June 13

Should You Include Hobbies and Volunteer Work on Your Resume?

A question that comes up periodically that I wanted to address is people wonder whether they should include any hobbies or volunteer work on their resume. The short answer is: it depends. Most of the time, these things won’t hurt your chances of landing a job interview. However, you have to be smart about what you include. If you are at an executive level, leave them off. If you are entry level or professional level, or a non-corporate profession hobbies and volunteer work can be used to help your chances, but you need to keep these tips in mind.

Be Smart About Which Hobbies to Include

Stay away from including any hobbies revolving around politics or religion. Both of these are controversial topics, and can hurt your personal branding. There are very few jobs out there where including these types of hobbies could actually help your chances of getting an interview. Otherwise, you’re taking a big risk of offending the person reviewing your resume. You don’t want them to throw your resume aside because of your political or religious views.

Volunteer Work is Generally Good to Include

volunteer work on your resumeThere generally isn’t anything wrong with incorporating volunteer work or community outreach into your resume. In fact, most of the top rated resume writing services will encourage you to include community involvement over hobbies. Volunteering demonstrates to a potential employer that you like to be active in the community. The more well rounded you are, the better you will appear on paper. Volunteering is also a great way to network, so there is a business aspect to it.

Focus on Hobbies Beneficial to the Job

Make sure the hobbies you include on your resume pertain to the job in some way. If you are going for a horticulture role and in your free time grow a specific kind of plant, then yes, add that. For example, it won’t do any good to talk about your passion for cooking if you’re searching for an executive job. However, if you frequently play golf, it could be attractive since companies like to take clients or business partners out for golf if they share the same passion.

A good rule of thumb to go by is hobbies won’t be the reason you get an interview, but they can be the reason you don’t get one. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with the hobbies or volunteer work section of your resume.

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.


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