Why are so many ‘Interest’ sections on a CV so utterly uninteresting?

A ‘free CV review’ is just one of our CV writing services. It allows us to gain a reasonable snapshot in to the world of your average CV. Of all the different CV sections there is one that allows you to really let your hair down. To say something a bit off the wall. To give the reader a glimpse into the personality behind the CV. That section is ‘Interests’. Why then does this section usually contain more clichés and less insight than any other?

CV writing serviceYour typical Interests section will say something like this: ‘enjoys travel, cooking, reading and socialising with friends and family’. Well blow me down. Isn’t that truly remarkable? The reader will be truly enlightened, astonished even about…well nothing. They might breathe a mild sigh of relief that you’re not a hermit, but that is about it. You may as well say ‘enjoys belching, sleeping and farting’. At least there’s a bit more everyday truth in that.

Of course, it’s not essential to have an Interests section in your CV. But if you do have one, at least make the most of it. It’s another chance to make a positive impression. Employers are looking for the right cultural fit. To recruit people with similar values. So there can be a lot of subliminal processing going on when reading about interests. People that display an active life outside work are likely to bring that kind of productivity into the workplace.

 So what should you include in Interests?

Of course you need to include any clubs, societies or positions of responsibility outside work. Any sports, hobbies, fundraising or voluntary work should also go in. The trick is to be descriptive. Paint a picture for the reader to visualise. It will make what you say instantly more memorable. You can make even the most mundane pastimes interesting with a little more depth. ‘Cooking’ is one thing but ‘conjuring up fiery hot South Indian coconut curries’ is another.

There are also things that you shouldn’t include. Gambling and going to the pub get mentioned quite often but are best left off the printed page. Likewise if you belong to a political party it’s better to leave this out. Unless politics have played a major part in your career and you have no choice, politics is just so divisive it’s just not worth the risk. You don’t know the political persuasion of the reader. You don’t want an interview turning into Question Time.

So make your interests section count. Be descriptive and elaborate. You’ll be surprised at how you can make even everyday hobbies and habits sound appealing. And remember it’s also creating a chance at interview to speak about something on your terms. Perhaps even to find common ground in a shared interest with the interviewer? That could just make the difference between two close candidates.

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