When you’re putting together your graduate CV, your hobbies and interests section may seem fairly insignificant, right? Think again.
What you write about in this section can tell a prospective employer a lot more about you than you might think. Often, hobbies and interests suggest a lot about your personality, qualities, what you can offer an employer and what you might be like in the workplace.
The hobbies and interests section of your CV is even more important if you don’t have a lot of work experience (which is not uncommon for graduates). This is because employers are more likely to use it to build a better picture of you and your skills.
As a result, it’s important that you use your hobbies to showcase who you are and what attributes you have. Generally speaking, here’s what employers think about your hobbies and interests.
It’s not uncommon for graduates to spend a few months or a gap year travelling, either before or after university. But what do employers think of grads who travel?
The good news is that most employers like to see a well-travelled graduate. This is because travelling usually helps you to develop key skills and character traits that are transferable to the workplace. These include independence, being adaptable and great communication skills.
If you have been travelling, it’s definitely worth talking about it concisely on your CV and mentioning the skills and qualities that it has helped you to develop. Globe-trotting grads tend to be perceived as open-minded, curious and resilient which are all great things to bring into a workplace.
Playing sport shows employers that you have some fantastic qualities that may include being:
- A team player (depending on the sport)
So many job roles and companies value these qualities so you would be silly not to mention your sporting achievements on your CV.
From helping to build schools in Africa to walking dogs at your local animal shelter, many graduates have gotten involved in volunteering opportunities. Obviously volunteering is a fantastic thing for communities but it can also help your job application stand out.
When employers see that you have completed volunteer/charity work on your CV, they are likely to assume that you are a caring and enthusiastic person. Volunteering can also help you to develop valuable skills including empathy, humility and communication skills. If these are well-suited to the role that you are applying for, then be sure to shout about them on your CV.
Graduates who have gotten involved with societies during their time at university can show employers that they are sociable and passionate about a certain subject or activity.
If you’ve taken your participation further by actively creating a society or taking a leadership role within a society then that’s even better!
When mentioning that you were part of a society on your CV always think about whether it showcases skills and qualities that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
The digital world plays a huge part in our lives both inside and outside of work. Digital skills, therefore, are extremely valuable to employers.
Writing your own blog can demonstrate a lot of great skills and fantastic qualities. As well as digital skills, these include good written communication skills, creativity, passion, commitment and self-motivation. You can also show off your marketing skills if your blog is pulling in some decent numbers.
Bringing it all together
When it comes to writing about your hobbies and interests on your CV, it’s important to think carefully. How can you make your interests work for you and what skills do they demonstrate?
The vast majority of grads are involved in some hobby, but if you’re struggling to think what to include in this section remember it’s never too late to start something new!
There’s a lot of competition when it comes to graduate jobs, so every little helps when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
About the Author: Bridgewater Graduates offer sales, management and a variety of other commercial graduate jobs with market-leading businesses across the UK and Ireland.