Hobbies are typically defined as those activities that people enjoy away from their professional work. However, when it comes to job search challenges, these small enjoyments could make a major difference in your appeal to employers. In fact, in certain situations, hobbies can translate to unique skills that can prove very attractive to hiring managers.
A Gamer Gone Leader
If you have a hard time believing that a hobby can lead to gainful employment, all you have to do is consider the professional accomplishments of Stephen Gillett. A recent CNN article profiled Gillett, noting his executive leadership talents at major companies such as Starbucks, CNET and Best Buy. With a resume like that, many may not expect he would have room for a hobby, but it turns out that his passion for gaming helped him succeed in this career field and gain attention from executives. Specifically, Gillett included his ranking and accomplishments on the popular online game World of Warcraft on his resume.
Listing WoW stats may seem like a huge resume mistake—and for some job seekers it could definitely be a cause for dismissal. However, Gillett’s ability to communicate these unique skills—developed from a hobby—to get the career of his dreams shows that there is a place for personal passions and activities on a resume.
Tips for Including Hobbies on Resumes
As a general rule, it is not wise to include a list of hobbies and personal interests on a resume. Still, there is a fine line between hobbies and job skills; for example, saying you play on a recreational softball league and saying you are a volunteer coach to show leadership. Since it can be tricky to include pastimes on a resume, here are a few tips if you are considering it:
- Make Sure the Hobby Relates to the Career of Choice
One of the reasons we strongly encourage customized resumes for each job application is so candidates can make sure they truly connect to the position that is open. If you are looking to fill in space on your resume with hobby skills, it is vital that the activity offers a skill set that relates to the job requirements.
For instance, if you are applying for a job in textiles that requires extensive creativity and pattern recognition, you can certainly benefit from addressing your aptitude in knitting. However, if you are trying to land a role as an Executive Assistant, your strength with knitting needles is not likely to raise any interest.
- Dress Your Hobby Up For Business
It is never okay to lie on a resume, but it can be appropriate to connect the dots between a hobby of pleasure and a business skill. It is important to understand that hiring managers are not going to take the time to figure out why your hobby matters to a company—you have to do it for them.
If you are an extensive traveler, it is best to stray from discussing how you love taking photos in front of landmarks and shopping abroad. However, if you are applying for a role that requires international travel, you can explain how your vacationing experience has given you adept cultural sensitivity and an ability to flexibly adapt for foreign business communication.
- Save the Passion for the Cover Letter
Although there can be room on a resume for well-defined skills related to a hobby, it is important to avoid any language that is overwhelmingly passionate. If you want to showcase your passion for a hobby on a resume, it is best to do so by listing certain accomplishments—such as awards or other recognitions that you earned through your leisurely pursuits.
However, the cover letter can be a great place to really get into how your passion for a particular activity has made you a perfect candidate for a specific job. For instance, in a cover letter you may be able to discuss how your early love for television and storytelling has drove you to build a career in creating sales-oriented narratives in the advertising world.
It is important to explain what qualities of your hobby have raised such an interest in you and how these factors relate to your career development goals. Making this kind of connection can add a touch of personality to your letter and help remind the employer that you are a human being who is truly invested in building a future in a certain industry.
Spend More Time With Your Hobby, Chic Resumes Will Help With Your Job Application Materials
If you are having trouble writing a convincing resume and cover letter, it may be taking away from your precious free time that you use to indulge in hobbies. We know this time is important, and we can help give it back to you and deliver impressive resume and cover letter documents.
With Chic Resumes, you will be able to talk to one of our professional resume writers to discuss your hobbies, skills, job history and career goals. From that point, our writers will move forward to craft a polished resume and cover letter that fits your job search needs! To get the materials you need to improve your hunt for the perfect job, contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.