How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

The interests and hobbies section of a resume or college application provides a good opportunity to showcase your personality. A well-executed one can even compensate for a lack in experience or education. Although you might think that all resumes are alike, you should always gear your document toward the specific audience who will be reading it, taking into consideration what they want from you as an applicant. This article will discuss how to write about your hobbies and interests for the two audiences for a resume: a college admissions committee and a potential employer.

Steps

Writing Help

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample High School Graduate Interests

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample College Graduate Hobbies and Interests

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample Hobbies and Interests Paragraph

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample Hobbies Paragraph About Dancing

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample Hobbies and Interests List

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests
Sample Clubs and Associations List

Support wikiHow and unlock all samples.

Method 1 of 2: Writing for a College Admissions Committee Download Article

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Format your application resume by priority. You likely know the basic content of a resume — education, work experience, skills, awards, and hobbies. However, listing all that information is not enough. You must put thought into the order in which that information is presented on the resume.

  • College admissions committees are far more interested in your grades, work experience, skills and awards than they are in your hobbies and interests.
  • As such, the hobbies and interests section of your resume should be presented toward the end of your resume. End with it, don’t lead with it.
  • Prioritize individual activities as well. You can either list your activities chronologically, as you probably did in the “Work Experience” section, or from most to least impressive.
  • Always remember that resumes are “top-down” documents, meaning you should lead with what you most want the reader to know about you.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Use appropriate terminology. Although you may think of tennis or chess as a fun hobby, the language you use in your resume should indicate more gravity. Rather than titling your “hobbies and interests” section “Hobbies,” call it “Activities” or “Extracurricular Activities.” By using more formal diction, you subtly give the impression that you exercised dedication and professionalism in practicing these activities, rather than simply goofing around and having a good time. This is what colleges are looking for.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Choose a formatting style for your listed sections. All of the sections of your resume that include detailed lists should be formatted in the same way. The “Activities” section of your resume should be formatted the same way as the “Work Experience” section. There is no single correct method to use, but you want to make sure that you give yourself room to not simply list your activities, but expand on them in a concise manner.

  • Do not simply list all of your activities with commas. This suggests that you have nothing to say about what you did other than the fact that you did it. Break each activity into its own bullet point.
  • Decide whether you will write in full sentences or short phrases. A resume should not be overly long — ideally, it should fit onto a single page. If you find that your resume has too much length, use phrases rather than full sentences.
  • For example: “Tennis: state champions, 2013, 2014; co-captained varsity team, 2012-14; member of varsity team, 2010-14.
  • If your resume is not long enough and you need to develop length, you can write that same information out in full sentences: “Tennis: As a member of the varsity team from 2010 to 2014, I helped my team win the state championship in both 2013 and 2014. As co-captain from 2012 to 2014, I provided leadership both on and off the court, leading team workouts during the off-season and keeping teammates accountable to one another.”

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Demonstrate well-roundedness. College admissions officers don’t expect high school seniors to know specifically what their futures will hold. Although in your essays, you want to demonstrate that you have a plan for your future and lofty goals, colleges know that in reality, student plans often change as they enter coursework and develop their interests in college.

  • The activities section of your resume is the place to demonstrate that you don’t have a one-track mind. You have a variety of interests that can be developed over your four years in college.
  • If possible, present an array of activities that demonstrate an engaged, curious mind: athletics, volunteerism, academic teams, interest in both the humanities (speech team) and STEM areas (Mathletes), etc.
  • The more well-rounded you seem, the more appealing you will be to a committee that is trying to assess how you will develop over the next four years.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Set yourself apart from the pack. This may seem to contradict the previous step, but you don’t want to present yourself as so well-rounded that you’re indistinguishable from all the other applicants. Consider which activity you have engaged in, that most sets you apart from the rest of the applicant pool.

  • Demonstrate a high level of interest in at least one of your activities. If you were a team captain, elected official or an otherwise engaged member of a group, you need to highlight that as well as possible.
  • Describe the leadership qualities you may have developed through this activity: “As Key Club president, I chaired weekly meetings, delegated club responsibilities into committees, expanded our presence by recruited peers into volunteerism and oversaw member training before sending volunteers out into the community.”
  • Explain what peripheral qualities you developed: “Over my four years in the Key Club, I developed an abiding dedication to underserved populations in local communities.”

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Choose language carefully to dress up your activities. Much of this advice so far has assumed that you have a wide variety of impressive activities that can be easily listed on your resume. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many college applicants. While you should never fabricate activities for your resume, you can make what few activities you have seem more impressive by choosing your language carefully.

  • Use the active voice throughout every document you submit in the application process. The passive voice suggests that you passively received skills or qualities from your life experiences, whereas the active voice demonstrates your engagement: you earned those skills.
  • Note the difference between “Being on the football team taught me the importance of being a team player” and “I strengthened the team’s resolve and success by stressing to individual players the importance of group cohesion to the achievement of our goals.” Take credit wherever possible, even if you weren’t in leadership positions.
  • Even if you don’t think you got a lot out of an activity, think about what skills and qualities you could have developed. For example —you might have been an awful cheerleader, but you can still say “I devoted myself to grueling practices daily throughout the season and developed an effective time-management system, through which I balanced schoolwork and cheering while dedicating myself fully to both.”
  • Even if you’re not going to make the collegiate cheer squad, you’ve still demonstrated that you can manage your time — something you learned from cheerleading.

Method 2 of 2: Writing for a Potential Employer Download Article

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Decide whether or not a “Hobbies and Interests” section is appropriate for this job. Depending on the application conventions in the industry you’re applying in, it may be inappropriate to include your hobbies on your resume at all. The potential employer may find it irrelevant and you don’t want that feeling to be attached to your application.

  • Research the corporate culture of the company you’re applying to. Some companies encourage employees to bring their interests into the creative workplace, for example, Google explicitly cultivates an “open culture” workplace where hobbies are welcomed. A hobbies section would be very appropriate for an application in the tech industry with a company like Google.
  • However, if you’re applying for a position at an accounting firm, the corporate culture may not be as welcoming of your hobbies. Leave them off that resume.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Be brief. Whereas a college admissions officer is looking to get a sense of how you might develop over the course of your undergraduate career, a potential employer wants to know, as concisely as possible, whether you would fit into the workplace or not. Stick to 7 words or less per hobby or interest. Don’t dwell on how you feel at one with nature when you go biking every morning if you’re applying for a job with a consulting firm. Simply say that you bike regularly and participate in races.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Choose the interests you include carefully. Don’t list an interest if you’re not actually passionate about it — if it comes up in an interview, your lack of passion and knowledge will give you away as a resume passer.

  • Choose interests that not only mean a lot to you, but also demonstrate the kind of person you are.
  • For example, “reading” is a fairly generic activity that doesn’t reveal that much about you. However, running marathons suggests that you possess a high level of dedication and that you can overcome obstacles.
  • “Listening to music” doesn’t tell your employee anything about you, but “I have practiced classical piano for 17 years,” tells them a lot.
  • “Volunteering,” tells the employer something about you, but it’s not as detailed as it could be. Say, instead, that you’ve volunteered weekly at the same soup kitchen for 3 years, or that you bring your expertise from your state champion high school football team to bear when volunteering as a coach for community football league.
  • Generally, hobbies that show leadership skills, personal initiative, dedication, or drive are good boosters for your resume.

How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Connect your interests to the job. Wherever possible, demonstrate how the skills and qualities you develop through your hobbies make you a better candidate for the position for which you’re applying. For example, a consulting firm may not care about what how biking up a mountain brings you closer to nature, but they will want to know that you have participated in several large-scale races that required dedication and grit in training, or that you suffered a serious injury that at some point threatened to derail your hobby, but that you are not fazed by obstacles, and you worked through it.

News Related
  • How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

    After a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 Olympics are set to kick off in Tokyo on July 23, 2021. Even though the events are technically taking place in 2021, they’re still called the 2020 Olympics. The bad news is that international spectators aren’t allowed—but that ...

    See Details: How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

  • How to Become a Member of the YMCA

    The YMCA offers a wide variety of services to its members at hundreds of centers across the United States. YMCA members have access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a broad range of wellness programs, and licensed child-care services. Most YMCAs offer flexible membership plans, including reduced fees for low-income participants. Steps ...

    See Details: How to Become a Member of the YMCA

  • How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

    Mounting ski bindings is something you can do yourself if you have the proper tools and know-how, including a drilling jig and a special drill bit. If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t confident in your ability to get the job done, it’s always best to have your ...

    See Details: How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

  • How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

    A fitness boot camp is a type of physical training class that encourages participants to do cardiovascular and strength training through instructor-led exercises. The classes often include intervals, competitions and team work. It is available through gyms, private trainers and dedicated boot camp businesses. Boot camps may take place inside ...

    See Details: How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

  • How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

    This article will show you how to do basic-advanced qigong that will develop internal strength and increase martial power. Though easy to perform these exercises are immensely effective. Steps Part 1 Part 1 of 2:Empty posture Download Article Stand normally with feet shoulder width apart. Your arms will rest normally ...

    See Details: How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

  • How to Become a Football Player After 20

    Soccer or football can sometimes seem like a young person’s game. But with the right attitude and preparedness, anyone who is fit and dedicated to the sport can get in the game. Here are a few tips to help you out if you’re over 20 and still keen to get ...

    See Details: How to Become a Football Player After 20

  • How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

    Moving from sitting to standing is a motion that most people already do throughout the day. However, when this motion is done mindfully, it can be a gentle–yet effective–exercise. This movement can strengthen your legs, lower back, and core. It can be especially helpful for older folks and people recovering ...

    See Details: How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

  • How to Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise

  • How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

  • How to Exercise Facial Muscles

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise Facial Muscles

  • How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

  • How to Get PSA Grading

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get PSA Grading

  • How to Measure a Fitness Ball

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Measure a Fitness Ball

  • How to Improve Reaction Speed

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Improve Reaction Speed

OTHER NEWS

How to Become a Nike Authorized Dealer

Nike is an Oregon-based athletic company specializing in shoes and sportswear. From its modest beginnings in 1972, the company grew quickly and sells products in 130 countries today. If you ... Read more »

How to Learn Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a style of kung fu that emphasizes close quarter combat, quick punches and tight defense to overcome opponents. This traditional Chinese martial art destabilizes opponents with quick ... Read more »

How to Start a Dance Studio

Dance has been a traditional element of many cultures for centuries. Many different styles of dance are taught and practiced around the world, and dance studios are a common type ... Read more »

How to Raise Your Leg up to Your Head

All kinds of athletes and performers raise their legs up to their heads, demonstrating flexibility and strength in their abilities. These include dancers, figure skaters, and martial artists, among others. ... Read more »

Proven Workouts and Exercises to Increase Your Athletic Speed

Whether you’re a runner, a basketball player, or a martial artist, speed is an advantage for any athlete! Get quicker on your feet by incorporating speed drills and sprints into ... Read more »

How to Display Hockey Cards

Instead of keeping your hockey cards stashed away in old shoe boxes, go ahead and show off some of your favorites! If you have some high-value cards, use professional-grade preservation ... Read more »

How to Fit a Riding Helmet

Whether you are a casual rider or a competitive equestrian, a well-fitted riding helmet is a must. You want a helmet that is made specifically for horseback riding, that fits ... Read more »

How to Go to the Himalayas

Traveling to the Himalayas can be a thrilling, life changing experience, so you’re probably really excited to plan your trip. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that spreads ... Read more »

How to Travel to the Dominican Republic

If you’re dreaming of white sandy beaches and a lush, tropical landscape, head to the Dominican Republic for the trip of a lifetime. As the top destination in the Caribbean, ... Read more »

How to Strengthen Quads Using a Fitness Ball

Quad exercises are a great way to build strength in your upper legs, and, if done regularly, will yield results relatively quickly. Working your quads (the muscles along your thighs) ... Read more »

How to Reduce the Stress of Your Commute

Are your mornings filled with stress and anxiety due to your commute? Do you find yourself laying on the horn, screaming expletives at the drivers around you, and feeling extremely ... Read more »

How to Travel Around Taiwan

Taiwan is a beautiful island country located in East Asia, only a short distance from mainland China. In addition to the main island, Taiwan has many smaller islands and archipelagoes ... Read more »

How to Chew Betel Nut in Papua New Guinea

If you ever go to Papua New Guinea, the first thing you will notice is the brilliant red-stained teeth and lips of the local men and women. Betel nut, or ... Read more »

How to Plan a Spring Break Staycation

Typically, when it comes to spring break, ideas like vacations to the beach come to mind. You don’t, however, have to take a vacation to enjoy your spring break. Instead, ... Read more »

How to Travel During the Holidays for Seniors

The holidays are a great time for traveling to visit family and friends. If you’re a senior, there are special considerations to take into account during holiday travel. You want ... Read more »

How to Travel As a Photographer

Becoming a travel photographer is a dream for many. Being able to roam around the world, getting paid for taking photos of beautiful landscapes, and experiencing new cultures and people ... Read more »

How to Cope with Honeymoon Mishaps

Text Only Text Only Going on your honeymoon with your partner is a marriage rite of passage. You and your partner may have a romantic beach getaway planned or a ... Read more »

How to Get to the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands—made up of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets—is well-known for its amazing wildlife. If you plan on visiting the Galapagos, you’ll need ... Read more »

How to Disappear Completely

Whether you need to lay low or simply want to be left alone, disappearing might sound like a good idea. Running away usually isn’t necessary and most problems are solvable ... Read more »

How to Apply for ESTA

If you want to visit the US for a brief period, either for business or pleasure, you may qualify for travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) ... Read more »

How to Travel With Children

Do you want to go on vacation, but need somewhere family friendly? Do you dread traveling with your children because of the inevitable headaches? Don’t put off travel altogether. Traveling ... Read more »

How to Write While Traveling

Writing while traveling can be either a professional or personal pursuit. Some people travel and write as part of their jobs, while others simply want to make the most out ... Read more »

How to Obtain a NEXUS Membership

NEXUS is a “Trusted Traveler” and accelerated border control program for pre-approved, low-risk travelers, allowing them quicker and smoother crossing between the Canada-United States border. Steps Download Article Find out ... Read more »

How to Apply for a Nigerian Visa

Except for nationals of some African countries, visitors to Nigeria generally need a visa to enter and depart the country. You can complete an online application to apply for a ... Read more »

How to Travel to Nigeria

If you’ve got an adventurous spirit and you’re looking for something off of the beaten path, Nigeria may be a great option for your next vacation! From sun-drenched beaches to ... Read more »

How to Make a Travel Brochure

A creative, expertly written and well-designed travel brochure invites readers to cast themselves into a story that takes place in an exotic locale. In this article, learn how to make ... Read more »

How to Travel Spontaneously

Traveling can be a pleasant, carefree experience, but the large amounts of planning and preparation which usually precede actually traveling can make the process seem like more trouble than it’s ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Niagara Falls when It Rains

It can be a let down if you get to Niagara Falls and it’s raining. Luckily, there are many indoor attractions you can still enjoy. Try to spend time at ... Read more »

How to Go to Sydney from Melbourne

Melbourne and Sydney are two of the largest cities in Australia, so it stands to reason you’d want to travel between them from time to time. Your main options for ... Read more »

How to Use the Mobile Passport App to Save Time at US Customs and Border Patrol

After flying internationally, you can speed up the US Customs and Border control process by using the easy-to-navigate Airside Mobile Passport app! Anyone who holds a US or Canadian passport ... Read more »

How to Dress in Egypt As a Woman

Whether you’re going for the ancient history, the modern cities, or the mesmerizing beaches, Egypt is a country you don’t want to miss out on. Since Egypt is a mostly ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed trip, Maui is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. You’ll find plenty of activities geared towards ... Read more »

How to Buy Gifts and Souvenirs for Others When Traveling Abroad

People love receiving gifts and when you’re traveling, it’s tempting to bring a piece of a faraway land back to others. Traveling abroad brings a host of concerns, including what ... Read more »

How to Ride your Bike to School Safely

Did you just learn how to ride a bike and want to ride it to school? Well, read this guide to do it. Steps Download Article Find a safe route ... Read more »

How to Prepare for a Trip to Israel

Also known as The Holy Land, Israel is a beautiful and diverse Mediterranean country with a history of religious significance dating back thousands of years. Despite its small size, millions ... Read more »

How to Plan Your Business Travel

Planning a work-related trip can be a stressful endeavor. On top of your usual travel concerns, you also have to keep your mind focused on the business aspect of your ... Read more »

How to Plan a Trip to Blue Hole in Belize

Deep in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, is a large dark blue circle known worldwide as the “Blue Hole”. Situated in the centre of the Lighthouse Reef, the ... Read more »

How to Get to Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a popular year-round tourist destination and stopover spot for yachts sailing the Tasman Sea. Fly to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage island on small propeller planes ... Read more »

How to Travel to Madagascar

Madagascar is an amazing place full of unique wildlife, gorgeous beaches, and fascinating geological structures. Because it’s an isolated island, Madagascar is home to many animals that can’t be found ... Read more »

How to Get to Machu Picchu

If the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru is your destination, you’ll have to navigate through the mountainous terrain by train or on foot. How much money and ... Read more »