A well-written resume increases your chances of getting an interview invite. Hence, if you want to rise above other qualified job candidates, you need to revamp it based on what hiring managers look for in an employee. It’s no wonder most job seekers begin writing their resumes by highlighting their education, work history, and career milestones.
However, when you have just graduated or are an entry-level job seeker, you might wonder about what else to add to your resume, especially if you don’t have other relevant work experience. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry because, aside from career highlights, there are other details that can make your resume stand out.
You might ask: What are those details? In this article, we’ll talk about extracurricular activities on resume, how they help in your job search journey, and when to include them in your tool. Before we dive into that, let’s first zero in on what extracurricular activities are.
What are Extracurricular Activities?
Extracurricular activities are non-mandatory events and activities that are not part of the curriculum. Students choose to participate out of interest and not for academic credit. Some avenues to experience extracurricular activities include student clubs, volunteer work groups, and other academic organizations.
These activities are regarded as assets in a resume because they highlight not only your potential and transferable skills, but also your personal traits, competence, and other qualities. Thus, involvement in extracurricular activities, especially the ones that provide opportunities for leadership roles can help you succeed in your job search.
When Should You Include Extracurricular Activities on Resume?
When you first start to look for a job, articulating your qualifications for an entry-level position can be challenging. This is mostly true when you don’t have relevant experience for your target post. However, these same activities can be the ace up your sleeve come your job search. For instance, you might have been part of an extracurricular activity where you acquired the necessary skills for the job you are applying for.
That being said, adding extracurricular activities on resume is another way to emphasize your best attributes, skills, and expertise. Plus, it’s an excellent strategy to make up for limited work experience.
What Extracurricular Activities to List on Your Resume?
Doing research on your target company and checking the job posting for required abilities can help you identify what experience to highlight. Consider any extracurricular activities you’ve participated in with related objectives, such as humanitarian, sociological, and environmental clubs. These extracurricular activities on resume imply that you might be a good fit for organizations that share your beliefs.
Here’s a list of the 10 best extracurricular activities on resume you can consider including in your tool.
1. Student Council
Being part of a student body in high school or college demands time, effort, and commitment. This provides students with experience and a wide range of opportunities to enhance their skills—teamwork, organization, management, and time efficiency. Moreover, involvement in this extracurricular activity entails a great deal of responsibility and the ability to work well with a group of peers.
2. Club Membership
Clubs or societies can be fun and rewarding since you get to share your interests, talents, and knowledge with others, as well as observe and learn from them. This could include anything from your school’s debate club, campus publication, to serving as an admin on a virtual community forum. Joining sororities and fraternities also counts.
Being part of a club enables you to work hard to lead, organize, and manage a group. Plus, it shows your commitment and interest in a certain field.
3. Foreign Languages
Including language skills in your extracurricular activities on resume section is an advantage. Knowing a foreign language can help you communicate with more clients and forge significant professional relationships. Thus, it could be an opportunity for you to earn a higher starting salary. Additionally, being part of a foreign language community allows you to have the following skills:
- Foreign language proficiency
- Cross-cultural communication
- Diversity and inclusive management
4. International Student Exchange Program
Studying abroad in high school or college is an excellent experience, especially if it’s part of a work-study program. Living in another country tests your ability to step outside of your comfort zone and be independent. Writing about this in your extracurricular activities on resume section lets you highlight skills. These include the following:
- Foreign language
- Thinking outside the box
5. Volunteer Work
Volunteer experience is as important as work experience. Volunteering shows employers that you’re willing to offer your time to help those in need, are involved in your community, and value people other than yourself. Furthermore, it helps you develop skills that can boost your resume. Some of these skills are the following:
- Team building
- Working ethic
6. Work-Study Program
Working and studying at the same time requires time management, determination, and independence. These are just some of the characteristics employers are looking for in an employee. That’s why, if you have this experience, don’t hesitate to list it in your resume.
Here’s a quick rundown of skills you can develop in work-study programs:
- Analytical skills
- Technical skills
Taking part in sports events at school is a plus to a resume. It promotes leadership, people skills, hard work, teamwork, communication, reliability, and dedication—qualities that most employers seek.
Being an artist of any kind, whether in music, visual art, dance, or theater, requires patience, dedication, and an eye for detail. Some of which involve art presentation; this entails its own set of soft skills to execute at a high level.
Here are some skills you can acquire as an artist:
- Attention to detail
- Presentation skills
- Public speaking
Listing tutoring experiences in your extracurricular activities on resume section shows that you’re competent, eager to share your expertise, and have outstanding communication skills. Peer tutoring, whether part of an official school tutoring program or not, gives employers the impression that you’re not just knowledgeable about a particular subject but also willing to share it with others.
Other skills that tutoring could show include:
- Critical thinking
- Communication skills
- Subject expertise
10. Relevant Hobbies
You can also mention notable hobbies to show a bit of your personality. Just make sure that everything you add to your resume strengthens your application and highlights your ability to take on the position.
How to List Extracurricular Activities on Resume?
Now that you know some common extracurricular activities to include on your resume, it’s time to learn how to strategically outline them in your job search document. Remember that they’ll only be valuable if you list them effectively. Here are tips when adding extracurricular activities on resume:
1. Choose activities that you actively took part of.
When adding extracurricular activities on resume, list activities in which you actively took part and gained significant skills.
2. Include those experiences that are relevant to your target job.
Besides making sure that the experiences you list are relevant, keep in mind to only include connections with groups and organizations that apply to the career you’re aiming for.
3. Assess how your involvement qualifies you as an ideal job candidate.
Take some time to evaluate how these experiences can boost your chances of getting hired before listing them in your extracurricular activities on resume section. You can highlight skills, such as technical expertise, work ethics, dedication, collaboration, communication, organization, and leadership, as a result of being part of extracurricular activities.
Where to List Extracurricular Activities on Resume
Spice up your resume by highlighting your extracurricular activities. Listing them in your job search tool depends on how much you want to emphasize them and how relevant they are to your target job. You can include them in the following sections:
If the responsibilities you have during extracurricular activities are directly related to the job you’re looking for, you can list them in the experience section. Aside from that, you can also include experiences under work-study programs and accomplishments relevant to the work you’re applying for.
Check out the example below:
Volunteer | ABC Animal Rescue Center | City, State | May 2017 - Sep 2017 — Assisted in the organization and running of a community fundraising event with over 200 attendees; which successfully raised $2,000 in donations — Provided routine maintenance and care for all animals living at the shelter, including cleaning cages, facilitating playtime, and grooming — Developed a schedule and list of responsibilities to help guide all volunteers
If you earned certificates or training licenses for an extracurricular activity relevant to your job prospect, you can highlight them in the education part of your resume.
Here’s an example:
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology | University Name, City, State | 2018 — Participated in robotics engineering competition and won second place — Attended conferences on technological innovation and learned more about industry trends
List activities you wish to put in your resume that involves roles and accomplishments. Place this as the last section of your tool. Doing so lets you end your resume with a good selling point.
Check out this example:
Member, Name of Club, Fall 2020–Spring 2021 — Won every debating tournament I competed in — Guided new members — Attended yearly general assembly meetings
Hire Expert Resume Writers to Help You Outline Extracurricular Activities in Your Resume
Taking advantage of your formative years by including extracurricular activities on your resume boosts your job search document. This is very helpful when you’re an entry-level job seeker. However, to get the best out of your relevant experience, it’s wise to hire a resume writer who can effectively highlight your qualifications in your tool.
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