Top 6 interests to put on a resume that every candidate should know

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 14 March 2024

The current job market is highly competitive, so your resume needs to go beyond your qualifications. Think of it as a powerful tool for showcasing your strengths and attributes. 


Hard and soft skills are both important here, but it’s equally crucial to share your genuine interests so that recruiters get a three-dimensional view of who you are.


In this article, we explore the significance of incorporating diverse interests. From volunteer work to personal pursuits, you’ll learn which interests to put on a resume so you can present a holistic and compelling picture of yourself to potential employers.

Hard skills vs. soft skills

Before worrying about which interests to focus on, it’s essential that you understand the distinction between hard vs. soft skills

  • Hard skills are tangible, teachable abilities that display competencies, such as computer programming or data analysis. 
  • Soft skills refer to interpersonal abilities and personality traits as opposed to skills gained through training. Soft skills examples include leadership, communication and the highly-coveted emotional intelligence (EI). 


Genuine interests bolster these skills. Even if your interests don't seem extremely relevant, they show that you have hobbies outside of work—and, most of the time, these interests are proof of additional transferable skills that bring value to the role. 

What are the top interests to put on your resume?

Hard and soft skills for resumes are vital, but are oftentimes repeated across every candidate’s application. As the job market becomes increasingly saturated with talent, it’s never been more important to set yourself apart. Showing a diversity in interests helps you do this effectively, allowing you to present the unique blend of qualities you bring to the table.


More and more organizations are now also prioritizing a diverse talent pipeline because employees with diverse backgrounds foster greater innovation and organizational success. 


This means including numerous interests on your resume is not just best practice, but a strategic imperative that makes you desirable. 

1. Volunteer work

Adding volunteer work to your resume demonstrates a commitment to community and social responsibility. By showing that you're willing to go above and beyond to make a difference, it suggests to recruiters that you’ll bring the same energy to the role you’re applying for.


Volunteer work also substantiates interpersonal skills like teamwork and problem-solving, which are highly valuable in the workplace. 


2. Professional memberships

You may not realize it, but professional memberships are one the most impactful interests to put on a resume, indicating that you have ongoing engagement with your industry.


Not only do they show that you're interested in staying informed about the latest trends and developments, they also lend credibility to your professional brand and make your resume more competitive by showing that you’ve cultivated a network of industry contacts. 

3. Languages spoken

If applicable, you should highlight proficiency in multiple languages because this displays communication skills and cultural awareness. A proclivity for learning new languages is especially helpful when applying to global companies or those with diverse teams.


Multilingual candidates are often sought after in today's globalized business landscape. In fact, 61% of hiring managers agree that knowing at least two languages is becoming increasingly important this year, and it can even increase your earnings by up to 20% per hour.

4. Fitness and wellness

Interests in fitness and wellness expresses a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Employers value employees who take care of their physical and mental wellbeing as they’re often more productive and engaged in their work. 


Often associated with discipline and energy, fitness and wellness also have strong crossovers with the working world. Interestingly, statistics show that exercise improves your ability to manage stress by up to 46%, your aptitude for creative problem-solving by 20% and your productivity levels by 13%.


Plus, an interest in fitness and wellness gives you a good talking point during interviews and helps build rapport with future colleagues. For more job interview tips, read this article.

5. Sustainability and environmental initiatives

Showing an interest in sustainability and environmental initiatives reflects a concern for the environment and a sense of corporate social responsibility.


In recent years, many companies are doubling down on their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability. Positioning yourself in alignment with these values shows that you will actively share in that vision and be a good culture fit for the company.

6. Mentoring or tutoring

Interests in mentoring or tutoring shows that you’re dedicated to helping others and sharing knowledge. Employers value people who are happy to help their colleagues succeed and contribute to the collective success of the organization.  


Mentoring or tutoring experience also demonstrates leadership skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

How can Hanover support you in learning what interests to put on a resume?

In the current job market, candidates have to fight for opportunities. In this environment, a good resume doesn’t always cut it—sometimes, you need a helping hand.


While there are many talent agencies to choose from, Hanover has a variety of candidate solutions that provide you with the tools to secure your next role. Whether you're looking for resume writing services, interview coaching or job search assistance, we have you covered.

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