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Should I Put Extracurricular Activities on My Resume?

Extracurricular activities are a great way to show your personality and interests on your resume. “Even though extracurriculars look unrelated to your target job at first glance, once you extract the soft skills you learned, they can bolster your resume and present a different side of you that makes you an even more compelling candidate,” says Resume Genius. Follow these tips to properly list them out.

Decide Which Activities to Include

The first step is to figure out exactly which extracurriculars you want to focus on. This will vary from person to person depending upon your history, but here are a few ideas that can look great on a resume:

  • sports;
  • music;
  • drama and theater;
  • art;
  • foreign language; and
  • volunteering.

Just keep in mind the job you’re applying for, and try to focus on the activities that are most relevant to it.

Add a Designated Section on Your Resume for Extracurricular Activities

Once you know which specific activities you want to include, create a section for them toward the bottom of your resume. This should include the following information:

  • the name of the team, club, organization, etc.;
  • your role;
  • how long you were involved with it; and
  • any awards or accomplishments that you received.

For instance, if you were part of your high school music program, you might mention that you played the trumpet, were part of it for four years and received a Director’s Award for being an outstanding senior member.

Mention How Those Skills Relate to the Job You’re Applying For

Finally, you want to explain how your extracurricular activities will help make you a great employee. For example, being on a football or basketball team may have taught you how to work well as part of a team — a skill that would be ideal if you’re applying to work on a production line where you need to constantly communicate with others. Or if you participated in an art program, it may have taught you how to be creative and think outside the box — something that would help you improvise and adapt to unforeseen obstacles in a job.

It’s smart to list extracurricular activities on your resume. Doing so helps recruiters get a better sense of what you’re like as a person and what you bring to the table. Following these three tips should ensure that you list the information correctly so that it has the biggest impact.

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