3 key takeaways:
- The benefits of listing relevant interests and hobbies on your resume
- 150+ categorized examples of hobbies and interests
- How to list hobbies and interests professionally on your resume
As you work through all of the “must-have” sections on your resume, you may find yourself getting to the end and thinking, “Have I given the hiring team any information or insight into my personal interests in my free time and who I am as a person?”
As you work through all of the “must-have” sections on your resume, you may find yourself getting to the end and thinking, “Have I given the hiring team any information or insight into who I am as a person?”
Enter: the “Interests” section of your resume.
How do you add your interests and hobbies for resume details without drawing attention away from the most important details? And what should you even include? Read on for helpful resume tips on all of the above, in addition to 150+ creative hobbies you can use as inspiration throughout your job search.
Is it unprofessional to list hobbies and interests on a resume?
Highlighting hobbies and interests on resumes can help you stand out and demonstrate your personality, creativity, and unique strengths.
Rather than being unprofessional, listing hobbies and interests on a resume can be a way to showcase yourself as a whole person and not just your work experience or education.
And while there may be some cases where listing hobbies and interests on a resume may not be appropriate or relevant, it can help you stand out and showcase your unique qualities and abilities.
As long as the hobbies and interests are presented in a professional, and they're relevant to the job you're applying to, they can be a valuable addition to a resume.
Why you should list hobbies and interests on your resume
People often make mistakes when crafting their resume and leave out important details.
The "Interests" section of your resume is an opportunity to show a potential employer a little bit more about who you are and what you do in your spare time, as they relate to the job description, in a few critical ways:
1. Resume hobbies showcase a multidimensional person
We're more than our work experiences and skills, and including your unique hobbies and interests on your resume can present a more well-rounded idea of who you are as a person.
For example, let's say a hiring manager is making a decision about the last candidate they'll bring in for an interview. They're deciding between two people with the same level of experience and the same skill set—you and another applicant. You've included a few details about your interests. Suddenly, you're a person with a personality and a bit of depth—a small addition that got you to the next round of the hiring process.
2. Resume interests offer culture insight
There are many companies on the lookout for applicants with unique character or personality traits. Listing hobbies and interests on a resume is an easy way for hiring managers, recruiters, and potential employers to get a glimpse into who you are as a person and how well you'll relate to the company's work culture.
3. Hobbies and interests add depth to limited experience
If you're writing a resume with no work experience under your belt, or you've just graduated and are on the lookout for your first role, listing your hobbies and interests can help to fill in the blanks of any limited skills.
If some of these hobbies include community involvement through volunteering or being a part of an association or networking group, they could speak to you being a team player and highlight your leadership skills.
How are hobbies and interests different from each other?
Interests and hobbies are closely related and often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.
Interests refer to the broader range of activities or subjects that you enjoy or find engaging, while hobbies are more specific activities that you pursue for enjoyment or relaxation. And while there is some overlap between interests and hobbies, hobbies tend to be more specific and hands-on, while interests may be more intellectual or broad-based.
Examples of how hobbies and interests for a resume are different
Hobbies tend to be more hands-on activities that someone actively pursues
Interests can be more passive engagement with a topic or subject area
Hobbies are often done for relaxation or creative expression
Interests are pursued more for intellectual stimulation or expanding one's knowledge
Hobbies require setting aside time specifically to engage in the activity
Interests can be satisfied through more flexible or occasional engagement, like reading or attending events
Hobbies produce tangible results like a painting, knitted scarf, or piece of furniture
Interests produce more intangible rewards like satisfying curiosity or gaining new perspectives
Hobbies tend to have a process or involve developing skills
Interests are more about appreciation and understanding
Benefits of having hobbies and interests
At the end of the day, both interests and hobbies can provide a source of enjoyment and fulfillment outside of work or other obligations. They can also offer opportunities for:
- Personal growth
- Skill development
- Stress relief
- Mental breaks from daily routines and challenges
- An enhanced sense of identity and self-awareness
- Boosting overall well-being
What kind of hobbies should you put on your resume?
The simple answer: include hobbies and interests relevant to the job you're applying for and that show your value.
Here are a few tips on what kind of hobbies and interests to include:
- Look for hobbies and interests that align with the job requirements and highlight your strengths.
- Show a range of interests by including a mix of personal interests that demonstrate different aspects of your personality and skills.
- Think about the company culture and values and choose hobbies and interests that fit with them.
- Be mindful of the hobbies and interests you include and avoid ones that may be controversial or could be perceived as inappropriate.
- While including hobbies and interests can be a great way to stand out and showcase your personality, it's important to keep it concise and relevant.
With these tips in mind, let’s take a look at some of the different types of interests and hobbies that would be suitable for a resume.
Best types of interests and hobbies for a resume
The best hobbies for your resume will ultimately depend on the nature of the role, the organization’s culture, and which types of experiences matter to the position—you should always tailor your resume for every role. But generally speaking, there are certain hobbies and interests that are strong indicators of different skill sets that can strengthen your candidacy.
Here are some great types of interests and hobbies that can often be strong additions to a resume:
By engaging in community projects or local councils, volunteering, outreach work, supporting local organizations with your time, youth mentorship, (and more!) community involvement shows that you're not just confined to your own professional and personal life but also concerned about the well-being of others around you.
Listing volunteer work, community service, or other meaningful extracurricular activities on your resume can show interpersonal skills like empathy, compassion, and the desire to make a positive impact on the world.
Community involvement can also demonstrate that you're a team player, have leadership potential, and have a strong work ethic. It reflects your ability to engage with diverse groups and collaborate towards common goals—valuable traits in any employee.
Community involvement can add value to your resume by:
- Highlighting management capabilities
- Presenting event coordination skills
- Emphasizing public speaking skills
- Showcasing empathy and social responsibility
- Signaling a cooperative and compassionate team member
Creative hobbies like painting, writing, or performing arts not only enrich your personal life but also have a place on your resume if they're relevant to the role you're applying to.
These pursuits often require critical thinking and problem-solving, which are key in many professional settings. They show that you have a strong imagination, an eye for aesthetics, a desire to express yourself in unique ways, the ability to think outside the box.
Creative pursuits can add value to your resume by:
- Underscoring your ideation, innovation, and the application of abstract concepts to real-world scenarios
- Showcasing proficiency in project management
- Highlighting the ability to see tasks through from start to finish
- Showing a dynamic approach to obstacles and
- Demonstrating a passion for originality
Whether you're taking online courses, attending workshops, or pursuing additional certifications, continuing education is a testament to your commitment to professional growth.
It suggests you're a person who is dedicated to enhancing your skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. It also demonstrates you likely have transferable soft skills like communication, collaboration, and time management—which are valuable across almost every industry.
Continuing education can add value to your resume by:
- Reflecting an investment in your professional development
- Highlighting a readiness to adapt to new information or technology
- Showcasing self-motivation and seriousness about maintaining a competitive edge
- Demonstrating initiative and desire to improve
- Indicating you are likely to be a lifelong learner who will continue to grow and contribute
Active participation in professional organizations, attending industry conferences, or even informal study groups related to your profession can be excellent resume additions. These activities signify your genuine interest in staying connected with industry trends and best practices.
If you enjoy professional reading, learning new skills, or taking courses in your free time, it may suggest that you're intellectually curious, motivated, and enjoy expanding your knowledge and understanding of the world. You may also be detail-oriented and have a love for precision and accuracy.
Professional Development can add value to your resume by:
- Underscoring your commitment to your career and willingness to invest time in your own growth
- Highlighting leadership qualities if you've taken on roles within professional organizations
- Demonstrating a proactive approach to your career trajectory
- Showing foresight and a strategic approach to your professional life
Involvement in multicultural festivals, language learning, and international travel all speak to your cultural awareness. This is particularly valuable in today's globalized business environment, where understanding and respecting different perspectives is key.
Cultural awareness can improve your interpersonal skills, making you more effective in diverse teams and customer interactions. It can also boost your adaptability and problem-solving ability in unfamiliar situations.
Cultural awareness can add value to your resume by:
- Suggesting you're a global citizen
- Highlighting your ability to navigate and appreciate the complexities of a multicultural workplace
- Indicating strong communication skills
- Showcasing your potential to represent a company in a global market
Including hobbies demonstrating your technological proficiency, like coding for personal projects, engaging with maker communities, or even building computers, can make your resume stand out. In a world where technology is integral to most jobs, these skills are highly valuable.
Technological proficiency can add value to your resume by:
- Showing that you're comfortable with modern tools and platforms, which can be crucial for efficiency in many roles
- Suggesting strong problem-solving skills
- Indicating your ability to self-teach—important in rapidly changing fields
- Highlighting your ability to adapt to new technologies—essential for any business looking to stay current
Participating in activities that present intellectual challenges, like chess, strategic games, or problem-solving competitions, can be an excellent addition to your resume because they highlight attributes that are valuable in roles requiring tactical planning and decision-making.
Intellectual challenges can add value to your resume by:
- Indicating a penchant for critical thinking and analytics
- Suggesting you enjoy overcoming complex problems
- Demonstrating an ability to bring innovative solutions to the table
- Inferring you're a strategic thinker with sharp intellect
Create your interests and hobbies section with Teal
Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to create and customize the interests section of your resume.
Add dozens of interests, group them into categories, and choose which ones you want to showcase on your resume as they relate to every unique job you apply to.
Teal gives you ultimate control over the look, feel, and presentation—clear, precise, and compelling.
150+ examples of hobbies and interests to put on your resume
Creating a carefully curated list of your own hobbies and interests and then choosing the ones that align closely with every unique role can help you save time during your job search in the long run.
And while they should always be relevant to the role you're applying to, understanding everything you bring to the table before you get started can give you a significant advantage in tailoring your resume for every job you apply to.
Below are 150+ examples of interests and hobbies for a resume you can pull from or use as inspiration to highlight your transferable skills, add depth and dimension to your resume, and stand out as a qualified, well-rounded candidate.
Artistic interests for a Resume
- Creative activities
- Creative writing
- Flower arranging
- Furniture building
- Furniture restoration
- Restoring Furniture
Writing hobbies for a resume
- Essay writing
- Fan fiction
- Fiction writing
- Memoir writing
- Poetry writing
- Travel writing
Organization hobbies for a resume
- Bullet journaling
- Calendar syncing
- Digital organizing
- DIY projects
- Event planning
- Feng Shui
- Home organizing
- KonMari method
- Meal planning
- Organizing local meetups
- Personal inventory
Reading hobbies and interest for a resume
- Attending literary events
- Book clubs
- Book collecting
- Book reviewing
- Book swaps
- Literary analysis
- Reading challenges
- Reading different genres
- Reading for education
- Translating books
Collecting hobbies for a resume
- Action figures
- Comic books
- LEGO sets
- Record albums
- Sports memorabilia
- Vintage collectibles
Volunteering hobbies for a resume
- Animal rescue
- Community gardening
- Disaster relief
- Elderly support
- Fundraising events
- Habitat for Humanity
- Homelessness support
- International service
- Literacy support
- Teaching assistant
- Youth sports coaching
Marketing interests and hobbies for a resume
- Content creation
- Creative writing
- Data analysis
- Reading marketing books
- Social media
Music, movies, and performing arts hobbies for a resume
- Composing music
- Playing a musical instrument
- Magic tricks
- Standup comedy
Finance hobbies and interests for a resume
- Bargain shopping
- Computer programs
- Learning languages
- Participation in investment clubs
- Reading financial news and market reports
- Volunteer work
Sales hobbies for a resume
- Building relationships
- Cold calling
- Networking events
- Persuasion and influencing skills
- Practicing negotiation
- Role-playing games
- Team sports
- Window shopping
Sports and outdoor hobbies for a resume
- Car racing
- Fantasy football
- Fantasy baseball
- Individual sports
- Martial arts
- Mountain biking
- Mountain climbing
- Rock climbing
- Scuba diving
- Whitewater rafting
Technology hobbies and interests for a resume
- 3-D printing
- App building
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer programming
- Social media
- Virtual reality
- Web design
- Web development
Other unique hobbies and interests for a resume
- Building models
- Car restoration
- Community activities
- Cooking classes
- Historic preservation
- Learning languages
- Networking groups
- Personal development
- RV traveling
- Sign language
- Stamp collecting
- Vintage shopping
How soft and hard skills relate to hobbies and interests
Hobbies and interests can play a significant role in developing both soft and hard skills.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, are the personal qualities that help you work effectively with others, while hard skills are the technical abilities required to perform a specific job.
The relationship between hobbies and interests and soft and hard skills can be quite strong, and many people find that their hobbies and interests have helped them develop the skills they need for success in their careers.
When it comes to resume soft skills, hobbies and interests can provide opportunities to develop and improve them.
For example, if you're passionate about team sports, you might have developed communication, collaboration, and leadership skills.
Or, if you're interested in volunteer work, you may have honed your problem-solving, empathy, and conflict-resolution skills. These skills are essential in the workplace, and they can make a significant difference in your success.
Resume Hard skills can also be developed and enhanced through hobbies and interests.
Many hobbies require technical skills, such as programming, graphic design, or data analysis. These skills can be valuable in a variety of professions, and they can help you stand out from other job applicants. Even if your hobby isn't directly related to your career, the skills you develop can be transferable to other areas of your life.
Ultimately, hobbies and interests can provide a valuable avenue for developing both soft and hard skills. They allow you to explore your passions and interests while developing skills that can benefit you both personally and professionally.
When it comes to your career, showcasing your hobbies and interests on your resume or during an interview can demonstrate your skills and make you a more compelling candidate for the job. So, if you're looking to develop new skills, consider exploring a new hobby or interest that aligns with your career goals.
Customize the skills and interests on your resume
Manage both the "Skills" and "Interests" sections on your resume with a great level of control to tailor your resume for each individual job you apply for.
How to list interests on your resume
1. Use space wisely
"How long should a resume be?" is a common question among job seekers. If there just isn't room on your resume for listing interests, it's okay to leave them off. Don't adjust your professional resume template's margins and font just to squeeze these in.
Consider putting your unique interests on another piece of professional real estate—your optimized LinkedIn profile's “About” section, for example.
A great way to check your LinkedIn profile for optimization is to download Teal’s Free Chrome Extension, which includes an automated LinkedIn Profile Review. Once you install the extension, just go to your profile page and click on the Teal logo. You’ll see a list of recommendations on optimizing your profile, and you can make updates as needed.
Teal’s Free LinkedIn Profile Review Chrome Extension
2. Keep your hobbies and interests list short yet detailed
Choose three to five activities for your resume, and be specific if you can.
For example, you can list “Active in a year-round indoor pickleball league” instead of “Playing team sports” or “Part of a book group focused on historical fiction” instead of “Reading.”
3. Tailor your list of interests based on the job posting you're applying for
Your collection of cookbooks may be more relevant than your love of true crime podcasts if you're applying for a role at a marketing agency that works with food and beverage brands. Interests related to musical instruments would also not be the most appropriate for that role.
Choosing relevant hobbies and experiences to highlight can reflect positively on you and help establish that you're even more of a fit for the job position you're applying for. The best resume examples always align closely with the target role, including the your interests.
Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your customized resume and to your application answers.
4. Stay away from controversial and irrelevant hobbies
It most likely goes without saying, but avoid listing anything that might be considered polarizing. That could include political or religious affiliations—or potentially controversial activities of personal interest like gambling or hunting.
Unless you're applying for a very specific role where those interests are expected, certain activities might harm the perception of you as a candidate and give other applicants an advantage.
Optimizing the "Interests" section on your resume
Since these details aren't as critical to your experiences, skills, and personal summary, the ideal place for your hobbies and interests is at the very bottom of your resume.
Instead of "Hobbies Section," for the actual name of the section, it's best to stick with something general, such as “Interests.” Remember, you don't want to overcrowd your resume, so don't include more than five hobbies.
If you'd like to take the guesswork out of this section, Teal's AI Resume Builder has a built-in "Skills and Interests" section where you can easily add your details.
Final thoughts on resume hobbies and interests
There are plenty of people who will tell you to leave more “personal” details out of your resume, but business is personal.
You shouldn't have to shut down your personality and the unique details that make you who you are just because you're interviewing for a job. In fact, showcasing a few of the things you like to do when you're not working can offer the entire picture of who you are as a candidate.
Using the Teal AI Resume Builder, you can create a master list of interests and hobbies to put on a resume, then customize your content with relevant details for every role—adding value and clarity to your candidacy.
Sign up for Teal for free and craft a resume that showcases your unique personality, interests, and professional achievements.
FAQs about hobbies and interests for your resume
What are interests?
Interests are activities, subjects, or passions that an individual enjoys or finds engaging outside of their work or academic responsibilities. They are things that make you happy or curious.
Interests can be wide-ranging and may include topics such as history, science, literature, or art. They may involve reading, attending lectures or events, or simply learning more about a particular subject. Interests can also include pursuits that involve physical activity, such as sports, exercise, or outdoor recreation.
What are hobbies?
Hobbies are specific activities or pursuits that an individual pursues in their free time for enjoyment or relaxation. Pursuing hobbies can also offer opportunities for learning, growth, and social connection.
Hobbies are typically more focused activities that a person pursues in their free time. Hobbies may involve crafting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, cooking, or other activities that offer a sense of creative expression or relaxation.
How personal do you make your hobbies and interests section?
When including hobbies and interests on a resume, it's important to strike a balance between being personal and professional. You want to share enough information to give potential employers insight into your personality, values, and strengths, but not so much that your resume becomes too personal or oversharing.
To achieve this balance, focus on hobbies and interests that are relevant to the job or that demonstrate skills or qualities that would be valuable in the position. When describing your hobbies and interests, use language that is professional and relevant to the job. Avoid overly personal or casual language, and focus on highlighting the skills or qualities that make you a strong candidate for the position.
You can use Teal to manage all of your personal interests and hobbies for multiple resumes.
Sign up for a free account to get started.