Resumes & Cover Letters

Listing Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume (With Examples)

November 23, 2020

While every resume should include sections like education and professional experience, you might consider adding optional information depending on your background.

Adding hobbies and interests can support a resume with little to no professional experience or highlight important interests that extend beyond your work history and education. Some companies may look favorably on resumes that include hobbies and interests as they might help employers connect with you on a personal level.

Resume Format
Image description

Resume Format
1. Name and contact information
2. Summary or objective
3. Professional history
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
4. Education
5. Skills
6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

In this article, we discuss how to list hobbies and interests on your resume, when you should include this section, what types of hobbies and interests work best, and which you should leave off.

Hobbies vs. interests

Hobbies and interests are closely related but may not always be the same. Hobbies are activities that you engage in, while interests are passive ideas or topics. For example, you might list “international travel” as a hobby if it’s something you do regularly. If the employer is interested to know more about that hobby, you may be asked to elaborate during an interview.

If you are interested in travel but have done very little of it, that would be considered an interest. You might include this on your resume to show potential employers that you’re open to jobs that require traveling to different countries, for example.

Related: Interview Question: "What Are Your Hobbies and Interests?"

When to include hobbies and interests on your resume

Before adding hobbies and interests to your resume, consider what you’re trying to communicate to potential employers with this information. Hobbies you include gives employers an idea about how you spend your time and what additional skills you may have. Interests, on the other hand, may indicate topics you’re currently exploring or would like to explore and that might make you a good match for the company.

There are several situations in which including hobbies and interests add little value to your resume. If you’re applying to a job where you have considerable professional experience and skills, for example, an employer would find these qualifications more helpful than your hobbies and interests.

You should consider putting hobbies and interests on your resume when:

  • You have limited work and educational experience
  • You have limited skills related to the job to which you’re applying
  • The employer values uniqueness and personality among applicants
  • The employer asks for additional hobbies or interests from applicants
  • The job posting lists responsibilities or duties that align with your hobbies and interests

Before writing a section for hobbies and interests, research the company receiving your resume. You may find that the employer values employee hobbies and interests outside of work. Alternatively, you may find the employer has a work culture where hobbies and interests are less emphasized.

Related: Building a Resume: 7 Important Parts to Include

Examples of hobbies and interests for your resume

It’s important to be strategic and attentive when creating a hobbies and interests section. Items you list will be interpreted in various ways depending on the audience, so you should include hobbies and interests that reflect positively on you and reveal in-demand skills and qualities. Reviewing the job description can help you identify which hobbies and interests are most relevant to the position.

Examples of hobbies and interests

Some hobbies to list on a resume include:

  • Artistic activities such as painting or graphic design
  • Community service
  • Cooking or baking
  • Examples of interests
  • Exercising and healthcare
  • Outdoor activities
  • Playing an instrument
  • Team or individual sports
  • Travel
  • Woodworking or other projects
  • Writing or blogging

Some interests to list on your resume include:

  • Making or listening to music
  • Gaming
  • Travel
  • Art
  • Nature
  • Social causes
  • Foreign languages
  • Topical blogs or research
  • History
  • Theater

Items to keep off your resume

Hobbies and interests that show positive traits or skills, such as dedication and teamwork, will have a more positive impact. Before you list any hobby or interest, carefully consider whether the employer would look favorably or unfavorably on that hobby or interest.

Items to keep off your resume include:

  • Hobbies or interests with little to no interactivity
  • Hobbies or interests that could be considered violent or dangerous
  • Hobbies that reflect antisocial behavior or activities
  • Hobbies or interests listed as a joke that could be misinterpreted
  • Hobbies or interests that reveal personal information you may not want to share with employers, such as political or religious affiliations

Related: 11 Things You Shouldn't Include on Your Resume

How to include hobbies and interests on your resume

Hobbies and interests can add weight to your resume and make it more interesting for potential employers. However, you should ensure that your summary/objective, professional history, education and skills are prioritized on your resume.

Hobbies and interests should occupy the final section of your resume and be listed with a small descriptive sentence for each item. It is ideal to keep your resume to one page, so include only a few strong examples of hobbies and interests that complement the rest of your resume.


John Lowe
Charlotte, North Carolina • (123) ​456-7891 • jlowe@emailaddress.com

Summary
Talented accountant with a strong background in higher-level mathematics and a history of providing customer satisfaction as a CPA.

Professional History
Senior’s Financial, Associate CPA
June 2010 – Present

  • Provide CPA services to clients
  • Organize annual meetings and calls
  • Deliver reports to executives

Educational History
University of Virginia
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
August 2006 – May 2010

Accounting skills: CPA • Extensive tax policy knowledge • Expert-level Excel experience • Expert-level Microsoft Visual Basic experience • Teamwork oriented • Strong communicator

Hobbies and Interests

  • International travel: Make and plan annual trips to different countries to experience new cultures.
  • Guitar: 10 years of guitar playing with regular lessons and practice, including as part of a small band.
  • Community service: Actively volunteer at a local community soup kitchen twice a month to prepare and serve food.
  • Mountain biking: Plan and execute team-based mountain biking excursions with local biking club.

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