Some automotive recruitment candidates feel that their hobbies may sound boring and wonder whether it’s worth mentioning interests outside work when applying for a job or should they say something that will capture the interviewer’s attention or just leave them out completely.
It is worth thinking about which sport, hobbies and other interests you should mention on a CV and consider what you should say about them at interview. We see far too many CVs offering the bland combination of ‘reading, travel, spending time family and eating out’. Who doesn’t enjoy these things?
So why mention non-work activity at all? Well candidates who can show they are motivated by things outside work are considered to be ‘fully rounded’ and often these interests can also provide evidence of transferable skills.
Excellence in sport will often attract an interviewer’s attention and talking about anything where you demonstrate enthusiastic participation is usually well received. Where you’ve led or coached a sports team demonstrates the ability to manage people. You can mention with confidence about more solitary activities such as tracking down interesting people or rare items or simply doing something well.
Ask yourself, can you talk about something you’ve seen recently if you’ve listed the theatre as one of your interests? Likewise, if you’ve put down reading, what will you say if you’re asked about the best book you’ve read this year? Too many people mention interests that are no longer valid, or activities they have little enthusiasm for. You should also be careful to avoid implying that your best achievements are in the past; this can be avoided by not to listing things you did a long time ago.
Whatever interests you list in your CV, apply these three rules.
One, are the activities relevant to the job? If the link is obvious, mention it in a covering letter. If this evidence brings out skills such as your ability as an organiser, consider bringing that on to page one of your CV rather than tucking it at the back.
Two, be sure to list things that an employer wants to see. If the job requires great communication skills, mention activities that involve participation and people, show where you have used them both in and out of a work environment.
Three, Interviewers listen to the energy of what you say as much as the content so be sure to talk about what you have done with real enthusiasm?
Showing you are motivated demonstrates how you will hit the ground running. And remember to be selective in the hobbies; interests’ section of your CV, you don’t want it to look like you have no room for work in your life.
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