Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

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Anonymous User
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Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:43 pm

My career services website really wants me to put hobbies and interests on a resume. Which sounds well and good (well, actually, not really), but I can't really think of any interests I've maintained through law school that belong on there.

"Mending clothes for my friends while watching bad television?" No. "Spending other people's money on Michelin-rated dining?" Also no (though I guess this might be a shared interest with BigLaw). "Dressing up for pubcrawls?" Also... no. I used to fence and ride horses, but I don't do those things anymore. I used to translate latin for funsies and backpack and such, but again, who has time for that in law school? Should I put stuff I did when I was in college but don't do anymore just to look well-rounded? Does anyone actually care?

Am I going to look like the boringest candidate if I don't put this stuff on my resume? I mean, is an employer really going to look at me and go "you know, I see that you booked a bunch of classes, but it doesn't sound like you share my interest in collecting tea cozies. I'm sorry, you're just not a good fit."

Anonymous User
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:46 pm

I never put it down on my résumé, although some associates and partners still asked me about a good handful of times. You don't need to put it down, but have a good answer prepared.

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LeDique
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby LeDique » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:46 pm

Are those really your only hobbies you maintained through law school? If so, I'm sorry.

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BVest
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby BVest » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I never put it down on my résumé, although some associates and partners still asked me about a good handful of times. You don't need to put it down, but have a good answer prepared.


I have three things on one line. The section I have it in is memberships, board positions, and personal interests. The rest of the lines (about 8) are the first two.

ETA: I think it's totally legit to put Fencing, Horses, and Latin down (again, I would do this as a single line). If asked, you can talk about it while saying "but I haven't had much time for that since 1L started." They'll understand.

BTW, if there's a detail that can be informative to them, especially if it's to demonstrate you have an interest but perhaps not a talent, be sure to include that. For example, Tennis is one of the three interests I have listed, so it says Tennis (x.5) with my rating on the common rating scale. Or you could say Golf (8 handicap). Something to keep you from embarrassing yourself later if it turns out your not very good.

ETA2: BTW, don't put a golf handicap unless it really is your handicap. I love golf but take an extra two strokes a hole and not because I hit it straight but short. I would never play with a partner at his club. Therefore I have simply omitted golf from my interests.
Last edited by BVest on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby brotherdarkness » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:50 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:50 pm

Why don't you just put:

-Fencing
-Horseback riding
-Sports
-Politics
-Investing
-Volunteering
-Plays bass guitar in a band on weekends

There. You're not so boring after all.

Who really checks these things anyway? And if it ever came to the ridiculous situation in which you have to "prove" that each listed item is an actual hobby of yours, even if you can't back any of that up with actual "proof," you can claim that they are "interests" instead of "hobbies."

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rinkrat19
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:52 pm

You seriously have no hobbies, activities or interests outside law school? Ugh.

Even if it's just "Exploring urban parks, reading fiction, watching police procedural television shows, fantasy baseball, and trying new restaurants," put SOMETHING on there. (Yes, this is a pretty bad list.)
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

truevines
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby truevines » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Should I put stuff I did when I was in college but don't do anymore just to look well-rounded? Does anyone actually care?

Am I going to look like the boringest candidate if I don't put this stuff on my resume? I mean, is an employer really going to look at me and go "you know, I see that you booked a bunch of classes, but it doesn't sound like you share my interest in collecting tea cozies. I'm sorry, you're just not a good fit."


A lot of people care. Interviewers can always figure our your academic performances from your transcripts. They want to know whether you're a normal person who they can work with for long hours without being driven crazy by you.

In two of my callbacks, the interviewers spent the whole session talking about my interests and hobbies and did not ask anything about my WE, law school experiences, etc.

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ragelion
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby ragelion » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:54 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:You seriously have no hobbies, activities or interests outside law school? Ugh.

Even if it's just "Exploring urban parks, reading fiction, watching police procedural television shows, fantasy baseball, and trying new restaurants," put SOMETHING on there. (Yes, this is a pretty bad list.)

Make sure it's stuff you can talk about, though, because you will get asked about it.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:56 pm

ragelion wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:You seriously have no hobbies, activities or interests outside law school? Ugh.

Even if it's just "Exploring urban parks, reading fiction, watching police procedural television shows, fantasy baseball, and trying new restaurants," put SOMETHING on there. (Yes, this is a pretty bad list.)

Make sure it's stuff you can talk about, though, because you will get asked about it.

Yes.
You don't have to be an expert/advanced practitioner of whatever it is, but be able to sound genuine and enthusiastic. I'm not a trained chef or a pro hockey player, but I can speak intelligently and enthusiastically about both cooking and playing hockey.

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BVest
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby BVest » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:59 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Why don't you just put:

-Fencing
-Horseback riding
-Sports
-Politics
-Investing
-Volunteering
-Plays bass guitar in a band on weekends

There. You're not so boring after all.

Who really checks these things anyway? And if it ever came to the ridiculous situation in which you have to "prove" that each listed item is an actual hobby of yours, even if you can't back any of that up with actual "proof," you can claim that they are "interests" instead of "hobbies."



Obviously I wouldn't put all of these. Also for Horseback, I'd be more specific. Like Horseback Riding (3-Day).

worksmart
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby worksmart » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:59 pm

This section is literally so your interviewer can quickly pull something from your resume to start a normal conversation, as opposed to, "Oh, I see you took Admin Law...how was that?" The only time this wouldn't matter so much is if you have other interesting things on your resume, like WE or volunteer work or other random stuff. You don't need to put crazy stuff, but basic things that other people also like are just make it easier for them to pass the time.

-Cooking (Oh, what do you like to cook?)
-Trying new restaurants (Oh, what are some of your favorites around here?)
-Any sport (Oh, did you play? What's your team? Oh yeah mine is x) - this one can be money if you know a sport well. It is not uncommon for an interviewer to spend the whole 30 minutes shooting the breeze about whatever sport you both follow.
-Reading (Oh, what was the last good book you read?)
-Travel BUT be specific re: places, like SE Asia or something (Oh, I just went to Thailand, where did you go?)

Now do you see why an interests section isn't a waste of time? Your interviewer is a normal person who will be bored to tears talking about law school stuff all day. Give them an opportunity to talk about something fun and the chances they like you/will find something in common with you will sky rocket.

Anonymous User
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:14 pm

I do have a lot of WE teaching science to little kiddies (including full days every weekend during 1L). I'm gonna flesh out that section of my resume call that sufficient as a conversation-starter. I wouldn't really feel comfortable pretending that I'm still really into epee or dressage when I haven't touched either in so long.

09042014
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:15 pm

To be honest, it's probably the most important part of your resume, not shitting you.

goaheadualright
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby goaheadualright » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:22 pm

-Reading (Oh, what was the last good book you read?)

don't put reading

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ragelion
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby ragelion » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:24 pm

Desert Fox wrote:To be honest, it's probably the most important part of your resume, not shitting you.

Agreed.

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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:49 pm

These are good conversation starters/revivers because the interviewer can form some good rapport with you over them. For example, I put down I was really interested in Chicago sport teams. One of my interviewers was a huge Cubs fan and we were able to talk about the Cubs, their struggles, yada yada.

Just make sure your interests or hobbies don't have any chance of coming off as offensive or controversial. (e.g., saying you like Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or that you like Malcolm X's writings). Think of things that people would talk about with polite company at a cocktail party.

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Bronte
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Bronte » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:03 pm

ragelion wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:To be honest, it's probably the most important part of your resume, not shitting you.

Agreed.


Really? I did OCI without a hobbies section. Hard to imagine I would have fared as well without a law school section, but I take your point. I always thought it was highly optional though. Of course, having a good answer to "what do you do in your spare time?" is a different story.

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guano
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby guano » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:29 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Why don't you just put:

-Fencing
-Horseback riding
-Sports
-Politics
-Investing
-Volunteering
-Plays bass guitar in a band on weekends

There. You're not so boring after all.

Who really checks these things anyway? And if it ever came to the ridiculous situation in which you have to "prove" that each listed item is an actual hobby of yours, even if you can't back any of that up with actual "proof," you can claim that they are "interests" instead of "hobbies."

If you put investing down, expect to talk either about the market in general or one investment in particular.
Volunteering - be more specific (name the organization)
Politics I'd leave off, just to avoid the (small) possibility of getting into a debate

Edit: I really shouldn't be answering here, sorry

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EdwardIV
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby EdwardIV » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:42 pm

Bronte wrote:
ragelion wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:To be honest, it's probably the most important part of your resume, not shitting you.

Agreed.


Really? I did OCI without a hobbies section. Hard to imagine I would have fared as well without a law school section, but I take your point. I always thought it was highly optional though. Of course, having a good answer to "what do you do in your spare time?" is a different story.


I have Ultimate Frisbee listed as an interest. During a 1L job fair at my school, an interviewer asked me how good I was and then took out his Frisbee. We finished the interview throwing outside.

I have yet to have an interview where we didn't discuss something from my interests section. I have had multiple interviews where that's all they wanted to talk about.

Add it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:25 pm

Yeah, I've always been asked about my interests, too. It's not that a partner's going to say, "I'm sorry, you don't share my interest in tea cozies, we're not a good fit." It's more that after going through all the people at OCI, "that person I talked about the Cubs with" is more memorable and more appealing to work with than "that person with a 3.6." I would put down anything you've done in the past that you would like to take up again in the future and can talk about.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:25 am

guano wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Why don't you just put:

-Fencing
-Horseback riding
-Sports
-Politics
-Investing
-Volunteering
-Plays bass guitar in a band on weekends

There. You're not so boring after all.

Who really checks these things anyway? And if it ever came to the ridiculous situation in which you have to "prove" that each listed item is an actual hobby of yours, even if you can't back any of that up with actual "proof," you can claim that they are "interests" instead of "hobbies."

If you put investing down, expect to talk either about the market in general or one investment in particular.
Volunteering - be more specific (name the organization)
Politics I'd leave off, just to avoid the (small) possibility of getting into a debate

Edit: I really shouldn't be answering here, sorry


Fair point about politics.

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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:35 am

Is there any good way of phrasing handicapping horses to make it not look degenerate?

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chem
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby chem » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:These are good conversation starters/revivers because the interviewer can form some good rapport with you over them. For example, I put down I was really interested in Chicago sport teams. One of my interviewers was a huge Cubs fan and we were able to talk about the Cubs, their struggles, yada yada.

Just make sure your interests or hobbies don't have any chance of coming off as offensive or controversial. (e.g., saying you like Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or that you like Malcolm X's writings). Think of things that people would talk about with polite company at a cocktail party.


+1

Not to mention your resume tends to be handed around when you start your summer associate so people kind of know you. People came by with shared interests to talk to me that summer

envisciguy
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Re: Hobbies/Interests section - REALLY?

Postby envisciguy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:09 am

Almost every interview I had looking for a 1L summer job asked me about something from my interests section. As others have said, it's a great way to easily connect and show that you have a personality on top of your other qualifications. I had one callback interview where I spent almost the entire 30 minutes talking college football with my interviewer.




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