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Why You Shouldn’t Disregard Hobbies in a Resume

When you’re going through resumes on Jobstreet Singapore, and you see a candidate including their hobby in it, you might think it’s unnecessary and a waste of space. Recruiters may think it isn’t related to a job position or the candidate’s skill, but you shouldn’t jump into conclusion yet.

There’s a reason why candidates decide to include their hobbies into their resumes. It’s a sign that they know how to craft their resume and their ability to create a narrative around their interests. Here’s why you shouldn’t brush off hobbies in resumes:

Understand the intention

A smart candidate will customise their resume accordingly for the job they’re applying. They will include accomplishments and statements that are relevant to the position. It is also a chance to set themselves as individuals. If they can’t market their interest to you, then they shouldn’t add those interests. As a recruiter, it is your responsibility to understand why they placed their interests in the resumes. 

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A useful differentiator

You wouldn’t make the final decision based on a candidate’s hobbies or interests, but consider it a helpful differentiator.  When you’re dealing with multiple candidates, this additional information can make a candidate unique and stand out from the rest.

Consider their direct relevance to the job

A hobby in a resume should connect to a skill that the job requires. It should tell you, the recruiter, how it’d help in the job role. However, you shouldn’t take it too literally. For example, just because some said they enjoy running, doesn’t mean all they like to do is running for miles. It could mean that they are determined to complete their goals. Use these pieces of information as an insight into a candidate’s personality and behaviour.

Allow them to explain

If you’re unsure why a candidate included their hobbies in a resume, ask them and give them a chance to elaborate. For example, if a candidate states that they like to watch movies as a hobby, ask them how it relates to the job. Are they in a weekly film club, or did they only enjoyed the latest movie? You don’t want to pressure candidates by asking too many questions, but asking them could lead to surprising answers and opportunities for them to carry interesting conversations.


For recruiters, you shouldn’t dismiss hobbies and interest in resumes as it could be a chance to get to know the candidates.

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