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Making a Connection Through ‘Hobbies’

Hobbies – I like spending time with friends, going to the movies and walks on the beach. 

Sound like your resume? If so, it’s time to get serious about your hobbies… 

‘Hobbies’ is argued by some to be a ‘pointless’ part of a resume. We would agree – if it sounds like a generic dating profile like the one above – it is absolutely pointless. Everyone likes movies, friends and the beach. So this is not telling a potential employer anything unique about you, or giving them any reason to make a connection with you. 

If however, you have unique, substantial, interesting hobbies listed, it can be that one thing that tips the favour in your balance. 

I participated in a recruitment exercise recently where there was a great number of high quality, skilled candidates. The candidate who left the biggest impression at the end of the day, was the one who had ‘BMX riding’ listed as a hobby. As luck would have it, the General Manager was a cycling enthusiast – so who do you think he felt the best ‘connection’ with? 

In another set of interviews I conducted a few months ago, I got into a fascinating conversation with an already impressive candidate, who had ‘Member of Bollywood Australia’ listed on her resume. It gave the opportunity to get to know this person beyond their qualifications and work history. And of all the people I interviewed for the position, I remember her the best.

But just be sure to be selective about which hobbies to list depending on the company you are applying to.  Putting for example, 'body piercing' or 'skin art' as a hobby when applying to an extremely professional or traditional company, probably won't help you get through the door for an interview!

That element of being memorable and making a connection is what is important. It may make you the successful candidate this time, or if not, it will make sure that you stay in the recruiter’s memory for future opportunities. 

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