Three hobbies that pump up your resume

These three hobbies will help give your resume a boost while having fun at the same time.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
JAMAICA PLAIN, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - 01FEB07 - Videoblogger Steve Garfield works out of his home creating his website where he uses still and video images. Blogging is becoming increasingly popular.

Time spent away from work on hobbies is immensely valuable — it connects us with friends and family, gives us a sense of purpose and meaning, and allows us to relax, all while developing important skills. Even better, some of the skills our hobbies impart can benefit us in the workplace. Here are three hobbies that help us develop important, resume-boosting skills, without even trying.

1. Blogging

When you apply for a job, there's a good chance your would-be boss, or someone from the human resources department, is going to Google you. One of the best ways to increase your chances of landing an interview — and, eventually, the job — is to differentiate yourself from other candidates in the search results. Setting up and maintaining a professional blog and social media accounts is a great way to boost your image, show off your skills and accomplishments and communicate that you have an interesting, active life outside the office.

Plus, bloggers have a better chance of getting noticed and hired by employers because they are showcasing skills that can immediately be put into use in an office setting — from search engine optimization and social media management to writing and design. But your blog might also offer a peek into your personality. That's important, too, because, in many respects, employers are hiring as if they are choosing between candidates to be their new friend as well as their new worker.

While your blog should be professional — no party pictures or political rants — it should also offer flashes of your love for cooking or affinity for backgammon. The goal is to come across as a smart, motivated, well-rounded person — not a boring, one-dimensional robot.

2. World Travel

So you just got back from a trip around the world, or a summer spent teaching English in Nepal. Maybe you spent a month solo backpacking through South America. Wherever you were, now you're home — and you're ready to find a job. Rest assured, there's no need to try to conceal how you've been spending your time. While carving time out to travel was once considered by many employers to be frivolous, it's now more often seen as an asset. Translation: Your time spent hiking in the mountains, touring war-torn cities, and befriending the inhabitants of remote villages boosts your hireability.

Employers need experienced workers who are comfortable with other cultures, aren't afraid of stepping outside their comfort zones, and have a thirst for familiarizing themselves with the unknown. Did you plan, finance, and budget your own travels? Then you probably picked up some budgeting, finance, and organizational skills. Did you befriend a child in Vietnam using only body language? Well, then, you're skilled at overcoming communication and language barriers. People who travel are often motivated, able to speak another language, and willing to relocate — and these are highly sought qualities in the working world. No two travelers have the same stories to tell, so be sure to use your most awe inspiring ones to differentiate yourself in your cover letter.

3. Team Sports

Participating in a team sport or activity, like club soccer, gives you a deepened sense of self-worth, purpose, and meaning. And it means you know how to play well with others — both on and off the field. Sports can teach you how to work toward a team goal while also chipping away at personal ones. They're a great way to polish your time management skills and learn the importance of commitment. They teach you how to overcome setbacks and learn from your mistakes.

These are the qualities you build while dribbling up and down the court, making strategic passes to members of your team. And it's the stuff your future boss is looking for from new hires. The best place to list sports involvement on your resume is under an "activities" subhead. It's all about the keywords and phrases. Coachable. Dedicated. Accountable. Team player. Expressed properly, any job interviewer will see how your on-the-field skills will translate in the workplace.

This article is from Brittany Lyte of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.