There is no doubt that in almost every industry, the culture of work is changing, and employers are taking a more holistic attitude to their staff – working hard to support them in fulfilling their career goals while the company, as a whole, achieves success.
While there is still a school of thought that says including hobbies and interests on a CV isn’t helpful (unless they’re 100 per cent relevant to the position), describing what you do in your spare time can give a prospective employer insights into your personality that may help them in deciding whether to interview you.
Even the executive law and finance industries, which once expected employees to leave outside life firmly at home, are bending a little these days, and in showing via your CV, that you lead a well-balanced life, combining recreation and relaxation with hard work, you’ll be giving a positive impression of yourself.
So, what’s right for you. Hobbies or no hobbies? The answer to this question can be different according to the position. If you’re a first-time CV writer and have little or no work experience, then it’s definitely okay to list your favourite pastimes. Apart from anything else it will give potential employers a way to break the ice at an interview.
Revealing your interests can also serve to demonstrate your transferable skills. If you were the captain of your school’s First IV in rugby, this suggests potential in leadership roles and if you enjoy doing voluntary work, an employer could deduce that job satisfaction is probably as important to you as the salary.
Further up the career ladder, you might want to refer to your outside pursuits as “activities and interests” because this sounds a bit more sophisticated than hobbies, which puts some people in mind of folk-dancing, pottery, knitting or jam-making!
Regardless of what you decide to call it, this section should come at the end of your CV and it’s best to try and keep it brief – perhaps using simple bullet points. It goes without saying that you should avoid putting anything that could be controversial (politics and religion come to mind here) but by all means include any interests that have resulted in tangible personal achievements, such as a Duke of Edinburgh award or a sporting trophy.