Hobbyists and Tinkerers

Real interest in technology can be difficult for employers to gauge when considering candidates, especially candidates without years of employment experience. A level and GCSE results are considered good indicators of academic and intellectual ability but may not be the best criteria by which to judge a candidate’s technical ability or interest in a technical area.

Increasingly recruiters are being asked to look for hobbyists and tinkerers. What employers want to see is a candidate who has genuine interest in a relevant area and has taken steps outside of their learning environment to pursue that.
For these reasons it is important to highlight your relevant technical interests within your CV and make clear that you have taken the initiative and pursued those interests, beyond your academic studies.
Employers want to see motivated candidates who they can rely on to finish tasks. Getting involved in community projects in Open Source or building a profile of development on Github are great ways of showing real technical ability and a willingness to learn new skills unprompted.

In many cases, successfully demonstrating technical ability in a hobby can offset poorer academic results. After all, employers would much rather bring on candidates with technical interest and proven ability than those without. So next time you are looking at your CV don’t be afraid to mention that game you have been working on in your spare time.

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