The hobbies and interest section of your CV is often an overlooked opportunity. Gillian, Sarah, Carol, Niall and Alison from our recruitment team share their insights into how to differentiate yourself and show your cultural fit for the role you're applying for.

Gillian – You’re not a robot. Employers want to get to know you as an individual

Listing out your hobbies and interests can be a bit cringeworthy, after all, it’s a job you are applying for not a dating site! But many employers place high value on a person’s charac
ter and think that hobbies and interests are an important part of any CV.  When assessing a candidate, emphasis in hiring has shifted from being purely dependent on skills/experience to a more comprehensive view by paying increased attention to the candidate’s personality and culture fit. If possible, try to avoid the generic hobbies such as ‘walking, reading, going to the cingillian 2 Be-Differentema’, and aim to include something interesting that’s a little different.

Many job adverts outline a range of desired traits and competencies, try link these to your hobbies and interests. Give detail in your examples such as significant achievements related to your interests/hobbies. Limit the list to 2-3 examples at the most.

Another tip would be to not exaggerate the truth in this section of your CV. Don’t make up a hobby that you think an employer may find impressive.  You may get caught out at an interview if the hiring manager decides to ask you a question about your love of 19th Century Irish literature or your Rock Climbing adventures!


Sarah – Tailor your interests to the role you are applying for

In my experience, managers will always review a candidates hobbies/interests on their CV but you will need to tailor your interests for each job application. The main aim for any hiring manager is to find a candidate that they think will fit in well with their company. For example, if you are applying for a Retail Manager position in Fashion and you regularly write a fashion blog, include this on your CV and it will show the hiring manager that you may be the perfect fit for this job.sarah witch

Stating your hobbies/interests on your CV can benefit you but please, only put relevant hobbies on your CV that will work in your favour. If I see on a candidate’s CV that they “enjoy taking part in Witchcraft”, I don’t think I would give this person a call!


Carol – Are you a team player? Use your hobbies as an example

Firstly, I believe it is a positive move to include your hobbies and interests on your CV prior to applying for the job. Saying that, it does come down to personal choice but if you are open and honest about having a life outside the office, then I do think that employers do see this as a positive.

Strategic employers look at how best the candidates’ strengths can be channelled in the right direction in order to get the best from that candidate and also to engage them in the right jcarol- teamworkob.  After all, if you are happy in what you are doing, and are good at it, then it is a win/win situation for both employee and employer.

I also believe that some hobbies reinforce some necessary job skills, i.e. being involved in a team sport is always valued and viewed positively as it highlights your teamwork, commitment, loyalty and determination, which most employers look for in a candidate.  Likewise, having an unusual interest may show you as open to new experiences and learning new skills which should be a huge asset to an employer.

Lastly, I feel that if you can link your achievements to your interests and hobbies – employers should see this as an added value to any good, rounded, active and determined employee.


Niall – Use Hobbies and Interests as Ice Breakers!

It’s no secret that employers value candidates’ hobbies and interests as they allow the employer to assess if the candidate will be a cultural and personality fit for the team alreadniall - ice breakersy in place. We also have to remember that many interviewers want the candidate to be relaxed during the interview and a common interest can act as a great ice breaker as well during this meeting. If you are lucky enough to have a common interest with the interviewer, it is a great starting point to a conversation.

Hobbies and interests also show the employer that you well-rounded individual, committed, outgoing and a team player. For example, candidates who are involved in sports are seen as active and healthy which is a trait any employer would value.

However, it’s important to name only one or two hobbies and interests – Keep it to your real passions in life!!


Alison – Hobbies and Interests make you memorable, but keep them up to date!

Employers like to see interesting hobbies & interests on a CV, but it’s important to keep this section relatively brief and up to date. An employer might be interested to hear thagillian-Be-Differentt you set up a tag rugby team at your previous company but not necessarily that you played for your local GAA club’s Under 12s team as a child. Mention something a little more recent please!

Hobbies and interests are also a great initial talking point at an interview and relaxes both the candidate and the interviewer. Don’t forget your hobbies are another way of different
iating you and makes you stand out to the interviewer too. We must remember employers see a lot of CVs and may remember you as “the girl that’s a rugby fanatic” or the “martial arts guy” and want to learn more. Ask yourself “Are you memorable?”.


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