In a world where you could be one of hundreds or even thousands of applicants for a single entry-level job, it's vital to find ways to stand out. Some people advise making your resume eye-catching, while others suggest that it's better to move fast rather than perfectly tailor your application. But you want to connect with your potential boss on a personal level — that seems like a good way in, right?
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One job-seeker asked about this recently on the forum WallStreetOasis. "I was just wondering what you guys think about putting TV shows/movies in your interests section of your resume," writes user Courtside. "I was thinking about adding Game of Thrones as this may appeal to many other people. The interests section is usually used for sports and games, but are TV shows fair game?"
Responses piled in, with the top commenter suggesting that highlighting your investment in Westerosi politics during the job hunt will leave you with plenty of time to keep at it — sitting on your couch, without a paycheck.
A few people offered successful anecdotes about including fun details in your "interests" section, but most agreed that it doesn't mean you're any more likely to grab the hiring manager's eye. In fact, it might make it easier for them to dismiss your application as unserious. Given the volume of resumes HR has to process, it's best to keep yours as focused on the job as possible.
Remember, your resume and cover letter are all about convincing an employer why you're a good hire for their needs. If you want to add an interests section, consider which of your hobbies are relevant to the position or suggest ways in which you'll grow as an employee. Social media expertise, coding, photo editing, and graphic design are super useful — and just as honest as saying you like building fan sites for your favorite TV show.
Knowing how to get a hashtag trending or how to structure storytelling is a great way to distinguish yourself; just think about how to frame your hobbies and their usefulness to the job description. And if you notice during your interview that your would-be boss has a #TeamJonSnow mug on her desk, that's when you can connect (briefly) over your mutual nerding-out.