Five hobbies that make hiring managers sit up and take notice

 

There’s no doubt that hobbies can make you more employable. Employers see your interests outside of work as a valuable indicator of who you really are. While your experience, education and skills are of course important, your interests tell your potential employer a lot about you and can even make you stand out against a competitor with similar credentials, bagging you the all-important interview.

Alice Kirkland, Design & Marketing Executive at pharma, healthcare and biotech recruitment firm Carrot Pharma, says that listing your interests is an essential part of writing your CV.  

“Hobbies and interests can tell a future employer a lot about a candidate, as well as giving them an insight into how well they’ll fit into their team, and so should always be included on any CV. Hiring managers are nosy people and they want to see what candidates get up to in their spare time.”

Julie Bishop, founder of Jobhop.co.uk, says: “If you are a person of many hobbies, it shows an employer that you’re agile enough to turn your hand to anything. 

“Hobbies give another dimension to you and employers like that, especially because those skills you learn from your hobby can help you within the work environment.”

However, Alice warns against listing generic hobbies such as “socialising” or “watching TV”. 

“Having these hobbies on an application won’t help to sell you to the company. Instead, this section should be used to showcase how much of a diverse, well-rounded person you are and that you do actually have a life outside of work. Plus, people with lots of hobbies tend to be more personable, more willing to learn new skills and often up for a challenge.”

Employers recognise that different hobbies give you a range of additional skills. “Let’s take rock climbing, football and photography, three completely different hobbies, but each one gives you an array of skills," says Julie. “Endurance, strength, teamwork, creativity, patience, trust, management, time keeping, critical thinking, perseverance and more. ”

It doesn't matter if you’ve been doing something for years, or whether you’ve just taken it up. “Explaining to an employer that you’ve just started a hobby shows that you’re not afraid of starting something new, especially if it’s a tough one like rock climbing, for example,” says Julie. "Hobbies make you more attractive to employers."

 

Here’s what your hobbies tell your potential employer about you:

1. Endurance sports: Sporting activities such as long-distance running, cycling, or swimming show that you possess great drive and that you don’t easily give up.


2. Extreme sports: Hobbies such as skydiving, mountain biking or white water rafting demonstrate that you don’t dwell in your comfort zone and that you’re willing to push the boundaries of what others believe is possible.


3. Team games: Taking part in team activities including tennis, netball, or football show that you have commitment, dependability and the ability to work with others. “Great if the position they're looking to join requires a lot of team work,” says Alice.


4. Creative pursuits: Being creative in your leisure time, whether it’s drawing, photography, or knitting, prove that you have a creative mind which is able to approach problems in an imaginative and original way to find innovative solutions. This applies even if the job you’re applying for is not in an obviously ‘creative’ field.


5. Strategic games: Playing chess or spending quiet time doing the crossword highlights a strategic mindset.



When you're next updating your CV, spend some extra time highlighting your hobbies and see the difference it makes.

 

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