The areas of interest section are very useful for the recruiter. It can indeed make the difference. So make it an asset of your application. Often featured last on your resume, interests and hobbies show your personality and can be a topic of discussion in a job interview. And who knows, maybe you have a common passion with your future N + 1!
At first, the person in charge of recruiting only knows about you what is indicated on your curriculum vitae. She will therefore seek between the lines as much information as possible to get to know you. And you will see that your hobbies and passions say more about you than you might think.
WHY INCLUDE AN INTEREST SECTION ON YOUR CV?
In the section dedicated to your interests in your CV, you will mention your hobbies, your hobbies or your extra-curricular activities. For example, your sports and/or associative activities, what you like to do in your free time, the causes that are close to your heart … Information that describes your personality and your character, outside of work or studies.
Behind these activities, the future employer will associate “ soft skills ” with them. These famous personal qualities that are highly sought after in candidates: creativity, critical thinking, autonomy, leadership and even adaptability.
To illustrate in a somewhat caricatured way:
- do you do a piano or paint? It can show that you are a self-sufficient and creative person.
- Are you president of the BDE, captain of a basketball team or volunteer in an association? It shows that you are a committed person who enjoys working in a team.
- do you like travelling or do you like escape games? The recruiter may imagine that you are rather adventurous, curious and able to adapt to a situation.
Playing the piano, being a member of a basketball team and having visited Scotland are obviously not mutually exclusive!
When a recruiter receives two candidates with almost the same background (same training, the same level of professional experience), he will try to identify points of difference. He will therefore be able to look at the interests and hobbies section of their CV.
It is a way of determining which profile could best adapt both to the life of the company and to the missions entrusted to the position. This is obviously valid for profiles without experience or young graduates.
A CGE IPSOS 2019 study revealed that recruiters * attached more importance to the skills and personality of the candidate, during an interview, than to their diploma or professional experience.
* panel of 200 companies surveyed
WHAT HOBBIES AND INTERESTS CAN YOU TALK ABOUT IN YOUR CV?
No need to list ten areas of interest in your CV, or to indicate that you like the cinema when you only go there twice a year. It is a question here of indicating your favourite pastimes, the subjects in which you attach an interest. These are hobbies that may or may not relate to your professional experience. You are a developer and you code your own video game on weekends. You want to work in communication and you are preparing your own photo exhibition.
A little advice: you must be able during an interview to be able to develop around the subjects mentioned if your future employer asks you questions or wishes to know more.
EXAMPLES OF INTERESTS TO MENTION ON YOUR CV
- volunteering/commitment: you are a member of a homework help association or in an association such as the Red Cross
- sport: you are a yellow belt in judo or you are a fan of certain extreme sports
- music: you play guitar in a band, you write and perform your songs solo
- travel: you travelled to Europe for two weeks or you made a humanitarian trip
- culture: you are a fan of science fiction literature, you have a blog on animated cinema.
- your creative side: you practice urban photography, you are passionate about DIY or DIY
You can also be a bit of a strategist, and promote hobbies that can evoke a link with the internship you are targeting. If you respond to an ad mentioning teamwork, specifying on your CV that you practice an artistic activity such as theatre will illustrate your ability to work in groups and your ease in speaking in public.
Indicate in your CV that you participate in a World Cleanup Day every year or that you are invested in the participatory garden of your district for an application in a company which puts forward its CSR approach, will perhaps attract its attention.
CAN I USE ICONS TO PRESENT MY INTERESTS?
Using icons to present your areas of interest can be a graphical solution. Be careful, however, to choose your pictograms. Indeed, the recruiter must immediately identify what you want to present to him and that he does not misinterpret. Use a soccer ball pictogram to talk about the sport when you play badminton for example (team sport VS individual sport).
SOFT SKILLS APPRECIATED BY RECRUITERS
Still, according to the results of the CGE IPSOS 2019 study, the five “very important” soft skills sought by recruiters are autonomy, a sense of the collective, the ability to take initiatives, the ability to mobilize various skills, the ability to work in project mode.
Note that this very study also revealed that recruiters * attached more importance to the skills and personality of the candidate, during an interview, than to his diploma or professional experience.
* panel of 200 companies surveyed
As explained previously, each area of interest in your CV allows you to show quality or skill. It is important to mention interests that you can talk about passionately and not lie. Do not invent a life for yourself, be natural and have confidence in your qualities and your skills.