Personal hobbies on job applications

Most people i know also put down hobbies and extra curricular activities. This includes jobs for senior positions earning �50k. Now does it matter an iota how you spend your day outside of work. Can an appointment hinge on personal hobbies. Surely not!. So why do we keep including our hobbies in it.
17:50 Thu 02nd Jun 2005
 
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I think that it would be to get a feel for the individual rather than the pieces of paper to their name. There is a lot of margin for bulls**t but also no one likes an employee who has no spirit. I would never hire someone based solely on their academic record as they require common sense and a personality. Drones are ten a penny.
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Because it shows that an applicant has a life outside of work and identifies a personality which may or may not be suited to a particular job.  E.g. sporting, active, culturally diverse etc etc

I saw a resume for a college grad once that listed his hobbies and sports activities. From this I could easily tell that he was a leadr and that it was probably easy to get along with him, as he seemed to have interests that involved groups of people. It gave a great deal of insight and something to talk about during the interview. Questions regarding these sports revealed his loyalty to things he loves, care for others, and other traits that I wanted in an employee.

That said, I should add that I notice that it is less common to see such things on resumes. I always like to see them, but if not listed, it really doesn't hurt the interview, just changes it a bit. If it is not listed, I don't ask the candidates about these things, but my interview questions will be more like, "In what ways do you demonstrate (whatever skill I need)?" That opens the door for the candidate to highlight those skills whether it is at work or not.

Last, some people might want to list their clubs and activities because they relate to their careers and add to their knowledge and skills.

Surely anyone can list any hobbies or interests whether they are true or not.
i think it's to get an idea of if you have a life out of work. if you have no hobbies or your hobbies are reading books/going to the cinema some employers look on it negatively- they possibly don't want you to burn yourself out cos all your life is work???

It really depends on what you're applying for. A lot of application forms that I've seen don't ask specifically about other interests. Some do though and you'd clearly be ignoring part of the form if you didn't fill it in. No-one wants to look like they didn't read the form properly!

Your interests can help provide a guide as to what you're like as a person and whether or not the employer thinks you would fit in well with the existing workforce.

I've never come across anyone who would disregard someone or think less of them for having an interest in books or film though - I found that part of the last answer odd. Many employers do want 'well rounded' employees and interests outside work are part of that.

Many applications don't specifically ask about hobbies though. What they do is ask about relevant experiences and skills. My tactic in that section is to take each point from the person specification and write in order why I meet each and every point. What is hard about doing this though is that you don't want to sound too repetitive. You want to give examples that show that you meet that competency but don't want to keep talking about the same things over again. In this case hobbies and interests can help.

I recently shortlisted for a position. Organisational skills were given as an essential skill. Most candidates talked about keeping on top of their work load. The one that stood out for me was a woman who talked about recently organising her wedding and co-ordinating relatives' trips from different countries to be there as an example. She also talked about her current and past jobs - but under other headings. I know a wedding isn't a hobby but it was a good demonstration of a relevant competency.

If short for space though I would always drop the hobbies section from my CV rather than miss a professional point off to keep it to the acceptable 2 pages...

My workplace asks for hobbies on the application form as a way to judge character. Of course people can lie, but that's a risk you take. I think it's especially useful for younger people who may not have had many jobs. E.g. say if you had 2 graduates applying for a post which required someone who was a natural leader. If one of those graduates put that they ran the local scout pack in their spare time it would be a bonus.

I tailor the hobbies section to the job description in the same way that I tailor the rest of the CV.

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