Do you need to include personal interests in your CV?

Do you need to include personal interests in your CV?

13 May 10:00 by Elena Joannides


Different hiring managers will think differently about this but here’s my two cents.

You may think it’s totally irrelevant to include personal interests that are in no way related to your career on your CV. This may lead you to do one of two things:

  • Not include that section at all

  • Try to fit work related things into that section

Really, you do want to be including your personal interests. All employers should want to know that you want to have some semblance of a life outside of work, it gives them something to converse with you on in an interview. Employers want to know if you are technically capable but culture fit is also of huge importance in the hiring process. Your interviewer may bring up your personal interests as a way to loosen you up, so don’t shy away from talking about that if you’re asked to.

Realistically, your interviewer will be doubtful that your favourite thing to do in your spare time is work on your vlookups and pivots, be honest and trust that your attitude and experience will carry you through to the next stage of the hiring process.

Including your Personal Interests is great way to set you apart from the other candidates in the increasingly competitive job market, especially if you don’t not super confident that anything stands out in your career history.

In a best case scenario, you may even find that you have something in common with your interviewer, perhaps you both love mountain climbing in your spare time, or are into the same scandi crime fiction. Creating a bond at the crucial first interview stage could be a make or break for you.

The worst case scenario will only be that your couple of sentences of a Personal Interests section gets ignored and the rest of your CV speaks for itself.