Why personal interests on a resume are a waste of time

Why personal interests on a resume are a waste of time

“I enjoy long walks on the beach, hiking with my family, and playing soccer in my spare time.” Is this a resume, or your online dating profile? It baffles us as to why people think it is important, and even appropriate, to include your personal interests on your resume.

Whatever your argument is – we’ve already heard it. You want the hiring manager to view you as a real person. You want to use your hobbies as interesting talking points in an interview. You want to strike something in common with the hiring manager to get the conversation started. These are all fair points, we will give you that, but it’s still not enough to warrant including your personal interests on your resume.

At the end of the day, including personal interests on your resume is generally a waste a time. Notice the word generally, because yes – sometimes your arguments prove to be true. Sometimes a hobby is a great talking point in an interview, sometimes you will find common ground with the hiring manager, but at the end of the day – is this information the best you have to put on your resume?

Waste of Space

In a resume, you have about two pages to wow the hiring manager. Use this space effectively. Focus on your professional achievements and experience as this is what will qualify you for the role – not your love of biking.

Unrelated Information

You are using your resume to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job. The fact that you’re an avid runner, does not qualify you for the job unless you’re applying to work at The Running Room.

If you have a personal interest that is directly related to your professional career, then you should definitely include it.

For example – if you are an event coordinator who volunteers your time to coordinate charity events for a local organization, you will show that you demonstrate your professional skills in and out of the office. That is a great piece of information for the hiring manager to know.

You’re Not Interesting

One of the biggest pet peeves for hiring managers when it comes to personal interests on a resume is that they are always the same. You play a sport and like to be outdoors. There is nothing thrilling about that information.

A suitable time to make an exception and include your personal interests on your resume is if they are unique and interesting. Mentioning that you are a former Olympian is definitely unique on a resume; it will catch the hiring manager’s attention and will be a great talking point in the interview.

There is No Value

Every single line on your resume should earn its place there. Think of it like valuable real estate. You don’t want to put something on your land that won’t yield a return on your investment. The value of your personal interests on your resume is lacking in comparison to the value of your professional experience or academic background.

Therefore, it is beneficial to you to expand on the information in those areas, rather than including your hobbies and interests in your resume.

If you take a look at our Resume Samples, you will see that we don’t include personal interests and hobbies on our resumes unless the information is relevant and pertinent for the individual. If you need help and guidance on what to include on your resume, sign up for a free resume review today.

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Comment (1)

  • ana Reply

    Around here (Southern Europe), it is encouraged to have some personal interests in the resume, as long as they are not to massive or a main focus – but an extra. and not playing soccer or going to the movies. they can be valuable if for example, you read and write as freelance and youre applying to as librarian. That sort of things, that you like as an hobby and your employer can value your motivation since you are going to put in part of that motivation naturally when applying as a job. When i aplied for a geographic related position, it was well seen the fact i was a mountaineer. I guess it depends on where you are and what job you are applying to. As long as you dont load that with personal interests. But if your hobbys are somehow related, usually around here they are a plus. Not a biiiig one, but still a plus.

    July 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

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