Is it a good idea to list “X” on my resume interests section?

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Paul Danielson

Is it a good idea to list "X" on my resume interests section?


The "Interests" or "Activities" section on a resume serves a couple important functions, the most important of which is to give some type of indication as to a candidate's personality beyond their credentials and legal experience during an initial resume review, and to provide points of commonality to help spark potential discussions during an interview.

Strategically, many attorneys think that by listing quirky, ultra-specific, or extremely unique hobbies or activities, it will make them stand out from the crowd. This is true, but standing out can be a good or a bad thing - you DO want your resume to make a partner intrigued by your candidacy, but you do NOT want your resume passed around for a chuckle.

A good rule of thumb is to imagine how you would answer an interviewer who asks about a particular interest or activity. If it is "15th Century Italian Frescoes," that is certainly going to stand out, but unless you have extensively studied 15th Century Italian frescoes and have a true, overriding passion for them above any other interest you might have listed, it is going to come across as contrived.

Meanwhile, while "Cooking" or "Hiking" might seem relatively pedestrian, this can actually be a good thing because it's very likely that an interviewer would share your interest, and ask what you like to cook or where you hike, which provides an opportunity to make an all-important personal connection that could lead to a job offer.

Along similar lines, listing places you have traveled can offer an opportunity to share travel stories or points of interest. The whole idea is to use this section of your resume to make an interviewer want to get to know you better, and to hopefully establish a personal connection. If your interest is too esoteric and you have no good explanation, reason, or true passion behind it, you will come across as less genuine, and that is never a good thing.

It's fine to get specific and unique when creating a list of interests, hobbies, activities, and travel, but make sure that it is truly representative of you.

Popular tags

Hobbies Or Activities      Resume Interests      Establish A Personal Connection     

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