Having sent out many CVs in my time, and in my Management roles received many, I often question the relevance of the “hobbies”section.
In my early years it seemed a section that generally consisted of “reading”, “sports”and “socialising”. When probed in an interview about what they had read, I often found that people were tripped up, with one candidate telling me he was currently reading a particular lads magazine…
I also spent many an hour trying to gloss up the fact that most of my leisure time was spent with friends at pubs. I know this is glossed over “socialising”but again, everyone knows what it really means…I don't do much with my free time except go out and drink!
The other potential issue with admitting your hobbies is what if your prospective employer doesn't like it? Could this make them prejudiced against you? Would your work history just see the inside of a bin liner, instead the bright lights of the interview room? Does it start to carve an image of a person before you even meet? If some ones hobby was tattooing, does this mean they are covered head to toe in ink? I watch poker and one of the players was always laughed at, as he owned a tattoo shop but did not have one tattoo on him. Admittedly that’s rare, but if I had read his CV and realised he had owned a tattoo shop I would have assumed that he would have a fair few himself.
Some people will arguably disagree with me, stating that some hobbies can put you in a good light. For example, if you are young and do not have much experience but have hobbies that can put you in a category of “life experience”, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, as apposed to “clubbing and getting drunk every night”, you might find a prospective employer looking more favorably on your CV.
Plus we are now supposed to be in a society where we would have more valid reasons than the image their hobbies conjures up of them to decline someone for an interview, but I think if we live in the real world where first impressions still matter we would admit that sometimes we don't always have the most valid reason for not interviewing that person!
My feeling on the matter is, for most of us, it is a section we would rather not have to pluck something out of thin air for, to either awkwardly discuss in an interview or be completely ignored.
It should serve no purpose on whether I like to run a marathon every weekend or spend the weekend watching Friends re-runs as to whether I am good for a job.
I have therefore decided to remove the “hobbies”section off my CV. If they want to know I really spend my weekends taking my kids to football, ballet and swimming, while squeezing in the occasional wine, then they can ask me when we meet.