• Should your Resume contain personal flare, such as hobbies or interests?

    Posted on January 11, 2011 by in Blog

    I originally wrote this as a response to an article I found while trying to figure out if should include hobbies and interests on my Resume… And while I didn’t agree with the authors views, it really got my mind working and made me think it through. I must send a personal, “Thanks” to the author, for getting his or her views out and requesting that, we the people, write back.

    The original article can be found here: http://www.attorneyresume.com/articles/40012/Should-You-Include-A-Hobbies-Interests-Personal-Section-On-Your-Resume/.

    My Response:
    “Something, you as the author and you as the reader may want to consider are applicants such as myself who want to attract the employer who is interested in creating the most cohesive team possible. Far too many times have I worked for a company that was not interested in my personal motivations, and therefore I was teamed with the wrong people, creating conflicts and slowing down the team as a whole. One good analogy to further explain my point is this: Oil and Vinegar apply to be part of “Team Salad Dressing.” Without knowing the specific properties of both, IE the interests, motivations, personalities and abilities of each applicant, how could a team leader know if these individuals will work well together? As most of us know, Oil and Vinegar stored in the same container must be shaken vigorously and quickly applied to work well as a dressing. If left stagnant, the team “Oil & Vinegar” will separate and perform their function as a salad dressing, rather poorly.

    I truly feel that to understand and motivate one’s team, a team leader must understand the unique motivations of each individual present in that team. After all, the world of business is one giant network of relationships working toward the same goal, so why shouldn’t the very foundation of these relationships, each member of each team, be understood and appreciated?

    Listing personal hobbies, interests and motivations on a resume may help to achieve team cohesion. I will leave it up to you, the replying reader, to decide.”

    -Dusty

2 Responsesso far.

  1. Charlene says:

    Interesting, but a few things pop up in my head while reading this.
    First, have you ever met somebody who was completely different than you whom also had completely different hobbies, interests, and motivations, but you have worked so well with these individuals? I certainly have.
    And whilst working with these individuals, I have noticed that we each have different areas where we strive. With all of our differences, we were able to work together to provide many different approaches to our common goal.
    Secondly, I think if you were to place many people who are very similar together, this may be an ingredient for disaster.
    Have you ever worked with people that you got a long so well with, but instead of working together you suddenly became side-tracked and decided to go out for beers instead of working?
    Your response is interesting, but I suppose I would like to hear from you exactly what you would put on a resume that you feel would help place you in the “right” atmosphere?

  2. dusty says:

    Charlene,

    Honestly, I believe you have hit the nail directly on the head, a proper extension of my point. Also, you have asked a fantastic question! How does someone reduce themselves to a few lines on a resume, in such a way they can be placed in the “right” atmosphere? Sadly, I don’t know if it is possible, and if I apply this to my industry, ‘applicant A’ may have every desired programming skill under the sun, as per the resume, but what truly motivates him or her? Does the applicant seek monetary gain above all else or does the applicant really believe in what he or she is doing and desire to contribute to the greater good? Does the applicant need constant motivation or need to be challenged in new ways to avoid burnout? Furthermore, do they work well with others or need locked in a dark closet? To me, these are all important things to understand about someone, and maybe it is impossible to deduce from a resume, no matter how finely crafted it may be. But then again, maybe the job being offered is one the employer doesn’t care about any further than its timely completion. That however, is what I try to avoid as if it were the plague; finishing something as quick as possible, with no regard to quality or the future…

    Secondly, from experience I know I work best in a Team with a lot of inertia and cohesion; collaborative motivation if you will. Without that, my progress tends to grind to a halt. I am someone who, the more you put into me, the more you will get out of me. I see many job postings where the employer is looking for people who are “self starters” and “highly motivated individuals.” I my opinion, self starters and highly motivated people aren’t looking to work for someone else, they are the ones looking for people to work for them! While I am extremely passionate about collaboration and absolutely love working with people who genuinely enjoy the work they are doing, I am not someone who is motivated to work on your Million dollar idea, unless you have great passion, and can hit me with it full force! Ideas are cheap and easy, but the driving force behind success is what I am interested in, and what I seek.

    So what can I add to my resume to help my potential employers understand how to best utilize me?

    1) I believe if something is worth doing once, it is worth taking the time to do it right.
    2) I am like water. Left alone I am calm and serene, but given time and a motivational force such as gravity, I will carve out the depths and beauty of the Grand Canyon.

    For a truly long lasting relationship, I believe honesty such as this, is so very important. Too bad most employers I’ve met are only interested in, “How quickly can you get this done?,” and are not interested in the long term.

    I think I hope this answers your question, and thanks for your insight.

    -Dusty

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