9 Good Hobbies and Interests to Write In Resume

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

Last updated:

From my time knee-deep in the HR industry, I’ve noticed something pretty cool. A well-placed hobby or interest on your resume can really make you stand out from the pack. However, I’ve also seen a ton of candidates skip over this or they toss it in without much thought.

Hobbies & Interests to Put in a Resume

Don’t worry. That’s exactly why I wrote this post. Reading on, you’ll get the scoop on how to choose which personal interests & hobbies for a resume and how to make them work.

Why You Should Put Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

Why would I include something so unrelated to work? You might be thinking. It may seem irrelevant at first glance. However, this can give recruiters valuable insights and make your application stand out.

Your hobbies can demonstrate skills that are highly valued in the workplace.

What Are Your Personal Interests?

For instance, if you’re into photography, it shows your ability to learn new techniques and pay attention to detail. If you play a team sport, it highlights your capacity for collaboration and teamwork. Or maybe you’re an avid reader, which implies strong comprehension and analytical abilities.

I’m not saying you should list every single thing you enjoy doing in your personal life. That’s not the point. You must carefully choose what to include and present it in a way that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.

The end goal here is to give potential employers a more well-rounded view of who you are as a person. This goes beyond just your professional qualifications. It’s a chance to showcase transferable skills and personal traits that could make you an asset to the company.

When to Include Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Sometimes, those personal details could give your application a nice boost. There are also instances where they might not be as impactful.

If you’re someone with minimal professional experience under your belt, it can be a smart move. It allows you to showcase your personal qualities that could appeal to potential employers. The same goes for job descriptions that explicitly ask about hobbies or outside interests. It’s a clear sign that the company values understanding candidates on a deeper level.

Put Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

There are also cases where a role might require certain traits or abilities that align with specific hobbies. Let’s say you’re applying for an event planning position. Talking about how you love organizing community gatherings or fundraisers could work in your favor.

On the flip side, there are situations where the interests might not be as relevant or necessary.

For a highly specialized or senior-level role, the focus is likely to be more on your expertise and achievements. Or maybe you’re applying for a short-term or contract-based gig. Unfortunately, this is where personal details might not carry as much weight.

The key takeaway here is to use your best judgment. Hobbies and interests can certainly make your resume more attention-grabbing, but they’re not a magic bullet. You must strike the right balance and tailor your approach to the opportunity you’re pursuing.

Differences Between Hobbies and Interests

While hobbies and interests often go hand-in-hand, don’t treat them as complete synonyms. They both reveal a lot about you as a person, but there’s actually a key difference between the two.

Hobbies are activities you do for fun and pleasure in your free time. Painting, gardening, playing an instrument – anything you pursue purely because you enjoy it. They’re more on the recreational side.

Interests, on the other hand, can be a bit broader. Sure, some of your hobbies likely overlap with your interests. But interests can also encompass topics you’re passionate about or pay close attention to.

This applies even when you don’t actively “do” them. For example, you might have a strong interest in environmental issues or ancient history, even if you don’t have a related hobby.

The distinction may seem minor, but it’s an important one to understand. This is especially true when considering what personal tidbits to include on your resume.

Hobbies And Interests Examples To Put On Resume

How to Select Them

Here’s the deal: you can’t just throw every single thing you enjoy doing on that page. That’s a surefire way to overwhelm the recruiter and bury the truly relevant details.

The hobbies and interests you list need to check a few key boxes. First, they should tell the employer about their passions and personalities relevant to the role.

You’ll also want to consider how your interests might demonstrate you’re a good fit for that specific company’s culture and values. If you’re applying to an outdoorsy brand, listing hiking or rock climbing as interests show an active lifestyle that aligns with their ethos.

Finally, the best hobbies to include are ones that make you look good on paper and potentially benefit the workplace environment. If you volunteer as a youth mentor, for instance, your leadership qualities could be an asset.

9 Common Categories of Hobbies and Interests to Put in a Resume

Lifestyle Hobby Passion

Community Involvement

Being involved in local volunteer work or organizations is a solid choice. It shows you value civic engagement and can collaborate well toward shared goals. Employers will see you as socially conscious and team-oriented.

Creative Outlets

Photography, painting, writing – creative hobbies like these can be smart picks. They often suggest an imaginative personality and strong attention to detail. Perfect for roles where you need to think outside the box.

Cultural Interests

Learning languages, traveling, or exploring new cultures are hobbies that highlight valuable traits in any modern workplace. We’re talking open-mindedness, adaptability, and an appreciation for diversity.

Intellectual Pursuits

Reading, chess, or attending lectures demonstrate an inquisitive, analytical mind. This is a definite plus for jobs requiring top-notch problem-solving skills.

Professional Affiliations

Being part of an industry group or taking courses related to your field is always worth mentioning. It shows a drive for continuous learning and growth within your profession, which hiring managers always look for.

Athletic Pursuits

Active hobbies like team sports, hiking, or training for marathons can be great to include. They exhibit qualities like discipline, perseverance, and a collaborative spirit. They’re ideal for showcasing your drive and teamwork abilities to succeed.

Hands-On Hobbies

Woodworking, home brewing, gardening—any hobby where you use your hands can work well. These activities demand plenty of patience and a knack for problem-solving, which translate nicely to many work environments.

Leadership Roles

Have you ever held a leadership position in a club or mentorship program? If yes, by all means, highlight it. It instantly communicates skills like responsibility, people management, and initiative, all extremely marketable strengths.

Social Causes

A keen interest in social issues can indicate a passionate, socially conscious individual. Conveying these values is a definite plus for companies prioritizing corporate social responsibility.

12 Examples to Showcase Different Skills

Problem-solving Skills

Everyone loves a problem solver. It isn’t just about fixing issues but also about approaching challenges with a cool head and a sharp mind. You can prove that with these activities:

  • Chess
  • Puzzle games (like Sudoku or crossword puzzles)
  • Brain teaser apps
  • Programming and coding competitions
  • Escape rooms
  • Building models or complex LEGO sets
  • Participating in hackathons


business team discussing project

Being a team player is all about collaboration and being able to mesh well with others to achieve shared goals. If this sounds like you, consider these examples of interests and hobbies:

  • Team sports (like soccer, basketball, or volleyball)
  • Band or orchestra
  • Improv or theater groups
  • Rowing
  • Volunteering for community projects
  • Book clubs
  • Online gaming leagues

Communication Skills

Effective communication is the glue that holds all successful teams and projects together. It’s key whether you’re giving a presentation or just chatting it up at the water cooler. Here are some good hobbies to put on your resume that can get your point across:

  • Blogging or podcasting
  • Public speaking or debate clubs
  • Hosting events or meetups
  • Foreign language learning
  • Acting or improv
  • Running social media campaigns
  • Storytelling workshops


When you aim to showcase your creative chops on your resume, think about things that let your imagination and originality shine.

  • Painting and drawing
  • Creative writing or blogging
  • Playing musical instruments
  • DIY crafting
  • Pottery making
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Cooking or baking
  • Dancing
  • Fashion design or tailoring

Leadership Skills

Examples Of Leadership At Work

Don’t think of leadership as just telling others what to do. What employers are finding is the ability to inspire and bring people together. If you’ve got hobbies that put you in the driver’s seat, guiding others and making decisions, be sure to list them.

  • Coaching a sports team
  • Leading a scouting group
  • Organizing community events or meetups
  • Managing a book club or discussion group
  • Running a workshop or training session
  • Captaining a sports team
  • Serving as an officer in a club or association

Analytical Skills

Are you good at numbers, patterns, or critical thinking? Then you show it off with activities like these:

  • Chess playing
  • Programming or coding
  • Electronics or model building
  • Playing strategic games or puzzles
  • Investing in stocks or cryptocurrencies
  • Historical research or genealogy
  • Collecting items based on data or features, like stamps or coins
  • Fantasy sports management

Technical Skills

Flaunting your technical skills through your hobbies is a no-brainer for snagging a role that values this expertise.

  • Coding and programming projects
  • Building computers or robots
  • Video game development
  • Operating ham radios
  • 3D printing
  • Digital photography and photo editing
  • Website design
  • Blogging about tech trends

Research Skills

For those who love diving deep into data, absorbing stacks of articles, and emerging with newfound knowledge, showcasing your research skills can set you apart. Here is a list of hobbies and interests that can highlight your analytical mind:

  • Genealogy
  • Chess
  • Bird watching
  • Collecting (coins, stamps, etc.)
  • Reading scientific journals
  • Experimenting with DIY physics or chemistry projects
  • Writing academic articles or papers
  • Historical reenactment
  • Astronomy
  • Participating in quiz bowls or trivia nights

Interpersonal Skills

If you’re the person everyone comes to for advice, or if you just love being around others, these hobbies can showcase that:

  • Coaching a sports team
  • Participating in debate clubs or public speaking groups
  • Acting in community theater
  • Organizing social events or meetups
  • Teaching or tutoring
  • Mentoring young professionals or students
  • Hosting a podcast or a YouTube channel
  • Playing team sports
  • Leading a book club

Organizational Skills

If you find joy in keeping things neat and perfectly timed, you’re a catch for employers, too. Here’s how you can subtly brag about these skills:

  • Event planning
  • Gardening
  • Collecting – whether it’s stamps, coins, or art
  • Volunteer work coordinating
  • DIY projects


Being adaptable is a superpower in a world where the only constant is change. Show off this skill by listing hobbies that involve new challenges and dynamic environments:

  • Traveling
  • Learning new languages
  • Trying out new sports or fitness trends
  • Engaging in improvisation theater
  • Participating in hackathons
  • Writing a blog focused on a variety of topics
  • Adventure gaming

Work Ethic

It’s always a good idea to show you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get the job done. Here are some hobbies that can scream that:

  • Marathon running
  • Mountaineering
  • Volunteering at local shelters or community centers
  • Restoration of cars or furniture
  • Long-distance biking
  • Creative writing or poetry

How to Mention Hobbies and Interests on a Resume


The first step is figuring out if it’s worth adding that section in the first place.

  • Ask yourself: Do you have enough solid work experience to let my professional accomplishments do the talking? Or are you changing careers, a recent grad, or don’t have much relevant job history yet? If it’s the latter, listing some personal passions could help fill those gaps.
  • Once you’ve determined that hobbies and interests are a go, it’s time to brainstorm. Jot down 10-20 activities, causes, learning experiences—anything that reflects your true interests and personality. Don’t censor yourself yet; just get that raw list going.
  • Next up, you’ll want to tailor that master list to the specific role and company you’re pursuing. Pull up that job description and scan it for any required skills or “nice-to-have” experiences that some of your hobbies align with. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing gig at a global company, having an interest in world cultures or languages could be a major plus.
  • Speaking of company fit, do a quick search on their website’s About or Culture pages. Try to identify any core values or personality traits they seem to prioritize. Maybe it’s all about innovation and creative thinking. Or collaboration and community engagement. Any hobbies or interests that vibe with those ideals are solid bets.
  • As you narrow it down, think about specific examples or details you could include to expand on each hobby in a meaningful way. For example, if you list volunteering, maybe remind yourself of the time you organized a big fundraising event. Or if it’s painting, maybe you won an award or participated in an outdoor art exhibition. Those sorts of real-life examples can seriously elevate your hobby from bland to compelling.

Putting Everything Into Words

Now that you’ve identified which hobbies and interests to spotlight, it’s time to weave them into your resume. Here are some effective methods.

Personal Statement

Your personal statement or professional summary at the top is prime real estate for giving employers a well-rounded snapshot of who you are. A great place to briefly touch on pertinent hobbies or interests that reinforce your key strengths and values.

For example:

  • “IT Director with 5 years leading transformative tech initiatives for multinational corporations. Expert in digital transformations and cybersecurity enhancements. I am also a passionate volunteer coder for [Nonprofits X], where I leverage my technical skills to support technological solutions that advance their missions. This involvement keeps me abreast of cutting-edge technologies and enhances my leadership skills in diverse team environments.”
  • “Strategic HR Vice President with extensive experience in building inclusive work cultures and streamlining HR processes for Fortune 500 companies. Certified in Conflict Resolution and Emotional Intelligence. I dedicate my weekends to mentoring young professionals in my community, focusing on leadership development and career planning, reflecting my commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent in the corporate landscape.”

Education Section

For recent graduates, this is the main real estate to highlight extracurriculars and personal interests. Clubs, sports teams, volunteer gigs—listing that stuff shows you’re a well-rounded person with skills beyond just academics.


University of Chicago

Master of Business Administration

  • Relevant Coursework: Strategic Leadership, Financial Decision Making, Organizational Change.
  • Activities: Vice President of the Entrepreneurship Club, Member of the Consulting Case Competition Team.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Sustainable living, podcasting on leadership topics.

Stanford University

Master of Science in Management Science & Engineering

  • Relevant Coursework: Decision Analysis, Risk Analysis, Project Management.
  • Activities: President of the Data Science Club, Organizer of the Annual Tech Symposium.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Developing open-source coding projects and mountain biking.

Work Experience

You can sometimes slip hobbies and interests into the bullet points under your job descriptions, too.

Ensure they directly tie into skills or experiences that made you better at that role. But don’t shoehorn stuff in just for the sake of it. Your actual work duties still need to be the main focus here.


  • Spearheaded a community garden project, leading to an increase in local participation by 40%.
  • Implemented educational workshops on sustainability, impacting over 300 community members annually.
  • Contributed articles on the latest tech trends to a community newsletter, reaching 500+ subscribers monthly.

Dedicated Section

This is probably the most common way to showcase hobbies and interests. Something like “Personal Interests” or whatever you want to call it.

The key here is keeping it tight and focused. 3-5 bullet points max. You’re just trying to tease and pique the employer’s curiosity about your personality, not drown them in personal deets.


Hobbies and Interests

  • Golf: Regular participant in charity golf tournaments and member of the Silverlink Golf Club. This interest aids in networking and building relationships within the business community.
  • Reading: Avid reader of historical non-fiction and leadership books. This hobby enhances my analytical thinking and provides insights into effective team management and decision-making.

Tips for Writing About Your Hobbies & Interests

There’s an art to talking up your non-work pursuits on a resume. You’ve got to walk that fine line between giving a glimpse into your genuine personality and turning it into a total snoozefest. Here are some tips to keep it compelling:

  • Be authentic, not phony. Don’t just list stuff because it “looks good” – talk about the activities you care about. Recruiters can smell fakery from a mile away.
  • Put a unique spin on it. Maybe you’re into urban exploration photography or obsessed with that niche Japanese card game. Highlight the offbeat hobbies that make you stand out.
  • Show your passion. Don’t just say, “I’m into rock climbing.” Describe how you’ve tackled some crazy tough trails or spent months preparing for an epic mountain trek. Paint that motivating picture.
  • Make it relevant. Always tie things back to skills valued in that job or industry. If it’s a team-focused role, discuss hobbies showcasing leadership or collaboration.
  • Quantify achievements. Instead of “I enjoy painting,” say something like “Award-winning oil painter with works featured in 3 local galleries.” Numbers give it more oomph.
  • Keep it tight. Resist the urge to ramble with lengthy backstories or anecdotes. 1-2 crisp, compelling lines per hobby is plenty.
  • Avoid divisive topics. Polarizing political/religious affiliations or anything potentially controversial is best avoided on a resume.
  • Cut if needed. If space is tight, those personal deets should be the first things to go. Better to use that space for core professional qualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Soft and Hard Skills Relate to Hobbies and Interests?

They can showcase both soft skills like creativity or teamwork and hard skills like coding or public speaking. The trick is making smart connections between personal interests and workplace abilities.

How Many Hobbies Should I List on My Resume?

Just a few well-chosen ones. Be selective and strategic. Only pick up to two or three that genuinely reflect your skills and personality.

What Format Should I Use to Display My Hobbies and Interests on My Resume?

Stick to bullet points. They’re clean, simple, and match the rest of your resume’s layout. A bullet list makes it easy for anyone to scan and instantly get a sense of who you are outside the nine-to-five.

What Interests and Hobbies Should I Include When I Don’t Have Much Work Experience Yet?

Highlight involvement in clubs, sports, volunteer work – anything showcasing transferable strengths like leadership, dedication, or ability to juggle commitments. Those stand out when you lack much experience.

What Are the Most Valuable Hobbies and Interests?

This one’s tricky because it depends on the job you’re targeting. However, universal picks like volunteering demonstrate a big heart and strong ethics. Side activities that involve leadership, like organizing community events, always stand out.

You might also like:


Remember, those seemingly minor interests and hobbies for resumes can speak volumes of  your value and make you memorable to potential employers. It’s such an easy yet often underused way to enhance your profile. I’m glad we could walk through how to do it right. Hopefully, you’ve picked up some useful tips to apply in your job hunt.

Share on:
Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

Leave a Comment