by Darlene Zambruski, CPRW, SME
Generally speaking, hiring managers expect resumes to be focused towards business-related activities that can indicate to them your potential on the job. However, hobbies and interests that show leadership, technical skills, commitment to community, or team-playing capabilities may also enhance your candidacy. These might include:
1. Volunteer work for such organizations as Junior Achievement, the “Y”, Girl or Boy Scouts, being a Big Brother or a Big Sister, etc.
2. Clubs that enhance skills and test proficiency, which can be useful on the job. These would include Computer Clubs, Language Clubs, Toastmasters, International (public speaking), etc.
3. Participating in events to help a good cause (eg: 10-K run for cancer research)
A Word About Hobbies and Interests that Should Not be Included in Resumes
Avoid mentioning those with:
1. Political overtones (eg: The Young Republican Club, volunteering for an individual seeking public office)
2. Danger (eg: skydiving, racing cars, mountain climbing, motorcycling)
3. Expense beyond your means (eg: coin collecting, European travel, buying antiques)
4. Unusual (eg: collecting Elvis paraphernalia, attending Star Trek conventions)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
· I’m a female company vice president whose only hobby is knitting. Won’t that make me seem old or too female?
Unless the hobby enhances your candidacy, it probably shouldn’t be included on your resume. However, if you’ve donated articles you knitted (to a local woman’s center or perhaps for preemies at the hospital), mentioning this indicates to a hiring manager that you are a well-rounded individual capable of running a business, while also attending to ‘people’ issues.
· I really don’t have any hobbies other than watching television at night. Should I just make something up?
Hobbies and interests are not required on a resume, therefore it’s advisable to exclude your television viewing habits. It’s always best to remain truthful so that you’re not surprised by any questions during the interview process.