Why you should include an ‘interests’ section on your CV With the current jobs market being so competitive, many job applicants are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. With only a few moments to grab a recruiter’s attention, it’s crucial to ensure your CV is concise and relevant. So is the ‘interests’ section a ‘nice to have’ or a necessity? Many candidates believe that a great way to save space on their CV is to remove their interests, but some recruiters often read this section first, even before looking at your current role. While your CV is great at outlining your professional experience, it does not illustrate who you are, your personality and your passions. This can be an important element when a recruiter is trying to place you in a role that suits you. Furthermore, having an interests section will allow a recruiter or potential employer to engage you in conversation during your interview, distracting you from an otherwise tense situation. If crafted correctly, a great interests section can be an effective way to make a memorable first impression and position yourself apart from your competition. Keep the following tips and insights in mind: 1. Keep your interests relevant to the job Think about this from the reader’s point of view. How will your interests be perceived in relation to the job and company you’re applying to? Try to include activities that enforce your interest in the position. For example, if you’re applying for a creative role, an interest in interior design will be relevant. 2. No waffling Don’t allow this to take up half a page. Be succinct, and describe your interests in a few sentences or a short list. 3. Honesty is the best policy You won’t be doing yourself any favours by lying or embellishing your interests or activities, since being hired for a position has a lot to do with your personality. If you’ve never been scuba diving, then don’t list it as something you love doing. It’s not worth the gamble of being found out. 4. The more specific, the better Be prepared to expand on the information you include. If you love world cinema, why not share some of your favourite movies or sub-genres? This will give a future employer a strong picture of you. 5. Switching careers? Interests will help People often switch careers to satisfy the need to feel passionate about their work. If you’re in this situation, your interests may be more important than your work history. If your interests directly relate to the role you’re applying for, then be sure to spend extra time writing this section.
6. Include a variety of interests If you enjoy team sports or activities, outline why you enjoy them. Employers are increasingly interested in people who can work successfully with others. At the same time, include something that proves you’re a diverse person, or that you have personal interests that you have excelled in. 7. Be unusual Very often, it’s the interests section that helps recruiters or potential employers tell candidates apart. If you’re just starting your career, then it may be the distinguishing feature that sets you apart from your competition. For today’s recruiters, hiring is not just about ticking every box on the job description; it’s about finding people that fit the company. For more information on CV writing please visit Human Resources Jobs