Space is tight. I may have to cut the section out. How important is it for recruiters to see your personal interests/activities?
Include Interest Section on Resume?
Almost any professional reviewing your resume will tell you that the interest section on your resume can sometimes be the most important part. As recruiters and professionals scan through stacks of resumes, some reviewers will even look at the bottom of the resume first to see the interests that differentiate you from other people. Wall Street firms want to hire people that are interesting and relatable to the rest of the team.
Even more importantly, once you get to the interview, the interest sections shows that you have passions and interests outside of finance. It helps interviewers form common ground with you in the interview and gives you something to talk about other than finance or the potential job.
It is actually one line interviewers look at and it will probably come up in all your interviews if you have something interesting there. They want to see what kind of person you are outside of academics and work, and if you are a well rounded candidate.
Interests do help separate you from the crowd. With everyone going around these days with their BSD attitudes and overly exaggerated job experiences, interests can definitely help and especially if it's something the person looking at your resume can relate to.
That being said, obviously don't put shit that sounds stupid or lame on paper like "beer pong" or "professional gaming", but by all means put shit like graphics design, boxing, mountain climbing, etc.
However, some of our users shared that if your interests are very generic they will not be beneficial. Make sure to make your interests specific or interesting so that they can be points of conversation. For example, avoid listing "TV" as an interest and instead list your favorite show "Game of Thrones."
Check out some more links about this topic on WSO.
- What are some good interests for a resume?
- Making that tiny interests/hobbies section more interesting?
Want Your Resume Reviewed by a Pro?
Land more interviews with the most comprehensive resume review service in the world.