CV Advice

Mastering Your CV: The Ultimate Guide to Showcasing Hobbies and Interests

By Will Etheridge - 21 March 2023

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Your curriculum vitae (CV) is often the first introduction employers have to who you are. This comprehensive document, showcasing your experience, skills, and qualifications, is vital.

But, have you ever wondered, 'should you include hobbies and interests on a CV'? This piece of professional correspondence isn't just about your work experience; it also reflects your personality.

Listing your hobbies and interests on a CV can be the difference between seeming merely qualified or genuinely interesting and well-rounded. This in-depth guide will explore the role of hobbies and interests in CVs and help you understand how to use them effectively.


The Role of Hobbies and Interests in Your CV 

The primary purpose of a CV is to communicate your qualifications for a job. However, by including your hobbies and interests, you add an extra dimension that gives recruiters a glimpse into your personality and life outside of work.

This can be a valuable tool in showing you're not only a good fit for the job, but also the company culture.

Hobbies on a CV serve several purposes. They can indicate your ability to balance work and personal life, providing evidence of good time management and organisational skills.

They can demonstrate your creativity, dedication, or team-spirit, highlighting soft skills not easily conveyed through professional experiences. CV hobbies can also make your application stand out, especially if they're relevant to the role or sector you're applying for.

For instance, someone applying for a creative role who mentions painting or photography as a hobby demonstrates an artistic inclination, even in their free time.

Conversely, a candidate applying for a software engineering role who lists coding or tech-related hobbies on their CV subtly communicates their passion and dedication to the field.

The inclusion of interests and hobbies for CV enrichment, therefore, can potentially strengthen your application and set you apart from other candidates.


Do’s and Don’ts of Including Hobbies and Interests 

When considering what hobbies to put on your CV, keep in mind that it's about showcasing your uniqueness and character. However, it's essential to strike a balance between being personal and professional.


  1. Be Genuine: Authenticity is crucial. Be honest about your hobbies and interests. A genuine passion can lead to interesting conversations during interviews and provides a deeper insight into your personality.
  2. Be Relevant: If possible, list hobbies and interests that are relevant to the job or industry. This shows you have a real passion for the field. For example, blogging or writing for a local magazine can be advantageous for a career in journalism or content marketing.
  3. Demonstrate Skills: Use your hobbies to demonstrate key skills. Captain of a local football team? This hobby shows leadership, teamwork, and strategic thinking.


  1. Avoid Controversial Hobbies: Politics, religion, and other potentially controversial subjects might not be the best interests to put on your CV. They can lead to unintentional bias.
  2. Don't Be Generic: Hobbies like 'reading', 'travelling', or 'music' are common and don't provide much insight into your personality. Try to be more specific - 'reading 19th-century British literature', 'backpacking across Southeast Asia', or 'playing the piano' provide a better view of who you are.
  3. Avoid Irrelevant Hobbies: Unless it offers insight into your skills or personality relevant to the job, avoid including hobbies that may seem irrelevant. The purpose is to enhance your CV, not detract from your professional image.

By carefully selecting and presenting your hobbies and interests, you can help paint a more comprehensive picture of yourself as a candidate - one that extends beyond your professional qualifications and skills.


Tailoring Hobbies and Interests to Different Industries 

The impact of including hobbies and interests on a CV can vary significantly depending on the industry or role you're applying for. It's essential to tailor these sections of your CV to match industry expectations and the specific job's requirements. Here's a breakdown for some popular sectors:

Tech: If you're applying for a role in the tech industry, hobbies that demonstrate your passion and knowledge for technology can be beneficial. Examples include participating in coding bootcamps, building websites, or even creating your own app. These hobbies underscore your interest and ongoing engagement in the sector.

Creative Industries: For roles within the creative industry, such as design, photography, or marketing, your hobbies should reflect your creative abilities and innovative thinking. Art-related hobbies, writing blogs, or even managing a creative social media account can all be effective.

Finance and Business: If you're stepping into the finance or business sector, hobbies showing strategic thinking, attention to detail, and perseverance can be particularly appealing. This could be anything from chess and Sudoku to long-distance running.

Healthcare: In the healthcare sector, employers value dedication, patience, and a willingness to help others. Hobbies that display these traits include volunteering at local charities, tutoring, or coaching a sports team.


Examples of Effective Hobbies and Interests on CVs 

To put theory into practice, let's explore some examples of effective hobby and interest inclusions on CVs for different job sectors:

  1. Marketing Role: "Passionate food blogger with a following of over 2,000 subscribers. Skilled in SEO and social media promotion, with a deep interest in exploring international cuisines."
  2. Software Developer Role: "Regular participant in local coding bootcamps and hackathons. Designed and developed an open-source app to aid time management. Enthusiastic gamer with a love for problem-solving."
  3. Finance Analyst Role: "Keen chess player, participating in several regional tournaments. Enjoy long-distance running and have completed three marathons, demonstrating a commitment to setting and achieving long-term goals."
  4. Nurse Role: "Active volunteer at a local children's charity, responsible for organising monthly events. Part-time yoga instructor focused on promoting health and well-being."

These examples all highlight how hobbies and interests can be tailored to the role you're applying for, offering evidence of applicable skills and qualities.


The Intersection of Hobbies, Interests, and Extracurricular Activities 

It's important to distinguish between hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities when building your CV. While all three can enrich your CV, they offer different insights.

Hobbies are activities you engage in regularly for pleasure during your leisure time, such as reading, painting, or cycling. Interests are broader and may include areas you enjoy but don't necessarily partake in regularly, like technology trends, environmental conservation, or modern art.

Extracurricular activities usually refer to organised activities outside of work or education, such as clubs, societies, or volunteering. They often show a higher level of commitment and can demonstrate an array of skills including leadership, teamwork, and communication.

In essence, all these elements contribute to a well-rounded CV, enhancing your professional qualifications with a personal touch.


CV Wallet: Your Key to a Comprehensive and Impactful CV 

When it comes to crafting a CV that stands out, the world’s first career management app, CV Wallet, can be your best companion. Its AI-powered Careers Hub provides personalised advice for CV writing, helping you effectively present your qualifications, skills, hobbies, and interests.

The app ensures your personal data remains secure, providing you with a decentralised wallet to protect your privacy. It’s free, global, and your ticket to a successful job search journey.

Remember, your CV is more than a list of qualifications; it’s your professional story. So, go ahead, let your hobbies and interests echo your personality, and let CV Wallet amplify your professional voice.

Ready to take your career to the next level?

CV Wallet is the world's first career management app. Our suite of tools is built to make finding your dream job faster and easier.

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