Social Question

partyrock's avatar

Is it ok to put activities or interests on a resume?

Asked by partyrock (3863 points ) September 11th, 2012

Is it alright to put activities or interests on a resume? Why or why not? I heard that it makes you stand out since most people don’t usually put their interests. What would be good things to write for interests or activities? In mine I put Interested in photojournalism, travel, and that is pretty much all I have. What else should or shouldn’t I put on there? What do you guys think? Yay or nay?

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27 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It provides a bit more of your personality for the employer to see. It’s a bit of a risk. If the employer likes personality, it’s good. But if they want a worker dweeb, it won’t be good, unless you are trying to keep from being considered for worker dweeb jobs.

If you aren’t desperate, I would do it. If you want any job that comes along, don’t do it.

gailcalled's avatar

Do you practice photojournalism?

Have you traveled?

If you can list or show several concrete examples and they are germane to the job, then why not. I see you are young and obviously have not had too much work experience.

partyrock's avatar

@gailcalled Yes I do travel and do photojournalism.

So far I have

Activities and Interests: Enjoys photojournalism, travel, international events and human rights, web design.

Do you guys think it’s ok to put that I’m interested in learning about different cultures on the activities/interests?

partyrock's avatar

@gailcalled – I have a one page resume, with 4 jobs on there. The interests is on the very bottom page. I do have job experience but not a college degree yet. From what I’ve read listing interests could be a good or bad thing depending what the person writes.

partyrock's avatar

I’m not sure if I should take out the international events or human rights part? Or word it different? Interested in world events? I don’t know.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like it. But then I’ve always like hiring people that were well rounded and had some personality to bring to the job. I think the int’l events and human rights would depend on where you are applying.

gailcalled's avatar

@partyrock; Do you have access to someone with experience in resume writing. I would want specific details, if I were reading this.

Travel to where?
Samples of photojournalism.
Enjoying international events and human rights is too vague and too awkward. One does not enjoy human rights. Have you been involved with any specific activities, protests, fund raisers, etc?

What is an international event? Be specific if you have been involved in one.

(All right is more accepted usage than alright.)

partyrock's avatar

@gailcalled – You’re very right, thank you for your input. I haven’t done any fund raisers or protests, but I like reading and learning about world events, different cultures, etc. I like watching documentaries about human rights issues. So I guess I will take it off my resume.

Thank you so much for your input.

partyrock's avatar

I’ve only traveled to the Bahamas, Florida, Miama/Tampa, Texas, North Carolina, San Francisco, the Philippines, South Carolina.. I really like talking to people from different cultures that’s why I put traveling on there. I love learning about it.

I’ve done photojournalism and I have my photography on different websites.

partyrock's avatar

What do you guys think would be good viable interests? I have now: Photojournalism, travel, web design,

Aqua's avatar

Definitely put activities and interests on your resume. It makes you look more well-rounded, and it’ll give you instant rapport with any interviewer who has similar interests. I have things like reading, hiking, backpacking, running, cooking, and musical instruments I play on my resume.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Maybe international relations instead of events.

partyrock's avatar

Thank you everyone I really appreciate it.

jaytkay's avatar

I would do it if you can make it interesting and it makes us say, “I wish I did that!” or “Wow, not many people can do that!”

Boring: “I like to travel”
Interesting: “I have been to 5 of the seven continents”

partyrock's avatar

@jaytkay – ah makes sense, thanks a bunch :P true that does sound more interesting. but I haven’t been to 5 continents so I should take traveling off?

gailcalled's avatar

I have traveled to (list places outside of the US that you have visited): viz; Yucatan, Labrador, the Aran Islands, Fiji and the Basque country.

jaytkay's avatar

@partyrock 5 continents was just something off the top of my head. Maybe you can build a snappy statement out of your travels. Maybe not. Just an idea.

partyrock's avatar

Does this sound good for a resume?

Activities and Interests: Enjoys doing photojournalism, learning about different cultures, and web-design.

Is this okay to put? Do you think this would be a turn on/off for an employer?

partyrock's avatar

Or Activities and Interests: Photojournalism, web design, and studying foreign culture?

Thanks. Which one would be better?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like number one. It’s more human and warm. Two is cold.

partyrock's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Number 2 is actually the one my boyfriend suggested lol, thanks so much. It’s nice hearing what it sounds like to another person, gives me better insight.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@partyrock I should also tell you how I greeted the last employee I hired. I was still young, not quite 30 and the manager of a lending department in a bank. I hired a young guy out of Cornell, he knew the other guys in the department because he was in the same fraternity and I really liked him.. I always sent out a memo to everyone in the organization about the new hire. The one I sent out mentioned he was a longtime volunteer in the Special Olympics. I left one copy on his desk. It mentioned he was a participant in Special Olympics. He reads, it and goes, ah did this go out to everyone. His buddy said yeah sure. Then we all cracked up and he called me an asshole. We were great for a longtime. He busted his ass for me, as did the other guys.

bewailknot's avatar

I would only include interests that might apply to an aspect of the job I am applying for. Being interested in travel might be good for a position that may require travel, now or in the future.

ninja_man's avatar

Of course it is. Strive to keep it relevant.

glacial's avatar

You are still young; it can’t hurt. It might give your interviewer something to chat with you about in an interview, to get a better idea of what type of person you are. Eventually, as your career matures, you will want to drop it – likely, you’ll know when that is appropriate.

As long as your activities or interests are legal and SFW…

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s your résumé. It’s okay to put hearts and flowers and pictures of kitties on it if you want to. But I don’t think that I would.

The document will be scanned to look for the key words that the employer wants to find in the employee, and the interview, if one occurs, will concentrate mostly on those areas of employer interest. It’s unlikely that the document will even be human-read completely during the scan-to-first interview process. If your personal interests happen to coincide with skills that the employer needs, then that might help. Otherwise, it’s probably neutral (except that an interest in “human rights” could get you labelled as some sort of do-gooder, activist or troublemaker that businesses try to avoid, except for the occasional photo-op as they hand over a check to prevent bigger problems).

If you want to really stand out and get a, “Whoa! This is different!” reaction, then I’d go with the hearts and flowers and kitties. And I wouldn’t do that.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I always add some hobbies and interests at the end, just one small paragraph. I think it helps so long as it is done properly.

Be careful though, you could talk your self out of a job. If you list your hobbies as “watching tv and internet” it will likely count against you. On the other hand if you mention how you like to take walks with your SO, it makes you look like a committed person, and at least shows that someone out there likes you.

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