My personal opinion is that I wouldn’t encourage individuals to include any personal interests or hobbies within the content of their CV unless they can create the WOW factor.
My main reason for this, should the interviewer share the same interest they may not be overly impressed if a) You’re unable to compete to their level experience/knowledge or b) Your level of commitment to this interest actually no longer exists.
And yes, people do include interests that are no longer relevant! I have had many conversations with applicants who are no longer actively taking part or have any interest whatsoever in the interests they include within the content of their CV – more often than not this is due to the fact that the individual has only updated their most recent role and forgetting the need to review all other details.
Typically, interests that I tend to see include: Cooking, Travelling, Exercise and Reading.
In other words:
- I enjoy cooking from start to finish with fresh ingredients during the weekend when I am not feeling rushed or I enjoy entertaining friends and family for Sunday lunch.
- When taking a holiday, I like to travel to new locations abroad.
- I like to exercise and often walk the dog or go for a family stroll at the weekend, otherwise I rush from A-B in the car.
- I relax during the evening or whilst laying on the beach with a good book. Although, I would prefer not to discuss the last 3 books I have read.
If however, you like to Mountain Climb and have recently led a group of 10 to take part in the 3 Peaks Challenge which you successfully completed within 16hours raising £10,000 for charity, ABSOLUTELY include this information. But rather than place it at the end of your CV under the heading ‘Other Interests’ place it at the top of your CV within your ‘Key Achievements’.
This information not only proves your commitment to a particular interest/hobby but it also informs the reader of your CV that you are organised, determined, possess strong leadership skills and committed, all of which contribute to your transferable skills.
REMEMBER your CV is YOUR sales document, it should be interesting, grab the reader’s attention and enable you to stand out from your competition.
You may be involved with voluntary work, perhaps part of a committee for an internal network or charity, if so this information should be positioned under ‘Voluntary Work’. Include content as to where you have made an impact or added value to your role. In addition add some content within your key achievements.
If you are a member of a professional association then only include this information if it’s relevant to the role you are applying. Many memberships require a yearly membership fee so ask yourself before including this point as to whether it is really necessary and will it impress the reader of your CV.
Lastly, I would avoid including any information on politics or religion. Whilst under the Equality Act 2010 a potential employer is not allowed to discriminate you, I would advise that it is in your interest to steer clear of potential disagreements or debated opinions when meeting someone for the first time.
Before adding any information to your CV ask yourself:
- Would I be prepared to talk about this in detail and with confidence during an interview situation?
- Is the information relevant and add value to my application?
“Hobbies of any kind are boring except to people who have the same hobby…”