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Sunny Jong
Noodle Expert Member

March 16, 2020

A brief and friendly reminder that your responsibilities and recreation don't have to be mutually exclusive things!

I want to preface my input by saying that this isn’t as corporate and soulless of a task and mindset as it sounds. It’s important to capitalize on the utility and purpose of the things that you do, especially in ways that don’t expunge the leisure and joy that would normally come with it. However, it’s often possible to reappropriate your hobbies in ways that can be a boon to your resume and general employability. Hear me out. 

In the working world, there’s responsibility and recreation. Responsibilities, naturally, are your obligations - primarily school at the moment. You need to go to class to get a degree to be a competitive job applicant so that you are able to carve out a sustainable future for yourself. And in the midst of all of the things that you’re doing in hopes of a good future, leisure may be the last thing on your mind that you’d consider putting down on your resume because it’s something you’re doing exclusively to unwind - it’s what you do to take your mind off of the whirlwinds of hectic discord around you: exams, essays, projects, meetings, and other obligations that you might have. So when you do these things, it usually doesn’t occur to you that brand these commitments in a more presentable light.

While your resume will primarily feature your education and work experience, your extracurriculars are also important things that you could be reporting. For instance, the sports that you engage in alone, with friends, or on a team could demonstrate your dedication, teamwork and/or leadership. If you love to draw, let your appraiser know that you’ve developed a keen sense of creative direction and are attentive to detail. Recreational writers could brand their writing endeavors, whether or not they’ve brought home awards, as exercises in perseverance and humility, and people doing volunteer work no matter what it’s for demonstrate their sense of civic duty and humanitarianism, which tacitly communicates extremely desirable qualities about the applicant. 

Additionally, highlighting these types of interests in your life could emphasize the attributes of your character and passion that line up with the organization you’re applying to. Is your local retirement home looking for assistants who have a strong sense of community? Maybe your weekly board game meetup demonstrates that you are committed to building a community centered around common interests, and that you are experienced in bonding with an aggregate host of people. Does the information technology team want someone who is adept at remote collaboration abilities? Perhaps a video game that you play has you doing just that very intimately. 

With just a bit of resourcefulness and inward examination of the things that you are or have been doing, it’s absolutely possible to economize your experiences by packaging and presenting them appropriately. In fact, it’s a pretty common thing to do, although there are certainly exceptions for when you shouldn’t be listing hobbies - like when they’re irretrievably impertinent. But as long as you choose the right time and place to employ this strategy, you’ll be able to craft much more compelling and personalized resumes that represent you beyond the conventional parameters of a faceless piece of paper.

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