In the course of my daily work in Executive Search, I don’t do much job board mining and I don’t tend to see a huge volume of CVs. Most of those CVs I do see tend to be those of Senior Execs, and a lot of them don’t put their interests on their CVs. Is there a need to?
Listing ‘Movies, socialising, eating food’ doesn’t really add much to the CV, or even give me more of a picture of the candidate as a person. I’m sure those are really things that most people are interested in. If you’re going to put interests on there, I want to see ones that say something about the individual. From a recruiting perspective, they’re probably only really useful if they in some way back up the case for the candidate as a good fit for the position, so maybe interests that show they’re the right personality type or cultural fit for the business. I guess this could be a questing mind, a competitive or collaborative nature. Putting something totally vanilla on the end of the CV doesn’t really add anything when I read through it, and doesn’t even give me more of a sense for the person behind it either, so my advice would be to leave it off. Save the print.
Sometimes adding your interests to your CV can detract from the rest of it. A candidate going into needless obsessional detail about their very quirky interests or (worse) trying to be a comedian can work to undermine the rest of the CV. Although this adds colour to my day and can raise a smile, at the end of the day it doesn’t really support a candidate’s case and in some cases can make someone seem unprofessional, as if they’re not taking this seriously- even if they really are. At the end of the day, all a CV should be doing in my mind is a candidate building a professional showcase of their skills and experience relevant to the roles they’re in contention for. Oftentimes we recruiters can play a part in helping craft that. But knowing that someone is deeply into World of Warcraft or designs their own shoes out of bamboo probably isn’t going to add anything if they’re in consideration for a Director of Pensions Implementation role.
Agreement, or a swathe of dissenting opinions? I’m genuinely interested in the community’s thoughts.....
Whatever I say though, the more unusual CV interests have been brightening my day for a while now. I’ve been collecting them. Here are a few of my favourites- admittedly, some of these are opinions rather than interests, but I would have left them out of the CV.