special interests and hobbies

9 Special Interests and Hobbies That Look Good on Your Resume

Does your resume need a revamp?

You have 6 seconds or less to impress with your resume before it gets tossed. You need to stand out against hundreds of other people that are competing for a job. You need to show what makes you different than all the rest.

Special interests and hobbies can show off your personality while adding character and skill to your resume.

Impress hiring managers by adding these 8 hobbies to your lifestyle and resume.

1. Community Involvement

The ability to orchestrate change and take action to help others. These are characteristics of a natural born leader.

Do you organize food drives for charity? Plan school bake sales? Volunteer at a homeless shelter? Help walk or train dogs at a pet shelter?

Community involvement is one of the best hobbies to list on your resume. It shows you care about your local community and have compassion for others.

Get involved with your local community center events and volunteer work. Not only will you feel great about yourself, but it will make a difference in your community and on your resume.

2. Go Green

Showing you care about the environment boasts one’s self-awareness and sustainability.

Clean up a local park, plant trees, or build a garden. This shows you have respect for mother nature and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty. You care about the future of the planet and reducing our carbon footprint.

Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and costs. They want to adopt new ways of treating the environment better.

Take Apple for example. By the year 2020, they plan to use 100% renewable energy.

Be sure to list your environmental efforts and hobbies on your resume. Bonus points if you grow your own food or make your own natural soaps to sell it at a local farmer’s market. This shows entrepreneurship and branding skills.

3. Learning a Language

Spanish? Mandarin? Russian?

Learning a new language shows a desire for knowledge. It’s being open-minded to other cultures and working to expand global communication.

The more languages you have under your belt, the more of an asset you are. Don’t only list languages you have mastered, list languages you are currently learning. Or ones you plan to learn in the immediate future.

Being multi-lingual boosts diversity and can help with business deals. It can also bridge communication gaps in the workplace. Learning Chinese can also result in a 4% increase in your salary.

4. Team Sports

You know what they say about teamwork…it makes the dream work. Join a softball, bowling, or beach volleyball team. Participating in a team sport is one of the most useful hobbies to put on a resume.

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Whether you’re a fierce competitor or only play for fun, sports show a level of commitment. So what if you’ve never won a game…it shows you’re not a sore loser.

The same goes for solo sports such as swimming, cycling, and running. If you run in marathons, this can boost big points on your resume.

Marathon running shows endurance and strength. It shows you can push yourself to the limit. You can set tough goals and achieve them.

Do your sports-related special interests and hobbies include branding uniforms, golf gear, or softball trading pins? Put extras like these on your resume. They will appeal to sports enthusiasts and marketing professionals.

5. Travel

It shows a desire to explore and learn new things. To soak up another form of culture and adapt to new surroundings.

This is about more than laying on a beach soaking up the sun. What activities do you enjoy while traveling? What cultural insights can you share?

Don’t write, “I like to travel.” Give a brief description of the cultures you have experienced, and what you have learned from other countries. Share your love of museums, libraries, geographic monuments, or the opera.

Be specific and share surprising facts about Italian culture or secrets that only the locals know about.

A well-traveled and worldly job candidate also has strong networking skills. They bring forth a contact list of people from all over the world. This is an asset for business development.

6. Photography, Pottery, or Painting

Take up a hobby that promotes a bit of creativity. It shows you can think with both sides of your brain and express yourself without using words. You’re capable of using a different medium to get a message across.

Design-oriented jobs seekers should always add creative hobbies to their resume. It’s a bonus that arts and crafts help relieve stress.

Freelance work relating to your hobbies and interests is always great to see. It shows you can be your own boss and manage your workload.

If you share knowledge by teaching others your craft, be sure to add this to your resume. It shows passion and that you’ve mastered the skill enough to teach it.

7. Creative Writing

Experience in blogging, poetry, and short stories should make its way onto your resume.

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It shows out of the box thinking and imagination. Which translates well into marketing, PR, and social media.

A lover of literature is also good at grammar. Which is always an asset for communications in the workplace.

8. Cooking

Who doesn’t love a good cook?

Cooking as a hobby shows an ability to follow instructions. But also to adapt as needed.

Don’t only list “cooking” as an interest on your resume. Share your experiences in developing your cooking niche.

Are you a pastry chef who is learning cake decorating skills? Do you enjoy trying new recipes from faraway places? Do you specialize in a cooking style, such as the Moroccan tagine?

Include any international cooking techniques, such as learning how to master the art of Singapore cuisine. Experience in teaching a cooking class or attending a food summit should also get included.

9. Go for the Unusual

Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and showcase your unique qualities and attributes. Companies are looking for people who will add character to the culture of their office. Rather than cookie-cutter employees.

Do you have an impressive collection of vintage vinyl records? Are you a whizz at puzzles or crosswords? Do you answer every question right Jeopardy?

Unique hobbies can show you know how to strategize and solve problems. Even something as simple as making your own jewelry and selling it on Etsy can set you apart. It shows small business experience and project management.

Note the difference between unusual, and creepy. Remeber you’re trying to evoke relevant interest from the hiring manager, not bore or scare them. Keep your fetishes to yourself and don’t mention anything political, violent, or illegal.

If you’re an expert in an unusual field, put it on your resume. Then let that freak flag fly.

Use Special Interests and Hobbies to Get Hired

Special interests and hobbies shouldn’t outshine your professional qualifications and experience. They should bring forth your business-savvy skill set.

Rather than just making a list, describe how you have incorporated your hobbies and interests into actions. This section should be at the end of your resume. And keep it short and sweet.

You should never lie on your resume. But you should tailor it to highlight skills and interests which make you the best fit for the job.

Don’t only make these changes on paper. Be sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile as well. Consistency is key when it comes to sharing your resume and skills.