Adding Extracurricular Activities on Your Resume

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Adding Extracurricular Activities on Your Resume

Do extracurricular activities make a difference on your resume? The answer is a resounding yes!

extracurricular activities on a resume

There are many reasons why dedicating some of the space on your resume to your personal interests and extracurricular activities can be of interest to employers. In some cases, it could even tip the balance when you’re in a particularly competitive selection process.

Read on now to find out why it’s worth sharing a little information about your non-professional activities. We also look at some of the best example pursuits to include as well as where and how you can highlight them when building a resume.

Why to Include Extracurricular Activities on Your Resume

Space is always tight on a resume. By design, you should always be extra selective on what you include, make sure that the information on the page serves the job you’re targeting and gives a positive overall picture of you as a candidate.

However, it can also help to give the recruiter a brief insight into what you’re like as a persontoo. After all, while 80-90% of your resume will focus exclusively on your professional capacity and experience, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know more about you as an individual.

Extracurricular activities can provide a good idea about how you interact with other people, your ability to handle important responsibilities, and even how committed you are to your profession. Managers always want to hire people who are a complete package by being professionally expert and active in their personal time.

Also, if you’re just out of college or high school and have little hands-on professional experience, including details on extracurricular activities is even more important. This can show the recruiter how dedicated you are to succeeding in your newly qualified profession and why you’re motivated to seek the job.

How to List Extracurricular Activities on Your Resume

The good news is that you don’t need to dedicate much space to your non-professional activities. However, where and how you list them can be very important.

There are a few sections on your resume that could be enhanced with extracurricular pursuits. Yet, if you do choose to add this information to your resume it’s best to include a hobbies and interests section where the recruiter can review these details after analyzing your work experience and skills. To save on room, it’s best to write your activities in bullet point list form. This will allow the recruiter to rapidlyscan your highlights and quickly see why you’d fit the role well.

You could, if relevant, add a volunteering section to your resume. If you’ve got experience helping out in your local community or internationally, you should go into more detail by adding the dates of the placement, the organizer, and your duties.

Additionally, you could also add this to your education section or achievement section, to give more detail about your college or high school experience. If you decide to add the information in this way, you can go into a little more detail by including dates and any organizations that you participated with.

What Are the Best Resume Extracurricular Activities?

There’s not a single answer to this question. It will always depend on what kind of profession you work in and the type of job you’re targeting.

For example, if you’re targeting a job that requires physical strength it could be beneficial to refer to any sporting or body-enhancement training you do. Ideally, whatever you include should be complementary to the job, although you don’t have to be limited to just that.

Nevertheless, if your activities can lend you extra strength in your eligibility or by giving some practical evidence of soft skills they should appear on the page. Some particularly strong examples include:

  • Languages
  • Team sports
  • Arts such as theatre or performance
  • Volunteering
  • Fundraising
  • Traveling
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Membership of organizations

What Activities Shouldn’t You Include on Your Resume?

As mentioned before, the extracurricular activities that you do feature need to be focused on the job profile you’re targeting. Therefore it’s best to only include hobbies and pursuits that might be relevant to your employer.

If you’ve got the space available to do so, then it’s absolutely fine to add a few interests and activities that give the recruiter a better view of you as a person. Obviously, however, you should also never list a hobby or activity that would undermine your professionalism or trustworthiness. Therefore, don’t include activities, societies, or hobbies that elude to excessive drinking or drug use.

If you want to experiment with adding a hobbies or interests section to your resume, you can easily do so using ResumeCoach’s online tools. Put together a perfect document in just a few simple steps and get interviews fast.