What Interests Look Good On a Resume

Hobbies Can Help

Your favorite hobby may be a way to help build your resume.

As you start to use Resume Builder, you may worry that your resume will be too short. Don't despair if the Employment History section is a bit brief. Checking the little box that says, "Do not include my Employment History on my resume" is not necessarily a bad thing.

You may not have had a paying job, but that doesn't mean you haven't developed any skills. Your love of hockey or skill on a skateboard could actually help build your resume.

Susan Ireland is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume. She notes that the less work history you have, the more you should include related pastimes. "What you do in your unpaid time may say more about who you are than what you do for employment."

Show Your Potential

The key is to list extracurricular activities that relate to your employment objective. "Once you figure out the kind of work you want to do, you should show you have the skills needed for that job," says Ireland.

"You may want to mention you play video games 20 hours a week, but only if you are applying for a job in a video game store. You most likely want to leave that off if you plan to babysit."

Looking for an office job? "If you have computer skills that are highly important to your next job, you can highlight them by creating a special section for them," says Ireland. "Your list may include hardware, software, programming languages, systems and networks."

Good-Looking Activities

Certain skills are equally attractive to all employers. Candace Davies is a professional resume writer based in Alberta. She suggests you include pastimes that show initiative, leadership and teamwork.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) provides career help for college graduates. Its website says recruiters like to see proof of leadership experience. So, if you edit the school paper or are captain of the football team, you may want to mention that on the resume.

Employers won't assume you are honest and hardworking -- you have to prove it to them on your resume. "If they are hiring someone to deliver pizzas, they want people who have shown they can commit to something," says Ireland.

Volunteer? If so, you'll definitely want to list your volunteer experience. Many employers regard it as worthy in and of itself.

What to Leave Off

Many people would be impressed by the ability to snowboard blindfolded or rap in Ukrainian. But that doesn't mean you'll want to put these accomplishments on your resume.

"Showing your competitive nature through your involvement in sports may work if you want a sales position," says Ireland. "But it might not for other jobs."

Davies feels that, in most cases, it isn't wise to admit to things like watching TV. 'They don't show teambuilding or leadership skills."

Be sure that activities you do include have obvious value to your potential employer. And if you don't think the employer will care, don't put it in there!

Where Does It Fit?

In the Resume Builder, you would put your hobbies and activities in the Accomplishments and Activities section.

But don't just list the hobbies without any explanations. Show what you accomplished in that activity. Take a look at Jane Doe's resume.

If Jane had just put "baseball coach" on her resume, potential employers would never know that she coordinated the team's 20-game schedule, managed the team budget and led the team to their first ever national championship.

Clearly describing the skills you developed through your extracurricular activities will make your resume stand out. And a winning resume will get you through to the next stage of the hiring process -- the job interview -- and give you chance to sell yourself in person.


Jane Doe
123 Main St.
Seattle, WA 55555


Employment Objective



Planning recreation and entertainment activities; giving information on events and procedures; planning education and training programs; evaluating athletes' skills, and recommending position assignment of players

Education and Training

· 04/2005 High School, Grade 10, Seattle High, WA


· Led peewee baseball team to Peewee National Championship in 2005

· Managed peewee baseball team's budget

· Coordinated peewee baseball team's 20-game schedule

· Received Peewee Coach of the Year award in 2005

References available upon request.


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