Why Personal Interests on a Resume Are a Waste of Time

Generally, it’s not a good idea to add personal interests to your resume. You probably don’t add them to your LinkedIn profile, so why add them on your actual resume?

First, there’s no way to tell whether or not they’re up-to-date. More importantly, these sort of interests are typically irrelevant to the position you are applying for. Finally, the majority of employers will judge you for having unrelated personal interests on your resume.

You should avoid putting personal interests on your resume at all costs because it’s a waste of time and space that can be used more efficiently elsewhere. Here are some reasons why you should avoid including personal interests in your resume:

1. There’s no way to tell if they’re up-to-date.

A better use of space on your resume would be to include important skills or accomplishments that are related to the position you are applying for.

Since it will be harder to determine how current your interests are, you are better off leaving them off of your resume. Instead of including “languages spoken” on your resume, include how fluent you are in each language, etc.

2. Personal interests are typically irrelevant to the positions you are applying for.

Unless you have a personal interest in the company you are applying to, it’s better to leave your hobbies off of your resume.

For example, if you’re looking for a job at a bank and have an interest in yacht racing, it would be better to leave that information off of your resume, and especially the value statement, because being an avid yachting enthusiast is not relevant to working in a bank. Instead, focus on how well versed you are with banking systems or policies.

3. Personal interests are typically seen by employers as a sign of personal incompetence.

When employers see an applicant’s resume, they think they know how capable the person is and they compare you to other applicants based on their personal interests.

If the employer doesn’t know you or has never heard of your hobby, it will seem like such a waste of time and space that the employer will assume you’re not good at your job because of your interests.

4. Employers will question your commitment to their company.

For example, if you’re applying for a position at a bank, you should probably leave the fact that you own an ice cream shop off of your resume if you want to be hired as a bank teller.

The employer may wonder why you want to work as a bank teller when it is clear that owning an ice cream shop is more interesting to you. It makes you seem like you’re not committed to the job.

5. Employers will judge your personal interests for being outside of the norm.

It’s not that having a personal interest is bad, but being unique is typically a bad thing in a professional environment.

If you have a personal interest that is outside of the norm, employers will think you’re weird and they’ll most likely choose someone else who has more conventional interests or accomplishments on their resume.

Should you add personal interests to a resume?

The answer is no. No, no and no. No, you do not need to add personal interests on a resume and here’s why:

First of all, who cares about personal interests on your resume? Chances are that this is the first time your prospective employer has heard of them anyway.

More importantly though is that adding in such trivial information takes up valuable space on your resume where you could instead be showcasing skills or accomplishments that can show off how qualified you are for the position. And we think we know what your prospective employer would rather see…

Putting an item on a resume that indicates you’re not the “average” person and possibly not exactly what the position entails may also leave your employer wondering what you can do for them, if anything. If they’re not sure you fit the bill, then there’s no way they trust that once hired to their company, you’ll be up to snuff.

Also, many employers will question your motives for listing such information as it may be perceived as selling yourself to them. You’re better off adding the deans list to your resume rather than sharing your personal interests or hobbies.

Leave Your Personal Interests Off Your Resume!

When you’re applying for a job, employers are trying to find out if you’re capable of doing the job. They’re also trying to see how consistent you are with their expectations for the type of employee they want on their team.

Because your personal interests on your resume will make it hard for them to judge how suitable you are, it’s best to leave them off of your resume unless it’s something extremely relevant to the job.

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