Standing out from the crowd: leisure activities, volunteering and more


How to make your CV stand out from the crowd is an age-old challenge and there are a number of different ways in which it can be achieved. One area that is sometimes overlooked or even rejected is the ‘Interests’ section, where you can list any volunteering or hobbies you enjoy. Some people fear that including these may look slightly frivolous or irrelevant, but actually this can be an invaluable opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer.

Opening up the conversation

Showing that you have hobbies and interests that you enjoy reveals to potential employers that you are a well-rounded person, and forms a short but important last section on your CV. They can provide a great topic of conversation at your interview. In fact, they may reveal far more about your personality than you realise. If you say you regularly play football or netball for example, that can be interpreted as your being a good team player, who likes being with a group. On the other hand, if you say you like going to the gym, that could imply that you are self-motivated, and goal orientated. An avid gamer is probably good with computers and may be quite introverted. A crossword enthusiast will be analytical, with good problem-solving skills.

Make it specific

Hobbies shouldn’t be written in a generic, nondescript way though.  If you enjoy reading, say what genre you prefer – sci-fi, mediaeval history, biographies etc. If it’s walking, describe the type of walking you do – for example, the Wainwright Way to differentiate from an evening stroll – and promote more interest.

A common denominator

Over the years, I’ve had some great conversations with clients who have told me about their interests and it’s amazing how often these coincidence with my own – a number of times people have been surprised when they’ve told me about their martial arts qualifications, and I’ve shared that I’m a practising Taekwondo black belt.  Similarly, talking about the type of travel you enjoy will engage the reader – or interviewer – particularly if it refers to a part of the world that they are familiar with or want to visit too.



Onboarding a remote workforce

As most of us can remember all too clearly, it can be nerve-racking starting a new job. New employees will find themselves inundated with information, and it can take weeks to adapt and settle in. Imagine how much harder this all is, when you are starting a new job from a remote location. There are even more challenges that need to be identified.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process to help ensure a smooth transition for new employees into the workforce. Remote and in-person onboarding share the same goals – to educate new employees on the business, their position and the key company policies.

The Covid pandemic meant that many businesses had to adapt overnight.  Many have since come to realise the benefits of remote working, and in a lot of cases it is here to stay for the long-term. One challenge that comes from this is onboarding a remote workforce. A positive experience quickly and efficiently integrates new employees. However, if it doesn’t go to plan, a poor onboarding can lead to dissatisfied employees and a disconnect to the business.

Planning is key

It is important to try and provide a new workforce with as much information as possible before they begin.

  • Ensure they have the right technology set-up: this will encourage everything else to run smoothly. This can alleviate stress from the first day of work, while helping them process new experiences.
  • Create a remote checklist: include information about their role and anything else you require them to know.
  • Develop a two-week plan: this is important, as inducting employees not in an office environment can take longer.
  • Develop a guide: having a written handbook for new employees to refer to is helpful. Having all the information to hand – like colleagues’ numbers, company rules, policies and procedures – will help smooth the transition period.

Virtual orientation

Virtual orientation sessions to welcome your new team are also a good idea.  Some ideas for this could include virtual coffee breaks, office games and photo sharing with teammates.  It is important new employees feel integrated into the wider team as quickly as possible. It might even be a good idea to set up a ‘virtual buddy’ as a first point of call and to help them build connections.





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Welcome to the latest vlog from Career Evolution!

We are continuing to share weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In our latest vlog, our director, Sue Thomas, rounds up some of our posts from August, including top tips for keeping relevant on LinkedIn. There’s so much more to this platform than job searching.

Watch the video below:

Watch last month’s vlog here.