Hobbies and interests can be great additions to your resume—if they demonstrate skills or attributes relevant to the position you’re applying for. What follows are five hobbies that could make your resume stand out among the crowd of applicants.
1. Speaking or studying a second language
Knowing more than one language can make you instantly more employable. Though there are some jobs where being multilingual is more important than others, knowing or studying a second language shows that you have dedication, passion, and drive—attributes that employers often look for in potential hires. Of course, knowing a second language also typically requires good communication skills, which are essential in almost every profession.
2. Taking part in a sport or physical activity
Exercise is a great way to keep fit and look after your physical and mental wellbeing, but it can also look good on your resume. Team sports can showcase skills like teamwork, communication, tenacity, and even risk management. And don't forget to mention if you're the captain or coach of a team, as this demonstrates your ability to lead others.
Individual sports look great too! Whether you run, cycle, surf, play golf, or swim, these activities also show commitment, self-motivation, and goal orientation. When you're outlining any sports you take part in, you can make yourself stand out even further by including the number of years you've engaged in the activity and any accomplishments, honors, or sporting events you've taken part in.
3. Playing a musical instrument
Playing an instrument can be lots of fun, especially if you play in a band or make your own music. It can also be a welcome addition to your resume for a number of reasons. It shows creativity, as well as a range of other important transferable skills, including patience, discipline, and attention to detail. Plus, it doesn't matter what you play as long as you’re dedicated and passionate about your instrument.
So, when it comes to writing your resume, be sure to name any instruments you play, what level you’re a and any musical achievements you're proud of. You should also include any details of bands you've played with or concerts you've been a part of.
4. Blogging or creative writing
Is your laptop or notebook always in your hand even when you're not studying? There are many ways to express yourself through creative writing, be that poetry, short stories, articles, or blogs. These could be written for yourself or for others, but either way, they can be great additions to your resume.
Strong writing requires some highly sought-after skills, including the more obvious communication skills, as well as creativity, organizational, research, and adaptability. Blogging can also demonstrate design, marketing, and SEO skills too. Therefore, it can really pay off to include any writing you’ve performed, providing details aboutt the type of content you enjoy creating, where your work has been published, any achievements or pieces that you're proud of, and your own online blog or portfolio.
5. Cooking and/or baking
Believe it or not, if you're a pro (or enthusiastic amateur) in the kitchen, it can also bolster your resume. Whether you love preparing meals for your friends and family or baking cakes for student bake sales, you can list cooking and/or baking in your hobbies and interests section.
If you're forever making food for yourself and others, you could be using desirable, transferable skills such as creativity and time management. Cooking and baking can also show that you follow instructions carefully and pay a lot of attention to detail.
A final note
Of course, the above list is by no means exhaustive—there are many other hobbies you might wish to include on your resume. Whatever hobbies you include, make sure they're related or relevant to the role you're applying for, and don't forget to highlight the transferable skills you've gained from them.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading UK careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.