The main focus a job seeker has when they write a CV is how they can demonstrate lots of relevant skills, qualifications, and an extensive career history. The aim is to prove they have what it takes to be the next hire. But is there something extra they could do?
The hobbies section of a CV is the most underrated part. Why would an employer want to know what you get up to in your spare time? Well, the first and obvious answer would be to say that it helps them to get a feel for your personality. With an application that’s littered with skills and achievements, there isn’t a great deal of room to interact on a personal level.
There is also one other thing that would be of interest to the employer – and that’s your soft skill level. As opposed to a hard or specific skill that is often required for the job, like computer programming or machine operation, a soft skill relates to a more generic trait that helps these hard skills function. Communication, time keeping, interaction, friendliness – are all examples of soft skills.
You can utilise the hobbies section of your CV to further demonstrate your soft skills. This is a key part of any successful CV, and taking advantage of every single section to demonstrate them will help get you an interview.
Generic hobbies, like walking the dog and socialising with friends, will not add a great deal of value to your CV. The problem is that they don’t offer examples of important soft skills. However, there are some hobbies that do – here are the ones that will benefit your CV.
Whether you play golf, squash, football or tennis – taking part in a sport can show a few qualities. If you compete locally or even as a pro-am, then this will further spark the interest of the employer. They may share a passion for the same hobby which would be fortunate, but even if they don’t they will likely find it interesting to know that you take part in something.
The soft skills you can attain from sports are – communication, hard work, passion, competitive nature, and keeping fit (less sick days). The last one isn’t a soft skill as such, but the employer may feel confident that you are potentially going to be reliable and not someone who misses a lot of Mondays because of a hangover!
If you are the captain of a sports team or the president of the local chess club, then this should go on your CV. It demonstrates potential leadership qualities which could be utilised in a working environment. So if you are the head of a club or society or even a high ranking member, then write a few details on your CV so the employer knows you are respected for your leadership skills.
The soft skills you can attain from a position of leadership are – communication, organisation, empathy, vision, positivity, delegation, public speaking, and confidence. If you were applying for a management or supervisory position then these traits would need to be demonstrated. However, even if you are not then it would help show your potential to grow within the company.
Creative hobbies like arts and crafts show the obvious soft skill – creativity. However, another soft skill this could demonstrate which is very important in the work place is attention to detail. Accuracy plays a vital part in any job, and a creative mind could have that attention to detail the employer is looking for.
If you’re applying for a creative role like graphic design, website creation, actor, presenter, or dance – then having a creative hobby will add to your credentials. Better still, if your hobby aligns with your career then the employer can see how dedicated you are.
This could have gone under the category of ‘creative’, but I decided to separate it because it could potentially show different qualities. Being the lead singer of a band, for example, could show confidence, public speaking skills, rapport, leadership, and organisation. It takes a lot of guts to get up on stage in front of people to perform. Most singers have great confidence which can transfer to the workplace.
But you don’t have to be the lead singer to include your musical talents. Although it may not relate to the role, if you play an instrument you should add into onto your CV. Being proficient in an instrument takes a lot of time, passion and dedication – traits which an employer looks for.
If you’re someone that likes to raise money for charity or help out at your local charity shop, then this should go down on your CV. Remember, voluntary work can also go into your work experience section, along with the skills you’ve learned.
Always give a little bit of detail about any fundraising events you’ve been too lately. For example, if you ran the London marathon and raised £452 for Cancer Research, then you should put this exact figure down on your CV. Not only will it look great, but it will also demonstrate a few soft skills – organisation, helpfulness, selfless, hard working, and so on.