What are extracurricular activities in resumes?
Extracurricular activities refer to the different hobbies and interests one engages in outside academics and work. Some of these activities include but are not limited to volunteering, music, dance, sports, community service, etc.
Irrespective of whether you are a recent graduate, fresher, or seasoned professional, listing extracurricular activities in your resume allows recruiters to see you as a well-rounded candidate.
And given that 61% of employers value soft skills as much as hard skills, showcasing extracurricular activities in your resume demonstrates that you have essential soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork, and time management.
Additionally, surveys show that 1 of 5 hiring managers in the U.S. has hired a candidate because of their volunteer work experience.
So, why not leverage your interests, hobbies, and volunteer work to help you stand out to the recruiters and increase your chances of getting shortlisted?
Read on to learn more about extracurricular activities in a resume and get clarity on the following related FAQs:
- Are extracurricular activities important in a resume?
- How to add extracurricular activities to a resume?
- What are the different types of extracurricular activities that you can list in a resume?
- What are good examples of extracurricular activities?
Why Should You Add Extracurricular Activities to a Resume?
Many job seekers undermine the value of adding extracurricular activities to their resumes and simply focus on their professional experience.
But, although professional experience is the essence of resumes, listing relevant extracurricular activities can help you showcase your soft skills, personality, and in some cases, how you are a cultural fit for the company.
For instance, if the company you’re applying to believes in sustainability, including volunteer experience or your involvement in a school club supporting the same cause can help you grab the recruiters’ attention.
Listing extracurricular activities in resumes is especially beneficial for applicants who lack professional experience or are fresh graduates.
Given below are some benefits of adding extracurricular activities to your resume:
- Show off your time management skills which are considered an asset for almost all jobs
- Extracurricular activities such as participating in debate teams or math clubs require problem-solving skills that are critical to many job profiles in industries like technology, engineering, etc.
- Shows that you have a dynamic personality
How to Describe Extracurricular Activities in a Resume?
Given below are some tips that will help you describe extracurricular activities effectively in your resume to increase your chances of getting shortlisted:
Consider the Relevance
The best way to decide which extracurricular activities you must list on your resume is by analyzing the job description and researching the company to understand which of your volunteer experiences, hobbies, and interests are the most relevant.
Focus on listing activities that demonstrate the skills listed as a requirement in the job description.
For instance, if you are applying for a marketing role, you can highlight your participation in organizing events and campaigns.
Prioritize Quality over Quantity
Rather than listing 5-6 extracurricular activities in which you made little to no contribution, select a few in which your engagement made a significant impact or experiences through which you developed essential transferable skills.
Recruiters are more likely to be impressed by how you effectively contributed to a single activity rather than merely the number of clubs or debates you participated in.
Highlight the Achievements and Quantify Them Wherever Possible
To make your extracurricular activities more impactful and impress the recruiters, you might want to highlight and quantify the results you achieved through your participation or contribution.
For instance, if you led a sports team and won several tournaments, consider writing the number of team members you led, including the number of tournaments won.
Doing so will emphasize your ability to lead, manage, and motivate others while achieving positive results.
Consider Your Experience Level
As stated earlier, listing extracurricular activities in resumes is more beneficial for candidates who lack professional experience and are fresher.
If you are a recent graduate with internship experience, consider focusing more on the internship experience and place the section for extracurricular activities under this section.
Meanwhile, if you are a seasoned professional, the sections for your hobbies and interests can be comparatively smaller and must be limited to 1 or 2 lines.
Format it Well
If you are a fresher and the extracurricular activities in your resume is the primary medium for showcasing your skills and potential, you must format this section correctly.
When talking about your contributions to the debate team, school clubs, or volunteer experience, use bullet points instead of writing in bulky paragraphs.
Also, don’t forget to highlight the result that you achieved and quantify it.
List of Extracurricular Activities in Resumes
There are various types of extracurricular activities that you can add to your resume. The following are some examples:
Student government: Your participation in student government can help demonstrate that you’ve likely developed skills like communication, people management, leadership, and interpersonal skills.
Arts club: If you are applying for a position in the creative industry, highlighting your participation in the art club will show your creativity and attention to detail.
Sports teams and ensembles: Leading or being a part of sports teams or an ensemble such as choir, debate team, drama, or band shows teamwork, dedication, and talent.
Volunteer activities: Volunteer experiences showcase your values and beliefs, which can at times be aligned with the company’s values, making you a cultural fit.
Membership in societies or programs: Highlighting your membership and involvement in professional programs, groups, or communities will demonstrate your genuine interest in the specific industry.
Hobbies and interests: Listing your hobbies and interests as extracurricular activities can help you add personality to your resume and stand out from other applicants.
Examples of Extracurricular Activities in Resumes
To give you more clarity, the following are some samples of extracurricular activities in resumes:
Key Points from the Blog
- Extracurricular activities refer to the different hobbies and interests that one engages in outside of academics and work. Some of these activities include but are not limited to volunteering, music, dance, sports, community service, etc.
- Listing extracurricular activities in resumes is especially beneficial for applicants who lack professional experience or are fresh graduates.
- The different types of extracurricular activities that you can add to your resume include - arts clubs, debate and sports teams, ensembles, volunteer experiences, and hobbies and interests
- Analyze the job description and research the company to understand which extracurricular activities are the most relevant and can be added to your resume.