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What are your skills or interests?
Someone asked me a very difficult question the other day. It may seem quite straightforward. But when I sat and thought about it, I really struggled to find an answer. The question is this:
What are your skills and interests?
It made me ponder my entire life’s achievement. Other than the knowledge and experience I have picked up from my job roles, can I actually say I have a particular talent? Have I achieved something that’s special?
It then got me thinking, how do you gain a talent? Obviously, practise makes perfect. The more you do something the better at it you get. That’s probably why I only have skills that are useful in my job role. I spend 8 hours a day practicing everything I need to know. That’s where a hobby can help. If you’re a dedicated person and spend lots of time on your hobby, you could get good at it, thus creating a skill.
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Your CV needs to include your skills and experience, but have you included a section about your hobbies and interests? Although it may seem cheesy, adding these could improve your CV. By adding hobbies and interests such as things that extend beyond your work and education history, it could help support and highlight your skills. Or it could just be added to help you to connect on a personal level.
Hobbies and interests are in fact different. Whereas a hobby is an activity you engage in, an interest is an idea or topic you are particularly favourable towards. However, in a CV you can combine these 2 things into one section about yourself.
You may be asked to elaborate on these during an interview, so don’t lie. Identify your hobbies and interests that are relevant to the role and add these to your CV. If you are unsure as to whether to include a hobby on your CV, ask yourself if it will boost your CV in any way. But don’t overpower your CV with a long list of hobbies and interests.
Indeed say that you should consider putting hobbies and interests on your resume when:
As well as your hobbies, you need to consider what the effects of your Social Media profiles have on your employability...
Learn Something New
I don’t really have a hobby that I can say I am incredibly enthusiastic about. I go to the gym regularly. But that’s only because I want to eat whatever I want. I wouldn’t say I enjoy going, nor am I particularly good at it. I listen to music. In fact, I can say I listen to music quite a bit and enjoy going to gigs. However, if you asked me to name a popular song or band or artist from the last 30 years I would fail miserably. I read. But can someone be talented at reading? That’s like saying am an excellent Netflix watcher. Think about what you do in your spare time. Do you have a hobby?
Hobbies & Interest Examples
I am not a musical person at all. Although I use to play the recorder as a child (didn’t we all?) none of these lessons could help me play a tune today. If you can play a musical instrument or have a voice of an angel (or anything remotely awesome) add it to your CV. Being dedicated enough to learn how to read music, play an instrument, or sing in the right key is enough to impress any employer.
I am also not creative. I can’t paint or draw, nor knit or sew, or create anything remotely pretty. Do you have the patience to design and create something? Do you do it regularly, for fun? Add it to your CV! The fact that you can see things differently and have the skills to produce some artwork should prove to the employer you can think outside the box with a flair for design.
I can cook! Just not particularly well. I wouldn’t say it’s a talent. I manage to keep myself alive and can follow a recipe quite well. I cook to survive and that’s about it. If you asked me to bake you a cake, I’d have to have hours of planning and at least 5 attempts to get it right. Maybe you spend your weekends creating masterpieces with just some flour and a rolling pin. Make sure to include this in your CV if you want to show the employer you have great attention to detail.
I am not particularly sporty. I can’t run for miles. I can’t race a bike. I can swim, but I’m not a strong swimmer and I get out of breath incredibly quickly for someone with a gym membership. I am definitely not a weightlifter. Should I include this on my CV? Probably not. However, if you’re an avid runner or have achieved a fitness transformation, add details about this. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to keep up a fitness regime and your employer will note this.
Puzzles & Games
Apart from playing with a deck of cards occasionally, I can honestly say I haven’t played a game in years (I don’t count playing Monopoly with the family at Christmas as a game, it’s more of a chore). But if you are an avid gamer, online or offline, adding this to your CV could really help to show off your skills. All games require specific skills and knowledge and letting your employer know this shows you’re willing to accept a challenge.
Have you heard of Unbox Therapy? No? Check out his YouTube channel where he literally unboxes (and reviews) the latest technological devices. I enjoy watching these short videos in my spare time to learn about new technology that’s out there, but I am definitely no expert. Depending on the role you’re applying for you may want to include something related to your industry. You could be a developer that has a passion for rebuilding computers. If it’s relevant, add it to your CV.
What are your skills or interests?
This question really got me thinking. Other than my talents I possess as a digital marketer, is there anything I’ve learnt in my life that is interesting?
My answer is no. Unfortunately, I have not picked up anything interesting to tell people. Unless you count a card trick I was taught at the pub once, I have no magical talents.
One thing I am proud of is my ability to communicate. I used to be shy and introverted with little to no communication skills. Now I can approach strangers with a new-found confidence my younger self would only dream about. But can this skill help me in the world of work? Yes. My communication skills have gotten me this job. I effectively communicated to my interviewers and proved both my spoken and written communication were exactly what they were looking for.
“How is that a hobby or interest?” I hear you ask. Well, in my CV I included a link to my blog which I regularly update with articles I’ve written. My blogging hobby gave my employers enough proof of my written communication skills they wanted to invite me into interview.
So, when writing your CV, have a good, hard think about your skills and interests. Do they add anything to your CV? Are they relevant? Will the employer care?
If you need anymore information about CV writing, check out these Biggest Job Application Mistakes.