If you have space, including interests provides an opportunities for employers to see you as a well-rounded individual with activities and interests outside of school or your professional life. Include interests and activities such as athletics, community service or the arts.
Some general considerations when including interests:
- Do not include interests if it causes your resume to run to another page
- Do not list all your activities and interests. Focus on recent and relevant.
- Be prepared to discuss it if it is on your resume. If you list reading, be prepared to talk about the most recent book your read. If you identify following the stock market, be sure you can address a particular stock that you follow.
- Avoid listing activities or interests that could be seen as controversial to the employer. Often it is safe to avoid politics and religion unless you know the hiring manager well.
- Be prepared to share accomplishments in your volunteer activities.
- Avoid the generic. You want to demonstrate your individuality. Rather than listing spending time with family and friends, focus on your interest in sailing which you often do with family and friends. Most people like to spend time with family and friends but not everyone sails.
- Identifying interests and activities gives the employer an opportunity to connect with you on a more personal level. This is often a critical moment in the interview process.
Utilize your interests and activities to differentiate yourself positively and professionally from other candidates.