I'm tired of hobbies - don't get me wrong, they're great, and I have a few (though not as many now that I have a toddler). I appreciate that they help to maintain our sanity, and they make us more complete as people. Being fully developed is nice.
Here's the thing: I, most likely, don't care about your hobbies.
If you have submitted a resume for consideration for a highly specialized, technologically involved, demanding position, I have little interest in your favourite book, your stamp collection or your sheep farm. I want to know what kind of experience you have in Java development, or administering an Oracle database, or with penetration testing. These things are necessary.
Years ago, I had a Hobbies section in my resume. It was one of those things you are told to do when first learning how to put together a resume - back when you didn't really have any "work" experience. Fine, it fleshed out your resume a bit, and it made you look well-rounded, but now you are an intermediate or senior consultant, prized for your technical acumen and professional demeanour. It does not matter to me that you are an avid fan of Doctor Who. Further, if it appears that you have put more thought into describing your hobbies than into describing your work experience, what, exactly, are you telling me?
All that being said (written), if your hobbies actually demonstrate what a good employee you'd be, by all means, let me know. If in your spare time you develop web sites for charitable organizations, or build computers using old components, or research Number Theory, then, yes, I will appreciate that information.
If you volunteer your time on a community advisory board, or organize food drives at the local elementary school, that's good to know, as well. Anything that shows that you don't just care about money, and that you have skills and interests that directly or tangentially relate to the workplace while also showing that you are a full, well-rounded individual is helpful, and is a bonus on your resume. Just remember, in the end, if I need a PHP developer (which I do right now), I'm going to care more about your coding skills than the charity auction that you organized and promoted.
Lucky for me, this is a recruiting blog, and, thus, counts as work.
[UPDATE: Thanks to Tom Sweeney for the link.]
(Originally posted at RecruitingBlogs.com - 04/24/09)