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Hobbies and Interests Personal Statement Guide

Table of Contents

Hobbies and interests in a personal statement can do more to bring focus and clarity to your statements than fields of study. A good hobby can make a much more exciting and unique statement.

Before writing a personal statement, ensure you have a comprehensive list of your most impressive accomplishments, hobbies, jobs, and talents. Your interests have a significant role in your statement. But don’t think you can’t discuss them because you don’t have specific credentials.

This article provides tips on how to write compelling and distinctive personal statements using hobbies and interests. Read on!

Tips to Consider When Writing Hobbies and Interests in a Personal Statement

Personal statements benefit from including interest, but doing so might be challenging. You won’t go wrong if you stick to these guidelines while writing your statement.

1. Don’t Talk About Your Passion for Its Own Sake

Put less emphasis on the hobby than you should on the qualities it exposes about you.

Don’t talk about your passion for its own sake unless it’s relevant to your field of study. For instance, if you’re applying to dental school, you should do more than state that you enjoy painting. Instead, you should explain how you plan to combine your appreciation for the visual and performing arts in your chosen field.

Making these associations may be complex at first. If you’re stuck for ideas, try writing down why you appreciate your activity and your chosen field. If you see a connection, you should use it.

2. Avoid Claiming That Your Leisure Hobbies Are “exactly Like” Your Future Career

You may say that being a football team captain gave you the leadership skills you’ll need as a doctor. You may also state that your love of art led you to dentistry.

Still, you shouldn’t put too much stock in your current situation. If you can paint, that’s great, but it doesn’t indicate you have the skills to be a dentist. It’s not fair to compare your responsibilities as a football captain to those of a doctor.

Recognizing that your interests reflect aspects of you differs from asserting that your interests are almost similar to your future profession.

The admissions committee will likely take great pride in their work. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to compare it to your hobbies. There are two ways in which these ties can strengthen your application essay.

First, they demonstrate your ability to apply knowledge gained in various contexts to your professional growth.

Second, they prove that your extracurricular activities are relevant to your chosen profession. It is not merely a wishful thinking exercise about your future.

3. How Well You Do in Your Interest Is Important

If your college swimming team won the state title, don’t just say that you swam there. Highlight the skills that helped your team succeed and include examples of how you’ve applied those skills elsewhere.

A well-rounded individual is very desirable in the eyes of the admissions’ committee because achievement in one area usually equals greatness in another.

However, here’s the catch: excelling in your pastime isn’t enough. You need to demonstrate that the skills that helped you succeed in your fun can serve you well in your chosen profession.

If you don’t, people may assume that you’re the type to let your passions get in the way of your professional development and studies. You want your extracurricular activities to be a selling point, not a drawback.

4. Show How Your Interest Benefits Others

It’s a given in nearly every personal statement that the author has some sort of altruistic motivation. However, only a few students can convey their genuine desire to help others in their accounts.

The admissions’ committee can learn much about your character from hearing about your interests and passions. It is an essential detail to provide, but something that is normally expected to be said may make them more skeptical.

5. Your Interests Should Take up No More Than a Few Phrases

The admissions officers can be difficult to predict. Your Mount Everest climb may inspire the admissions board that they can’t forget it.

However, how you describe your connection to the field you’re applying to likely garner greater attention from admissions officers.

You should describe your activities in a few sentences, but you can organize them to maximize their impact. Include a brief discussion of your hobbies near the beginning of your statement to demonstrate how they influenced your early career path.

Your statement should emphasize your potential as a professional in your field, regardless of where you focus. With so little room, every word must count.

Example of Great Hobbies and Interests Personal Statement

The hobby or interest part of an application that stands out. Here’s a great example of all we have discussed using an INK example;

white pink and green floral painting

I am a passionate hobbyist with diverse interests and an enthusiasm for learning new skills. Over the years, I have explored many hobbies, including painting, photography, playing music, gardening, and cooking – just to name a few!

My approach is holistic and creative, seeking out novel ways to engage my interests in exciting and engaging ways. When I was exploring painting, I experimented with different textures and styles to create unique compositions that reflected my aesthetic.

Similarly, as a musician, I endeavored to use unconventional instruments such as kazoos and xylophones to create offbeat melodies. Furthermore, I love utilizing technology to further my endeavors.

These projects have challenged and taught me new abilities, from audio production to Photoshop design. All-in-all, I relish any opportunity to tap into my multifaceted creativity and explore the bountiful world of hobbies and interests.

Your hobbies and interests personal statement are significant! If you have any hobbies or interests that you would like to include in your essay, make sure they are narrow enough.

There’s not enough time to show the committee your skill and passion for all your hobbies! Instead, you should go in-depth and show how the specific activity benefits others.

Hobbies and Interests Personal Statement Guide

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

BEST Examples of Hobbies and Interests to put on a CV (2024 Guide)

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Putting hobbies and interests on your CV is a great way to make your CV stand out from the crowd and impress the employer.

What you spend your free time on tells the employer a great deal about you, your values, your motivations, and in some cases, your skills and intelligence. This information can add real value to your job application and improve your chances of being shortlisted for a job interview.

David Littleford et al. , (2004) in their book Career Skills (pg. 14-15) mention under “other interests”:

“You should include hobbies and other interests, especially if they involve social and community activities. These activities are important – cover membership of societies, sports clubs/teams, etc. All these activities and the extent of your involvement give the recruiter clues about the real you and your interests.”

Use the guide and examples below to find out more about hobbies and interests and how to include them on your CV – let’s begin!

What are hobbies and interests?

Should i put hobbies and interests on my cv, what your hobbies “say” about you, what kind of hobbies should i put on my cv, examples of good personal interests to put on a cv, examples of best hobbies to put on a cv, how to write hobbies on a cv, location of the hobbies section on a cv, examples of different cv hobbies sections, things to avoid when writing your hobbies section.

Examples of hobbies to put on a CV

A hobby is an activity that you regularly  pursue for enjoyment purposes, particularly during your leisure time. These are activities that generally relieve you from stress, tension or fatigue.

Examples of hobbies for a CV:

  • Playing sports (football, tennis, hockey, cricket, etc.)
  • Playing chess and solving puzzle games
  • Reading and writing books, articles and publications
  • Travelling and meeting new people
  • Designing, drawing, sketching and painting
  • Cooking and baking

An interest is an activity that you want to do or are currently doing on an  irregular  basis.

Examples of personal interests for a CV:

  • Volunteering at local companies, clubs and organisations
  • Organising events in the community
  • Participating in fundraising events for charity
  • Joining a professional, social or environmental group

The answer is, yes! Research has shown that adding relevant hobbies to your CV can make your CV more interesting, strengthen your job application and increase your chances of getting shortlisted for an interview. Putting your personal interests on your CV also shows the employer that you are a whole human being with a satisfactory life outside work and not a work robot.

If you lack work experience, your interests may show your suitability for the job in other ways. For example, they may give valuable information on your leadership potential or ability to work in a team.

Interviewers also use your interests to come up with ‘relaxing’ questions if the interview gets too hot or heavy; something which can help calm your nerves and improve your performance during the interview.

The benefits of including your personal interests on your CV:

  • It will give the recruiter a fuller and more complete picture of you
  • Extracurricular interests tell the employer that you are an all-rounded person who, besides just working, also enjoys having a good time
  • They form a great basis for discussion at the interview stage
  • Sporting activities indicate that you are fit, healthy and outgoing
  • Involvement in the community suggests good interpersonal skills
  • School leavers
  • College students
  • University graduates
  • Candidates with little or no work experience
  • Candidates who have blank space in their CVs that can be utilised

Remember that your CV is your personal marketing tool, and you should make the most out of using the totality of your CV, including the interests section, to “sell yourself” to the prospective employer.

  • Senior professionals including managers and executives
  • Candidates with a lot of work experience
  • Candidates whose CVs are overflowing to more than 2 A4 pages

It’s not always appropriate to add this section to a senior CV. The more experience you have, the less important the hobbies and interests section becomes. Managers, executives and other experienced professionals are expected to show their skills and personal qualities from their work experience, achievements and educational background, without the need to resort to outside interests.

Phrases such as ‘Playing football’ , ‘solving puzzles’ , and ‘fixing computers’ are not generic terms without any meaning, rather; they carry a deeper message.

Here’s what the prospective employers will be subconsciously asking themselves when reading through the candidates’  CVs :

What do statements such as, “I play football on a regular basis”, “I enjoy solving puzzles” or “I like fixing computers” tell me about this candidate and their suitability for the job?

Many candidates do not realise that the hobbies and interests they include in their CVs can reveal a lot of information about them and their personalities.

Below is a list of some personal interests and activities and what they tell employers about the candidate:

List of hobbies and interests for a CV

Ask yourself: how do these interests add value to my application? Try to highlight your ability to interact, help and/or communicate with others.

Answer: Those that are relevant and add value to your application!

When deciding which interests to include, the golden rule to apply is;

Will it help me get the job?

Only include relevant hobbies, sports and leisure activities that display you in a positive light and strengthen your application; for example; interests which show that you are active, sociable and responsible.

Martin Yate, a best-selling careers author, outlines three broad categories of leisure activities to include on your CV in his book The Ultimate CV Book (Pg.35):

  • Team sports (football, cricket, basketball, etc.)
  • Determination activities (running, swimming, cycling, climbing, etc.)
  • Brain activities (chess, reading, etc.)

However, not every one of the above categories may be suitable for your situation and the job that you are applying for. Only select the hobbies and interests that are relevant to the job and add value to your application.

  • Bain activities (such as playing chess) are a good match for jobs which are technical or analytical in nature  (e.g. jobs in IT or science).
  • Team sports (such as playing football) are a good match for jobs which require working with people on a daily basis (e.g. jobs in business or marketing).

Example of relevant and irrelevant hobbies for a web developer:

personal-interests-cv

NOTE: Different activities can be interpreted differently depending on the job you are applying for. For example, “playing computer games” as a hobby is irrelevant to most jobs and may sometimes portray you as a self-absorbed individual living in their own little cyber world. However, the same hobby can add tremendous weight to your CV if you apply for a job as a video game developer, graphics designer or shop assistant at your local games shop!

How to match your interests with the job you are applying for:

There are thousands of hobbies and interests that people include in their CVs. Selecting the correct hobbies to include will depend on a number of factors, including the job sector and the job role/specifications.

Use the guidelines below to select the correct interests for your CV:

For example, if the job holder must have “excellent people skills” , you could mention your volunteering, team sports or socialising activities – all of which develop your communication, interpersonal and people skills. Don’t mention playing chess or jogging as that would be irrelevant.

If, on the other hand, the job specification states that the person must possess “outstanding technical skills” , you would mention playing chess, building computers and upgrading computer networks – things that indicate that you are technically competent and analytical-minded. Don’t mention socialising events because that would be less relevant.

Many companies have a ‘culture’ in the way they operated and how employees of that organisation behave. Google, for instance, is now famously known for allowing employees to play games, take a walk or do sports in order to relieve stress or become more productive during working hours. When applying for a job at a company like Google, there is no harm in showing a little bit of your fun, playful and human side because that fits in nicely with their company culture.

It is always a good idea to write down the list of skills and abilities that you possess and see which of these would add value if you include it in your CV. Skills and abilities are closely related to your hobbies and interest; therefore, you may include them in this section too.

List of interests and their relevance to different jobs

Interests enhance your CV because they show the employer that you are an all-round person with a passion and determination to undertake activities outside work.

The following personal interests will make your CV shine:

  • Involved in local clubs, classes and groups. Involvement in clubs and student societies demonstrates that you have excellent interpersonal and people skills, traits that are highly valued by employers. Don’t forget to make mention any professional bodies you are a member of.
  • Volunteering at local companies and organisations. Research has shown that the most important part of a candidate’s CV is their work experience section. If you don’t have any relevant work experience, it is highly recommended to take up some voluntary work to improve your skills, gain exposure to your industry and give your CV a great boost!
  • Attending events, shows and exhibitions. Attending events, whether they are for business or pleasure, demonstrates to the employer that you are keen to learn about the latest trends in an industry or on a subject. It also shows that you are confident and enjoy meeting new people; two personal traits that are highly desired in almost all jobs.
  • Organising events in the community. Employers love candidates that show initiative and take on additional responsibilities to further their skills and experience. Having experience in helping with community events is particularly useful if you want a job in events management, marketing or business management.
  • Involved with charities (including campaigning and fundraising). Employers value charity work because it shows that you are socially conscious, compassionate and caring. It also demonstrates that you have great people skills and are capable of dealing with the public.

These interests enhance your CV because they inform the employer that you possess excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills which enables you to undertake these activities. It also confirms that you are motivated and determined about the things you are passionate about.

The following hobbies will give a boost to your CV:

  • Exercise and sports. Adding sports to your CV will portray you as a healthy and fit individual. There are two types of sports; individual sports such as running, swimming and cycling, and team sports such as football, basketball, cricket and tennis. Individual sports portray you as a determined, passionate and strong-willed individual whereas team sports show that you have excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • Playing brain games. Brain activities are great hobbies to add to any CV, especially if you pursue a career in computing, mathematics or science because they demonstrate excellent problem-solving and analytical skills. Playing chess or puzzle games also tells the employer that you are intelligent, thoughtful and capable of overcoming challenges.
  • Writing. Writing as a hobby indicates that you have excellent written communication skills, a key requirement for copywriters, editors, public relations professionals, marketers and journalists. You don’t necessarily have to be writing voluminous books to mention this hobby on your CV! You can also include writing poems, short articles and blog posts.
  • Mentoring and coaching. Employers highly value mentoring because they understand that teaching, advising or supervising someone requires great skill, patience and determination. This hobby is particularly useful to add to your CV if you’re applying for a job as a teacher, tutor, mentor, teaching assistant, sports coach or fitness instructor.
  • Computing and IT. If you’re applying for a job in the information technology (IT) industry, you can add the following activities to your CV to enhance it; coding and programming, building and fixing computers, designing and developing websites, setting-up computer networks and keeping up with the latest developments in technology.
  • Designing. Designing is an essential requirement if you’re looking to apply for a job in a creative industry such as marketing or design. Activities that you could add to your CV include designing art, drawing, sketching and painting by hand, and using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 2D drawings and 3D models.
  • Cooking, baking and eating. Who doesn’t like food, right? Cooking new dishes and baking cakes are great hobbies to add to your CV if you’re applying for a job in the hospitality and catering industry. You could also mention things like, ‘going out and eating at restaurants’ or ‘watching Food Channel or other food-related TV programmes (e.g. MasterChef)’. Passion for food goes a long way in this industry!

Below are the guidelines for writing a perfect hobbies section of your CV:

  • Keep this section short and to the point as it is an extra/optional section; one to three interests are usually sufficient.
  • Only include interests that are relevant to the job. For example, what value does “stamp and coin collecting” as a hobby add to the application of someone who applies for the logistics manager position? The answer: none. However, stamp collecting would be a very valuable hobby to mention when applying for a job as a stamp appraiser .
  • Don’t use the usual lines about enjoying walking, reading or swimming; be more specific and describe them in sentences. For example, change “I enjoy reading” , to “I enjoy reading non-fiction and current affairs books” ), or change “Travelling” to “I have visited most major European cities,” etc.)
  • Try to list interests that show a balance . A healthy interest in sports and the outdoors should be counterbalanced by other, more intellectual pursuits.
  • Keep it real and don’t lie or exaggerate.

The interests section should be placed at the end of the second page , just before the CV references section :

hobbies-personal-interests-cv-section

Remember: This section is optional so placing it higher up on your CV will give the prospective employer the impression that you do not understand how to prioritise things. Think about it, how can your personal interests be more important to the employer than your work experience or qualifications?

Example 1 – Economist

Example 2 – teaching assistant.

Note: The example below is a bit long because the candidate had blank space in their CV and utilised it accordingly.

teaching-assistant-hobbies-examples

Example 3 – Civil Engineer

Example 4 – credit controller.

hobbies-on-cv-example

Example 5 – Journalist

It is best to avoid putting anything controversial or sensitive on your CV. Humans are by their nature very judgemental, so be wise about what you disclose on your CV. For example, some recruiters may judge you negatively if you included heavy metal as your favourite music genre.

Avoid mentioning interests that could reveal your private beliefs.

Stating that you are an “active member of the local church” may harm your chances of being invited to an interview, especially when the potential employer reading your CV is a strict atheist. Similarly, stating that you “volunteered on a number of Labour election campaigns” or that you are a “huge fan of Manchester United” is also not a very good idea.

Don’t mention very risky, dangerous or time-consuming hobbies such as rock climbing, deep sea diving, bungee jumping, parachuting and boxing. It is in the employer’s best interest that you are fit and well when you’re working for them!

One recruitment expert commented, “Personally alarm bells go off for me when I read about people jumping out of perfectly good aircraft or hanging off tall buildings on the thinnest of ropes!”

Interviewers use the interests section of your CV to identify any conflict of interest if your hobbies demand too much of your time that could interfere with your ability to do your job or meet deadlines. A potential conflict of interest could arise, for example, if you state that you run two part-time businesses alongside your day job.

You may think it’s a good idea to make up some hobbies to impress the employer but this is not a good idea.

One unfortunate applicant had put ‘theatre’ as one of their interests but was left speechless and embarrassed at the interview when they were asked about the kind of theatre they liked and the name of the last play they saw.

Make sure that you know enough to talk about every interest you list on your CV at the interview. Don’t include “Karate” as your hobby if the nearest you ever got to karate was watching a martial arts film! What if the interviewer is a black belt and asks you about the style of karate you have studied?

Over the years, recruiters have documented the many weird and inappropriate interests that they have seen on CVs, including:

  • Eating pizzas
  • Handling guns
  • Frog dissection
  • Swimming with saltwater crocodiles

Needless to say, none of these candidates was invited for a job interview!

Adding too many hobbies to your CV fills up valuable space that could be used for more important information. The following is a sample of a CV’s interests section that contains too many activities:

Having too many hobbies on a CV

At this stage, the prospective employer will most likely be wondering: “Gosh, when will this person have any time to do some work?!”

Putting hobbies and interests on your CV is an excellent way of enhancing your CV and improving the chances of being shortlisted for a job interview. Regardless of your job or industry, you should only include hobbies or interests that are relevant and add value to your application.

If you’re still undecided on what to include, have a look at the great examples below to see which of these you can add to your CV.

The best personal hobbies and interests to put on a CV:

  • Sports such as football, basketball and swimming.
  • Exercise such as walking or going to the gym.
  • Volunteering and participating in the community.
  • Reading books, magazines or publications.
  • Writing books, poems, articles or blog posts.
  • Designing or drawing by hand or computer (CAD).
  • Building things such as computers and product prototypes.
  • Coaching, teaching, tutoring or mentoring someone.
  • Organising events/activities for local charities or organisations.
  • Learning a new skill such as public speaking or new technology.
  • Cooking and baking when applying for food-related jobs.
  • Playing brain games, puzzles, riddles and solving quizzes.
  • Travelling to experience new cultures and meet new people.
  • Learning a new language.

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how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

How to make the most of your hobbies in your personal statement

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

I distinctly remember how daunting the task of summarising 17 years of hobbies, interests and skills into one piece of A4 was.

Personal statements are not easy, but the best tip I could give you about writing one, would be to start off listing all your achievements, hobbies, employment, work experience, skills.

Your hobbies are an important factor of your personal statement. But don’t let that make you feel you have to be a sporting champion or a creative genius to talk about them.

Here are some great rules to follow when writing your personal statement – follow these and you shouldn’t go far wrong!

  • Use the ABC (activity, benefit, course) rule when writing your personal statement.
  • Keep everything positive!
  • Shout about your achievements and skills – don’t be shy
  • Don’t let spelling and grammar mistakes hold you back.
  • Find someone you trust to give you feedback.

Here is a small insight into how I used my hobbies within my personal statement:

Hobby One: Rugby Union

Sport is a great method of demonstrating valuable skills: teamwork, commitment, leadership. I juggled Premiership Rugby during Year 13; balancing academic work and a sporting career was a skill I perfected right through my degree. I had a real passion for sport, and this was central to my desire to study sports therapy.

rachel1

Hobby Two: Part-Time Waitress

Part-time employment, even if it is totally unrelated to your course, can be a great example of motivation, efficiency and time-management. I was a waitress before I came to university, at a local pub. The extra cash I saved was ideal during fresher’s week, but specifically, I had to politely and professionally communicate with a variety of characters. This has helped me greatly in my Sports Therapy degree!

rachel2

Hobby Three: Volunteer Rugby Coach

Volunteering shows your willingness to go above and beyond what might be expected of you. Personally, volunteering to coach children was a great skill to apply to my course; managing and first aiding children was something I covered during my degree. On a personal note, I really enjoyed being a role model to the young players, even if I did cringe massively when one asked for an autograph!

Hobby Four: Work Experience at a Sports Therapy Clinic

Relevant work experience to your course is a great asset to your personal statement. It demonstrates motivation and passion to study the course, and importantly, confirms your desire to study the course in more depth. Some courses, such as nursing or teaching , require recent work experience, so this might be worth checking as soon as possible with your course. Unusually, at the age of 16 following my year 10 work experience, I knew I wanted to be a sports therapist. I continued to work part time at a local clinic, which was an invaluable experience to me both academically and personally.

rachel4

Hobby Five: Working on my family’s Dairy Farm

Many students believe there is a golden ticket that will be their pass into University. Thankfully that is not the case. Sharing an insight into your personality and background is something that can be subtly written into your personal statement. From my farming background, I could demonstrate other passions and interests aside from my academic or sporting achievements.

rachel-5

Your personal statement is your opportunity to talk directly to the admissions tutor – make it fun, positive and share an insight into your life! If you have any further questions, get to a Personal Statement clinic on a University Open Day , where someone can read through your personal statement.

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  • How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 3, 2023.

A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.

To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:

  • Your personality: what are your interests, values, and motivations?
  • Your talents: what can you bring to the program?
  • Your goals: what do you hope the program will do for you?

This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.

Urban Planning Psychology History

Table of contents

Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, other interesting articles.

Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.

For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.

There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.

The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.

Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene

An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:

  • A personal experience that changed your perspective
  • A story from your family’s history
  • A memorable teacher or learning experience
  • An unusual or unexpected encounter

To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.

Strategy 2: Open with your motivations

To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.

Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:

  • Is it a longstanding passion or a recent discovery?
  • Does it come naturally or have you had to work hard at it?
  • How does it fit into the rest of your life?
  • What do you think it contributes to society?

Tips for the introduction

  • Don’t start on a cliche: avoid phrases like “Ever since I was a child…” or “For as long as I can remember…”
  • Do save the introduction for last. If you’re struggling to come up with a strong opening, leave it aside, and note down any interesting ideas that occur to you as you write the rest of the personal statement.

Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.

To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.

Strategy 1: Describe your development over time

One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.

  • What first sparked your interest in the field?
  • Which classes, assignments, classmates, internships, or other activities helped you develop your knowledge and skills?
  • Where do you want to go next? How does this program fit into your future plans?

Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.

My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.

Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles

If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.

  • Is your social, cultural or economic background underrepresented in the field? Show how your experiences will contribute a unique perspective.
  • Do you have gaps in your resume or lower-than-ideal grades? Explain the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.

Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.

Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.

Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field

Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.

  • Reflect on the topics or themes that you’ve focused on in your studies. What draws you to them?
  • Discuss any academic achievements, influential teachers, or other highlights of your education.
  • Talk about the questions you’d like to explore in your research and why you think they’re important.

The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.

In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.

Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions

Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.

  • If your career is just getting started, show how your character is suited to the field, and explain how graduate school will help you develop your talents.
  • If you have already worked in the profession, show what you’ve achieved so far, and explain how the program will allow you to take the next step.
  • If you are planning a career change, explain what has driven this decision and how your existing experience will help you succeed.

Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.

One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.

Tips for the main body

  • Don’t rehash your resume by trying to summarize everything you’ve done so far; the personal statement isn’t about listing your academic or professional experience, but about reflecting, evaluating, and relating it to broader themes.
  • Do make your statements into stories: Instead of saying you’re hard-working and self-motivated, write about your internship where you took the initiative to start a new project. Instead of saying you’ve always loved reading, reflect on a novel or poem that changed your perspective.

Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.

Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.

Strategy 1: What do you want to know?

If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?

If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.

Strategy 2: What do you want to do?

If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?

Tips for the conclusion

  • Don’t summarize what you’ve already said. You have limited space in a personal statement, so use it wisely!
  • Do think bigger than yourself: try to express how your individual aspirations relate to your local community, your academic field, or society more broadly. It’s not just about what you’ll get out of graduate school, but about what you’ll be able to give back.

You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.

Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.

Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.

Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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40+ Hobbies & Interests to Put on a Resume [Updated for 2024]

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“Hobbies and interests have no place on the resume.”

Done right, hobbies on a resume can help you stand out from other candidates, show a bit of your personality to the hiring manager, and potentially even get you the job!

That said, not every resume needs hobbies and interests, and at the same time, not every hobby belongs on a resume.

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about hobbies on a resume, including when to list them, how to pick the right ones to mention, and more!

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • Should You Mention Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume?
  • 12 Best Hobbies and Interests to Put On Your Resume

How to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

4 tips to keep in mind when listing hobbies and interests, 40 best hobbies and interests to put on your resume [complete list].

Let’s dive in!

Should You Mention Hobbies & Interests on Your Resume?

There’s no straight-up answer to this question as it depends on several factors.

For example, if you’re a professional with many years of experience in your field, you could probably do without a hobbies and interests section on your resume. 

As a seasoned professional, you probably have tons of skills, work experience , and certifications to fill your resume with and set yourself apart from the competition. 

If adding a “hobbies and interests” section will make your resume spill over to page two , then you should definitely leave it out. 

On the other hand, if you’re a recent graduate with little work experience, adding your hobbies and interests to your resume can help you stand out as a candidate, as well as help fill up your resume to take up an entire page.

But enough with the hypotheticals! Let us tell you exactly when to mention hobbies and interests on your resume and how they can benefit your job application.

What’s the Difference Between Hobbies and Interests?

First things first - what are hobbies and interests? 

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same thing:

  • Interests are topics, ideas, or subjects that interest you, fascinate you, and you want to learn more about. Culinary art, history, and classical music are all examples of various interests.
  • Hobbies are activities you actually engage in. Some examples of hobbies may include cooking, playing basketball, or visiting museums.

Hobbies show the hiring manager how you spend your free time and what kind of additional skills you may possess. For example, if you include “basketball” as your hobby, you’re also telling the hiring manager that you have great teamwork skills. 

Interests , on the other hand, indicate what topics and ideas you’re currently interested in or you’d like to explore in the future. If, for example, you’re applying for a job that requires relocation and you list traveling as your interest, you may seem like a more relevant candidate because you enjoy traveling to new places. 

So, as you can see, hobbies and interests can add value to your resume if they’re relevant to the job and if they point to soft skills the company may be looking for. 

Which leads us to the million-dollar question: when exactly should you include hobbies and interests on your resume? 

When to Include Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume

You should include hobbies and interests on your resume when:

  • You still have space after including all the essential resume sections (contact information, work experience, education, and skills).
  • You have limited work experience, education, and skills related to the position you are applying for.
  • The company puts emphasis on its employees’ personalities and unique traits.
  • The company specifically asks to list additional hobbies and interests.
  • Your hobbies and interests show that you’re good at your job. E.g. if you’re applying for a writing role, having Dungeons & Dragons as an interest might help (as it shows that you’re creative).

New to resume-making? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

12 Top Hobbies and Interests to Put On Your Resume

So here’s the takeaway: for hobbies and interests to add value to your resume, they should be somewhat relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

In most cases, though, candidates list pastime activities that say nothing to the hiring manager reading their resume, like watching movies or listening to music. 

To help you avoid such a mistake, we’ve listed some of the best hobbies and interests to put on your resume, based on companies’ most commonly required skills and abilities: 

#1. Community Involvement

Volunteering and community involvement is probably the best hobby/interest you could be adding to your resume, as it’s associated with 27% higher odds of employment . 

In a nutshell, volunteering shows initiative, empathy, and the ability to see beyond your personal interests. On top of this, volunteering teaches organizational skills, teamwork, and leadership. 

#2. Writing

Communication skills - both verbal and written - are some of the most sought-after soft skills by companies . 

As such, having writing as a hobby can effectively show potential employers that your communication skills extend beyond the workplace and are, as such, stronger than other candidates. 

#3. Blogging

Blogging is another hobby that proves you’ve got excellent communication skills, which is essential for most roles.

At the same time, blogging as a hobby also shows that you’re a self-starter that can work on independent projects, which is another very in-demand skill for most roles.

#4. Learning Languages

It’s no secret that speaking foreign languages can improve your chances of getting a job . 

For starters, employers are always on the lookout for candidates who can communicate with people from different nationalities and can be an asset when dealing with international markets.

On top of that, learning languages is associated with improving valuable skills like problem-solving and dealing with abstract concepts, both of which are desirable employee skills. 

Some of the jobs where listing learning languages as a hobby can come in handy include social workers, human resources managers, flight attendants, community health workers, hotel managers, customer service agents, etc. 

#5. Photography

Just like all the other hobbies on this list, photography can represent you in more ways than “this candidate likes to take pictures.”

After all, photography takes creativity, interpersonal skills, and even technical skills ! 

This means that, in addition to all the jobs that require photography skills, there are many other positions out there that could benefit from a candidate who’s into photography. 

career masterclass

Traveling may not seem like the best hobby to include on your resume at first sight. After all, it simply involves picking a destination and being a tourist, right? 

Well, not exactly. 

Someone who loves traveling is also likely to be: 

  • Curious to learn new things, experience new cultures, and meet new people
  • Well- organized and adaptable to new situations and people
  • Not afraid to step out of their comfort zone

All of these personality traits make for an adaptable and flexible employee, something that employers appreciate!

Sports - and any kind of physical activity, really - are known to improve brain health and your ability to do everyday activities . 

Not only, but sports also help you develop self-discipline, teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills . 

All of these are essential skills that could help you “adapt” your resume to different kinds of jobs. 

#8. Reading

Reading is one of the best hobbies to put on your resume, regardless of what types of books you like to read.

Reading exercises the brain, improves the ability to focus, increases general knowledge, can sharpen your communication skills, and helps relieve stress . 

#9. Making Music

Making music not only takes creativity, but also a lot of determination, patience, and endurance. Not to mention, studies show that playing an instrument can also improve your memory and focus . 

Showing such qualities can instantly make you more attractive to hiring managers.

Yoga is known to create mental clarity , relieve chronic stress patterns, relax the mind, and sharpen concentration.

And - let’s be honest - who doesn’t want an employee who’s mentally clear, unstressed, and able to concentrate on their work? 

To do any kind of art, you need to be creative, which is among the most popular transferable skills companies are looking for in 2022. 

According to this Adobe study , creativity has gained the most value in driving salary increases in the past five years. That’s also because creativity is also linked to inventiveness, imagination, and problem-solving abilities. 

Dancing is more than just a fun pastime. It improves your cognitive abilities, and collaboration skills (especially if you’re dancing with a partner), and can help you unwind and keep your stress levels low. 

top hobbies and interests for resume

Top Soft and Hard Skills Related to Hobbies and Interests On a Resume

And here’s what the hiring manager is likely to read from including the hobbies and interests listed above to your resume in terms of soft and hard skills: 

Top Soft and Hard Skills Related to Hobbies and Interests On a Resume

Yep, you heard that right.

There IS a right and wrong way to list hobbies and interests on your resume.

In this section, we’ll teach you all you need to know to make your hobbies and interests section as effective as possible!  

#1. Decide whether you need them

The first thing you want to do is decide whether you’d benefit from adding hobbies and interests to your resume. As we already mentioned, hobbies and interests can be a breath of fresh air for your resume, but only in certain circumstances.  

If you’re a professional with many years of work experience under your sleeve, your resume can do without a hobbies and interests section.

You already have a lot of professional achievements , relevant skills, and qualifications to make your resume a full one-pager, while adding a hobbies section would mean removing some other critical section from your resume.

On the other hand , if you’re a student with almost no work experience or skills, or if you’re applying to a startup or to a company that puts more emphasis on company culture, then you could definitely benefit from listing your hobbies and interests. 

The optimal length for a resume is one page.

If including a hobbies and interests section spills your resume over to the second page, that means that you can probably just skip including the section in the first place.

#2. Research the Company

So, you’ve decided it’s a good idea to include your hobbies and interests on your resume. But, which ones do you actually include? 

To make the best possible choice, start by researching the company. See if they have any specific work culture, work retreats, and what qualities would complement your role.

Here’s exactly where you should look: 

  • The job ad. Read the job ad and identify the type of skills that they’re looking for.
  • The company website and any employee profiles you can find there.
  • Their social media accounts . Specifically, their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. 

#3. Choose the Right Skills

Once you’ve done this, you should think about how specific skills or requirements may transfer to a hobby or interest and tailor yours to the job accordingly. 

You may have dozens of exciting hobbies and interests, but your resume isn’t the right place to list them all. Just to reiterate - you want your hobbies and interests to be as relevant as possible . 

So, for example, if the job ad mentions the company’s looking for someone who’s “outgoing” or a “great team player,” then any kind of sport is a good hobby to list on your resume. 

Meanwhile, anything that involves you sitting alone and being introverted (e.g. reading or knitting) is not very relevant. 

An alternative approach to choosing the right hobbies and interests is to use them to fill your skill gaps.

Let’s say that you’re an entry-level professional and you’re applying for your first job as an illustrator. Chances are, you lack some of the technical skills required for the job, simply due to your lack of professional experience. 

In such a case, choosing a hobby that proves you’ve got an eye for design and aesthetics can help your application. Anything art-related, including photography, painting, drawing, etc., will show the hiring manager that you’re passionate about this line of work. 

#4. Create a Separate Section (and Push It Down) 

By now you should have a clear idea of what hobbies and interests to add to your resume. 

The rest is fairly easy. 

Simply create a separate section titled “Hobbies and Interests,” and place it at the end of your resume . It’s crucial that this section doesn’t overshadow the more important parts of your resume, like your contact information, work experience, education , or even any volunteer work or internships you’ve completed. 

hobbies and interests on a resume

Ultimately, adding a “Hobbies and Interests” section at the end of your resume is a great way to wrap up your resume. 

It can help you make an impression that extends beyond the professional aspect and give the recruiter a little extra something to remember you by. 

Want to start your resume in a way that will grab the hiring manager’s attention? Learn how to write a resume summary with our guide! 

#5. List Up to Four Interests or Hobbies

Last but not least, it’s important to list the right amount of hobbies and interests on your resume. 

We recommend listing 4-6 total, at most. Anything less, and your hobbies section will look too empty. Anything more, and it’ll look like you’re just trying to fill in space.

Here are some additional tips you should always remember when you’re creating the “Hobbies and Interests” section of your resume: 

#1. Find out what you specifically enjoy about your hobbies 

People enjoy hobbies for different reasons. 

For example, someone might enjoy photography because they love being outdoors and capturing beautiful landscapes, while someone else might enjoy it because it gives them an opportunity to remember every place they visit or every person they meet. 

By identifying exactly what it is that you enjoy about your hobbies, it can be easier to describe them on your resume and talk about them genuinely in case the hiring manager asks about them during the job interview . 

#2. Be honest

Just like with everything else on your resume, you should be honest about the hobbies you list. 

Meaning, don’t lie about hobbies just because you think they sound cool, and don’t over-exaggerate something that can come back and bite you later on during the interview.

Just because you like to go on walks sometimes, doesn’t mean you’re “passionate about hiking” . Imagine the hiring manager’s also a hiking enthusiast and they ask you about the latest trail you hiked, but the only thing you can mention is how you enjoy taking a one-hour walk around your neighborhood daily to clear your mind. 

In such cases, it’s better to be honest and write this: 

  • Physical exercise: exercising daily for 45 minutes by taking a walk in nature.

Instead of this: 

#3. Be specific 

The more specific you can be about your hobbies and interests, the higher the chances to stand out from other applicants and make an impression on the hiring manager. 

Here’s what we mean by that: 

  • Learning languages: studying and practicing some of the most-spoken languages in the world, such as Mandarin and French. 

#4. Keep these hobbies OUT of your resume

A very thin line separates unique from weird, and you want to make sure not to cross it. 

To be on the safe side, avoid listing hobbies and interests that might be considered weird or controversial, such as any of the following:

  • Hobbies that signal antisocial behavior or activities.
  • Hobbies and interests that could be misinterpreted, even if you meant them as a joke (e.g. partying like there’s no tomorrow). 
  • Hobbies and interests that reveal personal information such as your political or religious views. 
  • Hobbies that could be considered violent or dangerous (e.g. lighting things on fire). 
  • Hobbies and interests with little or no interactivity. 

Looking for inspiration?

Here are several hobbies you can include, by category, based on your personality type.

Sports Interest and Hobby Examples

Sports Interest and Hobby Examples

Generally speaking, there are two types of sports you can include on your resume - individual and team-oriented .

Depending on the sport, they either show you work well with others, or that you have the self-discipline and perseverance to work alone (or both!) 

Endurance sports (like jogging) show your drive and discipline.

Team sports (like football, basketball, etc.) show that you’re comfortable working with others.

Which one you might want to include depends on you and the job. Here are some sports hobbies you could list that will paint you in a positive light:

  • Marathon running
  • Mountain climbing

Most of these sports are outside and physical activities. They show that you’re comfortable with working with other people and that you have discipline. Therefore, they’re relevant for most job roles that require you to be communicative and self-driven.

Analytical Thinking Interest and Hobby Examples

Analytical Thinking Interest and Hobby Examples

What’s a thought hobby?

Anything that points to your creative skills and imagination. 

If you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, you can list the following hobbies:

  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Photography
  • Blog writing

These all point to your analytical thinking and that you’re a creative person.

Possibly more calm and self-composed, and also that you think before you speak.

These qualities can be relevant depending on the job.

Though, your interest section doesn’t necessarily have to consist only of sports. 

Social Interest and Hobby Examples

Social Interest and Hobby Examples

Social hobbies are a great way to show you directly work well with others. Nowadays, most jobs require you to be in contact with other people, in one way or another

To show you work well with others and you’re adept at communicating, you can include:

  • Creating and organizing a book club
  • Networking events
  • Local meetups
  • Volunteering at a charity center
  • Public speaking
  • Exploring other cultures
  • Language classes

Social hobbies are great because you’re going to be interacting with other people in most jobs - so one way or another, they’re going to help. Even more so if the job is in a leadership position.

Unique Interest and Hobby Examples

Unique Interest and Hobby Examples

Do you have a particularly unique hobby that not a lot of people are into?

This can work in your favor and help you stand out, as long as it’s still in the unique area and not in the weird one.

The HR manager shuffling through a stack of resumes can remember your unique hobby and come back to your resume later. Or they could even ask about you during the interview, so be prepared to talk about it.

Some unique hobbies that can speak about your character may include:

  • Stand-up comedy
  • Calligraphy

How do these hobbies help?

Archery implies you might be a precise and focused person. And yoga shows that you can be calm and don’t lose your cool in stressful situations.

Though, just how effective those hobbies will be in your resume may depend on the job.

But as long as it’s not too weird, a unique hobby can help you get your foot in the door and show that you’re not afraid of being different.

Looking for tips on writing a CV instead of a resume? We've got you covered! Head over to our in-depth guide explaining how to write a CV !

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about hobbies and interests on a resume? Check out the answers below:

1. Should hobbies and interests be on a resume?

If you have the extra space to list them, then yes, you should include hobbies and interests on your resume.

Hobbies and interests can help you stand out from other candidates by shining more light into your personality and can also highlight skills you may have that employers seek, such as creativity, organization, problem-solving, etc.

2. What are some good hobbies and interests to put on my resume?

Some of the best hobbies or interests you can put on your resume are community involvement, writing, blogging, learning languages, photography, traveling, doing sports, reading, and art.

3. What are some hobbies and interests for a student resume?

Some hobbies and interests you can put on your resume as a student include creative writing, blogging, volunteering, learning a new language, and singing and/or playing an instrument.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap on everything you need to know about hobbies and interests on a resume!

Before you go and start applying what you learned to your own resume, let’s go over the main points we covered in this article: 

  • Hobbies and interests can help shine a light on a candidate’s personality and get them to stand out from other applicants with similar work experience and skills. 
  • Include hobbies and interests on your resume if you still have space after listing all the essential sections, if you have limited work experience and relevant skills, if the company specifically requires it, or if the company puts emphasis on its employees’ character traits. 
  • Some of the best hobbies to add to your resume include community service, writing/blogging, learning languages, traveling, doing sports, and reading. 
  • Before creating a separate section for your hobbies and interests, first make sure that your resume would benefit from them, then research the company, and choose the right skills that could complement your skills and qualifications. 
  • Four things to remember when you’re compiling your hobbies and interests are, to be honest, be specific, and keep hobbies that may be considered weird or antisocial out of your resume. 

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How to Effectively Showcase Your Hobbies in a Personal Statement

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Hobbies are a great way to showcase your personality and interests in a personal statement. They provide a glimpse into your passions and help to create a well-rounded image of who you are as a person. However, it’s important to write about your hobbies in a way that is effective and impactful. In this article, we will explore how to effectively showcase your hobbies in a personal statement, including tips on how to describe them and what to include. With these insights, you can create a personal statement that truly stands out and highlights your unique qualities and interests.

What are Hobbies?

Definition of hobbies.

Hobbies are activities that individuals engage in during their leisure time. They are often pursued for pleasure, interest, or personal satisfaction, and can range from simple activities such as reading or knitting to more complex hobbies like playing musical instruments or engaging in sports. Hobbies can also serve as a means of self-expression, creativity, and socialization.

In the context of personal statements, showcasing one’s hobbies can help demonstrate their interests, passions, and unique qualities, making them stand out from other applicants. However, it is important to ensure that the hobbies showcased are genuine and relevant to the desired program or field of study. Additionally, it is essential to describe the hobbies in a clear and concise manner , highlighting their significance and impact on personal growth and development.

Examples of hobbies

Hobbies are activities that people engage in during their leisure time. They can range from simple and straightforward activities like reading or playing video games to more complex and challenging activities like painting or playing a musical instrument. Hobbies can provide people with a sense of purpose, relaxation, and enjoyment, and they can also be a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

Some examples of hobbies include:

  • Playing sports like tennis, soccer, or basketball
  • Painting or drawing
  • Reading books or watching movies
  • Playing musical instruments like the guitar or piano
  • Playing video games or engaging in online gaming
  • Traveling and exploring new places
  • Engaging in outdoor activities like hiking or camping
  • Cooking or baking
  • Gardening or landscaping
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • Photography or videography
  • Writing or blogging
  • Playing chess or engaging in other mentally stimulating activities.

Why Showcase Your Hobbies in a Personal Statement?

Benefits of showcasing hobbies.

  • Demonstrates Passion and Interest : Showcasing your hobbies in a personal statement allows you to demonstrate your passion and interest in a particular field or activity. It shows that you are dedicated to pursuing your interests outside of your academic or professional life .
  • Highlights Unique Skills and Experiences : Your hobbies may have given you unique skills and experiences that can be relevant to your academic or professional goals . By showcasing your hobbies, you can highlight these skills and experiences and show how they make you a strong candidate for your desired program or job.
  • Adds a Personal Touch : Including your hobbies in your personal statement can add a personal touch to your application. It can help you stand out from other applicants and make a more memorable impression on the reader.
  • Demonstrates Time Management and Prioritization Skills : Participating in hobbies requires time management and prioritization skills . By showcasing your hobbies, you can demonstrate that you have the ability to balance your commitments and prioritize your activities.
  • Shows Versatility and Adaptability : Hobbies can require you to learn new skills, adapt to new environments, and work with different people. By showcasing your hobbies, you can demonstrate your versatility and adaptability, which are valuable traits in any academic or professional setting.

How hobbies can reflect your personality and interests

Hobbies can provide valuable insight into a person’s interests, values, and passions. By showcasing your hobbies in your personal statement , you can demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are a well-rounded individual with diverse interests and experiences. Here are some ways in which hobbies can reflect your personality and interests:

  • Unique interests: Your hobbies can reveal unique aspects of your personality that may not be apparent from other parts of your application. For example, if you enjoy woodworking, this may suggest that you are creative, patient, and detail-oriented.
  • Personal values: Hobbies can also reflect your personal values and beliefs. If you are passionate about environmental conservation, this may suggest that you value sustainability and the preservation of natural resources.
  • Achievements and accomplishments: Your hobbies can also demonstrate your achievements and accomplishments outside of academics. For example, if you are an accomplished musician, this may suggest that you have a strong work ethic, discipline, and dedication to your craft.
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Many hobbies involve teamwork and collaboration, which can demonstrate your ability to work well with others. For example, if you are a member of a sports team or a musical ensemble, this may suggest that you are a team player and can work effectively with others towards a common goal.

Overall, showcasing your hobbies in your personal statement can help you stand out as a unique and well-rounded applicant. By highlighting your interests and experiences, you can demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a diverse range of interests and experiences that make you a strong candidate for their program.

How to Showcase Your Hobbies in a Personal Statement?

Tips for writing about hobbies.

  • Be specific: Rather than simply stating that you enjoy playing sports, explain which sports you play and how often. This shows your dedication and passion for the activity.
  • Link hobbies to personal growth: Show how your hobbies have helped you develop important skills or traits. For example, if you are a musician, discuss how playing an instrument has improved your discipline and focus.
  • Highlight leadership experience: If you have leadership experience in your hobbies, such as being captain of a sports team or leading a club, be sure to mention it. This demonstrates your ability to work well with others and take charge when necessary.
  • Use descriptive language: Instead of just saying you enjoy gardening, describe the types of plants you grow, the techniques you use, and the satisfaction you feel from watching them thrive. This helps the reader visualize your hobby and understand its importance to you.
  • Tie hobbies to career aspirations: If possible, show how your hobbies relate to your future career goals. For example, if you are applying to medical school, discuss how volunteering at a hospital and shadowing doctors has given you valuable insight into the field.
  • Avoid exaggeration: While it’s important to showcase your hobbies positively, be truthful about your involvement and achievements. Exaggerating or embellishing the truth can harm your credibility.
  • Proofread carefully: Make sure your writing is error-free and easy to read. This will help you make a good impression on the admissions committee.

Using specific examples and anecdotes

When showcasing your hobbies in a personal statement, it is important to use specific examples and anecdotes to bring your interests to life. This approach can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your passion for your hobbies. Here are some tips for using specific examples and anecdotes in your personal statement:

  • Choose examples that showcase your skills and abilities: When selecting examples of your hobbies, choose those that demonstrate your skills and abilities. For example, if you enjoy painting, talk about a specific painting that you created and the techniques you used to create it. If you enjoy playing music, talk about a specific piece that you learned to play and the challenges you faced in learning it.
  • Use descriptive language: To make your examples more engaging, use descriptive language to paint a picture for the reader. For example, instead of simply saying that you enjoy hiking, describe the breathtaking views you have seen on your hikes and the sense of accomplishment you feel after reaching the summit.
  • Highlight any awards or recognition you have received: If you have received any awards or recognition for your hobbies, be sure to include them in your personal statement. This can help demonstrate your dedication and commitment to your interests.
  • Use anecdotes to show your passion: Anecdotes can be a powerful way to show your passion for your hobbies. For example, talk about a time when you stayed up all night working on a project related to your hobby or the excitement you feel when participating in a competition.

By using specific examples and anecdotes in your personal statement, you can bring your hobbies to life and demonstrate your passion and dedication to them. This approach can help you stand out from other applicants and showcase your unique interests and abilities.

Showing your passion and dedication

When it comes to showcasing your hobbies in a personal statement, it’s important to demonstrate your passion and dedication to the activity. This can be achieved by highlighting the following:

  • Consistency: Show that you have been actively engaged in your hobby over a significant period of time. This demonstrates your commitment and passion for the activity.
  • Skill development: Explain how you have honed your skills and knowledge in your hobby through continuous learning and practice. This shows your dedication to improving and mastering the activity.
  • Impact: Describe the impact that your hobby has had on your personal growth, career goals, or community involvement. This helps to showcase the significance of your hobby in your life.

Here’s an example of how you can showcase your passion and dedication for a particular hobby:

“As an avid runner, I have been consistently training and competing in marathons for the past five years. Through regular practice and discipline, I have developed a strong endurance and skill in running. My passion for running has not only helped me achieve personal fitness goals but also inspired me to volunteer as a running coach for a local youth program. By sharing my knowledge and experience with others, I have been able to give back to the community and inspire others to take up the sport.”

In this example, the author demonstrates their passion and dedication to running by highlighting their consistency, skill development, and impact on their personal growth and community involvement. This helps to showcase their hobby in a meaningful and impactful way in their personal statement.

Making connections between hobbies and career goals

When showcasing your hobbies in a personal statement, it is important to make connections between them and your career goals. This helps to demonstrate your passion for your chosen field and show how your hobbies have prepared you for a career in that area. Here are some tips for making these connections:

  • Identify the skills you have developed through your hobbies: Think about the skills you have learned through your hobbies and how they can be applied to your career goals. For example, if you enjoy playing a musical instrument, you may have developed skills in creativity, discipline, and collaboration. These skills could be relevant to a career in music production or teaching.
  • Show how your hobbies have influenced your career goals: Consider how your hobbies have influenced your decision to pursue a particular career path. For example, if you enjoy gardening, you may have developed an interest in botany or environmental science, which could lead to a career in conservation or sustainable agriculture.
  • Use specific examples to illustrate your connections: When making connections between your hobbies and career goals, use specific examples to illustrate your points. For example, you could describe a project you completed in your hobby that required problem-solving skills, and explain how those skills could be applied to a future career in engineering or computer science.

By making connections between your hobbies and career goals, you can demonstrate your passion for your chosen field and show how your hobbies have prepared you for a career in that area. This can help to make your personal statement more compelling and memorable to admissions committees.

Balancing hobbies with other aspects of your life

When it comes to showcasing your hobbies in a personal statement, it’s important to strike a balance between highlighting your interests and demonstrating your commitment to other aspects of your life. This can include academics, work, family, and community involvement. Here are some tips for balancing your hobbies with other areas of your life:

  • Prioritize: Make a list of all the things that are important to you, including your hobbies, academics, work, family, and community involvement. Prioritize them based on what’s most important to you and what you want to highlight in your personal statement.
  • Show your passion: Even if you have a lot of other commitments, show that you’re passionate about your hobbies. Describe how you pursue your interests, whether it’s through participating in clubs, competitions, or other activities.
  • Be honest: Don’t exaggerate or omit important details. Admissions committees want to get a sense of who you are as a person, so be honest about your commitments and priorities.
  • Connect the dots: Show how your hobbies and other commitments intersect. For example, if you’re involved in a community service project related to your hobby, describe how that experience deepened your passion for your hobby.
  • Use examples: Use specific examples to illustrate your commitments and priorities. For example, if you’re involved in a research project, describe how you balance that with your coursework and other activities.

By balancing your hobbies with other aspects of your life, you can showcase your interests while also demonstrating your commitment to other areas of your life. Remember to prioritize, be honest, and use specific examples to illustrate your passions and priorities.

1. How should I approach writing about my hobbies in a personal statement?

Approaching the topic of hobbies in a personal statement requires careful consideration. Firstly, it is important to think about the relevance of your hobbies to the course or career you are applying for. If your hobby is directly related to the field you are applying for, then it is important to highlight how your hobby has prepared you for the course or career. Additionally, it is important to think about how your hobby demonstrates your personal qualities and strengths, such as perseverance, creativity, or leadership.

2. How much detail should I include when writing about my hobbies?

When writing about your hobbies, it is important to strike a balance between providing enough detail to showcase your skills and experiences, while also keeping the information concise and relevant. Avoid lengthy descriptions of your hobbies and instead focus on highlighting specific examples or achievements that demonstrate your skills and qualities. Additionally, try to relate your hobbies back to the course or career you are applying for, to show how they have prepared you for the role.

3. Can I include multiple hobbies in my personal statement?

Yes, you can include multiple hobbies in your personal statement . However, it is important to prioritize the hobbies that are most relevant to the course or career you are applying for. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your hobbies are not too diverse or unrelated, as this can make your personal statement appear unfocused. If you have multiple hobbies that are all equally relevant to the course or career you are applying for, consider grouping them together under a common theme or interest.

4. Should I mention any setbacks or challenges I faced while pursuing my hobbies?

Yes, mentioning any setbacks or challenges you faced while pursuing your hobbies can add depth and authenticity to your personal statement. This can demonstrate your perseverance and determination, as well as show how you have overcome obstacles to achieve your goals. However, it is important to frame these challenges in a positive light, highlighting how they have helped you develop important skills or qualities that will be valuable in the course or career you are applying for.

5. Can I include photographs or other visual aids to showcase my hobbies?

Yes, including photographs or other visual aids can be a great way to showcase your hobbies in your personal statement . However, it is important to ensure that the visual aids are relevant and add value to your personal statement. Avoid including visual aids that are unrelated or distract from the main message of your personal statement. Additionally, ensure that the visual aids are of high quality and will not detract from the overall professionalism of your personal statement.

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How to Write About Your Hobbies and Interests

Last Updated: March 15, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 977,561 times.

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.

Writing Help

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Writing for a College Admissions Committee

Step 1 Format your application resume by priority.

  • 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. [2] X Research source

Step 2 Use appropriate terminology.

  • 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.”

Step 4 Demonstrate well-roundedness.

  • 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.

Step 5 Set yourself apart from the pack.

  • 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.”

Step 6 Choose language carefully to dress up your activities.

  • Use the active voice throughout every document you submit in the application process. [6] X Research source 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.

Writing for a Potential Employer

Step 1 Decide whether or not a “Hobbies and Interests” section is appropriate for this job.

  • 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.

Step 2 Be brief.

  • 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.

Step 4 Connect your interests to the job.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Be careful about listing hobbies and interests indicative of thrill-seeking and risk-taking behaviors, as these qualities may work against you with certain employers. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid sounding overly committed to your hobbies and interests, as this could indicate to potential employers that your personal interests may come before your career. For example, "I play chess every chance I get, as it is my goal to travel the country as a full-time competitor," could be geared for resume writing by rewording it as, "I enjoy the chess club because it stimulates my creative problem-solving skills and opens my mind to new ways of thinking outside the box." Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

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Write a News Article

  • ↑ Dobrin, Sidney I., Christopher J. Keller, and Christian R. Weisser. Technical Communication in the Twenty-First Century. Columbus, Ohio: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
  • ↑ https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/findajob/resources/write-good-resume
  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/listing-hobbies-and-interests-on-your-resume-with-examples
  • ↑ https://ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/AskCCRS_Well-Rounded_Education.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.cfnc.org/news/college-essay-prompts/
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CCS_activevoice.html
  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/interview-question-hobbies-and-interests

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write about your hobbies and interests for college admissions, frame them as something you dedicate your time towards rather than just something you have fun with. For example, on your college application, list them under the title “Extracurricular Activities” since this is more professional than “Hobbies” or “Interests” Choose to list the hobbies you’ve spent the most time on to show your dedication, whether that’s the tennis team, girl scouts, or piano. When you write about your hobbies, use an active voice and describe how you contributed to it. For example, you could write “I strengthened the team’s resolve and success by stressing to individual players the importance of group cohesion to the achievement of our goals. Alternatively, you could say, “I devoted myself to grueling practices daily throughout the season and developed effective time-management by balancing schoolwork and cheering.” To learn how to write about your hobbies and interests on a resume, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What are your Hobbies? Best Interview Answer [with Samples]

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  • Updated on  
  • Nov 24, 2023

What are your Hobbies

“What are your hobbies?” is an interview question that is commonly asked across all job profiles. Your interview might also ask something like, “What are your favourite hobbies?”, “How would you describe your hobbies?” or “What do you like to do in your free time?”. So, you might have a list of hobbies ready but choosing the right hobbies and interests and answering them intelligently will help you impress the interviewer. Read this blog to know all about how to answer “What are your hobbies?”, example answers, how to write about your hobbies and more!

This Blog Includes:

What are your hobbies examples, what are your hobbies best answer, how to answer “what are your hobbies” for cabin crew interview, how to describe your hobbies, what the interviewer wants to know, interview preparation tips for questions related to hobbies/interests, what not to mention, how to talk about your hobbies if you don’t have any , how to write about your hobbies, what are your hobbies funny answers.

To help you with your answer of what are your hobbies, below we have mentioned some common hobbies and interests that you can involve in your answer- 

  • Volunteering
  • Painting/Sketching
  • Photography
  • Arts and crafts 
  • Any sport like Cricket, Football, Basketball, etc.
  • Cooking/ Baking
  • Making your own DIY: Crafts, calligraphy, etc.
  • Home Decor 
  • Reading 
  • Listening to a particular music genre like Rock, Pop, Indie, etc.
  • Travelling and outdoor activities 
  • Social work
  • Gardening 
  • Learning a new language 
  • Playing music like guitar, violin, piano, etc.

Related Read: Introduction to Interview

Here are the best ‘What are your hobbies’ example answers:

“ My hobbies are reading books and working out. Along with this, I also like cooking. While researching the company, I got to know about the in-house gym. Having a gym in the workplace is a great idea as employees can get to know each other better on a casual level apart from their designated roles. “

“ I usually spend my leisure time reading books or playing badminton. I like reading new and trending novels and my favourite genres include suspense, horror and thriller novels. Being a voracious reader, I believe that I have a strong vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. My zeal for writing gets its flair from my passion for reading books.” 

“ I have a pet dog named Cookie and spending time with him is one of my favourite things to do. I also love to travel and I often plan trips with my family. But solo travelling gives me the bliss that I crave. Every year I look forward to exploring new places and catching up on some lifetime memories.” 

“ I like participating in volunteer activities especially teaching underprivileged kids. I have been associated with a few non-profit organisations since my college days and I like spending my weekends helping these NGOs with different activities from teaching to organising interesting games and activities to make learning fun for kids. ”

“ I like learning new skills and recently I have been interested in exploring different languages as they help me explore new cultures around the world. I started learning Spanish online and I have already cleared the beginner level. I generally spend my weekends focusing on exploring new Spanish words and watching Spanish movies to strengthen my grasp over the language. “

“I have played football since high school and I have also been the captain of my college team. I love playing football in my free time as it helps me unwind, and relax as well as boosts my creativity and analytical thinking skills.”

“My favourite hobby is travelling because I love discovering new cities and places around the world. I often save up for months to plan a trip every year. I love friends’ trips and family outings but solo travelling brings me the real adventure and thrill to venture into new places all by myself.”

“I like spending time in nature and capturing all the wonderful moments of beauty with my camera. I have been doing nature photography since I was in school and is the best hobby I think I am truly proud of.”

“My best hobby is meditating and spending my free time at meditation retreats. I think it has really helped me understand my mind and its complexities and in ensuring a better mental wellbeing.”

“Composing music and songwriting has been my favourite pastime since I was in high school. I have my own garage band with a few of my high school classmates and we spend our free weekends and holidays composing new tunes and performing at open clubs.”

To answer the “What are your hobbies” question for the cabin crew interview, you must mention hobbies and interests that align with this job like volunteering (helping people), playing sports (teamwork), leading a certain club (leadership qualities), and similar hobbies.

Finding the best answer to “What are your hobbies?” can be difficult because you need to consider a plethora of things before answering this question. Firstly you must always mention hobbies of interest, which might not just include popular hobbies like reading and watching Netflix but go beyond that like playing a particular sport or collecting certain things like stamps, coins and so on.

Here is how to answer “What are your hobbies?”:

  • Tell your hobbies with passion! Mention your favourite interests or pastimes with zeal and then add an anecdote or backstory to make it interesting.
  • Hobbies can be the key to your personality One of the important reasons why an interviewer asks you about your hobbies is to know you better and where your innate interests lie. This can represent your personality so choose the hobby wisely.
  • Keep your explanation short and crisp While talking about your hobby, make sure that you keep it short and concise. For instance, your hobby is reading, after mentioning the same, add any recent book you have read or how you got interested in reading by putting a backstory to it. This will spark the interviewer’s interest in your profile.
  • Connect your hobbies with your job This is another golden brownie point you can earn by connecting your interests with your career. For example, as a business development manager, you like volunteering, mention how volunteering with different NGOs has improved your interpersonal skills, helped you learn about people of various backgrounds and further keeps you on your feet.
  • Explain how your hobbies make you a better person While hobbies are more connected with rejuvenating and unwinding, you can always mention how a certain hobby adds to a particular skill in your life. For instance, reading can help you become a better writer and storyteller while playing sports teaches us about teamwork, the importance of fitness and so on.
  • Don’t mention anything political or controversial This is a big no for answering “What are your hobbies?” as political opinions are often different amongst people and organisations while anything controversial can further leave a bad impression on the interviewer. So, stay away from adding any political interests or controversial hobbies.
  • Never say you have no hobbies Saying that you have no hobbies will also leave a bad impression on your interviewer. Instead, you can mention something you are learning during that point of time or anything interest that you have got inclined to, from learning something as simple as cooking to watching psychological thrillers, you can mention even the simplest of interests with a striking story.

When an interviewer asks you the question “What are your hobbies?”, it actually means that you have sparked their interest and they want to know more about you as a well-rounded individual that aligns with their company culture. Here are the key things an interview really wants to know and assess when asking about your hobbies and interests:

  • To know what you are passionate about and your interests in other things outside of work.
  • How do your interests and hobbies align with your work responsibilities;
  • How you spend your pastime, whether on the same day-to-day activities learning something new or doing something creative.
  • To discern a little bit about your personal life and the person you are outside of the work responsibilities.

Also Read: Essay on My Hobby for Students and Professionals

Let’s begin with discussing the best tips and tricks you can use while formulating your answer to the questions related to “What are your hobbies?” 

Ponder Upon your Skills or Qualities

Before you begin drafting your answer to “What are your hobbies?”, sit down and contemplate what excites you the most, what are your interests, and what do you like doing the most in your free time? Answering such questions will enable you to identify your hobbies, likes and dislikes.

Elaborate why you Like Pursuing a Particular Hobby

Give potential reasons for every interest or activity you mention for the question “What are your Hobbies?”. Connect a hobby to your childhood or elaborate on how you got interested in the particular activity and how it helps you blow off steam and enjoy your free time.

Judiciously Choose Your Hobbies

You might find interest in many activities that are unrelated to work but you must mention them wisely in a personal interview . The question ‘What are your hobbies?’ is generally put forward to lighten up the atmosphere but whilst answering it, you should not forget to keep it professional. Hence, you must carefully select your hobbies like travelling, any sport you like to play, reading, cooking, volunteering etc.

Related Read: MBA Interview Questions and Answers

Highlight Work-life Balance

Whichever role you are applying for, you can easily find some points to relate to your current profile or the job you are interviewing for. Through this, you can easily build a connection between your skills, interests and hobbies. For example, If you are interviewing for a position of content writer, you can describe how you love reading books which have also helped boost your vocabulary and made you interested in creative writing . 

No matter how well prepared we are, the choice of words also plays a key role in an interview. Hence, you must equally focus on what to say and what not to say . Take a look at the following tips while answering ‘What are your hobbies?’-

  • Avoid mentioning any controversial hobby.
  • Do not explain too much about your personal life. Keep your answer concise and crisp.
  • Make sure that the hobbies you speak about work in your favour and do not go against the job responsibilities.
  • Never say ‘no’ as an answer as it can make a negative impression on the interviewer thus influencing their decision.

Related Read: Most Common Hobbies Vocabulary IELTS

Some of the candidates get bewildered by this question especially when they do not have a hobby. In such cases, instead of panicking and awkwardly saying no as an answer, you should take your time and anticipate what you enjoy doing in your daily schedule. The interviewer basically wants to know what you enjoy doing and it would be simply anything that you like. During the time of the interview, you may be judged by your ability to answer the question rather than analysing what you like to do in your free time, thus, one shall never state no as an answer. 

You may not be able to put something under the category of ‘hobby’ but there will be something that you enjoy doing apart from your daily tasks. It can be anything as simple as gardening, taking your pet for a walk, writing a journal, etc. Introspect and try thinking of something that gives you peace and happiness during the day. We are sure you will be able to gauge what you have been looking for. 

Hobbies are often enlisted in a resume/CV and you can create a special section on Hobbies and Interests in your resume for the same. You can list up to 5-7 hobbies in your resume and even more, but wisely. Don’t mention very generic hobbies like listening to music or watching TV but go specific like what type of music you love or the type of TV shows and series you are interested in.

Now that we know the serious things to mention in the interview question for ‘What are your hobbies’, here are some fun answers and memes you shouldn’t take seriously!

Hopefully, this blog about how to answer ‘What are your hobbies?’ has given you ample information to draft your unique answer. Need help with crafting an impressive resume? Sign up for an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you in resume restructuring and profiling and get you successfully selected for your dream job . 

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What’s a personal statement for college.

Senior Associate, JPMorgan Chase

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

As you complete your college applications, whether it’s through the Common App or by individually applying, you’ll likely come across prompts in the application that ask you to write about yourself. Think of it as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committees of the schools you’re applying to in a different way than the insights recommendations and your transcript can provide.

Sometimes called an admissions or application essay, a personal statement, or a statement of purpose, what’s typically being asked for is information about your background, experiences, accomplishments, future goals, and any challenges or obstacles you may have had to overcome. Because of that, when it comes to any personal statements you write for college applications, the aim is usually to showcase your personality, interests, and character in a compelling and authentic way.

Keep reading for more information about personal statements, the prompts to expect, and some tips for mastering this part of a college application.

When will you have to write a personal statement during the college application process?

Many college applications require a personal statement of some kind. For applications submitted through the Common App, a personal statement is a required component for nearly all colleges and universities that use the platform. The Common App allows students to write one comprehensive essay that’s sent to all colleges they’re applying to through the system. This means you’ll write just one personal statement, which will be part of every college application you submit through the Common App. Some colleges might ask for additional shorter essays, known as supplemental essays, on top of this, so be prepared for those asks.

Many scholarship applications also require at least one personal statement or essay as part of the application process. Like college applications, scholarship personal statements provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their qualifications, experiences, and personal motivations. A personal statement for a scholarship application often serves as a way for applicants to demonstrate their merit, express their career and educational goals, and explain how they’d benefit from and contribute to a scholarship program.

How can your personal statement impact your college applications?

Your personal statement can have a significant impact on your college applications in several ways:

  • Demonstrating your character and personality: Your personal statement offers admission committees insight into who you are beyond your grades and test scores. It can showcase your values, motivations, and unique qualities, helping to paint a more comprehensive picture of you as a prospective student.
  • Highlighting your achievements and experiences: It allows you to discuss your academic accomplishments, extracurriculars, and any challenges you’ve overcome. This can demonstrate your potential for success and your ability to contribute to a campus community.
  • Conveying your passion and commitment to a particular school: A personal statement allows you to articulate your academic and career goals and connect them to your reasons for applying to a specific college or program. Admissions committees are looking for students who are genuinely interested in and committed to their educational and personal growth, along with being excited to attend their school.
  • Setting you apart from other applicants: A well-crafted personal statement can help you stand out among applicants with similar academic credentials. It allows you to showcase what makes you unique.
  • Addressing any weaknesses or challenges: If any aspects of your application may raise concerns to the admissions committees, such as a lower grade point average (GPA) in a particular semester, your personal statement can allow you to provide context and explain any extenuating circumstances. This can help mitigate potential red flags in your application.

How do you know what topic to write about in your personal statement?

Over 1,000 U.S. colleges accept the Common App, so many students will be choosing from among the Common App’s seven essay prompts.

Below is the list of essay prompts from 2023-24 Common App :

  • “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
  • “The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”
  • “Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”
  • “Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?”
  • “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”
  • “Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?”
  • “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.”

Beyond the prompts from the Common App, which many students utilize, some schools may have their own applications with their own prompts or supplementary prompts that they expect students to complete.

For instance, at Yale University , one of the school’s supplementary prompts is: “Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above [on your application].” At Amherst College, one of the supplementary questions is: “In what ways could your unique experiences enhance our understanding of our nation and our world.”

What makes a good personal statement for a college application?

A lot goes into writing a strong personal statement for college applications.

Hafeez Lakhani of educational coaching firm Lakhani Coaching told the New York Times to think of it like this: “Every college is like a dinner table. What will make you the most interesting contributor to that dinner table conversation? What will make you help everyone else have a more interesting experience?”

Lacy Crawford, a former independent college application counselor and author of Early Decision, told USA Today : “These essays should read like smart, interesting 17-year-olds wrote them. A sense of perspective and self-awareness is what’s interesting...I think most students are torn between a pathway dividing a diary entry and a press release. It’s supposed to be a marketing document of the self.”

Here are a few tips to make the most of a personal statement.

  • Tell a story: Use the space to showcase your personality, interests, personal values, life experiences, and even your sense of humor. Don’t just use it to regurgitate your accomplishments, which can be gleaned from your high school transcript and other parts of your application.
  • Consider emphasizing your volunteer work and other community work: Many college admissions offices look for students who are active in their communities, be it volunteering or in different ways. The personal statement is a good place to emphasize how you’re making the world a better place.
  • Emphasize any extra work you’ve done to dive into your field of interest: Be it internships, college-level courses at a community college, or extracurricular activities, anything that shows you’ve done extra work to explore your chosen field of study will help to emphasize your passion. Tie this passion to why you’re particularly excited about attending a particular school, and you may have a winning formula.
  • Make sure you check grammar and spelling: You don’t want to write a great essay and let a few grammatical and spelling errors get in your way. Read and re-read your essay to check for spelling and grammar, and get a few people you trust to help you proofread your work as well.

Final thoughts

A strong personal statement can make a positive impression on admissions officers and contribute to a well-rounded and compelling college application. It allows you to showcase your strengths, demonstrate your potential, and express your genuine interest in the college or program.

Top 10 Personal Brand Statement Examples To Follow

Maddy Osman

Updated: March 11, 2024

Published: June 18, 2023

In a 2022 personal branding trends study, most respondents said they consider personal branding an essential component of work and their everyday life. 

what is a personal brand statement

It found that 75% of Americans trust someone with a personal brand, and 63% are likely to buy from someone with a personal brand. 

As an entrepreneur who is always on the lookout for customers or potential investors, you know that trust is key. Developing a personal brand for yourself can be an effective tool to help grow your business.

What is a personal brand statement?

A personal brand statement is a couple of sentences that highlights your unique skills and experience. It’s meant to be a quick introduction to people who discover you online because it summarizes what you can offer them.

Basically, it’s a catchphrase, tag line, or elevator pitch for you as a professional individual. While it showcases what you do professionally, you can also display your personality.

Why leaders should have a personal brand statement

You make a better first impression.

As the saying goes, “You only have one shot to make a first impression.” The challenge for entrepreneurs is that you don’t always know when that opportunity arises, as many first impressions happen online.

When a potential client or investor hears about you, their first instinct is to look up your social media profiles. If you’ve got a clear and well-thought-out personal brand statement, you’ve got a better chance at making them stick around for second and third impressions.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader

Thought leadership is a powerful content marketing tactic that can help you reach bigger audiences and generate leads for your business. When you’re known as a leader in your particular industry, that automatically gives you a higher level of credibility. 

A personal brand statement can strengthen your thought leadership strategy by clearly stating your area of expertise.

You can create networking opportunities

Whether you’re looking for top talent, new clients, or potential investors, networking is half the battle. 

Personal brand statements make it easy for potential connections to understand exactly what you do and what you value. Without it, you may miss out on opportunities simply because they didn’t know that you had something relevant to offer them.

Best personal brand statement examples for leaders

“bilingual creative who lives at the intersection of business & design.” —chris do.

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Chris Do’s LinkedIn page .

Chris Do is a multi-hyphenate: a designer, creative strategist, public speaker, founder, and CEO of The Futur, an online education platform.

What makes it great : Because he wears so many hats, Do’s personal branding statement is better than trying to explain everything he does.

“Helping people find their zen in the digital age.” —Shama Hyder

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Shama Hyder’s homepage .

Shama Hyder is the founder and CEO of Zen Media, a marketing and PR firm. She’s also written a book about digital marketing .

What makes it great : Hyder’s brand statement is an attention-grabbing play on her company’s name and showcases one of her key values: making clients feel a sense of calm in a fast-paced digital world.

“Write better sales emails faster with our in-inbox coach.” —Will Allred

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Will Allred’s LinkedIn page .

Will Allred is the co-founder of Lavender, an AI-powered email software startup.

What makes it great : Brooklin Nash, CEO of Beam Content, shares, “In one sentence, Allred captures the entire focus of his social presence: to help salespeople write better emails faster while demonstrating his authority and sharing his product in the second part of that headline.”

“Keeping it awkward, brave, and kind.” —Brené Brown

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Dr. Brené Brown’s homepage .

Brené Brown has a Ph.D. in sociology and is the author of several books that cover topics like shame, vulnerability, empathy, and courage.

What makes it great : Dr. Brown’s personal brand statement embodies her mission statement of encouraging people to embrace their vulnerabilities by sharing her own.

“Empowering ridiculously good marketing.” —Ann Handley

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Ann Handley’s homepage .

Ann Handley is a digital marketing expert and bestselling author. Her company helps marketers get tangible results.

What makes it great : Sharon Jonah, creative director and founder of digital marketing agency Buzz Social, shares, “In four words, we understand what Handley does, how she does it, whom she’s speaking to, and how she speaks.”

“Still just a girl who wants to learn. Youngest-ever Nobel laureate, co-founder @malalafund and president of Extracurricular Productions.” —Malala Yousafzai

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Malala Yousafzai’s Twitter profile .

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel laureate and an activist whose fund aims to remove the barriers to female education around the world.

What makes it great : Her bio highlights her impressive achievements with language that makes her sound relatable. 

“Marketing. Strategy. Humanity.” —Mark Schaefer

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Mark Schaefer’s homepage .

Mark Schaefer is an educator, speaker, marketing consultant, and author. He’s developed corporate marketing strategies for brands like Microsoft, IBM, and AT&T.

What makes it great : “It’s subtle, concise, and creative. It describes what Schaefer does, what he focuses on, and his unique and distinguished approach,” says Omer Usanmaz, CEO and co-founder of mentoring and learning software Qooper. 

“Empowering successful women to take control of their finances.” —Jennifer Welsh

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Jennifer Welsh’s LinkedIn profile page .

Jennifer Welsh founded Money School, a digital course that teaches women about personal finance. What makes it great : Welsh’s strong personal brand statement says exactly what she does and whom she does it for. 

“Let’s make Excel the solution, not the problem.” —Kat Norton (Miss Excel)

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Miss Excel’s homepage .

Kat Norton (known as Miss Excel) became famous on TikTok for her bite-sized Microsoft Excel tutorials. She now offers Excel courses on her website.

What makes it great : Norton’s clever statement shows that she understands her audience's problem and highlights her personality.

“‘The Customer Whisperer.’ I help marketers discover the hidden reasons why customers buy so they can become un-ignorable.” —Katelyn Bourgoin

how to write about your hobbies in a personal statement

Source: Katelyn Bourgoin’s LinkedIn page .

Katelyn Bourgoin is a creator and serial entrepreneur who founded a branding agency, a mentoring platform for female entrepreneurs, and a restaurant consulting firm. She trains entrepreneurs to uncover what makes their products “un-ignorable.”

What makes it great : Bourgoin’s clever branding statement effectively tells marketers that she can help them understand their customers better and make their brands memorable.

How to write a personal brand statement

Writing an effective personal brand statement can be tough because it requires you to be catchy yet compelling. It should give audiences all the necessary information in a sentence or two.

Here are some tips for writing your own:

Think about your unique value proposition

A unique value proposition (or unique selling point) is what makes you different. It tells people why they should try your product or service, network with you, or invest in your business.

Tip : Identify your core values, goals, and strengths.

If you don't know what those are, ask yourself:

  • Why am I building my brand?
  • What do I want my audience to know me for?
  • How do I do things differently?
  • Do I have a distinct skill set, experience, point of view, or passion?
  • What value do I bring to my audience?

Keep it short and sweet

Your brand statement should be simple and easy to understand. 

The goal is to have someone look at your profile or website and immediately understand who you are and what you do, so keep it brief. Keep in mind that you don’t need full sentences either. 

Start by writing one to three sentences that outline what you do, for whom, and how you do it. You can also add a sentence about values. 

Then, look at different ways you can shorten them. Or pick out the most specific and impactful words and see what happens when you simply list them. 

Showcase your personality

Injecting your personality empowers you to share what you do without being bland or boring. Being authentic also helps attract like-minded customers, investors, and peers. 

At the end of the day, there are other people out there who may offer similar services or solve the same problems for your target audience. Your personality can set you apart.

“Don't be afraid to inject a bit of humor, quirkiness, and passion. It’ll help make you more memorable and help you stand out from the crowd,” says Usanmaz.

Ideally, you want customers to know what you do and get a little taste of what it will be like to work with you.

A personal brand statement conveys your mission, differentiates you from competitors, and attracts your target audience. Use these tips and real-life examples of personal brand statements to inspire you to write your own.

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