•  Home Page
   •  Resume Writing
Cover Letters
Support Letters
Internet Posting
Job Search Strategies
Resume Samples
Credit Card Authorization

   •  Employment Links
About Us
Frequent Questions
Online Resources
Privacy Policy

   •  Tell A Friend
   •  Resume Critique
   •  The Blog
Printer Friendly
   •  Contact Us


Sunday, April 23, 2006
Ah, Those Hobbies and Interests...
If you have ever taken a writing course or if you remember your high school senior English class, you will know in all writing you should always consider your audience. If you are writing a business letter, the content, tone, and level of writing will be different than if you are writing a friendly email to your best friend. In college, and now proven to be the case on the SAT Writing Test, the meaning and author intention behind the writing are less important than number of words and lack of comma splices. The intended audience determines the type of writing.

With that in mind, why would hobbies, interests, or non-career related activities appear in a resume? I am continually amazed when I see hobbies and interests listed on a resume. Sure, some of them are kind of interesting and they may serve to break the ice in an interview, but that is assuming the resume got the candidate to the interview stage in the first place.

Every single word on a resume should be weighed and considered for its value to the audience. Employers generally don’t care what a candidate’s hobbies are because they do not relate to the candidate’s ability to do the job. Many people have hobbies that are vastly divergent from their careers. That is part of the attraction of a hobby – it is an escape from the nine-to-five. Listing these hobbies on a resume does not add to the value of the candidate but instead takes up space that could be used for relevant information that will help the reader build a mental picture of the candidate’s abilities.

Let’s take me for example. I spend anywhere from four to five hours a day writing and working one-on-one with clients. The rest of my time is taken up with general business and daily activities such as email, correspondence, etc. I’ve been published in multiple books, won numerous awards for writing, sat on executive boards in various organizations that are related to my work, and I have spoken at numerous conferences and seminars. I’ve appeared on television and radio. By anyone’s estimate, I am considered an expert in my field.

My hobbies have almost nothing in common with my work. I do them for fun and as a diversion from my career. Do I dare tell you what my hobbies are? If I do, what will your first thought be? Will it be “Wow, that just adds to her qualifications to be my career coach and resume writer?” Or will you think “I can’t believe she does THAT in her spare time!”

Some hobbies even scare employers. I had a sales pro client who insisted that his hobby of hang gliding be included on his resume because he felt it demonstrated his “natural daring nature, and lack of fear of going after the tough sale”. He wasn’t getting any response and came back to me for help. It just so happened that he had applied for a sales position with a company for which I had done some outplacement consulting a few years prior. I called the HR manager there and asked if she had seen this fellow’s resume; I explained I was trying to help him with his career search. She said, “Oh yes, I remember his resume. He looked good on paper but he hang glides! In the job for which he applied, the selected candidate would be solely responsible for a territory of over seven states. If he got hurt hang gliding, we would be up a creek for someone to service those accounts. We dismissed him as not viable.”

Still wondering what I do for a hobby? If you have been to my office, you might have seen a clue. If not, do a Google search on my name – Alesia Benedict – and see what you find.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 /


We specialize in working with professionals in the high tech, engineering, and manufacturing industries to organize, direct, and accomplish their career goals. Our knowledge of technology and our expertise in these rapidly changing industries set us apart from all other career services firms and provides outstanding value to our clients. See how we can help your Career by reading our Blog.
                          < goto blog >




Copyright © 2005  Produced by i4market 

    about us  |  resumes  |  resources  |  cover letters  |  contact us  | free critique 345 Rt. 17 South Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 USA EMAIL:
CALL TOLL FREE: 1.888.277.4270 (1.201.934.4237) FAX: 1.800.206.5454 (1.201.934.9263)