So you love knitting, cooking, playing with your nieces and nephews, and traveling. Terrific! It’s great that you’ve found something you’re passionate about. But when it comes time to write your resume, you can’t exactly use these interests in place of the computer skills, communication abilities, and other requirements for a particular job. However, this doesn’t mean that your interests have zero impact on your appeal as a candidate. In fact, quite the opposite is true. When handled correctly, your hobbies can make you a more marketable applicant. Here’s why:
Hobbies require dedication
Training to run marathons, learning to play an instrument, traveling the world, and other hobbies highlight a number of positive traits that employers want to see. For example, you’ve committed yourself to this pursuit, and you’ve invested yourself fully. You probably even learned new skills as you went. To make a hobby into a transferable skill that works on your resume, think about what you’ve learned while enjoying these activities.
For example, frequent travelers have gained a deep perspective on the world. They are probably able to get along with different kinds of people. They may have acquired problem-solving skills (spend enough time in an airport and this is basically a requirement), and they have learned how to do careful research. These traits are highly appealing to a prospective employer. Instead of getting caught up in how or why you learned these skills, focus on the fact that you possess them and can bring them to a new job.
Your hobbies can match that company’s culture
When you’re applying for a job, take some time to figure out what that company stands for. What are the values within the organization? What matters to them? What kinds of people do they hire? Then, figure out how your own hobbies or passions line up with these values. If you adore solving puzzles and find that the company is always looking for people who can think in new and original ways, make the problem-solving skills that you’ve acquired known.
While hobbies are a great way to burn off some steam and meet new people, they can also make you into a more well-rounded and appealing candidate as you apply for jobs. Instead of getting caught up in the details of the hobby, think generally about what this passion has taught you. Then use that to illustrate how you could benefit that organization.