CV hobbies, what should you do?

In around 90% of CVs we see, ‘I enjoy socialising and listening to music’, (or something similar) has been included under an “Interests / Hobbies” section. This, coupled with long-winded personal details will not help promote you to a potential recruiter!

Your CV should be used as a marketing tool and you’re the ‘product’ being marketed. Therefore, no recruiter is going to care if you, ‘enjoy socialising, reading books and listening to music’ – the majority of people do!

We recommend only including a ‘Hobbies’ section in a CV if you have something particularly interesting to say, or, if you have interests that relate specifically to the job or industry you’re interested in. Otherwise, leave this section out and use the additional space in your CV to concentrate on more relevant information.

In addition to the above, recruiters are not going to be interested in a long-winded, ‘Personal Details’ section. Date of birth, nationality, marital status and driving licence are fine. However, details such as, religion, health, number of dependents and race are simply not needed.

Your questions:

My name is Robin (male) and recruiters often mistake me for a female and are surprised when I turn up for an interview. However, I’ve been advised not to mention my sex in a CV under personal details.

The advice you received was correct; you don’t need to include, ‘Sex: male’ in your CV under personal details. All you need to do is write your name as Mr. Robin X at the top of your CV to clear up and potential confusion.

I have a ‘Hobbies’ section on my CV which is ‘dressed up’ to make me sound more interesting. Is this OK?

It depends how ‘dressed up’ this section is. However, if you decide to keep it in there, you’ll have to be careful. We have heard of instances where candidates have included hobbies that they have no interest in, only to be asked about them in the interview. Needless to say, they didn’t get the job.

Won’t including an ‘Interests’ section help me during the interview if the interviewer has a similar interest?

Maybe. But at the same time, there’s a chance this could work against you. For example, you might mention you love sports, but the interviewer might hate sports.

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