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How can hobbies support your career?

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Published: 15 October 2020

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Did you know that hobbies can help you get a job? Alice McDougall, Careers, Employability and Enterprise Manager at the University of Sunderland in London certainly does.

In her latest article, she tells us how you can use the things you're passionate about to make sure you have a brilliant work life. 

“There are many benefits to having hobbies including, if you know how to talk about them, helping you find a fulfilling career.  

The things we do in our free time give us the opportunity to escape the everyday pressures of work, family, commuting and study; a chance to re-energise and have something for ourselves. 

When it comes to your career, they can inspire the direction you choose to go in, tell you about the kind of person you are and show you what really inspires you. 

For example, if you volunteer in your community or work with a charity you might find your motivation is based around helping others and working in teams. 

If your hobbies are creative, like arts or writing, you might be good at putting ideas together, creating something unique and problem-solving. 

Try thinking about how you can use these skills in your working life. 

 

What hobbies should I try? 

Don’t worry if you haven’t got any hobbies right now. There’s always time to take up something new, for example: 

 

Should you put your hobbies on your CV?  

Deciding to talk about your hobbies when applying for jobs is a personal choice that can depend on your interests. 

Watching TV and socialising might be fun for you, but they don’t say too much about how you’ll perform at work. 

Good ones to include would be things that show personal strength, a skill, something you’ve achieved or that you have commitment.  

If you’re thinking of adding a hobby to your CV, make sure you’re specific and personal when you talk about it. 

 

Example one: Football 

By itself, saying you like football isn’t that useful. But if you play for a local team, are on the committee or volunteer as a coach, your potential employer learns something about your skills. 

Example two: Running 

As with football, it’s a fine hobby to have but you need to think carefully about how it shows an aspect of your personality that will help your work. For example, completing a half-marathon then training for a full marathon shows commitment, determination and personal achievement. 

Example three: Cooking 

Cooking is a great hobby, but what else does it say about you? If you’ve become the best dim sum cook in your neighbourhood that’s an achievement and something your potential employers could find interesting. 

 

All of this would go in the Interests area of your CV (Tip: see our article on CV Writing for more).  

You should be aware that a strong Interests section is not enough to get you an interview.  

The other areas, including your work experience and education, are likely to be far more important. 

But it could help you stand out in a pile of 100 similar CVs so take some time to think about it carefully.” 

If you want help going through your CV or any other aspect of getting a job after University, make an appointment with the Careers and Employability service.  

Book a meeting through Compass, email them at careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk or visit their website.

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