Resume and Cover Letters

Resume and Cover Letters : Should I include hobbies or other personal information on my resume?

Although anyone can learn to develop an effective resume, it can also be helpful to consult those who specialize in the career search process. In this spirit, the following are common resume and cover letter questions posed to career counselors and other experts and their responses. We have chosen to answer only one or two questions, at the same time have weighed in on a number of topics, providing a variety of helpful tips and advice.

In considering the advice provided, keep in mind that there is room for different approaches to resume development depending on your work and education experiences as well as the career path you are pursuing. In fact, even the experts sometimes disagree about the finer points of writing effective resumes. This is an indicator that some flexibility in constructing a resume is possible and should set you at ease in building your own outstanding resume.

Good luck in your job search!

Should I include hobbies or other personal information on my resume?

Do not include your age, marital status or health. This personal data can only be addressed in a job interview if they are bona fide occupational qualifications. Only include hobbies that you are still involved with and enjoy talking about or where you have gained proficiency and/or have received some recognition.

No, you shouldn't include personal information on your resume. In case particular activities do seem relevant to the skills or functions of the job, you should provide this information in the cover letter. Resumes should be succinct and fact filled with information that conveys your education and work. But suppose the job you are applying for is a camp director? Then what might otherwise seem like a hobby - swimming, painting, running - may in this case be part of your experience and will be on your resume as such.

You can include one line of Interests if you have a fairly blank resume. This is most appropriate for younger people with less job experience. Most employers don't really care or will cover this territory only if you get to the in-person interview stage.

The only personal information that should be included might relate to special community activities, such as being on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization. Additionally, list awards that might demonstrate teamwork or leadership capabilities.

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