Resume Writing Help: Are Interests and Activities Making a Comeback?
They used to be an integral part of resumes, and then ‘resume experts’ said that’s a bad idea. We think there is some merit to having these listed on the resume. Find out why.
Why do some ‘experts’ say that you should leave off interests and activities?
The short answer is that they are unfamiliar with what makes a good candidate, good.
Why list interests and other items?
- Illustrates that you may have some hidden talents and demonstrates creativity, analysis, problem solving or other skills.
- If your work experience needs some additional support (i.e. you have one year experience with a particular software, but you code in your spare time, then this would be something noteworthy to mention).
- Shows initiative as you are not getting paid to do this (generally speaking). You are motivated for the sake of interest.
- As a hiring manager, you will be spending over eight hours per day with your employees, so hire someone interesting to talk to (share an interest, or learn something new!).
- It makes you human. Looking over hundreds of resumes is impersonal, so make it personal!
A word or two on what to or not to include
We would recommend keeping the interests neutral, so no religious items, politics, things that can create some tension. Things like cooking (better yet, baking bread, finding old recipes and re-creating them), building models, reading, designing and building computers, sports, experimental dentistry in your basement (maybe not recommended) and so on.
We recommend bringing something human to your resume, so think about what you like to do, identify if it’s appropriate to use and showcase it! If you are unsure about what to include, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment or shout very loudly, and we will help. Thanks!