When people begin working on resume writing, many put emphasis on their previous working experience and career history.
However, little do they know that extracurricular achievements, from both extracurricular activities and co-curricular experiences, in a resume could also have positive impacts.
The extracurricular activities show not only potential and transferable skills of the applicants, such as leadership skills, communication skills, and language ability, but also their personal traits.
But what does it mean to have extracurricular activities on a resume? Do you really need to include extracurricular activities in a resume? And how to present them on the CV?
For freshers that have little to no professional experience, extracurricular activities in a resume/CV are a great way to showcase required skills and relevant experience.
Extracurricular activities are non-mandatory events, programs, and activities that are affiliated with with the school but not part of the curriculum. People choose to participate them out of interest.
Sometimes extracurricular activities and co-curricular activities can be very similar; they are both related to the school and can both be included in a resume/CV.
While it is a good idea to also add co-curricular activities to your resume/CV, they are different from extracurricular activities. Co-curricular activities and experiences are ones that are more closely related to your chosen field of study, for example, sports, musical activities, debate, art, drama, debate, writing competition, etc.
In this article, we'll cover topics related to extracurricular activities on the resume/CV:
Having extracurricular activities on your resume/CV can be very helpful, but you have to do it right.
So consider carefully what curricular activities to add in your resume. While there are numerous extracurricular activities to put on a resume, some extracurricular activities tend to interest the hirers more than the others.
The following is a list of good examples of extracurricular activities to write in the resume for freshers and entry-level job seekers:
Great examples of extracurricular activities for your resume/CV
Student council experiences will provide students with abundant skills since participating in student council comes with great responsibility and they need to work well with a group of students.
Student council experiences are a great example of extracurricular activities to be included in the resume.
Engaging in student council could help students develop:
Clubs or societies could be pretty fun and rewarding. You get to share your passion, talent, and knowledge with others, as well as to observe and learn from others.
On top of that, skills gained in clubs and/or societies activities will look good on your resume. Having clubs and/or societies experience on your resume/CV in the extracurricular section also helps show your unique personality and stand out among candidates.
By joining clubs or societies, you could:
Cross-cultural communities allow students to connect with people from different backgrounds and develop a better understanding of the world. As businesses are increasingly value diversity and inclusion, soft skills you acquire from participating in multi-cultural organizations and events will come handy when you write extracurricular activities for your resume or preparing for a job interview.
Joining a multicultural organization shows that you have:
📚 Further reading: Tackling Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Interview Questions
Language skills could be one of the skills that you could showcase in the extracurricular activities section in your resume. The recruiter values communication skills and language skills guarantee smooth communication. By writing language skills in the extracurricular section, you will also have a better chance among fellow applicants.
Participation in a foreign language extracurricular will also equip you with:
Study abroad experience might be a game-changing experience for some students. They will be tested on their ability to get outside of their comfort zone and will be faced with the chance to solve problems on their own. Writing your exchange program in the extracurricular activities section in your resume can help demonstrate those qualities.
Having a study abroad experience could provide students with:
Sports is an activity where a high amount of hard work, teamwork, communication, and dedication are emphasized. These are qualities that most hirers are looking for. Sports team experiences are also good extracurricular activities to include in a resume.
Engaging in sports could also show:
Including tutoring experiences in your resume will show the recruiter that you are knowledgeable and sharing and have excellent communication skills. These can also be good examples of extracurricular activities for a teacher's resume.
Other skills that could be showed by tutoring include:
Having volunteering activities/organization experience is almost the same as having work experience. The only difference is volunteering is often unpaid.
By including these experiences, you can show the recruiter how dedicated and committed you're to learning and achieving some goals. The recruiter can also learn your personality traits and passion, which can help you to stand out from other candidates.
Volunteering comes with the images of having:
Participating in non-academic competitions could present yourself as being ready for challenges. These are good extracurricular activities for resumes as they can also showcase good interpersonal and soft skills.
Taking a part in competitions could also demonstrate:
Getting involved in government-related activities could imply:
No matter what kind of resume you're writing, a resume for freshers or for teachers, extracurricular activities can be very helpful for your application. However, they will only be helpful if you properly write extracurricular activities on the resume.
How to list extracurricular activities and what to write in extracurricular activities on the resume are thus very important because you want to show the recruiter information that can add value to you. Follow the steps below to list extracurricular activities on your resume for your job applications.
Mentioning the name of the organization in the extracurricular activities for cv will increase the credibility of your experience. If you are serving in some well-known governmental organization or volunteering in some international NGO, this information might bring the extracurricular activities in your resume to another level.
By including the position in the organization, the hirer will have a clearer idea as to the scale and how closely involved the applicants are in the organization. Being a leader will also provide you with leadership qualifications that might put you with more advantages compared to other applicants.
Showing the dates of participation will allow the hirer to have a brief idea of how recent and former your experience is. The duration will also show how much effort and dedication you have put into this extracurricular on your resume.
This section is very important and should be wisely customized according to the job opening. You should include the responsibilities that might help you to procure the position and whether you have any transferable skills or experience for the current job.
Including accomplishments or awards in bullet points will also show how dedicated and hard-working you are in the field.
You could also include testimonials from your boss, teacher, leader, or even classmate as they could provide first-hand information about working with you. A generous and honest review will also improve your credibility and qualification considerably.
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There are many places on a resume where you can write your extracurricular activities and the ideal place to put them varies depending on the job and the relevance between the job and extracurricular experience.
These are four different sections on your resume where you can put extracurricular activities:
You could include those activities in the work experience section if the roles and responsibilities you have during the extracurricular activities are closely related and relevant to the job you are applying for.
Showcase your relevant skills in order to be qualified in the job even without professional experience.
Example of the experience section:
Volunteer | Animal Rescue Center | Frazier Park, CA
10/2019 - 10/2020
Briefly include the extracurricular activities in the education section when you only have subordinate roles but are still relevant to the job opening.
Example of the education section:
Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Pennsylvania
2016 - 2020
You could enrich your the achievement section on your resume by including extracurricular activities in it. Also, make sure to be confident, converse in an active voice, and include quantifiable results.
Example of the achievements section:
You could create a single section specifically for extracurricular activities in your resume if you have several different extracurriculars that are related to the job. The section could be labeled as “Extracurricular Activities” or “Leadership Experience” to make them stand out a little bit more than the education section.
Example of the extracurricular activities section:
Make sure that the list of extracurricular activities for the resume is relevant to the position you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a position in a Spain-based company, the extracurricular activities in the Spanish club might increase your qualifications in terms of language, as well as culture. If you are trying to become a teacher, extracurricular activities like tutoring experiences and student council experience would be helpful on your resume.
List the information of the extracurricular activities in your resume as complete as possible to make your extracurricular activities resume look more professional. You could include details such as the name of the organization, the title of roles, the responsibilities, the achievements, even the duration of serving.
This way, the extracurricular activities on your resume will have more credibility and look more competent in the eyes of the recruiter because they are something that can be verified.
If you are including sports as the extracurricular activities in your resume, it would be best to highlight the soft skills that are acquired. Leadership skills and the ability to perform well under pressure, for example, are sought after by many companies. Achievements such as the number of goals might not have great importance in this case.
Extracurricular activities on your resume are pretty useful, especially if you have inadequate working experience to support your qualification with.
The skills and the experience that is attained during extracurricular might make up for the absence of not having working experience, exclusively if they are pretty much related and have practical transferable skills that might come in handy in the position.
Here is an extracurricular activities in resume sample:
880 Mulberry Crest
San Clemente, CA 92672
A Foreign language graduate, fast learner with excellent verbal language ability, and proficient in Spanish, Latin, and Japanese.
Bachelor in Foreign Languages
University of Minnesota
English Debate Club President
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN
January 2019- January 2020
Member of Chess Club
Rainbow College - Minneapolis, MN
August 2017 - December 2018
Volunteer in Mexican Refugee Camp
Camp Sunshine - Texas, TX
July 2015 - September 2015
Completed annual city tours for international students in the University of Minnesota for 3 consecutive years
IOFM Accounts Receivable certification
NACPB Quickbooks certification
--- Originally written by Fedrik Hansen ---