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It’s no secret that more companies are now hiring for cultural fit in an effort to yield higher performing candidates. As one study from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management shows, many employers are now using a candidate’s hobbies and interests as a key indicator of cultural and personality fit. In fact, many employers indicated that these hobbies and interests were as important, if not more important, than qualifications and experience when selecting the applicant for the role. If you’re a job seeker, this means that you may want to take up a hobby or two in order to make yourself more attractive to potential employers and boost your employability – but which hobbies should you take up? It all depends on what type of personal strengths you’re looking to showcase! We’ve outlined nine common hobbies, the strengths they showcase, and the industries they’d benefit.

1. Endurance sports

Sports like running, cycling swimming etc. suggest that a person has tenacity, perseverance and drive, which are exactly the qualities that are desirable for a sales or business development role.

 2High risk pursuits

Activitiessuch as mountain climbing, mountain bike racing and sky diving can suggest that a person is happy to push back boundaries and take calculated risks. These strengths are desirable for people going into thought leadership roles or product/department leadership roles.

 3. Creative hobbies

Hobbies like cooking, painting and photography are artistic pursuits which suggest that you have a creative mind. Such hobbies might make you more appealing to employers in dynamic sectors and industries such marketing, PR, design, etc.

 4.Team sports

Group sports such as football, softball, hockey, dodgeball, etc. show that you are able to work as a team member in pursuit of a common goal. While this is a desirable quality in most industries, it might be especially useful in team-based environments.

 5. Strategic mind games

An interest in games like chess, backgammon, or sudoku show that you enjoy thinking strategically. This type of strength is desirable for positions where policy development and strategy formulation are central to the work,  such as a planning-based role.

6. Creative writing

An interest in creative writing – whether through poetry, short stories or a personal blog – can highlight your strengths as a writer or editor. This type of skill is highly sought-after for editorial positions, public relations positions with an emphasis on communications, or social media-type roles.

7. Reading, museums, libraries

An interest in learning-based activities can showcase a hunger for knowledge – a skill that could make you an especially good researcher, particularly suited to research intensive positions.

8. Community group involvement

Such hobbies can suggest that you are someone who is comfortable collaborating with others. This means you could be seen as a particularly good personality fit  for managerial roles. It’s important to note that if a hobby makes you miserable, you probably shouldn’t do it – even if it will impress employers. The same goes for fabricating an interest in certain hobbies. If you feign an interest in team sports despite being the type that runs away from the ball, it might not work out so well for you if you’re hired and are asked to join the company softball team, right?

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