Ferret fanciers need not apply . . .

Sep 15 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Ferret racing, Samurai sword collecting and an interest in guns are among the more unusual hobbies that job seekers have listed on their CVs as ‘other interests’.

But trying to sound interesting by admitting to unusual hobbies on your CV can backfire, according to research by recruitment outfit Reed.

Eight out of ten of the 900 recruiters surveyed said that what is listed as ‘other interests’ can have an influence on hiring decisions, and going to extremes could backfire - seven per cent of recruiters say that they would reject a candidate with a hobby that they felt was ‘weird’.

Almost one in three recruiters say that writing too much or too little information on an application form can lead to a candidate being rejected. Giving the right impression means not showing off and not being too bland. Citing ‘drinking’, ‘socialising’, or ‘reading’ as a sole ‘other interest’ could be equally damaging to an individual’s chances of landing a job.

Most recruiters say that they are looking for a few bullet points that suggest a balanced mixture of interests. Four out of ten are keen on candidates who do voluntary work while others want team sports participants or candidates who enjoy travelling.

Daniel Ferrandino, director of Reed, said: "Getting your "other interests" section right on your CV can be a minefield. It is worth spending time getting this right.

"Yet trying too hard, by making this section too long or too unusual, can be almost as bad as leaving it blank.

"It is vital you are honest, especially as you might be quizzed about your hobbies at interview. However, you also need to consider the job you are applying for, and highlight activities which demonstrate the employer is looking for."

Right. I’m off to feed my Iguana.