Saturday, 27 June 2009

My Hobby - as included on a job CV

Due to a change in personal circumstances, I have been actively seeking a new job. While producing CV's and attending interviews I am aware that I have in the past only touched upon my hobbies and interests, concentrating more on my work or employment experiences all this changed when I stumbled upon a couple of articles recommending that hobby or outside interests should be featured more highly on your CV.

For example;
I am a keen modeller and wargamer producing 'scratch-built' models, painted figures and enjoying the research that goes with this hobby. My 'master CV' includes the following.....

Model making
I enjoy making models and painting model soldiers, based on historical information and uniform guides as well as Science Fiction and Fantasy subjects. I am also a keen wargamer, using model soldiers to re-enact historical or imagined scenarios over miniature battlefields.

I have over the last fifteen years had a number of articles printed in model making publications. In addition with the development of Web based magazines I have been published on the Internet in web based magazines and Fanzines. I also maintain my own model making Blog.

In the many interviews I have attended, I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that this inclusion has produced comments, however a couple of recent articles on the Internet have made me think about this part of my life, for example;

Model making, miniature painting and wargaming offer many unique skills for a potential employer.....

They show an ability to follow precise instructions and to translate technical information into practical application.

They also demonstrate the ability to plan, organise, project manage, overcome problems and deliver solutions, they show that you are numerate, logical and have attention to detail.

The detailed research and reading, both reference books and rule books, are educational and beneficial, they also help to introduce some very thought provoking views - we are talking about war, the reasons why wars were fought and the lessons learn. (I have heard comments from those outside of the hobby that model makers and wargamers 'glorify war'. This cannot be further from the truth as it becomes very clear to most wargamers that war is in fact completely futile).

The artistic side of painting and sculpting miniatures which exercise different parts of your brain - the recognised Left/Right cross-over that is so important to creative thought.

In many areas, practical mathematical skills are involved, for example converting scale and measurements in to a 3D model.

Table top wargaming demonstrates strategic, operational and tactical planning, proof that you are able to manage risk, evaluate and manage conflict, make decisions and solve problems.

Most wargaming involves others, a group of individuals - social networking which develop core competencies such as clear communication skills, influencing skills, team building, respect and leadership skills.

These are powerful skills in any work scenario. In fact I am amazed that model making and wargaming are not included in the school curriculum, given the 'core skills' they could help to develop.

I hope that these comments (which have been taken from various Blog or Internet sites) help others tho make more of their skills when producing a CV or attending interviews.



BigLee said...

For most of my working life I have kept my hobby interests to myself. In part this is because of the negative stereotyped image 'wargamers' and particular 'Roleplayers' have. But about two years ago I came out of the proverbial closet and stopped hiding my hobby from my colleges and it definitely hasn’t harmed my career one bit.

Tony said...

The modelling hobby is so huge and varied, that you could include additional skills, like electronics - the wiring of model railway layouts, the metalworking skills of mechanical engineering models and the control skills of trying to fly a R/C hellicopter model. (Trust me I've tried it!).

Then there was the ducted fan 1/12th scale model of a Red Arrows Hawk jet that I saw modelled, that was so powerefull that it could only be flown on Ministry of Defence land (it crashed spectacularly on its first flight).

Now these are very special skills!


Mike Siggins said...

I have usually kept my hobbies quiet on CVs, definitely wargaming.

The one famous incident, back in the eighties, was when I got summoned to interview (great job) because the guy knew my name and wanted to chat. No chance of getting the job, he just wanted some tips.

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