It’s become clear in recent times that more and more companies are now hiring for cultural fit in an effort to produce higher performing candidates. Several studies show that many employers are now using a candidate’s hobbies and interests as a key indicator of cultural and personality fit. In fact, many employers indicated that these hobbies and interests were as important, if not more important, than qualifications and experience when selecting the applicant for the role.
So, if you’re looking to boost your employability you may want to take up a hobby or two in order to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. But which hobbies should you take up to enhance your chances?
Well, that depends on what type of personal strengths you’re looking to showcase! Here we’ve highlighted eight common hobbies to show the strengths they demonstrate, and the industries they’d benefit.
Strategic mind games
An interest in games like chess, backgammon, or sudoku show that you enjoy thinking strategically. This type of strength is desirable for positions where policy development and strategy formulation are central to the work, such as a planning-based roles and leadership roles.
With the resurgence of all the cookery programs on the TV in recent years this hobby is picking up pace again. Hobbies like cooking, painting and photography are artistic pursuits that suggest that you have a creative mind. Such hobbies might make you more appealing to employers in dynamic sectors and industries such marketing, PR, design, etc.
Group sports such as rugby, football, cricket, hockey, netball, etc. show that you’re able to work as a team member in pursuit of a common goal. This is a key skill that is valuable in many industries which might be especially useful in team-based environments.
Sports like running, cycling swimming etc. suggest that a person has tenacity, perseverance and drive, which are some of the qualities that are desirable for a sales or business development role.
An interest in creative writing – whether through poetry, short stories or a personal blog – can highlight your strengths as a writer or editor. This type of skill is highly sought-after for editorial positions, public relations positions with an emphasis on communications. With social media taking a prevalent role in so many businesses now this is a key skill to be able to demonstrate.
Reading, museums, libraries
An interest in learning-based activities can showcase a hunger for knowledge – a skill that could make you an especially good researcher, particularly suited to research intensive positions.
High risk pursuits
Activities such as mountain climbing, mountain bike racing and sky diving can suggest that a person is happy to push back boundaries and take calculated risks. These strengths are desirable for people going into thought leadership roles or product/department leadership roles.
Community group involvement
Such hobbies can suggest that you are someone who is comfortable collaborating with others. This means you could be seen as a particularly good personality fit for managerial roles.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t lie about enjoying certain hobbies, because if you do feign an interest in team sports – yet haven’t kicked a ball in your life, it might not work out so well for you if you’re hired and asked to join the company football team!
Has a personal hobby of yours ever helped you land a job? Share with us in the comments section!