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Examples + How to list

Should I include extracurricular activities on my CV?

Yes, you should include extracurricular activities on your resume if you are a young job seeker who lacks relevant work experience. Especially if you were active in school, supplementing your CV with activities that showcase your skills is a great way to prove that you are more capable than your inexperience suggests.

Before we highlight 10 of the best extracurricular activities to put on your resume and show you how to list them, here are our most useful resources for students and anyone looking to apply for entry-level positions:

Resume writing tips for students and beginners

Examples of CVs and cover letters for students and beginners

Good extracurricular activities in a CV: 10 examples

Extracurricular activities can strengthen your resume if they are relevant to the job and make you a more interesting candidate even if they are not.

Here are 10 of the best extracurricular activities you can put on your resume in 2021 to improve your chances of landing a job:

1. Student government

Members of the student government are leaders, organizers, and communicators, and act as the liaison voice between a school’s administration and its students.

Being involved in student government helps you develop a strong set of transferable skills while planning student body activities, meeting student needs, and representing your peers.

If you were part of the student government in high school or college, incorporate that experience into your resume to highlight some job skills that employers value.

Professional skills you develop in student government

2. Club executive

Much like student government leaders, club leaders spend a lot of time leading, organizing, and managing logistics for a group of students.

Since club boards are made up of many people, club leaders also need to know how to delegate and work well with others if they are to be successful.

If you have a good background as a club executive, highlight this extracurricular activity on your resume to show hiring managers that you have what it takes to be successful in the workplace.

Professional skills you develop as a club executive

3. Foreign language

Speaking more than one language is no longer just new to Americans. Knowing a second language can help you speak with more clients and even develop valuable relationships with people on an international scale.

So it’s no surprise that knowing some languages ​​even earns you a better starting salary.

But even if you speak a less widely used foreign language, the list of language skills on your resume still shows that you work hard, have a sharp mind, and see the world from a different perspective than your unilingual peers.

Professional skills you develop while studying a foreign language

4. Arts

Whether you are involved in music, the visual arts, dance or theater, being an artist of any type takes patience, diligence, and attention to detail. And art often involves performance as well, which requires its own set of soft skills to be performed at a high level.

Professional skills developed as an artist

  • Go off the beaten track
  • Attention to detail
  • Work ethic
  • Presentation skills
  • Public speaking

5. Sport

Individual sports require self-motivation, patience, and resilience. Our biggest challenger in life is often ourselves, and success as an individual athlete reflects your character very well with employers.

Team sports help you develop a completely different skill set. Instead of leading yourself, you are motivated by the desire to help your team achieve greatness. And if you’re a great team player in the field, you are probably a great team player in the workplace.

Professional skills you develop as an athlete

  • Personal motivation
  • Team work
  • Social abilities
  • Work ethic
  • Reliability
  • Quick thinking

6. Sorority / Fraternity

Most people think of socializing and partying when they hear the term ‘Greek life’. Yet many members of the Greek community organize fundraisers for charities, participate in community service, and help improve their universities.

These experiences help members of sororities and fraternities to develop skills transferable to the professional world, such as delegation, diplomacy, and teamwork. If you were particularly active in Greek life, listing sorority or fraternity experiences on your CV may strengthen your candidacy.

Skills relevant to the job you are working on as a member of Greek Life

  • Collaboration
  • Personal skills
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail

7. Resident advisor

The Resident Advisor experience is practically work experience so if you were an RA and needed to fill out your CV, be sure to mention it.

Resident Advisors are responsible for maintaining order, student safety, and following a set of standard operating procedures.

By putting RA experience on your resume, you signal to the hiring manager that you have good time and human resource management skills, and that you are able to multitask effectively.

Key skills you learn as an AR

  • Conflict management
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Sure

8. Work study

If you took advantage of a work-study opportunity while in college, this experience can definitely be incorporated into your resume.

Working and studying simultaneously requires good time management, determination, and independence to be successful, and employers are always on the lookout for candidates with characteristics like these.

Skills you improve by studying and working simultaneously

  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Independence
  • Problem solving
  • Motivation
  • Resilience
  • Technical skills (if applicable)

9. Volunteering

Whether you’ve volunteered once in your life or are an avid volunteer, put that volunteer work experience on your resume. Volunteering shows employers that you are willing to volunteer your time to help those in need, that you are active in your community, and that you value people other than yourself.

Additionally, volunteering often helps you learn a lot of skills that you should include on your CV and can even be used to fill in your work experience section.

Skills you develop as a volunteer

10. Study abroad experience

If you were fortunate enough to study abroad while in college, consider including the study abroad in your resume. Living outside of the United States for an extended period of time makes you more tolerant, open-minded, and adaptable.

And while studying abroad has helped you strengthen a foreign language, you’ve even honed a valuable skill during that time.

Professional skills acquired while studying abroad

  • A foreign language
  • Adaptability
  • Go off the beaten track
  • Communication
  • Patience

How to put extracurricular activities on your resume

Now that you know what extracurricular activities you need to include on your CV, here are four CV sections you can include them in.

Which section of your resume you choose to highlight your extracurricular activities depends on how much you want to highlight them and how relevant they are to the job you want.

1. Highlight them in your “Professional experience” section

If your extracurricular activities are extremely relevant to the type of work you are aiming for, consider using them as examples of work experience on your resume. For example, if you have volunteered a lot at university and are writing a social work resume, describe that experience in your Experience section.

Here’s what it might look like on your CV (note the formatting is the same as if it was real work experience):

2. Include them in your “Education” section

If the extracurricular activity you want to put on your CV is loosely related to your degree, you can mention it in the education section of your CV. Even if you don’t expand much on the activity on your CV, it will intrigue the hiring manager and might even be a talking point for the interview.

Here is a good example of an education section that effectively showcases an extracurricular activity:

3. Put them in a section “Realization”

If the extracurricular activity you want to include on your resume involves a specific achievement or set of accomplishments, create an achievements section.

Depending on how relevant these accomplishments are to the position you are seeking, you can place this section anywhere on your resume. However, we recommend that you place this section at the bottom, to act as a good final selling point for you as a candidate.

4. Insert them in your “Interests” section

If your extracurricular activities are important to who you are but most of them are not relevant to the job, place them in an interest section on your resume.

Believe it or not, hiring managers are looking for candidates with interesting personalities that they would be happy to work 40 hours a week. If your extracurricular activities make you a more interesting candidate, don’t be afraid to mention them.

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