Listing Hobbies on Your Resume: How to Add a Personal Touch

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Your resume is a document that tells a story, and a hobbies section can add helpful personal details. Learn more about what kinds of hobbies to feature on your resume.

[Featured image] Smiling job applicant adds hobbies to a standout resume

Your resume is a document that tells a story. While that story tends to focus on your professional efforts—what you’ve done, the skills you’ve developed, and what you’re excited to do next—a hobbies section can add more personal details. 

Let’s go over when you might want to include a hobbies section on your resume, what you can list, and how to format that information.

Adding a hobbies section to your resume

A hobbies section on your resume is an opportunity to share more about you, providing a larger picture than your professional accomplishments alone may convey. Employers tend to be more interested in your professional experience and skills. Still, they may use details from a hobbies section to learn more about your personality, interests, and skills.  

When should you include a hobbies section on your resume?

When applying for a job, you have limited space on your resume to share the most important and relevant information. A general rule is to keep your resume to one page when you have less than 10 years of experience and to expand it to two pages (or more) once you’ve amassed over 10 years of experience. 

Your resume should always include certain sections, such as a header, education, experience, and skills. Depending on your goals, you may also want to include a resume summary or resume objective. Given the limited space you have to work with, a hobbies section isn’t always necessary. If you still have room after including all required sections, consider adding a hobbies section. 

You may want to use a hobbies section when: 

  • You’re a recent graduate looking for your first full-time role

  • You’re reentering the workforce after a significant gap

  • You haven’t yet earned a lot of experience 

  • You haven’t yet developed many skills  

  • A company specifically requests one 

How to add hobbies to your resume

Follow the steps below to figure out what hobbies you should feature on your resume and how to format them. 

1. Make a list. Think of about five to 10 hobbies or interests you enjoy. These can be things you do occasionally or frequently, but they should be activities that illustrate your personality. 

2. Review the job description. Read over the “required” and “recommended” sections to see if any personality traits stand out. For example, is the company’s ideal candidate someone who takes initiative or has strong attention to detail? Determine whether there’s a way to align any of the hobbies on your list with the characteristics in the job description.  

3. Review the company’s mission. Review the company’s “About” section on its website and see if any key traits stand out. Does the company emphasize collaboration? Do they value service or self-development? Again, think about ways to align your hobbies with the company’s mission.

4. Create a distinct section. Don’t include your hobbies under your “experience” or “skills” sections. Instead, create a new section titled “Hobbies” or “Hobbies and Interests.” This should be the last section on your resume. 

5. Choose up to five hobbies or interests. From your original list, figure out the best hobbies or interests to feature in your hobbies section. Aim to include between three to five examples. Use bullet points to list your hobbies, or create one to two sentences and use commas to separate them. 

Don’t have room for a hobbies section on your resume? Consider adding a few personal details to your LinkedIn summary. Learn more about creating a strong LinkedIn profile

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Let’s review three ways to build a hobbies section on your resume: 

Hobbies that align with a role 

There may be times when the hobbies you list align naturally with the role you’re applying for, giving you a chance to showcase how well you fit the available position. 

For example, if you’re a graphic designer applying for a role that seeks a creative personality with strong attention to detail and comfortability leading projects, you might choose hobbies that support those characteristics.

Hobbies and Interests 

  • Volunteer lead at X

  • Painting (watercolor, acrylic) 

  • Cooking Mediterranean cuisine

  • Learning how to speak Japanese 

Hobbies that build on your skill set

You may choose to include hobbies that highlight key skills. For example, suppose you work in social media and often have to develop new campaign ideas, including creating language and assets. In that case, your skills can emphasize your creativity, communication, and proactivity. 

Hobbies and Interests 

  • Creative writing

  • Reading

  • Sketching

  • Teaching yoga

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Hobbies that show off your personality 

Your hobbies don’t always have to coincide neatly with the jobs you’re applying for. They can truly stand alone, helping tell a bigger story about who you are. In that case, determine the best five hobbies or interests to share your personality. 

Hobbies and Interests 

  • Paddleboarding

  • Volunteering at X

  • Playing chess

  • Podcasting

  • Making videos

Learn more: How to Add Your Resume to LinkedIn

38 skill-based hobbies for your resume

Not sure what qualifies as a hobby? We’ve got you covered with the examples below, which align hobbies with the skills most in demand as of 2020, according to a report from the World Economic Forum [1]. 

Critical thinking and analysis 

  • Chess

  • Board games

  • Crossword puzzles

  • Event planning

Active learning

  • Learning a new language 

  • Speak a foreign language

  • Enrolled in a class 

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Creativity

  • Painting

  • Drawing

  • Photography 

  • Writing

  • Play a musical instrument 

  • Woodworking

  • Knitting or crocheting 

  • Making jewelry 

  • Scrapbooking

  • Pottery making 

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Leadership/social influence

  • Blogging

  • Podcasting

  • Making videos

Resilience

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Exercise 

  • Hiking

  • Rock climbing

  • Kayaking

  • Mountain biking

  • Running marathons

  • Paddleboarding 

  • Scuba diving

Service orientation

  • Volunteering 

  • Teaching a skills-based class 

  • Teaching group fitness class

  • Organizing  

Technology use

  • Building websites 

  • Designing apps 

  • Graphic design

  • Coding 

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Article sources

  1. World Economic Forum. “The Future of Jobs Report, https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf.” Accessed June 29, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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