The recent trend of graphic resumes has encouraged jobseekers to use their hiring materials as a form of self-expression, often including a section dedicated to personal interests and hobbies. A potential risk with this approach is that the valuable resume real estate could be better used to highlight more relevant professional experience and transferrable skills. Below are a few effective ways to present your personal interests in a way that showcases their professional relevance.
#1: SHOW, DON'T TELL
Rather than explicitly stating your interests and hobbies are, show prospective employers what your creative interests are by emphasizing how you’ve used them professionally. If you donate your time to a cause you believe in, including it in your resume can give potential employers a glimpse of your personality, while articulating your relevant work-related skills.
Here’s an example of how this might look in your resume:
NYC REFUGEE & ADVOCACY New York, NY
Photographer - Volunteer 2015 - Present
Provided pro-bono photography services on behalf of community-based organization dedicated to advancing opportunities for immigrant residents of New York City.
In this example, the resume demonstrates the candidate’s photography skills AND interest in immigrant advocacy, while providing the reader with a clear sense of the scope and relevance of their contributions.
#2: TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLES
Community involvement—including affiliations with professional organizations or community programs—can show a candidate’s cultural fit. For example, a graphic designer applying for a position at a bicycle gear company might want to include their leadership experience during community biking events.
BIKEFEST New York, NY
Leadership Committee Co-Chair - Volunteer 2015 - Present
Directed leadership committee for annual three-day bicycle festival with over 5,000 attendees.
#3: CAPITALIZE ON YOUR COVER LETTER
If you’re missing some formal experience in an area that you’re passionate about, you may want to consider using your cover letter as the platform to share this information with prospective employers. For example, the same graphic designer could explain how the role provided a unique combination of their expertise in graphic design and passion for bike culture. In this instance, having this hobby might set the candidate apart.
By using these methods, you can ensure your resume strikes the perfect balance between showcasing your value and personality. For more resume tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!