Great Extracurricular Activities to Include on Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You may consider adding extracurricular activities to your resume to highlight your competencies and discuss experiences that contributed to your skill development. Depending on the industry you're in, employers may look for candidates with a variety of experiences besides their academic credentials. Understanding which ones to feature can help you write strong application documents and may increase your chances of receiving an interview opportunity. In this article, we review what an extracurricular activity is, provide a list of great ones to include on your resume and discuss the benefits of featuring them.

Great extracurricular activities to include on your resume

Here's a list of great extracurricular activities to include on your resume:

Volunteering

Adding volunteering experience to your resume may benefit you regardless of the industry you work in because it allows you to highlight your philanthropic and empathetic qualities. Volunteering may also allow you to highlight your unpaid professional experience, especially if the organisation you volunteered with relates to your prospective career.

It can also allow you to illustrate your commitment to projects you're passionate about and your willingness to help others. Volunteering can help you demonstrate skills that recruiters may look for in a candidate such as work ethic, organisation, motivation and teamwork.

Foreign language clubs and development

Foreign language proficiencies may capture the attention of an organisation's recruiter. If a company requires certain languages for a role you're interested in, adding these to your resume can help you show that you're a qualified candidate.

If an employer doesn't list particular languages as prerequisites for a position, consider adding them to your application to highlight your commitment to your personal growth and professional development. The more languages you speak, the more opportunities you may have to connect with coworkers, clients or industry experts, so companies may prefer candidates with these credentials.

Related: How to Include Language Skills on Your Resume (With Examples)

Clubs and societies

Academic institutions may provide students with several opportunities to connect with others who share common interests or career goals. These activities can include educational or social clubs and societies where students share their ideas, contribute to a project or goal and work as a team to accomplish a variety of tasks.

This may include recreational groups, a speech and debate team, a drama club or a mahjong society. Collegiate clubs can help students share their unique talents and expertise and allow them to learn from each other and develop new competencies. Some of these skills may include time management, interpersonal communication and collaboration.

Studying abroad

Studying abroad during your academic career is a great way to develop a variety of skills and gain industry-related experience or build your network with students and professionals from all around the world. Studying abroad can allow you to experience new cultures or take part in a work-study program in a foreign country which can help you develop technical skills related to your prospective career.

This experience can also show a hiring manager you're willing to take on new situations and challenges and that you're committed to your personal development. Adding your study abroad experience to your resume can help you demonstrate your independence, cultural awareness, adaptability and interpersonal communication skills.

Tutoring and peer-mentoring

Some colleges offer formal tutoring programmes that allow students to assist each other and teach their peers particular topics in a variety of academic subjects. Alternatively, some students may offer their services as a peer-tutor or mentor separate from the university.

Consider adding your tutoring experience to your resume to highlight your expertise and leadership skills. It can not only demonstrate your knowledge of a particular topic but also show your ability to share that knowledge with others and help your peers overcome academic challenges. Listing peer-tutoring on your application documents can allow a hiring manager to recognise your communication skills, creative-thinking abilities and specific expertise.

Sports

Even if you're applying for a role unrelated to sports, you may consider adding these activities to your resume. This can be an opportunity to discuss the skills that your involvement in athletic teams helped you develop. Many sports involve team collaboration and commitment, which may also be qualities that employers look for in a candidate.

You may discuss how your membership in a collegiate sports team helped you understand the importance of hard work and dedication. Share other hard and soft skills that you developed as an athlete, including teamwork, leadership, time management and commitment to self-improvement.

Hobbies related to your career

Extracurricular activities may also include hobbies, and you may benefit from adding these to your resume if they relate to your prospective industry or career. For example, if you dedicated a significant amount of your free time in college to sketching, drawing or painting, you may add these hobbies to your resume when applying for a role that requires creativity, such as a graphic designer or marketing director.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a position as an environmental or biological scientist, you may include hobbies such as bird-watching, camping and hiking or mushroom foraging. It's important to use your resume to demonstrate your abilities and expertise related to your prospective role and employer, so only list hobbies that apply to the position.

Related: 10 Leadership Skills to Highlight in Your Resume

Fundraising

Professionals in several industries may be responsible for fundraising for their organisation, either independently or as part of a fundraising team. If you've taken part in fundraising activities for a group, project or charity during your academic career, consider adding this information to your resume.

Companies may rely on employees to contribute innovative ideas or organise and facilitate fundraising events, so they may look for candidates with experience in this area. Depending on your involvement, this experience may have allowed you to develop several transferable skills, including written and verbal communication, analytical thinking, project management, marketing and collaboration.

What is an extracurricular activity?

Extracurricular activities are tasks, groups and projects that students take part in, aside from their academic responsibilities. This means that extracurricular activities can include sports, educational clubs, arts, volunteering and other hobbies. These activities allow students to develop a variety of hard, soft and technical skills that may benefit them throughout their academic and professional careers. Extracurricular activities may also allow participants to collaborate with each other and build relationships that can help them develop their professional network after they graduate from university.

Related: How to Highlight Extracurricular Activities in a CV

Benefits of listing extracurricular activities on your resume

You may notice a variety of benefits from listing extracurricular activities on your resume, such as:

Provides you with an opportunity to discuss your experience

If you recently graduated from college or you're entering a new industry with limited professional experience, adding extracurricular activities to your resume can help you discuss unpaid experiences that may have prepared you for a particular role. For example, you can discuss your volunteering experience with a firm or organisation in a related industry, and describe how this opportunity allowed you to carry out tasks or handle responsibilities similar to those associated with your prospective career.

Demonstrates your technical skills

Adding extracurricular activities to your resume can help you demonstrate skills related to your prospective role or industry. Joining a collegiate club or society may provide you with skill-development opportunities or professional training that can help you set yourself apart from other candidates. For example, if you're interested in becoming a web developer, you may decide to join a computer science or IT club on campus. This activity can help you learn from professionals and other students with common interests and provide you with hands-on training while also pursuing your degree.

Highlights your ability to collaborate with team members

Whether you took part in a sport, club or volunteering opportunity, you may have collaborated with other individuals and can highlight this skill on your resume. Extracurricular activities typically allow students to work together to address a challenge, complete a project or implement an initiative, all of which may rely on students' abilities to share their ideas and collaborate as a cohesive team. Employers may prefer candidates who feel comfortable contributing to projects and are able to communicate with their colleagues, so you may benefit from featuring your ability to collaborate with other members of a team.

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