should you list hobbies on your resume?

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A reader writes:

Lately, I have been wondering about conventions regarding including hobbies and activities (other than volunteer work) on resumes. For example, in my spare time I take archery lessons and sing in an a cappella group, in addition to various musical commitments that may pop up over the course of the year (i.e., a summer concert band at a local university).

I have received mixed feedback in the past regarding listing activities listed on my resume. One hiring manager told me that I should make it more apparent that I am a musician, as he has found in his experience that musicians tend to have strong work habits and other qualities he finds appealing in a candidate. Likewise, my company likes seeing activities on resumes since we push for a good work/life balance and like to hire creative people with mixed hobbies. Still, others have noted that activities aren’t actually relevant to the position and therefore should not be included.

Is there a general rule about when to include or leave off activities and/or hobbies on one’s resume? Additionally, I am only a year and a half out of college and I’m wondering at what point college activities should come off a resume.

Like listing fraternity or sorority affiliations, this falls under the “different people have different opinions, but you’re not going to be rejected over it” category.

Some hiring managers (like me) don’t have any interest in seeing hobbies or activities listed on a resume, and we think “I don’t care” when we see that you like to sail or knit. Among those of us on this side of the fence, our take is that unless your hobbies are related to the job you’re applying for, they’re irrelevant. But we’re not going to reject you for listing them.

Other hiring managers do like seeing hobbies listed. I can’t agree with them, and I wonder what it says about their competence at hiring, but the are plenty of them out there.

Regardless, no reasonable interviewer is going to reject you for listing hobbies, so it’s really your call.

(Obviously, there are some common sense exceptions to this: Don’t list your leadership role in your local bondage club, and be aware that some hobbies are polarizing — like hunting, for instance.)

As for your question about when college activities should come off your resume: There’s no hard and fast rule, but if they’re still on there eight years after you graduated, it’s too long.

{ 172 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Sharon

    I asked a similar question on another forum two years ago when I was job-hunting, although my variation was about listing volunteer work. When you’re unemployed, so many people tell you to list volunteer work because it shows that at least you’re not sitting around eating bonbons or something. It can show that you have initiative and responsibility and such.

    When I asked on a forum full of executive level types, I got a mixed reaction, but none very good. Nearly everybody said don’t do it. One guy actually said “I don’t want software developers who show initiative, I just want to know if you can program in [x]“. I loved that attitude – he must be a “shut up and do what you’re told” boss. LOL! Anyway, the one guy who said that he would like that on a resume said it was because he’s had employees in the past where he wished he’d known they coached little league because then he wouldn’t have hired them. Apparently that particular employee brought too much of his volunteer work to the office. (I would find that annoying, too.)

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I actually think volunteer work is in a different category from hobbies. It’s pretty normal to list volunteer work — although, as with anything, you can find people who will tell you not to do it.

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    2. Anonymous

      I think there’s a difference between volunteering in something unrelated to your field and volunteering in something related to your field. For example, in the library field, most library directors like to see if you’ve volunteered in a library. I haven’t come across any that are interested in if you volunteered with Little League.

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      1. KellyK

        That’s a good distinction. Relevant volunteer work is definitely more important to list than totally unrelated volunteer work. Unrelated volunteer work is more “filler” for times that you’ve been unemployed or “just” going to school, to show that you’re generally responsible and can show up and do things.

        Though it would probably be different if the library position was one that involved a lot of work with kids (e.g., working at a children’s library or running a summer reading program). In that case, the Little League work might be worth including.

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      2. Anonymous

        Yeah, when I’m applying to law firms or the like, I don’t bother with my volunteer work (especially since some of it’s political). But I’ve also been applying to social justice-y nonprofits, and when I apply to those, I list it. Even though it may not be the exact same “cause” I think in that case it helps show I have interest in the general area of equality/doing good/whatever.

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    3. Jamie

      I am surprised that there was argument over whether or not to list volunteer work – I thought the convention was to list it especially if it’s during an employment gap.

      Regarding little league – the person to whom you’re referring is why it can be dangerous listing hobbies – assumptions can be made about availability.

      The way to address this professionally, imo, is for the employer to be honest about the hours expected and the candidate to be honest about whether he can meet that expectation. Whether he will need time off because of coaching, or scuba diving, or weekly wine tastings it doesn’t matter…can you or can you not work what’s required? That’s all that matters.

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      1. KellyK

        Regarding little league – the person to whom you’re referring is why it can be dangerous listing hobbies – assumptions can be made about availability.

        Really good point. Any hobby that might give a hiring manager warm fuzzies about you as a person might just as easily lead them to make assumptions that aren’t favorable, either about your availability or about the type of person you are. One person might hear “musician” and think “persevering, hard-worker with a good sense for details,” but another might think “high-maintenance perfectionistic diva.”

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        1. class factotum

          When I hear “musician,” I think, “musician time” from when I dated a musician. Bless his heart, no gig ever started on time. As a matter of fact, I can think of very few band performances that have started on time, and I am talking to you, Loretta Lynn at Summerfest who started 40 minutes late. I love you, lady, but really? You made me wait until 10:40 p.m. for a performance that was supposed to start at 10?

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          1. KellyK

            Ha! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a concert that started *that* late. That hurts. And I like Loretta Lynn too, but I’d have been sleeping in my chair by that point.

            I’m in a choir (a women’s madrigal group), and our director has very clearly never heard of “musician’s time.” Or she’s made it her personal mission to eradicate it from the face of the earth.

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    4. Kou

      I actually DO like that attitude. I’m increasingly annoyed by the idea that if you can’t find work you’re obligated to come up with as many other things to show accomplishments and work ethic as possible.

      I don’t work because working itself is a fun old time. I love what I do but I do not live to busy myself at all times with work-like activities just for the sake of it.

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    5. David

      I would say that if volunteer work you have done is relevant to the job which you are applying for, then include that, as it shows you are interested enough in the position that you give up your free time to pursue it.

      Reply
  2. Michael

    If the writer’s intent is to communicate his/her “strong work habits,” then he/she would be better served highlighting workplace accomplishments that fit that description. I cannot imagine that a hiring manager would think that on-the-job, proven performance related to the open position is parallel to hobbies (unless maybe the hobbies are relevant to the work).

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    1. Bridgette

      I recently applied for a job that mentioned familiarity with photography in the description. Since photography is one of my hobbies, and I did a bit of volunteer work with it, I mentioned it in my cover letter. But you are right – I wouldn’t have brought it up anywhere if it would not be an asset to the job.

      Reply
      1. Jamie

        Sure – that’s totally relevant and is exactly when you would want to mention it. A cover letter is great for that, but adding it to the resume for this job wouldn’t be bad either.

        Reply
  3. Bridgette

    I would not list hobbies on my resume. In my experience, there are more hiring managers out there who don’t care or don’t like it, versus those that do. However, I have listed a couple of hobbies on my design portfolio site. I think that is an appropriate place for them, because a) some of my photography work depicts these hobbies and 2) my portfolio is more personal than my resume. Like Alison says, I was careful in my selection and just listed them in a single sentence. I would suggest listing them on a website or blog if you have one, and intend to include it on your resume, but if you don’t have an online presence, skip the hobbies.

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  4. Anon

    Law school career services always tell students to list hobbies on their resume. I think it work as a conversation starter for big firms who are looking for stellar academic credentials but no particular experience or substantive interest. My employer, however, is looking for students with particular substantive interests and experience, so I kind of refuse to ask them about their hobbies on principle when I interview on campus.

    However, reviewing resumes, I was struck by how difficult it is to come up with a set of hobbies that doesn’t look either (a) douchey, or (b) boring. And as much as one tries to wipe it from one’s mind, it is difficult not to have stray thoughts like “I wonder if this is one of those people who can’t talk about anything but Crossfit?” or “Vermiculture? Am I supposed to have to look at Wikipedia to parse this person’s resume?” I like to think it doesn’t influence my opinion of anyone, but on a subconscious level, I suppose it’s hard to know. (Of course, conversely, it could go the other way.)

    Reply
        1. Jamie

          I had to google it, too. I will have to say if this was listed as a hobby it’s desperately crucial the candidate show up with clean fingernails.

          Surgically clean fingernails.

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          1. Kelly O

            Not googling… because I know what “vermin” means, and I know what “iculture” at the end of something means, and I rather enjoyed my lunch.

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              1. Amouse

                sorry for being close-mined and easily grossed out but: bleh.
                I immediately think of Screech and his various ant farms etc from Saved by the Bell. I’m not saying it isn’t an environmetally sound thing to do. It just grosses me out personally :-)

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        1. Amouse

          Oh this vermiculture thing was actually listed on someone’s resume? I thought that was a theoretical hobbie like underwater basket-weaving.

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          1. Anon

            Nope! Law students come up with all sorts of esoteric hobbies to list on their resumes. I also saw “German board games,” for instance.

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            1. Mike C.

              The “german board game” thing isn’t meant to be esoteric or obnoxious. I’m a huge board game fan, and there’s a huge difference between playing something like Monopoly and a euro style game like Settlers of Catan.

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              1. Amouse

                any kind of board-game hobbie just seems like it doesn’t belong on a resume to me. Of course I’m sure opinion on this is probably divided as well as whether the hobbies themselves should be judged. That’s a whole other can of worms.

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                1. Cindy

                  In tech circles in San Francisco, people take German board games like Settlers of Catan very seriously. There’s even a league where teams from Google, Twitter, Fb, etc meet up to compete. That would probably give a tech hiring manager a little warm fuzzy around here.

              2. Anon

                Yeah, I was informed of that after the fact (which is why I felt okay that I wouldn’t be giving away the candidate’s identity posting it here). So it makes sense, but only if you already have that information, which I and my co-workers didn’t. (And we actually all enjoy Settlers of Catan!) Someone else listed “Strategy board games” which got the point across less obscurely, but also didn’t really bear into her candidacy one way or another.

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              3. Ellie H.

                Agreed, “German board games” is a real thing and not intended to be pretentious. I’m not into them personally but I have a lot of friends who are.

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            2. Jessica

              Ooo, actually I know what that person meant by German board games. It’s essentially a way of saying you enjoy playing board games that are substantial and deep. Many people see “board games” and think of Candyland or standard party games like Apples to Apples.

              German board games are the kind you’ll sit down and play at board game night for 3-5 hours – such as Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, etc.

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                1. Jamie

                  I just wanted to thank you guys …I’ve been wanting to get another board game we can play together as a family (since no one will play Monopoly with me anymore).

                  I’m stopping by Barnes & Nobel to pick one up – I am very excited!

        2. fposte

          I’m glad to hear your office had a policy in place on vermiculture inquiry. So may workplaces don’t, and live to regret it.

          Reply
          1. Anon

            It’s actually a personal policy I put in place to avoid personal creeped outness (I’m squeamish; what can I say).

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            1. Amouse

              If it was an application for Fear Factor on the other hand, experience with worms would be very advantageous ;-)

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      1. Kou

        I’m willing to bet money that they were just into composting. I know a lot of people who do that because they garden, or they just sell the compost.

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    1. Anonymous

      I’m the one who receives/sorts resumes and 99.9% of the time someone lists them, it’s stuff like “kayaking, hiking, yoga, baseball” and I’m going “ZZZZzzzzz.” Of course, I can’t decide if that’s better or worse than the guy who submitted a resume with a whole paragraph about his love of Japanese animation (on the RESUME, not the cover letter, and it has nothing at all to do with the job).

      Reply
    2. Emily

      I’m a law student, going into a biglaw job, and DON’T have my hobbies on my resume. Takes up space, and if firms (or really, associates) care about hobbies, they’ll ask about them. Many hiring committee folks were surprised I didn’t have hobbies on the resume, but I still got a job.

      Reply
  5. KellyK

    Maybe I’m just excessively verbose, but I’ve never had enough space on a resume to consider listing hobbies that don’t directly relate to the job. I have a vague reference to one of my hobbies (medieval & renaissance recreation) on my resume, but only because producing a newsletter and maintaining a website for the local branch of the organization is relevant experience. The fact that I fence, knit, and do calligraphy—totally not relevant.

    I wonder if people like seeing hobbies because it humanizes candidates. They’re not so much looking for relevant information but a sense that they “know” the person who’s applying as a person and not as an impersonal list of qualifications.

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    1. Bridgette

      Medieval and renaissance recreation, fencing, calligraphy…you sound like my kind of person.

      As far as hobbies as a way to humanize candidates…can’t you just ask about hobbies in an interview? Perhaps in the “tell me about yourself” section? Or is that not kosher?

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      1. KellyK

        Heh, thanks! :)

        The interview seems like a better place to ask those questions. I can’t picture it not being kosher except in that some hobbies are related to protected classes (like, say, singing in your church’s choir).

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        1. RJ

          I had a great interview many years ago; I was young, but I was prepared, everything was clicking, I felt confident, etc. Until the interviewer asked me what I like to do for fun. Not having prepared for that question, my mind went completely blank. I stuttered out a couple “um”s at which point the interviewer started to laugh and said, “It’s ok. I was just asking to make conversation.” At that point I was able to remember that I liked to read, but boy, did it throw me for a loop.

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          1. Elizabeth West

            Ha, that happened to me at my last interview! I had the same reaction. No one ever asked me that in an interview before. I didn’t get the job, but now I’ll be prepared for that if it comes up again.

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      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        I have to say, I’d be mildly irked if I was asked about hobbies by an interviewer. It’s unrelated to my ability to do the job, and I don’t have any easy answers like running 5Ks or whatever. I’d fall back on reading and cooking, but I’d still be thinking, “Why are you asking me this?”

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        1. KellyK

          Yeah, I don’t blame you. I would be trying to figure out what I could say that wouldn’t sound like a generic non-answer (e.g., reading) but also would not brand me as the biggest geek on the planet.

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        2. Kelly O

          Honestly right now I would want to say “I have a toddler. My hobbies include setting land speed records for unloading the dishwasher and trying to go to the bathroom without an audience.”

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        3. Diane

          I got* two jobs because I said my hobby is baking and bringing in experiments. The second office hosted an annual open house with elaborate baked goods.

          *My credentials showed competence; my hobby showed fit.

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        4. Emily

          In law (see above), a lot of the hiring is done based on “fit” so the firm does actually want to know if you can hold a conversation about your hobbies (or nothing – the art of small talk). Not sure that’s the right thing for them to base their hiring on, but they do have to differentiate a whole lot of law students with basically identical resumes somehow.

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    2. Patti

      You make a good point, and this is why I typically do not like to see hobbies and high-school achievements (especially if you are 20+ years removed from that time) listed on a resume. It makes me feel like the applicant doesn’t have enough relevant experience and/or skills and is just looking for filler.

      Reply
  6. Amouse

    I can see the logic of the camp who are pro listing hobbies in that they may think of it as contributing to a more well-rounded picture of the candidate. It’s ill-advised for them to ask anything regarding age, race, religion etc. at the interviewing stage, therefore, having someone volunteer their “hobbies” might be a good way of gauging more about them. Hobbies can say a lot about someone’s personality and personality can contribute to fit, no?

    For myself the only time I’ve ever listed my personal interests was when I had a gap in conventional employment wherein I was managing my own band, writing and recording my own music for commercial purposes because that helped to explain that I was not lying around “eating bonbons” as someone hilariously said above.

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  7. Jamie

    The argument I’ve heard most in favor of adding hobbies is that it humanizes the candidate and can help you connect with the interviewer.

    The problem with that stance, as I see it, is that it’s impossible to connect with a person you know nothing about when you’re just sending in a resume in response to an ad. You have no idea who is going to read it.

    And so while there is a random chance that your hobbies critiquing fancy-pants cuisine, skeet shooting, or collecting jelly jars will resonate with someone the odds are at least equally good that someone will make a less charitable judgment. For every “oh, I also like to make pompous pronouncements about fusion entrees” you could have five people concerned that you’ll be the pain in the ass in the lunch room cooking fish in the microwave. (Microwaved fish is gross at work – no matter how complicated and expensive the sauce.)

    If you spend your weekends going to hair band concerts and putting pics up on your website I will find you fascinating. I will think you’re so cool that I will want an interview if you have any skills listed I need, because if I have to listen to people drone about what they did all weekend I’ll like your stories the best. I’m thinking for every me out there there might be 100 others who would find that bizarre that you mentioned that on your resume for staff accountant.

    It’s just too random to be effective.

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      But when you come in for an interview and see the KISS bobbleheads and framed Van Halen concert flyer in my office you should definitely mention that site of yours. Once we get to the interview stage it’s okay to use common ground. :)

      Reply
  8. Rob Bird

    I had the question asked of me in an interview; “Do you have any hobbies? What types of activities do you enjoy outside of work?”

    I got the job and I asked them later why they asked the question. They said they were looking for someone that had a work/life balance. Makes sense..

    Reply
    1. Anon

      I kind of buy that, but my issue is that plenty of people have a life outside of work that doesn’t sound good in an interview, or which touches on issues you may not want to bring up in an interview for fear of discrimination. Plenty of people would – legitimately, given how the hiring process sometimes unfolds – be reluctant to say something like “chasing after my toddler.” Or “caring for my sick relative.”

      To say nothing of the fact that plenty of people have fulfilling non-work lives watching movies and reading trashy novels and hanging out at bars with their friends, none of which sounds good in an interview.

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        1. KayDay

          Thank you…I always hate that question because I don’t have anything that I consider a “hobby,”(…unless making sarcastic comments under my breath, watching SVU, dancing around in my underwear, or decorating my imaginary home on pinterest count.) That said, I think I have a very nice work-life balance, and I do plenty of things outside of work…I just don’t do the same thing every week.

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          1. Cindy

            This one is kind of a bummer for me too because I’m very involved in my local recovery community. I do all sorts of “volunteer” things that would be awesome on a resume (formally mentoring people in need, collecting money and paying bills for meetings, organizing events, even sitting on the board of our non-profit), but obviously I would never say “my hobby is recovering from alcoholism!” in an interview.

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            1. KellyK

              Would it be possible to describe your volunteer work in a way that doesn’t imply that you yourself are recovering from alcoholism? Because it sounds like a lot of good experience that’s worth including.

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            2. littlemoose

              I think that one does fall more under volunteer work, which has more of a place on a resume. Like Kelly said, it sounds like a lot of responsibility and potentially valuable experience.

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      1. Amouse

        I really want to receive a resume that reads:
        “Entrepreneurial experience writing Harlequin romance novels”

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      2. KellyK

        Good point. If they want to know about how you balance work and personal life, and whether that fits in with their expectations and needs for the role, why don’t they ask those questions? Things like “How do you juggle conflicting priorities at work and in your personal life?”

        For that matter “work/life balance” isn’t exactly a personality trait. I’m not sure *what* information they’re looking for and how knowing whether someone is into knitting or gardening or playing Dungeons & Dragons gives them that info.

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          1. KellyK

            So would I. But even if that is what they’re looking for, it seems like it makes more sense to ask about the hours and the heavy focus on the “work” side of work/life balance directly.

            I mean, I know people who put in tons of hours at work, but if you asked them about their hobbies, you wouldn’t think that was the case, because they’re into a bunch of time-consuming things. What you wouldn’t realize is that they aren’t necessarily doing all those things in the same week (or even month).

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          2. Jamie

            I would think it’s a good thing that they are screening for people who would fit in with their work culture.

            Not everyone wants to clock out at 5:00 and not think about work until the next day…and while I hate the expression “no life outside of work” some people do prefer to spend their free time on work related matters and don’t have a lot of outside commitments.

            I’ve heard the “no life outside of work” thing leveled at me before, and it bothers me because if someone else is home on the weekends with their family and spends time on a hobby, or at a church meeting, or on facebook why do I have no life if I spend the same amount of time answering work email, or solving a work issue, or whatever?

            It’s just a matter of preference and I don’t think it’s good or bad…but I do applaud any company that knows it’s culture and what it expects and thus screens for people who would be a good fit rather than hoodwink the unsuspecting.

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            1. class factotum

              Jamie, it’s fine as long as it’s a choice. I just don’t want to be forced into it. So you are absolutely correct if that is what they are screening for.

              I would be very happy to find the organization some day that says, “We all wind up around 5 here and we frown on a work week longer than 40 hours. Your boss will never be here on his vacation time and nobody is allowed in the building on Saturday. If you have a trade show over the weekend, we expect you – no, we force you – to take comp time.”

              All I’ve ever gotten was, “How do you feel about long hours and tight deadlines?” Which was its own warning.

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              1. Jamie

                I absolutely agree that no one should be forced into it and wherever possible there should be full disclosure about this kind of thing upon hiring.

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    2. Jamie

      There is nothing wrong with it in an interview, imo. That’s just conversation and it’s pretty harmless as far as topics go.

      I think part of the problem is that in putting them on a resume it seems to raise them to an importance they may not have in your life.

      I like to watch tv and fold laundry. I also collect Hello Kitty stuff. (And yes, I know exactly how lame it is that those things are the extent of my hobbies). Nothing heroic about those activities, but nothing purient either. However if I list them on my resume they seem to rise to a level of pathological importance because the question is why the heck is she telling us that…why does she think this should be included? Will she be available to work if the Sanrio store is having a sale?

      On the other hand if my hobby was working on open source applications or beta testing software for same I would totally include it – because it’s relevant (and less lazy than my actual life.)

      I really hope this AAM bookclub thing gets off the ground soon as I am clearly desperate for a grown-up activity to help fill the free time.

      Reply
      1. GeekChic

        My hobby is Lego (defiantly not grown-up) and it has always gone over well when it has come up in interviews. Lots of time spent reminiscing about past sets or talking about what type of Lego the interviewer’s child likes.

        Mind you… I’m in IT so there is the expectation of weirdness. ;)

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        1. Jamie

          Yep – truth is we’re cut a good deal more slack in a lot of areas than other people…the expectation of weirdness is definitely one. People don’t care if we’re weird, they’re just happy when they find out we’re harmless :).

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      2. Elizabeth West

        I found a store in Los Angeles in Little Tokyo that was ENTIRELY Hello Kitty. If you ever go there, you’ll have to check it out. Yes, I squee’d. No, I didn’t buy anything; I wanted to look some more and once I found totoros at another store, I was lost.

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    3. Jen

      I was once interviewed by a panel in an academic setting with a scripted list of questions. One panel member, who looked a little bored, asked me spontaneously “so, what are your hobbies?” and another immediately chimed in “you don’t have to answer that!” I’ve since learned from being on both sides of the interview that in many work settings such a question is considered to be inappropriate as it opens the door for topics in the “discrimination” realm.

      Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by working in academia and now civil service, but I don’t think you need to talk about hobbies or even “work/life” to come across as a decent person and a potentially good employee.

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  9. Andy Lester

    The answer to any question of the form “Should I put X on my resume?” is “Will seeing X on my resume help convince the reader to call me in for an interview?” It should definitely relate to the job for which you’re applying. It’s irrelevant that you play guitar, so don’t put it on your resume. The exception is if you’re applying for a job at Fender or Gibson, even if the job is in the accounting department. It shows affinity to the company or industry.

    Some people say “Showing my hobbies shows that I’m a well-rounded person!” but I’ve never put someone in the “call in for an interview” pile because he was well-rounded.

    Final gripe: Don’t tell me that your hobbies are “listening to music” or “reading” or “spending time with my family.” Everyone likes music and reading, and the family time isn’t a hobby.

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    1. Anne

      As a librarian, one of the most common things people say to me after asking what I do is “Oh, I hate to read.” Well, I personally think they’re reading the wrong stuff if they can’t find anything they like to read, but… Book haters are out there.

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      1. AnotherAlison

        Most people who I know that dislike reading, dislike it because it’s difficult (due to ADHD, dyslexia, other learning disabilities), not because the content is boring.

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        1. Jamie

          Not necessarily. I have a couple of people in my family who would never read for pleasure – they hate it. One of them is a literal genius, he just can’t imagine reading for pleasure.

          This always baffled me since I love to read…but for some people the words don’t paint pictures – they are just words.

          And in contrast to that my eldest son has severe dyslexia and is a voracious reader. Because he can get lost in the story so he fought harder to learn to read because he wanted it. The others I mentioned would never pick up a book and read for pleasure – just information because he can’t get lost in a story as it’s always text on a page.

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          1. Jamie

            And I know you can be an actual genius and have learning disabilities…but in my example that’s not the case. Just wanted to clarify since I’m touchy on the subject and know better than anyone that learning disabilities have no correlation to intellect.

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            1. AnotherAlison

              That’s why I qualified it with “most people I know.” : )

              That includes my husband and sons. One son has ADHD and likes to read, but sometimes just isn’t up for it (curse the Harcourt text writers who make 40 page stories for 8 year olds and the teachers who assign that reading in one night). The other has alternating exotropia, which makes it hard to focus the letters and causes him to go slow and get tired. He hates to read everything, even on subjects he likes.

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              1. Jamie

                See I missed that qualifying sentence…that will teach me to be a better reader :).

                And I’ve lost years off my life trying to coax my youngest with ADHD to get through ridiculously long (for him) assignments when he was younger. I feel your pain.

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          2. rant

            True. I know someone who doesn’t like to “get lost in a book” which is the pure purpose of reading fiction, no? Too firmly rooted to reality, that one.

            Reply
            1. nyxalinth

              I like creative hobbies (fiction writing, jewelry making) and I also like computer games. Games–especially roleplaying games–for computers still have a stigma attached, so I don’t bring them up. If asked, I will usually say “I play online coperative/competitive games with a variety of people, and it’s taught me a lot about teamwork, cooperation, and getting on well with a variety of people, since no two players think or approach the games in the same way.”

              Reply
              1. Amouse

                Yeah if you were to say “I’m a WoW addict” it would definitely have a stigma.” I’m not trying to assume the particular games you’re into, that’s just as a for instance scenario.

                Reply
    2. Spreadsheet Monkey

      Final gripe: Don’t tell me that your hobbies are “listening to music” or “reading” or “spending time with my family.” Everyone likes music and reading, and the family time isn’t a hobby.

      I agree about the family time not being a hobby, and I also believe that reading and listening to music generally aren’t “hobbies,” but I also think there’s a belief that “hobby” is interchangeable with “what do you like to do?”

      For example, I volunteer with an animal rescue/shelter. I don’t consider that a “hobby.” I also love to read, watch movies, and go out with my friends.

      If someone asked me about my hobbies, I would mention reading, movies, and friends, but if someone asked me what I do in my spare time, my first response would be “volunteer with animals,” followed by the other things.

      Reply
    3. BW

      I think a hobby can be anything you make it. Some people put more time and effort into things that sound like everyday activities than others and/or feel those activities bring them more happiness and satisfaction than doing other things.

      I know some people who are voracious readers and are constantly seeking out new books. Sometimes they make it a goal to read this series or all the books by a certain author. I have one friend that keeps a journal of all the books she has read (about 150 per year) and movies she has watched. It really is a focused activity she purposely makes time for an invests in.

      Same can be said for things like “listening to music” or “spending time with family”. The people considering these things hobbies and interests are probably doing more than listening to the radio in the car on the way to work and sitting around the dinner table in the evening.

      “Listening to music.” – My mom dated a guy who would figure out how to position his speakers and where he could sit for the best sound. He had season tickets to the symphony. Again, it was something he enjoyed more than other things and invested time and money into the experience. I think do that with just about anything, and it can be a hobby.

      Reply
  10. Cody C

    What about a hobby that is paid? Like sports official? All those NFL referees have regular jobs how would they list sports official on their résumés or would they?

    Reply
      1. Cody C

        I don’t want to steal the thread but where would you put it? Is it a position to go with the others and get bullet points or a hobby to go at the bottom. The reason I ask is I think it shows a lot of good personality traits to be an official so I would like to list the skills needed but on the other hand….

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          If you’re applying for work in a sports-related field, I’d put it right in there with the rest of your work experience. If you’re not, then I’d include it in a separate section at the end — “other experience,” “community involvement,” or whatever works for you.

          Reply
  11. KellyK

    Final gripe: Don’t tell me that your hobbies are “listening to music” or “reading” or “spending time with my family.” Everyone likes music and reading, and the family time isn’t a hobby.

    Are you griping that people list those as hobbies unasked, or are you asking people what their hobbies are and getting that as a response?

    Reply
    1. Andy Lester

      “Reading” and “listening to music” are so vague as to be meaningless. If you’re going to list a hobby, it shouldn’t be one that everyone else has. You like rock climbing? That’s interesting. You like reading? I don’t care.

      If your reading hobby is something that you want on your resume, then tell me more about it. Tell me that you’re an avid reader of historical novels or biographies of Civil War generals or something more interesting than “reading.” For all I know, your “reading” is just that you devour People and Us Weekly when they show up in your mailbox.

      Reply
      1. Anne

        I’m a librarian, so I read (and love) everything from classic literature to gossip magazines. It all comes in handy on the job. I will know what “readalikes” to suggest to the highbrow types and can chat cheerfully with the people who can’t remember the name of the newest Zac Efron movie but want to see it. Not my job to judge people or their tastes.

        Reply
        1. Andy Lester

          In the case of a librarian, I’d say that listing a hobby of “reading” without detail is extra worthless because it’s probably assumed that anyone working as a librarian is going to like reading. If you feel a need to put it on there, then give detail.

          Reply
      2. KellyK

        “Reading” and “listening to music” are so vague as to be meaningless…If your reading hobby is something that you want on your resume, then tell me more about it.

        Okay, that makes sense. You’re right; it’s generic enough to not convey any actual information, and therefore definitely not worth putting on a resume.

        But it’s not an unreasonable answer to an interview question about hobbies, especially if you don’t have any “interesting” hobbies like rock-climbing or whatever, or if your interesting hobbies are not ones you want to bring up in an interview.

        Reply
      3. Kelly O

        I would have to completely disagree with this. I love reading, and I love music. I very rarely get to truly enjoy either, and it really makes me angry that someone would consider that “something everyone likes” or not relevant because it’s not specific or interesting enough.

        I like reading non-fiction. I read a lot of history. I listen to all sorts of music. I am not reading “Fifty Shades of Fanfic” and listening to Bieber. Even if I were, if that’s what I enjoy, and how I like to relax, then that’s my deal. It’s my personal taste.

        Reply
        1. BW

          I totally agree! The definition of “hobby” says nothing about it having to be specific, interesting, or somehow unique. It’s just something you do for pleasure.

          noun, plural hob·bies.
          1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation:

          Reply
  12. AdAgencyChick

    I say put them at the end. You never know when an interviewer is going to share one of your interests and pick your resume out of the pile because of it.

    I’ve appeared on a game show and have that in my “miscellany” section at the end. I can’t tell you how many interviewers have wanted to know all about the experience. Did it get me the interview? Probably not. Did it hurt? Definitely not!

    Reply
    1. Hari

      I find that working in advertising people are definitely a lot more interested in your hobbies and quirks than to say an industry like investment banking lol.

      Reply
  13. Amanda

    I use my LinkedIn profile to list leadership positions with volunteer organizations, most of which happen to line up with my hobbies.

    I also have a line on my resume that talks about extensive community experience through a variety of organizations such as x, y, and z that makes it pretty clear what I do in my spare time but also shows the breadth of activities I am involved in. (I should be clear that community involvement & organization is important in my line of work.)

    Reply
  14. AnotherAlison

    Even if your hobby was extraordinary, imagine yourself sitting in the interview and wasting 20 minutes describing how you thru-hiked the appalachian trail during your layoff. Some interviewers are easily distracted & pick up on irrelvant details in your resume. You want to keep the focus on demonstrating your job-related abilities, not entertaining the interviewer with your hobby-related stories.

    Unless it’s directly related, leave it off.

    Reply
    1. moe

      I don’t see that as a real risk if you’ve prepared at all for the interview, and have figured out an interesting and reasonable-length response to common questions. “What are your hobbies?” is common enough that no prepared candidate should be caught off guard and go rambling on about it.

      Reply
      1. AnotherAlison

        I guess that’s true, if you are prepared. I don’t list hobbies. I’ve never been asked, and I’ve never asked anyone, so I would be caught off guard.

        Reply
        1. -X-

          Do you have hobbies? If you do, and they’re not offensive to most people, just say what they are if asked that question. It’s not that complicated.

          It shouldn’t take preparation to answer a simple question like that. Just give a brief answer with the truth.

          Reply
          1. AnotherAlison

            I am not job-hunting, so it’s completely irrelevant.

            Even so, you’re always trying to paint a picture of yourself. My lifestyle outside work is not always compatible with my work persona – I’m married to a redneck. : ) I spend my free time doing things I wouldn’t have done on my own. Anyway. It’s not about me. In general, I don’t think it’s necessary.

            Reply
    2. Hari

      As long as its a conversation that was kept fueled by the interviewer’s questions and you weren’t the one rambling on, I think that could be an advantage. I put my study abroad experience under education. I studied abroad in Tokyo for 6 months so I usually get at least a question or two about my experience (90% of kids in abroad programs go to Europe/South America so I think employers are pretty intrigued when people go against the grain). One job I applied for (and ended up getting before they rescinded the offer due to lack of funds) my interviewer and I had a 15 minute conversation about my experience. I definitely think that the connection we made during that conversation helped me stand out among other candidates who were similarly qualified.

      I feel if everyone who is being interviewed can do the job well the person who is chosen is the one who the interviewer connects with the most.

      Reply
      1. AnotherAlison

        Talking for 15 minutes about your education history would be similar to talking about your work history for an experienced candidate. It’s not a hobby.

        I’m also not convinced that it’s okay to go off in a non-job-related direction, as long as it’s the interviewer prompting you to do so with their follow-up questions.

        Some interviewers are terrible. Terrible. They might really enjoy the conversation with you, but oops, whaddaya know, after 30 minutes, your time is up and they haven’t got enough meaty information about what you can do *on the job* to make a decision to move forward with you. They might like you and remember you more than Tim-the-MathCAD-wizard, but they know Tim has written some pretty sweet MathCAD programs, because that’s what they talked about, and all they know about you is that your “Software Skills” section on your resume says MathCAD and you spent a lot of time in Japan.

        Reply
        1. Hari

          I agree that my study aboard experience is relevant but I also think traveling abroad would also be relevant for an experienced candidate as a hobby. It shows that the person is open-minded, has a willingness to step outside of their comfort zones, and to take risks. These are applicable traits for a number of industries. Of course, if you weren’t a good interviewer you would not pick up on this anyway.

          I would argue that if a bad interviewer talked with you for 30 minutes about topics unrelated to the job (not because you rambled or they didn’t know how to stop you, because they encouraged it) that they probably are doing the same thing with everyone else. Even if Tim-the-MathCAD-wizard tried to interject, ask questions and steer the conversation in a relevant direction, a bad interviewer isn’t going to pick up on those cues. They would be someone who didn’t know how to properly evaluate a candidate in the first place. So although Tim did get to talk more about his experience its likely they don’t remember it cause that’s not what they cared to focus on and ask questions about.

          It’s likely in their bad-interviewer-mentality that they think Tim and I would be equally qualified because we made it to the interviewer round. They think instead of getting details about how good the person would be in the role they are just here to decide who they personally like and would want to work with best. Honestly, that’s the approach a LOT of bad interviewers take.

          However I’m just arguing in the case of a bad interviewer. A good interviewer wouldn’t let you be sidetracked for the majority of the conversation or in my case save the “getting to know you” part for the last 15 minutes out of an hour interview, the rest focused on skills.

          Reply
          1. Jamie

            “I agree that my study aboard experience is relevant but I also think traveling abroad would also be relevant for an experienced candidate as a hobby.”

            How long would you leave it on for? Was your study abroad in high school or college? I did one in high school and the only place I ever listed that was on college apps.

            Maybe if it was college and you’re a new enough grad that you don’t have work experience it would still be in the window…but at some point school stuff hurts more than helps no matter what it is. That doesn’t mean you can’t mention it if travel comes up in conversation.

            Reply
            1. Hari

              It was in college and I am a recent enough grad that its still applicable. I agree in about 3-5 years max it should come off. I plan to leave in on until grad school, which I plan to apply to in 2-3 years.

              I’m more championing the cause for bringing up hobbies in interviews and the value of making personal connections in interviews (AnotherAlison sees it more as a distraction so I’m making an argument against that).

              Reply
          2. Hari

            I’d also like to point out that I’m disagreeing with your point of “You want to keep the focus on demonstrating your job-related abilities, not entertaining the interviewer with your hobby-related stories.” in the sense that hobby related stories can have relevance in supplement (not main focus), I wouldn’t dismiss it altogether. However I do agree that hobbies should be kept off resume and should only be mentioned, if asked, in the interview. The only thing on my resume even close to resembling “hobbies” is my affiliations section where I list any professional memberships or volunteer experience which I consider to be different.

            Reply
          3. Ask a Manager Post author

            There actually ARE plenty of bad interviewers who will get sidetracked for 20 minutes by some random travel or hobby on a resume that sparks their interest, and will waste the interview talking about that … but won’t do the same thing with everyone, because not everyone has the random thing that will spark their interest. Or because another candidate is good at steering the conversation back to what matters (not hard to do if you’re politely assertive about it). And I think AnotherAlison is describing something that then often happens: the interviewer enjoyed talking to you, but remembers the other person as more impressive.

            Reply
            1. Hari

              I agree with that senario. AnotherAlison mentioned bad interviewers in general though, not good ones who just happen to be easily sided tracked this time. I was making the case that if an interviewer is bad they probably aren’t just bad at keeping the conversation relevant but what they evaluate candidates on as well. It doesn’t have to be but I would consider one to follow the other in most cases.

              Reply
  15. moe

    I also think it’s useful to list a hobby if you have some notable achievement in it–something that would show a significant level of dedication and a good work ethic. Those things can translate to the workplace.

    Reply
    1. AnotherAlison

      I still feel like this is of limited usefulness to experienced people.

      If you were a competitive runner and regular winner of local 5ks, I’d expect IF that translated to a strong professional work ethic and job-related accomplishments. If that was the case, your resume would be just as strong without the competitive running hobby listed and you wouldn’t have to worry about someone thinking you’ll only work the bare minimum hrs because you have to get in your long runs before or after work.

      Additionally, if you are accomplished in your hobby but NOT in your work, then it looks like you’re dedicated to the hobby more than your job.

      I’d say for newbies to the workforce, it could be an advantage to list the hobby where you have some success because you are an unknown quantity professionally.

      Reply
      1. Jamie

        This makes the point beautifully.

        If the dedication is so much a part of you that it shows in your work – your resume will speak for itself. But I also would cut slack for those without a work history.

        Reply
      2. moe

        Oh, absolutely–and your point is my point, high-achieving people tend to be high-achieving!

        I guess I just don’t see the same risk that you do; if someone’s resume shows a record of career accomplishments, the idea that they like running a whole lot shouldn’t be a red flag, should it? And given that so many more of our hours are spent out of work than in it, I can’t really see much risk in acknowledging dedicated use of the “out of work” hours.

        Guess I’m on the side that it can’t hurt, and might (rarely) help.

        Reply
  16. Meg

    My Results: Hobbies on resume – not really. I already have a 3-page resume. I bring it up when asked in interview, but my hobbies include the skill set needed for my field. I’m a web design/development junkie. I read articles and books on new technologies and controversies and explore growing trends, etc. My other hobbies are rock climbing, hiking, and surfing (and other fitness stuff). I remember telling my interviewers Friday that, and that I thought I was in good shape until I arrived on the grounds (of which they have their own Metro station), and had to climb 340 steps at a 30 degree incline because the escalator was out (4th longest escalator in Western hemisphere) .

    Reply
  17. Crystal

    I won’t reject an applicant for unrelated hobbies, but I will make fun of them …for years in some cases. Accountant who was a backup dancer during the Super Bowl half time show, I am looking at you. There really was no need to extend your resume to a second page for that.

    Reply
    1. Meg

      I will forever be remembered as the girl that created harry potter websites before getting that web developer position. It was actually what made my resume and work samples stand out to the hiring manager. Luckily, the hiring manager is a HP nerd like me.

      Reply
  18. KayDay

    My general view about listing hobbies on resumes is pretty relaxed. If you have room for it, anything that shows accomplishment or a high level or responsibility fair game; it may or may not help, but it certainly won’t hurt. For example, mentioning that you organize the meetings of your knitting club or that you are an accomplished classical pianist aren’t directly related to many jobs, but they show that you have taken on responsibly. Not all mangers will care about these things, but I can’t imagine someone holding it against you. Simply knitting or playing piano while alone at home, however, aren’t worth mentioning, IMO.

    Reply
  19. CH

    It just depends so much on the job and the hobby/volunteer experience. I don’t personally list my hobbies, but have a listing under work experience as “Volunteer” which summarizes the (related to my field) work I did for various organizations (I list 2 and use et al) while I was a stay-at-home mom. It was important because it showed how I had kept up with the technology in my field. My husband, on the other hand, lists “golf” as a hobby because it is pretty nearly required of senior managers in his industry (but he does love golf, too).

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      I can see golf being legitimate for some sales positions.

      I know in a lot of B2B sales being able to do business on the golf course is a big deal.

      Reply
  20. Brant

    I’ve always heard that the hobbies section helps make candidates “memorable.” So if you are applying in response to an ad, or through a career center, or anything where your resume is one in a stack of hundreds, I absolutely see the value. My husband, who is a man of MANY MANY hobbies, has always been remembered for his hobbies (which, depending on the job he has applied for, have included wooden boat building, antique tool collecting, furniture restoration, sewing, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, camping, skiing, german literature, archaeology, travel, etc.)

    If you are working through a recruiter and that recruiter gives your resume as a “warm lead,” then I think there is no need.

    Reply
    1. AnotherAlison

      I would rather be remembered as:
      The one who solved the company’s CRM problem.

      Than:
      The one who built a boat.

      But, if you can’t stick out on merit, better to be unique than dull. What bothers me is that your husband DID have a great work accomplishment that was overshadowed by someone focusing in on his esoteric boat building hobby.

      Reply
  21. Hello Vino

    It depends on the industry. In creative fields, it seems pretty common to list a few hobbies. My husband works in finance, and listing hobbies on a resume would be incredibly out of place.

    If you do include hobbies, only list those that are relevant. I’m design/advertising, and I typically list things like photography, bookbinding, painting, etc. I also mention that I enjoy cooking, and my online portfolio includes a link to my food blog.

    At one of my previous jobs, all managers were expected to send an email introducing new hires in their department. I was asked to give my boss a list of interests to include in a little blurb about me. I sent over the list of hobbies from my resume. I’m glad I had a list of “professional” hobbies to include. It didn’t look so good when a coworker was introduced as the new hire who enjoyed “eating, clubbing and browsing the web”. (Apparently that was what she sent over to our boss.)

    Reply
      1. Daisy

        Agree – I’m not saying it’s necessary, but hobbies/interests are actually pretty common in finance among candidates I’ve seen. Maybe around 50% of candidates who graduated within the past 5 years list them, tapering down to about 20-25% for people with more experience.

        Reply
    1. Frank

      When I was laid off a few years ago, the workforce center advisor told me to add my hobbies to my resume. She said my hobbies would show I am “creative.” I said creative is the last word that that I want potential employers to think of for an accounting position.

      Reply
      1. KellyK

        I think it’s the combination of the fact that blood donation is a medical thing that might fall into some people’s TMI zone and the fact that it requires no particular skill to sit back and get poked with needles.

        Not that I’m pooh-poohing blood donation at all. It’s a hugely important thing that more people should do. It’s just not job relevant.

        Reply
    1. The IT Manager

      No, because it shows no skill at all. It’s nice (and important) that you donate blood, but you just have to show up some place and lay there. It takes some dedication to be a regular donor, but even then it’s less than an hour of your time every few months. Really it’s simply too easy. And the mobile blood mobiles make it so that you often don’t even have to plan to do it. They show up in the parking lot of my gym and grocery store at regular intervals.

      Organizing a blood drive is another thing altogether and would show your organization and leadership skills. I think that’s the point of volunteer work. Not only that you do something useful with your time, but you’re learning or demonstrating some positive work skills.

      Reply
  22. Kelly O

    Okay so let me ask this question – I was co-captain of a Relay for Life team in 2010. I helped with planning, getting the team together, setting up our booth, organizing the stuff we sold, and that sort of thing.

    Is that worth including? Is two years ago too far back? I don’t even live in that town anymore, so I haven’t listed it. I guess until I sat here and thought about it, I didn’t think it was important, but it could have transferable skills.

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      I would – under volunteering. That is an organizational trial by fire – you have to keep so many balls in the air to run a team.

      My daughter was helping the adult captain, and just assisting I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to cry and tell her I wasn’t the one who signed up for this because there was always something.

      IMO this is the kind of volunteering that should get a mention because of the skill transfer.

      Reply
    2. Andy Lester

      Yes, list it but give details about what you did. Don’t just say “Relay for Life, 2010″ because the reader doesn’t know what you did. List what your responsibilities were. Give numbers if you can. How many people were on your team? How much stuff did you sell? etc etc etc

      Reply
    3. SC in SC

      I’ll offer the counter opinion on that one since I had a similar situation. For my internal resume, I include leading our sites annual United Way campaign which is typically seen as one of those unofficial grooming activities. However, I do not include it on my external one since I’d like to think that I have enough direct work related accomplishments that will show the same skill sets. As a hiring manager, if I was to see a resume with it listed as you have described, I would give it almost no consideration unless it was directly related to the position I was trying to fill or it showed a long-history of commitment, responsibility and/or accomplishment.

      Reply
  23. Ellie H.

    I read a lot of resumes/CVs of graduate students (I don’t make any decisions evaluating these people though) and my favorite resume was from someone who listed as one of his hobbies, “Baking complicated cakes.” I think it was for one of our engineering programs.

    Reply
  24. Debbie Downer and the Negatrons

    I wouldn’t put it on a resume, but I am learning to play accordion just so that I have something to say to the dreaded “Tell us something interesting about yourself” icebreaker at training sessions and conferences.

    Reply
  25. Vicki

    Personal note to the OP: I was on the Archery Team in College and loved it. So, I applaud your hobby and it would be cool if I saw it on your web site or blog.

    But unless you can tell me how practicing archery helps you to maintain a cool presence of mind and is therefore relevant to the job, I’m not convinced it belongs on the resume.

    Personally, I would think hobbies fit if you can tie anything about them into the job. If you like to code PHP on your own time, or you edit the newsletter for your knitting group, or being a Scout leader hones your administrative skills, that’s great. Otherwise, I’d say put these on your web page.

    And put a link to your web page on your resume.

    Reply
  26. Daisy

    Here’s my take on hobbies/interests:

    When I’m reviewing resumes, particularly a very large stack of them (say, selecting 12 students out of hundreds of resumes for a first round interview), I definitely do notice them. I don’t consciously give “credit” for the hobbies, but sometimes it does lead me to spend more than 25 seconds on a resume or look over it again slightly more carefully if a hobby jumps out at me.

    The wrong hobbies have absolutely hurt though – things that betray ideologies inconsistent with what we do (e.g., anti-Wall Street protests) or where bringing up the activity in a semi-professional context shows a lack of good judgment and makes me wonder if you’d mention it to clients (like a sex column written under your real name).

    So in my opinion, it’s fine but of course be thoughtful.

    Reply
    1. Daisy

      I also raise my eyebrows at anything overly political.Even if I agree with the view, if it’s something I’d never mention to a client, I don’t want to see it on your resume. The exception is if it is your actual work experience (e.g., you worked at Planned Parenthood) – then it’s fine. But if you just list as a hobby “promoting women’s right to choose,” I’d view that as inappropriate even though that 100% aligns with my beliefs.

      Reply
  27. Blinx

    My resume’s a very tight 1 pager. I can’t squeeze another thing on there, and am reluctant to go to 2 pages for some reason (although I know it’s OK to do). So anytime I see something particular about a job where it would benefit me to add something “extra”, I add it to the cover letter. I recently mentioned in one that I have 2 dogs and a cat, to a place that supported animal health (and they stated that being an animal lover was a plus). Another ad for a graphic designer mentioned that knowledge of classical music was a plus — it was for a choir college. Although it was too far to me to apply to, I would have mentioned all of the music/choir training that I’ve had.

    Curious though, since I’m customizing the letter and not the resume, do they stay together when being reviewed? Are hiring managers making notes/highlighting the letters or just resumes?

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Depends on the hiring manager. I always keep them together, and so do the good hiring managers I know. But there are less-good ones out there who don’t care as much about the letters.

      Reply
  28. sara

    I like knowing their interests, because depending on the interests (and how they word their interests) it can say a lot about the person and their personality – which can be helpful in the workplace.

    but, I tend to ask the question in interviews, and don’t care if it’s on the resume or not.

    Reply
  29. Rana

    My problem with listing hobbies would be that if I included them all, they’d take up as much space as the rest of the resume, and I’d have to choose between “hobbies I’m engaged in right now” (pottery) and hobbies I’ve indulged in and will again someday” (photography, knitting, spinning, reading, sketching, hiking, canoeing, sewing, jewelry-making…).

    Reply
  30. books

    Obvi, reading is inappropriate to list as a hobby, but I wish my resume could list for instance, my 3 favorite books, or the 3 most recent books I’ve read. And if everyone was forced to do this? It would be AWESOME.

    Reply
    1. Rana

      Oh, hells no. I loathe “what’s your favorite x?” questions. Utterly hate them. As for the last three… I read about 3-7 books a week, most of them not that good. This would suck for me.

      Reply
  31. Anonymous

    Really depends on the hobby. Photography or scrapbooking can show you are human and initiate a conversation. Taxidermy? Maybe not.

    Reply
    1. Amouse

      ha! I dare someone to attach a photo of a taxidermy museum to their resume and claim it’s their proudest achievement. No, please don’t do this.

      Reply
  32. Anon

    My resume is one I have to fight to keep to one page, so no hobbies. Also, what would I put? I sing- but I can’t think of how that’s relevant to my field. I have used music in ways relevant to my field and that’s what I’d stick to.

    What I’d keep out of an interview:

    Political activities-Nope, unless I’m applying for an organization where it’s relevant.

    Involvement with my religious congregation-Not unless I’m applying to a faith based organization or gained relevant work skills from doing so. Even then, religion is a protected class and mine is not winning many popularity contests right now.

    Reading-unless it’s about my field, I can’t see how it’s relevant.

    I understand wanting to make small talk but at best, it should be kept short, more like an ice breaker. Even with that caveat, I’d mention how I’ve used it in a way relevant to my field. For example, if your hobby is reading, mention an article you’ve read about X for X field, type of thing. It redirects the conversation back to your skills and why they should consider hiring you for the position.

    Reply
  33. Jmari

    I don’t list hobbies, but I do have a two-day stint as an organic gardening assistant listed on my resume, which I feel barely qualifies as a job, though it was paid. It turns out it was a good thing I listed it; my interviewer, a restaurant owner, had been wanting to get an organic garden going for his restaurant. He was really excited to see that I had an interest in that as well as some of my environmental club work from college five years ago. I never would have thought these experiences and interests would be relevant for a position as a cook, but he saw that I would be a perfect fit in his vision for the future of his business, and I was hired on the spot. So now my question is, as I move on, should I keep these details on my resume? If hobbies/interests are a huge part of your life but not obviously or immediately relevant to your prospective job, should you omit them?

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  34. Cheryl

    I think that hobbies can show that you’re an active fun person; such as if you put hiking, camping, biking. And reading can make you seem more intellectual. People don’t want fat, lazy people working for them, they want fun, active people. Atleast I know that’s what I would want as an employer.

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  35. me

    I think it depends on if your hobby is relevant to the line of work and how much experience you have in the job you’re applying for.

    If I have little to no employed experience in IT but at home I mod files, build and repair my own PC, minor coding and programming why should i not include that if I’m applying for employment in IT?

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