The Importance of Putting Interests On A Résumé

One of the most fun and interesting parts of my Principles and Practices of PR class is listening and engaging with a series of guest speakers who come from all over the country. It is a privilege that our professor lines up such a fantastic array of PR professionals to share their triumphs and tribulations in the PR world.

Andy Nordhoff, a BU COM alum, and the PR manager for Columbia Sportswear, came to visit us on October 9th. In a quick  résumé recap, Andy is in charge of “lead[ing] media relations, long term planning, seasonal launches and events, and brand promotion.”

One of the biggest topics Andy stressed during his discussion was the importance of a résumé. He noted the basic requirements—no more than one page in length, etc.—but what struck me most was his commentary on an “Interests” section. Andy used his résumé as a perfect example. His interests read as follows:

“Avid hiker, snowboarder, camper, biker, diver, runner and tennis player.  Struggling golfer.  Enjoy traveling in US and abroad, following diverse media and photography.”

The key phrase that’s supposed to stick out is struggling golfer. Why would you want to include something like this on a résumé? A résumé should be professional, shouldn’t it? Well, Andy explained, a bit of information like this not only shows your personality, but acts as a fantastic conversation starter for any interviewer. Interviews can be awkward. This is one way to open the floor and allow for small talk, to stand out among the rest.

So the takeaways: Make your résumé stand out to help make yourself stand out. Give whoever is looking at your interview a reason to smile. Humanize yourself through your “Interests” section of your résumé.

After leaving the quick hour and a half lecture I felt nothing short of wanting to be Andy. With his fast-paced and fascinating job, he surely inspired the majority, if not all of my CM301 class. I can only hope to be as successful as him in my future; I’ll have to revisit my “Interests” on my résumé!

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