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Executive Resumes – Do you list your Hobbies on your Resume?

by Kim on January 2, 2017

Traditionally, hobbies and interests are not listed on a resume. However, if you feel that you must include a specific talent or pastime to further sell certain skills, think twice before listing more “general” hobbies vs. pastimes that demonstrate strengths that can easily translate to the business world such as endurance, decision making, problem solving, fund raising, etc.

It’s been noted, through a recent study from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, that a high-class hobby such as polo or sailing could make a difference, especially if you’re a man, which the article suggests is an “unsavory takeaway” resulting from the study.

Briefly, researchers sent nearly identical resumes to over 300 top law firms – the only differences were in the candidates’ hobbies and interests. Remarkably enough, they found that the resumes belonging to men who noted upper-crust hobbies, such as sailing or classical music, received 13 callbacks, while the resumes belonging to women with the same interests received only three.  Men with not-so-lofty interests, such as soccer and/or country tunes, received just one interview.

While some of this is alarming, and not necessarily fair, it does demonstrate how one can be perceived merely though interests even if the perception is nothing like the actual person and his/her capabilities.

While I still don’t recommend including hobbies unless they are going showcase transferable skills and strengths, it’s something to keep in mind if you are a dedicated sailor who also plays classical music vs. being a soccer coach for your son’s kindergarten class once a month.

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