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> There is always the danger, of course, that some personnel
> managers might regard extracurricular activities as a sign
> of a frivolous mind. You should be working! :)
Indeed. It helps to keep in mind that getting the job is not
always the ideal outcome of an interview. They *all* look good
in the classified ads, especially when you've made the mistake
of looking in your refrigerator and your bank statement in close
succession. But a bad mismatch between corporate culture and
your personality will probably be won in a technical knockout by
the corporate culture.
Right out of college, I had two job offers for about the
same amount of money. One of them was at a huge corporation,
in a really strait-laced and subdued environment, and would
have started me off with a six-month training program. The
other was at a frenetic computer company young enough to
have lots of remaining people who still thought of it as a
startup. I took the latter and had my first big argument,
my first screw-up, my first weekend at the office, my first
raise, and my first *two* publications by the time I'd have
gotten out of new employee training at the former. Others
might have preferred the opposite.
I might add that I was pre-screened on campus by the Big
Corporation. The interviewer asked if I wrote any fiction.
"Yes," I said, "but I wasn't any good at it so I gave it up."
"Good!" he replied. "We used to hire people who wrote that
stuff and they didn't work out." In retrospect that should've
been my first warning sign, although maybe my subconscious paid
attention to it after all.
But I digress. Hobbies and outside interests go on your
resume if (a) it would be a bit thin otherwise or (b) you
are prepared to parlay the ensuing discussion into an
otherwise unattainable demonstration of how you can do the
job. This is probably easier for someone who designed and
built his own packet-radio interface than for someone who
won a prize in flower arranging, but it's probably worth a
moment's thought regardless (even if you reject the idea).
As for "being Secretary of the College Publications Committee...
and editing an arts magazine in college," jeez, I'd move that
out of the hobby section and into professional qualifications!
"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"
Disclaimer: Even if my employer had a position on the subject,
I probably wouldn't be the one stating it on their behalf.