Every individual has a set of likes and dislikes. These can be in the form of hobbies or interests. These set you apart from the numerous CVs that your potential employer scans through to get to the suitable candidate for the job. In the past, there were a few employers who did not favour this part of the resume. However, with changing time, people want to know what are you, as an individual, interested in and how can that add to the utility that you are expected to provide. Having an area of interest not only shows that you have a life with different facets but also proves that you are a time manager. The kind of hobbies and interests that you put in your resume can give an employer in-depth knowledge about you as a manager, whether you are decisive or not? Whether you are a team player? Whether you crack under pressure and the like? However, you need to keep in mind that only because you have cooked salmon once, does not make you a cook and hence, cannot be noted as an area of interest. You need to be competent enough to shine through when people of similar interests are brought together. Hence, when you write ‘cooking’ as a field of interest, the employer takes it for granted that you specialize in that domain and hence are an expert. Lets look at the significance of the area of interest in a resume.
What are the activities that can be listed as an area of interest?
The activity that you mention in this fragment of your CV, can help you attract some extra attention and hence keep in mind the relevance of what you mention. Some activities worth mentioning include:
- Volunteering or Teaching
- Photo and video editing
- Dance or music
- Acting or drama
- Coding and programming
- Blogging and content
- Writing or reading
- Sports or camping
What should you keep in mind when you are filling up the area of interest on your resume?
Even though this part is not as technical as the rest, it is extremely crucial. It shows that the applicant has a personality and is not only at work but self-development too. Hence, there are some points that you need to keep in mind before you start filling this part up.
- Always list relevant activities
It is important to not list your hobbies down just to fill the section up. It needs to be relevant to the post you are applying for. This allows the employer to see the additional utility and advantage in hiring you. for example, if you are applying for a position in the public relation or the human resource department, listing volunteering as a hobby can be seen as a major plus point as it shows that you are confident in mingling with people of different strata of the society and that you are a people’s person. If you are applying for a job in the marketing team, blogging, reading can help. So always list all that is relevant to the field you are applying for.
- Always be honest and to the point
It might be your first interview but that is not the case for the interviewer. Their experience is such that they have the capability to draw a relation between what is written and what is physically portrayed during the interview. It can be with the help of asking questions or just studying your body language. Coming out as someone who is dishonest on the resume is not what you want as a first impression.
- Do not show that you are a jack of all and master of none
As already mentioned, cooking once does not make you a chef or painting scenery in third grade does not make you an artist. It is an activity that you have a critical idea about. It is something that you take out time for in spite of your busy schedule. It is an activity you are confident about.
- Always do a research on both, the company and the job position
See the trend of employment and expectations. Try and decipher what does the company look for in an employee. Try and connect with those who are associated with the company in some manner and utilize all the gathered information to your advantage. It will help you understand the direction of the company’s mindset. Whether they are open or whether they are conservative and traditional in their approach.
- Understand that each activity gives away details on your personality
This is a fact and hence is extremely critical. What you mention as an interest gives the stairway to your personality and mental direction. For example, if you have mentioned coding as an area of interest, it tells the employer that you are capable of critical thinking, that you are good with computers and other technicalities and that you can think at difficult situations. If you have listed cooking as a hobby, it shows that you can multi-task, you are nurturing and that you are not very uptight. Understanding what characterizes an activity is extremely important.
- Place this at the end and not anywhere in the beginning
Since this is just an add-on to the work profile, the employer will be more interested in your qualifications and experiences. Hence, this must be added towards the end. It should be short and precise and must not an overdone by any means.
Areas of interest is thus an icing on the cake and keeping all these points in mind before penning it down will enable you to prevent overcrowding and cut through all the clutter. It is an important segment of your resume and hence needs to be thought of carefully. It cannot be something that ensures your position in the organization, but it can definitely take you a step closer to it.