Do these personal details belong on your CV at all?

When you're writing your CV, you'll probably consider how – and indeed whether – you should include your hobbies and interests.

But first, how do we define hobbies and interests? A hobby is usually described as something that you enjoy doing in your spare time, whereas an interest doesn't require the same commitment and is generally more passive. Depending on the role, both, either or neither could be included on your CV. We've put together this guide to help you make informed decisions.

When to include hobbies and interests on a CV

Before we look at what interests to put on a CV, let's start with a simple caveat. It's important to remember that there's no obligation to include either hobbies or interests on your CV. Although they used to be expected on any self-respecting CV, they're now seen less and less as focus shifts towards achievements and value. Therefore, a list of hobbies and interests should only be included on your CV if they can boost your candidacy in some way.

For example, if you're established in your career as a Logistics Manager and like reading and watching football, you're not adding anything by including hobbies on your CV. They're not related to your current or future role and make you sound pretty run-of-the-mill. There's absolutely no reason to include hobbies and interests on your CV if doing so won't provide the recruiter with worthwhile information. Keep that firmly in mind when you're making your decision.

On the other hand, there are certain situations where hobbies and interests on a CV can greatly benefit you in your job hunting. For example, if you're just starting out in your career and have little – if any – work experience to put on a CV, a hobbies section can give a recruiter greater insight into your skills and personality. Similarly, if you're changing careers and your hobbies are more relevant to your new direction than your professional experience, some detail in this section can enhance your employability. Additionally, interests can be included to demonstrate your fit with company culture or your knowledge of a subject relevant to the position. 

Which hobbies and interests should you include on your CV?

It's key that any hobbies and personal interests included on your CV are linked to the roles you're targeting. If you're looking to move from food sales to car sales, then mention your interest in vintage vehicles and your hobby restoring old cars. Want a creative career? List your arts and crafts hobbies. Aiming for a manual job? Show you're physically fit by mentioning how you like to run marathons. You get the idea.

Remember, the best hobbies and interests to put on a CV are those which are directly relevant to the role, those which demonstrate transferable skills, and those which align you with the company culture. If you're thinking of including something outside of these categories, stop and ask yourself what value it will add to include them in the hobbies and interests section.

Best hobbies and interests to put on a CV

Looking for some inspiration? To help you decide which hobbies and interests to put on a CV, you might want to look at some examples. Here are some of the best choices you can make, each of which will help add value to your application - as long as they align with the role.

1. Creative pursuits 

If you want to work in the creative field, including hobbies that fall into this category may be the way to go. Options include the likes of painting, arts and crafts, and design, among others. For instance, if you are going for a graphic design role, you could talk about your drawing hobby. 

2. Content creation 

Do you have a blog, a social media channel, or a podcast? If you use your platform to talk about your career or sector, you might want to include mention of it on your CV. Of course, before you include this hobby on your application, you should make sure it's relevant to the vacancy. 

3. Sports teams 

Are you captain of the local football team? Perhaps you love playing netball at the weekend. However you like to stay healthy and socialise, you might want to include it on your next CV. Your active hobby shows that you're a pro when it comes to teamwork. Keep in mind that this inclusion may not be relevant to most roles. Be selective when including it on your CV. 

4. Performing

Whether you're a dancer, singer, or actor, getting up in front of a crowd can be nerve-racking. If you do this regularly, it shows that you're not afraid to put yourself out there. You already have what it takes to be fearless. For roles that contain an element of public speaking or presenting, you might find it's worth putting these hobbies on your CV. 

5. Reading books and articles 

Simply stating that your hobby is “reading” is unlikely to win you any points. Most people enjoy reading and you might as well say that you like watching TV. However, if you subscribe to a sector-specific magazine or read up on things relating to your field, you can include this detail. This shows that you're keen to keep up with the latest industry trends and developments. 

6. Club membership 

Are you part of a club or organisation? When you're considering which interests to put on a CV, you might want to slide these ones in there. Ensure that the club matches with the views and values of the business to which you are applying. You might want to avoid mentioning any organisations that relate to political parties, unless you're certain that they align with the role. 

7. Volunteering 

Do you volunteer at the weekend? If you give your time freely and willingly, now might be the time to shout about it. You might work at a charity shop or help the elderly. Whatever the case, it's often a smart idea to include your volunteer experience on your CV. 

8. Public speaking 

Let's say that you deliver speeches in some capacity. You might give TedX talks or offer career coaching at a community centre. Whatever the case, this is a valuable skill that you should highlight on your next CV. Be specific about when, where, and how you do this. 

9. Running 

If you did Couch to 5K or you're part of a runners' club, you might want to talk about it on your CV. However, before you include this hobby, make sure that it adds something to your application. Should you be applying for an active role — such as a PT at a gym or PE Teacher — you can be sure that this inclusion will help further your application. 

10. Meditation and yoga 

In the busy modern world, we're all looking for ways to slow down. Should you be a fully-fledged yogi or a meditation master, you might want to mention it on your CV. Once again, you need to think about how this comes across to the hiring manager. There may be instances where your headspace talents are useful - for example, if you're applying for a role as a Wellbeing Coordinator, you should include these skills. (Bonus points if you happen to have any awards or qualifications that relate to them!)

Which hobbies and interests should never be included on your CV?

Some hobbies and interests should never be shared with a prospective employer. That's because they could actually hurt your chances of landing the role. Let's break down some of the things that you should never include on a CV (and why!).

Contentious hobbies

Always avoid anything that could be considered contentious – political and religious affiliations are prime examples. Even allegiances to a particular sports team could hurt your chances, if the recruiter favours their rival. Culturally sensitive topics, such as shooting or hunting, should also be avoided. You don't know the hiring manager's viewpoint, so err on the side of caution here.

General hobbies

Additionally, hobbies such as watching films and stamp collecting ‒ whilst they may be enjoyable to you ‒ show very little interactivity, creativity, teamwork or other professional skills. Including these on your CV doesn't add much to the application and will only take up space. Therefore, unless they're highly relevant to the role you're applying for, leave them off.

Quirky hobbies

Do you do something completely wild? Remember that there's a fine line between coming across as quirky and fun and coming across as utterly bonkers. If you list gravy wrestling, you may get called to interview – but possibly not for the right reasons. Before you include this type of interest on your CV, think about what it says about you. 

Fake hobbies

Stay honest and don't add hobbies and interests to your CV just because you think they sound good. If you don't actually have an interest in the hobby you've included, that could work against you. Sure, they may act as an ice breaker for interviews, but you won't feel so clever if the interviewer shares that passion and wants to hold a conversation on a topic you know nothing about. Exaggerating your passion for a certain hobby will get you nowhere fast.

How should I add hobbies and interests to my CV?

If you're wondering how to list hobbies and interests on a CV, this information is generally placed at the very end of the document. Those with minimal professional experience will need to include more detail than those who have acquired skills throughout their career. 

If hobbies and interests are key to your application, give them their own header on your CV. Otherwise, they can be incorporated into the Further Details section, alongside such things as languages, security clearances, and other miscellaneous information.

Examples of hobbies and interests on a CV

If you want to see how to include hobbies and interests on a CV, you've come to the right place. Here are some example formats that will help you along the way.

1) For a recent graduate looking for a job in IT, with no experience in such roles:

Hobbies and Interests

Computer builds: Built several PCs from scratch and researched options for hardware and components

Troubleshooting: Often called on by friends and family to resolve software and networking issues

Web development: Created a website for a local business which increased sales by 20%

Industry news: Subscribe to an industry magazine and read online articles on new IT developments

2) For a parent looking to transition from a career in finance to a role as a Teaching Assistant:

Hobbies and Interests

Volunteering: Running a playground group attended by up to 40 children per session, with responsibility for health and safety, planning activities, and maintaining equipment

Education: Particular interest in special needs education and language teaching

3) For a security industry professional looking to move up the ladder:

Further Details

Security clearance: DBS and SC vetted

Interests: Cybercrime and digital forensics


While hobbies and interests are far from a “must” on CVs, there are times when including them may strengthen your application. Before you do so, consider what these additions will tell the hiring manager about you. Keep in mind that everything you list on your application needs to add some value. If you're simply including your hobbies and interests to take up space, you should rethink your approach. Use our expert guide now to make sure that you get it right.  

Are the hobbies on your CV helping you ‒ or hurting you? Find out by submitting your CV for a free CV review.

The article was originally written by Jen David and has been updated by Charlotte Grainger. 

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