I have a serious, artistic hobby and I write an application for a scientific job. The hobby is music. I studied music for three years, but didn't conclude, because I decided to pursue a scientific career. I kept playing horn1, however; since lately I play in a (non-student, serious) orchestra.

I've seen that professors add information of this kind to their, say, online CV's. But first, they probably do not apply for grants using that version of their CV. Secondly, they are already somehow "respected".

That hobby was an important part of my life, thus I'd feel somehow dishonest to exclude it from the CV. It also explains why I'm about two years older than an average PhD student is where I studied.

Is including an artistic hobby in my CV detrimental for my application?

[1] This is not really the instrument but just an example.

  • 4
    Possibly, you should add a country tag (of the country that you intend to send your CV to). I have seen conflicting opinions around here and on The Workplace that may have been based on different cultural backgrounds on whether hobbies and interests are appropriate or not in a CV. Nov 4, 2017 at 9:09
  • Yes. A hobby like fox hunting may be detrimental. Music less so, but possibly for a Blue Meany.
    – Dilworth
    Nov 5, 2017 at 22:19
  • @O.R.Mapper I intend to send the CV to a couple of countries, otherwise I'd tag one.
    – c.p.
    Nov 6, 2017 at 16:42
  • 1
    @c.p.: But expectations and reactions to CVs differ between cultures. See e.g. the recent question on photos in applications/the CV). Nov 6, 2017 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


It is part of your experience, so should go in. It also shows, to a degree, that there's more to your life than just science, making you appear more rounded. It also explains the age discrepancy.

However, should the place you're applying for require a nerd, who would appear totally immersed in the task in hand, it may be considered that you have a somewhat butterfly approach - trying out something, but not following it through.

Some thought will be needed considering the c.v., and be more mindful of the recipients of it. Thus tailor it to the exact post applied for: tell them what they need to know. Or what you think they need to know...

  • 1
    I should add that in situations/organizations/countries that value culture, playing an instrument competently is going to work in your favour; a one/two-liner about your achievements is enough, don't concentrate on it. Let yourself be guided by how much you are interested in the position of interest if they really would dislike you playing an instrument. Nov 4, 2017 at 11:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .