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Best hobbies and interests for your CV

13 min read
Best hobbies and interests for your CV
Adding a dash of personality by including hobbies and interests in your CV can help take your CV to the next level. Whether it's a love for GAA sports or a penchant for poetry, show employers that beyond your expertise lies a well-rounded character ready to contribute to their team.

Think of your hobbies and interests as the personal touch that makes your CV come alive. They're not just fillers; hobbies and interests can tell a story about who you are beyond the work experience. Whether you're the strategic mind behind a chessboard, the speedy forward on the pitch, or the creative soul in your art class, hobbies and interests can help add colour to your professional portrait. 

While we're not suggesting you pen a full-blown autobiography, including key hobbies and interests in your CV can be a real game-changer. It's the chance to show a bit of your personality, illustrate your skill-set, make a connection with the reader, and encourage employers to reach out for that all-important job interview. 

Including relevant hobbies and interests can help you create a powerful CV that sets you apart from other applicants. For example, mentioning your involvement in local GAA club activities can help highlight your teamwork skills and community engagement. When your weekends are spent  strumming the guitar with friends, these experiences reflect a blend of dedication and interpersonal skills that many employers may find attractive. 

Hobbies and interests should be added to your CV when you can align your personal interests to the job’s requirements and demands. Additionally, adding information about what you love doing in your CV can be the perfect icebreaker for interviews.

What interests and hobbies should you include on your CV? 

From team sports that highlight collaboration, to artistic endeavours that showcase your self-starter attitude, we’ll explore a diverse range of hobbies and interests and their potential appeal to employers: 

Sports

Incorporating sports into your CV can truly set you apart from the competition, showcasing both your team spirit and personal resilience. If you shine in the athletic arena, don't hesitate to highlight these accomplishments, particularly if you've competed at advanced levels. Including sports-related hobbies and interests can underscore your dedication to both success and teamwork, and your ability to bounce back stronger from setbacks. 

  1. Dance: Adding dance as a hobby on your CV can signal to employers that you understand the connection between physical well-being and mental agility. It presents you as someone who not only enjoys staying active and healthy, but also as someone that brings a dynamic and optimistic energy to the team – just the kind of vibe that's contagious in a positive workplace.
  2. Team sports: In every team sport, from hurling to Gaelic football, your own graft mixes with the squad's flow. Including team sports on your CV can show that you’re able to work with different skills and can step up to lead when it's your turn. Some other great hobbies and interests to include are camogie, rugby, rounders, hockey and basketball.
  3. Swimming: Featuring swimming on your CV can illustrate to employers that you're a master of both discipline and precision. If you're a keen swimmer, including details about your swimming history can convey your dedication to continuous improvement and attention to detail—qualities that are valuable in any professional setting.
  4. Yoga: Whether you're a yoga newbie or can hold a headstand for hours, mentioning yoga on your CV is a great way to show you're serious about staying mentally sharp. It can also signal that balance is important to you, which is great because it shows you can stay cool under pressure and juggle multiple tasks with a level head.
Statistical insight

Thanks to the Irish diaspora, there are over 400 GAA clubs around the world promoting games like Gaelic football in continents outside of Europe, such as North America, Asia and Oceania. Now that’s a lot of cleats! 

Outdoor pursuits

Adding outdoor activities to your CV can show employers that you're tough, creative, and that you make smart decisions. Outdoor activities can take you out of your comfort zone, proving that you're resilient in and out of the workplace. Here are some great outdoor hobbies and interests you might like to include: 

  1. Camping: Camping can indicate your ease with independence and concentration, skills that are valuable for jobs that demand deep focus and minimal distraction. It also suggests you possess strong planning and organisational abilities, crucial for executing tasks efficiently.
  2. Mountain climbing: On your CV, highlighting mountain climbing can underscore your aptitude for trusting in your own abilities as well as in your team's reliability and judgment. While the stakes may not be as high in an office, the skill of placing trust in colleagues is invaluable. Off to The Twelve Bens we go!
  3. Orienteering: Adding orienteering as a hobby or interest can demonstrate your ability to navigate through uncertainty, a parallel to problem-solving in the workplace. It shows that you're capable of assessing a situation, making informed decisions, and taking the initiative to chart a new course when necessary..

Music

Rocking out in a band or keeping it classy in an orchestra is serious business. It's all about creativity and staying sharp because, just like in team sports, one off note can throw the whole gig off track. Plus, playing music under the spotlight means you've got the chops to handle the heat and nail new tricks – skills that are golden in plenty of jobs.

  1. Band or orchestra: Playing in a band or orchestra requires careful teamwork and dedication. Just like in a business, each person's work is vital for the success of both the team.
  2. Songwriting: Songwriting, as both a hobby and a skill, showcases your ability to find the perfect words and express ideas creatively. Similar to crafting a thoughtful email or engaging presentation, songwriting indicates that you possess both creativity and communication skills. Hey, well done, you!
  3. Singing/gigging. You don’t need to sing like Sinead O’Connor to impress employers: experience with singing or performing at gigs can translate to strong presentation and public speaking abilities in your career. Comfort on stage can parallel the confidence required to share and sell your ideas effectively in a professional context, whether it's in a small meeting or a large conference.

Volunteer work

Volunteer activities can enrich the hobbies and interests section of your CV, since they're pursued voluntarily and usually aren't classified as paid work experience. These selfless acts of kindness demonstrate a generous character, and can even complement the accomplishments you've outlined in other sections of your CV.

  1. Charity/fundraising: Including charity or fundraising activities on your CV conveys your passion for helping others, a quality greatly valued in collaborative environments. Ensure you highlight any significant charitable engagements to underscore your altruistic side.
  2. Community events: If you've been active in community events, it shows you’re willing to pitch in and do the hard work for the greater good. This can be a point of connection with an interviewer who values community engagement.
  3. Environmental work: Involvement in environmental efforts reflects a selfless and considerate nature, suggesting that you’re observant and mindful about the broader impacts of your actions.
  4. Coaching/mentoring: If you coach or mentor others, be sure to note this in your hobbies and interests section. Doing this underlines your leadership skills and your ability to positively influence others. Additionally, highlighting your enthusiasm for mentorship can serve as practical proof of your leadership skills.

Artistic activities

As imagery and video take centre stage in our day-to-day lives, having an artistic streak isn't just cool, it's something employers across various fields are starting to really value. Plus, getting artsy is more than just a creative boost—it can be a great go-to for some much-needed stress relief.

  1. Painting/drawing: Staring down a blank canvas and visualising what it could become is all about vision and patience. Not every stroke may be perfect, but each one contributes to the bigger picture — similar to the way long-term projects evolve over time.
  2. Photography/video production: Having the knack for the right shot is rare. If you're good with a camera and capturing moments that tell a powerful story in an instant, you've got a skill that can make any project you work on stand out.
  3. Design: Great design shapes our world, often without us even noticing. If designing is your thing, you'll be bringing a lot of value to the table with your ability to turn a simple concept into something extraordinary.

Writing

We all put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), but for some, the dance of words is second nature. Relishing the careful choice of words isn't just about enjoying language—it's about making a real impact, whether in a top-notch presentation or a killer speech. And let's face it, those with a writer's touch tend to have some serious communication game. Here’s some great writing hobbies and interests to include on your CV:

  1. Blogging: Sharing your thoughts in a blog takes guts, since it requires putting your opinions out there for everyone to see (and critique). It shows you're not afraid to speak up and can handle feedback, a handy trait in any workplace.
  2. Journaling: Writing down your thoughts to wind down from a busy day indicates you're thoughtful and self-aware. People who reflect like this tend to be receptive to feedback and good at tuning into others' needs.
  3. Poetry: When it comes to the business world, less is often more. If you're into poetry, you're likely skilled at saying a lot with just a few words—making your communication stand out for its clarity and impact.

Technology

Got a tech hobby or a keen interest in the latest gadgets and gizmos? That's a secret weapon when it comes to impressing those hiring managers who break a sweat at the thought of tech talk. With so many folks feeling shaky about the latest advancements in technology, being the go-to tech whiz is a big plus in the workplace. 

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Knowing how to engage with AI puts you ahead of the curve, since it's high on the agenda for most companies looking to innovate. Your familiarity with AI could make you stand out in a pile of applications.
  2. Coding: Learning a programming language is a solid investment for the future. While speaking another country's language is great for holidays, coding prowess is shaping up to be a critical skill for tomorrow's workforce.
  3. Stock trading: While it's not a conventional tech hobby, understanding stock trading requires an appreciation for algorithms and market analysis—hard skills that can easily translate to a work's analytical setting. Moreover, it shows that you're someone who's comfortable with taking calculated risks.
Expert tip

Which hobbies and interests are best to leave off your CV? 

  • Avoid including activities related to religion
  • Don’t list risky or illegal activities
  • Skip hobbies that are hard to explain or may leave employers puzzled
  • Ultimately, keep this section short: it’s best to just include a few great hobbies and interests!

Key takeaways

In the future, adding hobbies and interests to your CV will become more common. Employers will appreciate knowing who you are as a person, not just what you've done professionally. This personal touch can help you stay longer in a job and assist employers in determining if you're the right fit for the job.

  1. It’s becoming more common to include hobby and interest sections on your CV, but be sure to include hobbies and interests that authentically showcase who you are.
  2. It’s important to keep this section short and sweet, so list your hobbies and interests in bullet-point form where possible
  3. Choose hobbies or interests that truly represent your strengths or passions. Don’t just list hobbies or interests that sound good!
  4. In an evolving job market, highlighting your personal interests and hobbies on your CV can offer a full picture of who you really are.  Show employers that you're an exceptional individual that brings excellence to the table in and outside of the workplace
  5. Take your CV to the next level with a professional CV template in our online CV builder and start crafting an engaging hobbies and interest section today. Whether you’re an academic or an architect, we’ve got something for everyone!
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Craft a compelling CV in minutes
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Craft a compelling CV in minutes
Craft a compelling CV in minutes
Use expert-approved, professional CV templates built to engage your prospective employers
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