Resume: what the “hobbies” section reveals

Mentioning at the end of your CV or in your LinkedIn resume that you practice yoga or that you are a passionate photographer allows recruiters to get an idea of who you are. But this information says more about who you are than you might think…

Hobbies on the resume? Pfff, here is the first information to be taken from a well-filled CV, say many. However, hobbies, as long as they are not too vague, are valuable and can score points with recruiters.

Resume hates the wave

“The CV is an advertisement that is intended to lead to an interview,” believes Mathieu Guénette, guidance counsellor and director of professional services at Brisson Legris. That’s why, when you don’t have enough space to describe your professional achievements, you try to avoid the superfluous. However, if you have the space to describe your hobbies, you might as well do it brilliantly.

Just about every hobby reveals skills in the candidate. Being captain of a sports team demonstrates strong leadership. Enjoying video production demonstrates an ability to concentrate and a love of a job well done. Practicing extreme sports demonstrates an interest in pushing one’s limits, an ease with uncertainty and the ability to take calculated risks. Yoga indicates an ability to breathe and relax even in the most tense moments. The passion for gardening shows an interest in nature, a characteristic that is increasingly sought after in companies that want to reduce their environmental footprint .

Even better, some hobbies prove the qualities described in the CV. A candidate for a Branch Manager position who wants to demonstrate his creativity in problem solving would benefit from saying – in addition to his original professional achievements – that he has been scrapbooking for 5 years.

But be careful not to be too vague! “As for opening the door, we might as well open it completely,” says Mathieu Guénette. He advises to write down elements that look like realizations. “I’ve been running marathons” and “I’ve been doing group spinning for five years” are worth more than “Sport,” for example. This shows an iron will, dedication and motivation that is very useful in positions related to business development or sales, for example. Rather than writing “Reading”, a common and vague hobby, Mathieu Guénette recommends adding an element that distinguishes the candidate, such as “I read a scientific magazine every week.

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Hobbies that make you feel good

Although hobbies are not essential, they are facts that make a CV more user-friendly. A bit like the “cherry on the sundae”, the little colourful touch that adds to the picture and shows that the candidate is more than just a sum of skills. Hobbies can also make a nice link between the recruiter and the applicant, an opportunity to find affinities by starting the interview, for example.

The hobby section of the CV also allows you to put a bit of meat around the bone when you have little experience in a particular sector, or when entering the job market. “At 17, it fills the void,” says Mathieu Guénette.

All in all, as a general rule, the worst thing that can happen with hobbies is that they take up space without being read,” notes Mathieu Guénette. Generally, “they have neutral consequences. Unless you really do it on purpose, like revealing your infatuation with the radical far right?

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