Interests: DIY crafting and education, writing

This is the most interesting line on my resume. It’s buried towards the end, right before my debatable claim of “Language: conversational Mandarin.” (My Chinese is passable – conversational is stretching it.)

But my Interests line is the one line on my resume that gets the most attention. Which is funny, because it comprises about .8% of my entire resume, and has nothing to do with my professional background. However, despite its insignificant placement on my resume, that line describes a huge portion of my actual life. I enjoy talking about what I love to do, and it shows whenever the topic is brought up in interviews. I included it almost as an after-thought, but it has become a secret weapon for me. Employers that ask about it can immediately see that I am passionate about the things I choose to do; my often unexpected enthusiasm for all things DIY lets them know that I am a self-starter, highly motivated to succeed and a tiny bit crazy-obsessed with making things. On the flip side, I have learned that companies that ask about my interests generally have fantastic cultures, great corporate values and a healthy respect for their employees.

I’ve spent hours poring over my resume and torturing every line until each bullet point aggressively touts a professional victory, using appropriately specific numbers and heroic action verbs. Yet it’s the one thing that I threw on there on impulse that really defines my entire resume, and helps me stand out as a candidate.

Having a keen sense of what you’re truly about is powerful. Passion is easily seen, and admired, by others. So go out and discover it, if you haven’t already! Develop your sense of self, and find a way to sneak it onto your resume. The companies that are interested in who you are, in addition to what you can do, are the ones that you will thrive in.



alena chiang - circle

Alena is head of user acquisition and chief snack procurement officer at pymetrics. She is a big fan of making lists, roaring as a form of communication, naming inanimate objects, and keyboard shortcuts.