Ask a group of hiring managers whether or not you should include hobbies on your resume, and you’re likely to get several different answers. Some people never look at them. Others find them invaluable. In addition, plenty of managers fall somewhere in between. Given the range of opinions that people in hiring positions have about including hobbies, it can be difficult to make a decision about including them. Although a good hiring manager won’t reject you just because you listed a few hobbies, you should keep the following things in mind when crafting your resume:
—Only include hobbies with a direct connection to the job to which you’re applying. If, for instance, you’re applying for a position that involves design or architectural drafting, mentioning that you draw in your free time shows an employer about a skill that may be useful to them. Talking about your love of watching football when applying for a job teaching kindergarten, on the other hand, is likely a waste of precious resume space.
—Leave off anything that might be controversial. If a hobby gives an employer information that’s a little too personal about you, you’re best served by keeping it off your resume. Likewise, be careful about listing hobbies that have political connotations or about which people tend to have strong opinions.
—Use hobbies to demonstrate that your personality is compatible with the position. Some hiring managers use hobbies to gauge whether a person will be satisfied by the job to which they’re applying. A resume full of active hobbies, like kayaking and marathon running, may raise questions about whether the applicant will be happy sitting at a cubicle answering phones all day. On the other hand, a person applying to a sales position that involves many face-to-face meetings may help their chances by pointing out hobbies that require social interaction.