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Hobbies and Interests in your CV: Very important

In looking at your CV, especially towards the end, an employer’s eyes easily stray to the hobbies section. What do they expect to see? Normally, people will list hobbies that may not attract the attention of the employer. This is a very dangerous approach because it can knock you out of the shortlisted group. Be careful what to write in this section.

Hobbies and interests are among the optional aspects of the how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) guide. They could be included or excluded, however in the earlier option i.e. where hobbies and interests are a part of the curriculum vitae, be careful about what to write and what to preferably avoid. This is quite obvious, especially considering the relevance of a curriculum vitae in the process of job search and therefore favorable career progression.

The Curriculum Vitae is an imperative tool, which if carefully drafted can open doors to an exciting career with the desired motivations to progress. On the contrary, if not bestowed due relevance, the resume could also act as a hindrance in securing a reasonably good job and thus defining the progressive career path.

It is in fact this attached relevance of a CV which has generated the idea of professional assistance in this domain. Making a resume is a specialist function and to assist with the task, various reputed professionals and consulting agencies have come forward with extensive how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) guides and service cells. These associates, for a reasonable fee, spend quality time with you, take the requisite details as inputs and help craft a well targeted curriculum vitae, to make a mark in the employment market. Free how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) assistance is also provided by various online portals (including us), which again places the requisite emphasis on all necessary components of a resume, thus ensuring no mistakes at any end.
Why is the assistance required?
It might not seem very important to focus specially on the hobbies and interests subheading; after all it is more of an optional statement. Well yes, hobbies and interests are optional to mention, during the ‘how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)’ process, but the seriousness intensifies, if they are mentioned. A curriculum vita is a very precise and important document, with each and every word, carrying its own share of relevance.

The stated holds ground for the hobbies and interests section as well. While on one hand they offer a totality to the overall personality and thus render a better insight for the employer to decide, hobbies and interests could also pose a negative image in case of any exaggeration. For instances, candidates typically write reading books as hobbies and interests and what follows is a question on the kind of books that are of interests and what is the latest candidate has read. At this stage many falter and do not realize that a mere exaggeration or supposed safe mention of hobbies and interests has interfered with the job selection process.

How to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is an important task and even a minor laxity in approach could be harmful; let that be something as un-important as hobbies and interests.
What should a CV Interests section include?
The simple test for including a CV Interests section is:
·         Do my interests include skills/competencies that this job requires, that my existing positions show little or no evidence of?

This test is very relevant when applying for jobs or companies where there is a large requirement for proof of soft skills, such as teamwork - e.g. if you belong to a sports team. They can also add to hard skills - the fact you are not yet a manger in work, but manage a community group would be an additional relevant hard skill.
HR Professionals will look for a balance within a maximum of three hobbies or interests. You must hence always include both quieter / individual pursuits and active / group activities.
However, do think about how your interests might be perceived by other people. ‘I like guns or war’, for instance, does not have a positive image in the public consciousness - being an active member of the forces would be seen as positive.
How to write a CV Interests section
Like every other section in your CV, make your CV Interests section work for you. If it doesn't add to your skills or competencies or make you stand out, it probably detracts from your application. Two things not to do are:
·         Never include a list - say why you enjoy doing that activity
·         Always avoid general statements which could apply to anyone on the job market. I read as a recruiter too many versions of "Reading, watching television and going out with my friends" - everyone does that!
If you do choose to include an interests section, make it work for you and be specific about the skill or soft gain:
·         Avoid "I enjoy reading"
·         Use "I enjoy researching local history, and as well as attending local history meetings, am reading books on Nairobi in the Colonial era (period)."
·         Or "I enjoy reading the works of (X) because I find them a relaxing and enjoyable experience, which exercises my brain."

Make sure that the interests and hobbies section in your CV favors you and gives you an edge over the rest of the applicants. It should be something you can defend if asked any question about it.

We at HCC wish you all the best.

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