unless the job itself demands you to have specific opinions on either of these topics.
Venturing your ideas about controversial topics could backfire if the recruiter sees it from the opposite side. Workplaces usually maintain neutral approaches to not end up with lawsuits and negative reviews from the pro or anti rallies. Do the same with your resume and in your interview. Let your hobbies add depth to your personality and make you likable.