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When a hiring manager is sifting through a stack of resumes for one position, “too boring” is a perfectly good reason to toss your resume into the “no” pile.
That’s why, many candidates include a “hobbies” section at the bottom of their resume.
“Hobbies are great because they give a resume some dimension,” says CEO of MyCorporation Deborah Sweeney. “Job interviews can be so stiff and sometimes appear intimidating for a potential employee. Discussing the hobby portion of a resume lightens the mood.” It's a great way to show them you will make a pleasant, well-rounded addition to the team.
Remember to Research the Company
Before you hit “send,” research the company to see if it seems like a fun-loving type of culture. If so, take it as a cue to include human elements somewhere in your job application. If it seems more results-driven, formal culture, hobbies probably matter less.
Make sure you show them a human, unique element in some way, if that’s important to your target company’s culture.
Stay Away from Immature Hobbies
Your favorite movies, TV shows or video games aren't likely to wow interviewers, unless of course you're applying for a job in those fields.
One time, Michael Morgenstern, hiring manager at The Expert Institute, came across a young guy fresh out of college who happened to have the same name as two of his existing employees.
To avoid confusion, Morgenstern asked the candidate if he had a middle name they can call him by.
“This greatly confused the young man, as he apparently didn’t like his middle name,” Morgenstern says. “Then he said, ‘You can call me Woody. Toy Story is my favorite movie.’”
Weird, right? “This coupled with the fact that he listed video games as his hobbies made it clear he wasn’t ready for his ‘big boy’ job yet,” Morgenstern says.
Highlight Unique Hobbies
What makes you interesting? Are you a marathon runner? Do you play the drums or guitar? Tend to a robust garden? Are you a big hiker? Globe trotter? What do you care about? What’s something impressive that you do for fun?
“A hobby that includes travel or outside sports like skiing reflects a progressive personality,” says Edward DuCoin, entrepreneur and owner of Impact Marketing. “Typically a weekend coach of a child’s sports team reflects commitment and good time management skills.”
Even if it’s indirectly, your hobby should equate to another reason why you’re a great candidate. Generally speaking, employers want to see a likeable human element in your resume.