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December 14, 2017

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Do Personal Interests Have a Place in Resumes?

Many job seekers wonder whether their love of nature walking, bike riding, or whatever other extracurricular activity they enjoy belongs on a resume. Well, the answer isn't quite “yes” or “no.” The answer depends on what your personal interests are and how they relate to the position you are seeking. Let's take a look at some common personal interests and see when those interests can be included on a resume.

Running: If you are a pharmaceutical salesperson, real estate agent, or in another profession where attractiveness is rewarded and you are an avid runner, then consider adding your love for running on your resume. Doing so may send a subliminal message to the reader that you are a person who is in great shape.

In addition, if you ran a well-known marathon (NYC, Boston), then you may want to include that information on your resume, regardless of your profession. Running a marathon takes commitment, dedication, and a lot of hard work. Those are all values that hiring managers seek in all their team members.

Golf: If you are in an industry or position where many deals are cut on the golf course, then it's a good idea to mention your love for golf on your resume.

Community involvement: If you are in a field that is giving (mental health, advocacy, medical field, and so on), then adding community-involvement activities might be a good idea. However, there is a caveat. If these activities are part of an organization that isn't secular or non-partisan, then do not mention your participation. Any content that may alienate the reader should be off limits.

College football: If you are in finance, are seeking a career on Wall Street, or are seeking a position in an industry where there are a lot of former college football players, then definitely include your college football career.

The above are a few examples of when it makes sense to include personal interests. Remember, before you mention your interests on a resume, ask yourself whether the information is relevant. If it is, then go for it!

- Linda Matias

Linda Matias heads CareerStrides.com resume service . She is the author of 201 Knockout Answers to Tough Interview Questions: The Ultimate Guide to Handling the New Competency-Based Interview Style. You can reach her at linda@careerstrides.com, and you can visit her website at www.careerstrides.com

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