Using Your Hobbies to Help You Get a Job

You likely have a hobbies and interests section on your resume. Having this section is important ONLY if you can show how your leisure pursuits are relevant to your professional life. Consider the following points and then evaluate if you are using your interests effectively in your search for employment.

Pick the Right Interests to Feature

You may have a lot of interests but not all of them are relevant to the type of job you want. Not all of them can show a potential employer that you have skills or experience that will benefit you in your profession. Identify those interests that are going to demonstrate what you can do in a work setting in your chosen (or preferred) field.

Demonstrate Growth

Demonstrate how you have grown at your hobby. If you play an instrument, try to quantify your proficiency. Do you play in a band? Do you follow a particular curriculum and what level have you achieved?

Think About How You Got Started

What was the catalyst for you interest? That trigger may also trigger your career. Passion projects can turn into jobs.

Try to understand what piqued your interest in the first place. When and how did the interest surface? Then, what made you develop a passion? How do you organize your time on the hobby? The more you understand how you developed an interest in something, the more you use the same methods in your professional life.

5. Remember – Hobbies Reflect Character

How might your hobbies show off who you are? Maybe your hobby is something like stamp collecting or pottery, something that shows you’re capable of working solo and being independent. Maybe it’s something entrepreneurial that shows you can take the initiative.

Show You Can Prioritize

Do you have more than one interest? Did/do you pursue these interests while working, going to school, or juggling other priorities or responsibilities, like family, social life, etc? How many hobbies do you have and have you had to give any up? If so, why?

Which hobby has stuck with you the longest? Are there any interests that you developed in childhood that are still part of who you are today? Know how to answer these questions. You are demonstrating that you know how to prioritize your tasks and manage your time wisely. If you can show that you have an awareness for which leisure pursuits are most important to you and can tell someone why you prioritize certain hobbies over others, you are showing them that you will likely have the ability to do the same thing in your work life.

Get Feedback about Your Hobby

A hobby can be a reflection of your personality. Ask people in your circle who will be honest with you what your particular hobbies and the way you practice/enjoy them, say about you. They may give you valuable insight that you can weave into an interview, or, their answers may suggest that it would be best to leave a particular hobby off the resume and out of the interview conversation completely.