Every good CV tells the story of an individual’s career journey with an emphasis on education and employment history. This is because these two sections are what usually qualify you for a particular position. Still, if the most qualified person always landed the job, we would be living in a much different world. People hire candidates that they like, and there are some times where “liking” someone for a position can have more to do with the candidate’s personality than their past employment or qualifications.
Telling people what you like to do in your spare time will give them an idea about if you’re someone they’d like to be around 40 hours a week. In an ideal world, we all want to work with people that we get along with, that’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. That said, I’d strongly advise against taking up valuable space unremarkable interests such as socialising, reading or travelling. Not only will they fail to reveal much about your personality, but you’ll also be guaranteed an eye-roll from a recruiter who has read the same thing 50 times already that day.
It’s much more valuable if you select interests relevant to the position. For example, say you’re applying to be a programmer, and one of your interests is developing video games—list it. Or perhaps you’re looking for a role in motorsport—your CV might do well to include any race track volunteering you do. The chances are high that there’s some overlap between the job you’re applying for and the interest you enjoy doing in your spare time.
Just remember that any interest you list on your CV should actually be an interest you have—how embarrassing would it be to list “salsa buff” because you think it will make you sound exotic, only to find out that your hiring manager is a regular on the dancefloor? So be honest about what hobbies and interests you list, as with all aspects of your CV. And it almost goes without saying that if your interests outside work have no relevance to the job you are applying for, it’s better not to include them.
So, if you’ve got some room left at the bottom on your CV, why not include something unique to you and share a little about why, even when you’re off the clock, you’d be an excellent fit for the position.