While discussing your penchant for online bridge may seem like something you should avoid in an interview, employers actually look for hires with unusual interests. In fact, a study from the Kellogg School of Management showed that many employers are now using a candidate’s hobbies as a key indicator of cultural fit. Numerous employers even indicated that hobbies can be as important as qualifications and experience.
This isn’t to say that you should go cluttering up your resume with a bunch of bizarre, made up hobbies (we can tell you from experience that if you claim you are a cigar aficionado, your future CEO will make you smoke, and you will puke). Rather, that there are many hobbies that can enhance and improve your already outstanding resume. (P.S. Need some resume building tips? Click here.)
8 Hobbies to Make You Stand Out
When deciding what hobbies to lay down on your resume, think about which personal strengths you’re trying to showcase. Not sure what your personal strengths are? There’s an app for that.
We’ve outlined eight hobbies that will help you stand out from the crowd during your job hunt. GIFs are also included because if pictures are worth a thousand words, GIFs are worth a million (#Fact).
1. Endurance Sports
Sports like swimming suggest that you have tenacity, perseverance, and drive. Those are exactly the qualities that are desirable for a sales or business development person. For proof, see Aquaman. By day he works as a sales manager at Oracle, but by night, he convinces fish to fight crime.
2. High Risk Pursuits
Activities such as skydiving show that you are happy to push boundaries and take risks. These strengths are desirable for people going into product leadership roles. Need an example? Check out Beyoncé. She likes to skydive, is a media mogul, and owns an island (probably).
3. Creative HobbiesArtistic endeavors like painting suggest you have a creative mind. Such hobbies might make you more appealing to employers in dynamic industries such marketing. A good example of a creative hobbyist is Mad Men’s Don Draper. Besides being an effective day drinker, Don came up with a famous 1970s Coca-Cola ad.
Just like Vince Vaughn’s character in the movie Dodgeball, playing team sports can show that you are good at bringing people together for a common goal. Group sports such as dodgeball show that you are able to work well in a team. While this is a desirable quality in most industries, it might be especially useful in team-based roles like Human Resources.
5. Strategic Games
An interest in games like chess demonstrates that you enjoy thinking strategically. This type of strength is desirable for positions where policy development and strategy formulation are key. Project planners like Parks & Recreations‘ Leslie Knope are great examples of the strategic mindset. While Leslie probably is more of a checkers person, the hobbies section of her resume is probably three pages long.
6. Creative Writing
An interest in creative writing can highlight your strengths as a writer or editor. This type of skill is highly sought-after for editorial positions, public relation jobs, or social media roles. A great example of a writer who turned their hobby into a career is William (Bill) Shakespeare. The Bard is famous for writing plays like Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus, and Fuller House. However, most should know him for his star turning role in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love.
7. Reading, Museums, Libraries
An interest in learning-based activities shows a hunger for knowledge — a skill that could make you an especially good researcher or copy editor. An example of someone with a love of knowledge and a steady job is R. Kelly. The R&B singer put in years of research to make his 1996 masterwork I Believe I Can Fly. In order to make the classic track, Mr.Kelly flew on 98 private jets for research purposes.
8. Community Group Involvement
Community involvement suggests that you are someone who is comfortable collaborating with others. This means you could be seen as a particularly good fit for managerial roles. For an example of this hobby in action, see Leslie Knope again! Her outreach with the community is second to none!
Has a personal hobby ever helped you land a job? Share with us in the comments section!