Finding a job is serious work. Most job seekers wouldn’t dream of listing their favorite free time activities on their resume or job application. Employers want to know how your job experience will benefit their organization. While that’s true, that experience doesn’t always have to come from time on the clock or in the office.
Life is full of lessons to be learned that don’t happen between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Your personality has an effect on the hiring process and makes a difference when it comes to being a fit for a potential employer’s culture. The character you can put into your job search can help make it easier to grab a hiring manager’s attention and connect with those decision makers.
There are plenty of things you can do during your free time that can help you get a job offer. Here are some ways you can list your hobbies and free time activities to grab employers’ attention and make you a more desirable candidate.
When an employer announces an open position, keep in mind that hundreds of resumes and applications are being delivered. These applicants will have similar experiences, education, and training. What better way to stand out than to have some of your activities that can show a little personality while demonstrating the skills needed to do the job.
Just because you may be an avid reader, it doesn’t mean you should put it on your resume. However, if you’re an avid reader of medical reports and breakthroughs in medicine technology, that might place you in a position to be seen as someone who is forward thinking and willing to lead change in a hospital. Your hobbies have to be seen in a way that relates to the job duties of the position you’re applying for.
Take some time to think about your pastimes and see if you can’t use them in a way that applies to a job description. Are you an officer for a club? That means you probably have managed groups of people, helped grow an organization, or aided in raising large funds for the community or charity. Use your imagination, but keep it slim. You will want to include your most important skills and experience first. If your resume is getting long, your hobbies will have be the first to go. They could be woven into your cover letter as a way to demonstrate your skills and add personality.
There are several ways you can connect with others who share the same passions as you. If you haven’t already, consider finding, joining, or even forming groups based on your hobbies. Not only will you have fun and learn new things about your hobby, you will also have a chance to network with like-minded individuals. In today’s job market, people are more likely to hire someone they know or trust. You never know who you might meet and build relationships with, or who could give you an opportunity to put your foot in the door with an employer or job opening.
Your hobbies can be great conversation topics during an interview. You have a small amount of time to convey your skills and build a rapport when being interviewed. Sometimes your pastimes can help establish a connection with your interviewer, which can help you feel more relaxed and confident, and support you stand out better in the interviewer’s mind. If you notice a lull in your conversation, try to use your experience with your hobbies to explain your passions and see if you can relate to the person asking questions.
If you don’t have any hobbies or impressive interests, don’t try to pick one up overnight. Interviewers can pick up on your lack of passion and it can make them wonder what else in your resume might be inflated. Now is the time to pick up a hobby and explore your interests. With fall and winter around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities in various ways to volunteer during the holiday season.
You don’t have to hide the fact that you live an active lifestyle when looking for work. In fact, the things you do in your spare time can make you a more desirable candidate. How can you use your hobbies to make your resume stand out and make yourself a better applicant? Let us know in the comments section below.
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