Neville Rose, director at CV Writers, offers advice for making your interests add weight to your CV.
Interests can play a role in a CV, although the importance of things you do outside of the day job generally diminishes as your career progresses. There are exceptions of course. If you have won an Olympic Gold Medal or scored a winning goal in a major cup final, then these are things that will always ignite the interest of the reader. And adding something noteworthy is, of course, the main reason to include an interests section.
An engaging interests section is one that demonstrates an active life outside of work. An active role outside of work can indicate to an employer that you will also play an active role within the organisation – above and beyond your main job. This is important. Employers want employees that share similar values. Quite simply, you are much more likely to stay and be productive if you are a good cultural fit.
Many people get into event management through organising events socially and find it is something they enjoy and are good at. If you are just starting out in your event management career, and have examples of events you have managed for friends, family or socially then these should be incorporated as part of your career history. Don’t include these in the interests section at the back – make them feature more prominently.
If you include an interests section, it’s really important to make it engaging. So don’t simply state ‘enjoys reading and socialising’. This adds nothing to the CV. Who doesn’t enjoy socialising? And many people enjoy reading. Be descriptive and say something specific. For example, instead of ‘I enjoy running’ it would be more impactful to say ‘I ran a half marathon and raised £5k for a cancer charity’.
So, whilst it is not essential to have an Interests section in your CV, if you do have one then make the most of it. It’s another chance to form a positive impression – and perhaps find some common ground for interview.
If you would like help with your CV, cover letter or LinkedIn profile, CV Writers can help through a variety of CV services.