When You Are Short On Experience
Listing extracurricular activities can help to fill out a resume that is short on professional experience. If you did not hold a job in high school or work on campus, you may not have any work history to include on your first post-graduation resume. To help fill white space and show your professional potential, you can highlight extracurricular activities instead. If you have space, you can use bulleted lists to detail the specific skills you gained from being a part of each activity. If you earned any awards or acknowledgments from the activities’ leadership, you should also include them as one of your bullets.
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What Are Extracurricular Activities
The term “extracurricular activity” refers to almost anything that isn’t required for school credits or employment. These opportunities can provide you with valuable practical skills that will benefit you personally and professionally. Extracurricular activities that are considered assets on a resume often take the form of involvement in clubs, organizations and volunteer work.
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Including Extracurricular Activities In Your Resume
Students or recent graduates applying for entry-level positions or internships often are asked about their extracurricular activities. They often are asked follow-up questions about why they liked those activities or what they learned from them.
Employers ask these questions because they want to know a bit about your personality to see if you will fit in with the company culture, if you are a well-rounded person with interests outside of work, and what skills and abilities you have that relate to the job.
While extracurricular activities are meant to be fun, they also are a way to develop valued by employers. By giving honest answers that loosely connect back to the requirements of the job, you can show employers who you are and why you are a good hire.
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What If You Have Too Many Activities
This will only really be a problem for a few people, though many might initially think its an issue.
Admissions officers only want to see the activities that you have been engaged in significantly.
Theres no hard and fast definition for what significant involvement looks like, but most people can work it out. If you helped out at your churchs pancake breakfast one year, that really doesnt need to go on your application. But if you have volunteered at the hospital for 10 hours a week every week for four years, that definitely counts as significant involvement.
In other words, you need to be looking for quality over quantity. Instead of aiming to fill each blank with something inconsequential just to have it filled, make sure that everything you include reflects a significant time investment and an experience that you learned from.
You can often combine multiple activities under one heading if none of them is individually significant enough, or if you need to save space. Lets say you play volleyball. You’ve been on the JV team at school for four years, you play club volleyball in the off-season, and every summer you both do volleyball camps and help coach camps for younger players. If you are running out of room, feel free to lump all of those together on the application as one activity.
What if you legitimately have more than ten activities you have been significantly involved in, and you feel your application would be incomplete without them?
Connect It To The Job
When you think about the skills you have learned or improved upon through your extracurriculars, focus on those that are related to the job you are seeking. Before an interview, look back at the job listing and check out the required skills and abilities and think about whether your extracurriculars have helped you develop any of them. The connection does not have to be perfect, but if it has even a general relationship to a required skill or experience, it’s worth addressing. For example, if you are applying for a job that involves teamwork, you might mention that you play soccer or another team sport. If you are applying for a teaching job, you might mention that you volunteer at a local tutoring center for elementary school children.
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Choose The Right Resume Format
On a chronological, or traditional, resume extracurricular activities might fit well after your job experience as additional skills. In a functional resume, which focuses on your skills instead of the chronological order of your work experience, you might want to insert your extracurricular activities before your job experience to highlight your applicable skills.
You can usually get free resume help in the career center at your college or university. Your community may have free resources as well, particularly at a place such as a veterans’ organization or community outreach center. You can also look online for a sample resume format on employment websites such as Indeed.
Complete List Of Extracurricular Activities: 100s Of Examples
How do you like to spend your time after school? Did you know that how you choose to spend this time could be one of the most important ways you shape your future?
Extracurricular activities are a critical component of your college application, and you need to impress colleges with your interests. But you might not know what good extracurricular activities look like or what you should be spending your time on.
We’ve got you covered here in our guide of hundreds of examples of extracurricular activities. Read on to get some inspiration for how to spend your valuable free time during high school!
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What Is An Extracurricular Activity
An extracurricular activity can be almost anything that isn’t required for high school credit or paid employment that you do while you’re in high school. These activities will become very important later, such as when you are applying to colleges, because they help you develop your talents, interests, and passions. They can also teach you practical skills like time management.
With so many options out there, all students should be able to find an extracurricular that they are interested in and can develop a passion for!
Remember that extracurricular activities do not have to be sponsored by your school, so you should also consider things that you do with your family or within your community as viable options.
Below I’ve listed many popular activities that you may not have thought of as extracurricular activities. Take a look at the list and see if your activities are already on the list, or if anything you hadn’t considered before catches your eye.
Of course, this list isn’t complete, because you can turn almost any interest into an extracurricular. If you are actively involved in something that you don’t see heremeaning you spend a significant amount of time doing an activity that is allowing you to develop a talent or interest, be a leader, or help out your communitythen you should definitely consider that an extracurricular activity, as well!
Personal Growth And Development:
Have you ever noticed those children who adorably take care of their friends?
How do you think they started thinking about someone else?
They developed that attitude gradually with time. However, you can accelerate the learning of this attitude by enrolling your child in extracurricular activities.
In extracurricular activities, they get a chance to be involved in the group with their peers. Moreover, they learn sharing and caring, all at once.
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How To Write About Extracurriculars On College Applications
One of the trickiest parts of the Common App is understanding how to make the most of the extracurricular activity section. You might have a ton of activities – or not very many – and be wondering how you should write about your activities to impress college admissions readers.
If youve felt stumped by what youre supposed to do in this section and how to make the most of your very limited space, read on.
In this guide I will tell you:
- How many extracurricular activities you should list
- How to choose which activities to list
- How to write about your extracurriculars
But before we get into that, you may be wondering…
Intern Or Find A Part
Your priority should always be completing your university work to a high standard, but if you find you have some spare time, taking on a part-time job or internship will help boost your CV in a big way.
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Interests Likes And Capability Matter:
Extracurricular activities require commitments, as these tasks are in addition to the regular schooling days. Thus, the first thing that comes to the mind while choosing an extracurricular activity is that activity is something of your interest. Nothing can be compared to the frustration of unwanted activity.
For example, if dancing is something you do not prefer even if it has a good scope you would barely make it. Hence, if you choose something merely out of blue, without any interest or passion for the activity, it will prove to be a waste of time for you.
Organize Your Extracurricular Activities Intentionally
The amount of space that you dedicate to extracurricular activities is dependent on the amount of experience you have in other areas. For example, if you have completed several internships, then you should focus on those opportunities and only include some of your more notable activities.
However, if you lack any work or internship experience, you will want to detail how your extracurricular activities have prepared you for the position you are applying for. In this situation, you should treat them like work experiences by adding a list of bullet points that detail the skills that you developed and your accomplishments.
When deciding on a format, your focus should be on creating a resume that looks and feels organized, clean and professional. If you do have some work or internship experience, you can place your extracurricular activities under your education or achievement section, depending on which is more relatable.
If an extracurricular activity was done through your school and has provided you with awards or certifications that are relevant to the position you are applying for, you can draw attention to them by listing them with your education information.
You can emphasize your achievements by describing your extracurricular activities in a way that is similar to how you would talk about your professional experience. Whenever possible, use action verbs and quantify all accomplishments.
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How Do I Add Extracurricular Activities To My Cv
OK, so you what extracurricular activities to include, how to get involved, and how they make you stand out from the crowd but how do you add them to your CV?
Essentially, its up to you. Whether you want to state them in your hobbies and interests section, or youd rather they accompanied your academic experience , itll be a great way to demonstrate your suitability.
Alternatively, adding an achievements section provides the perfect opportunity to outline exactly what you gained from taking part in extracurricular activities. For example, it could be that you won an award for your contributions to the school newspaper, or your passion for sports allowed you to excel as a team player and consequently win a number of tournaments.
Extracurriculars List By Category
This list is organized into categories to make finding an activity that matches your interests easier. However, we recommend at least skimming all the extracurricular options below, even if you think they’re categories you’re not interested in. You never know what might catch your eye!
Note: not all schools will offer formal clubs in all these categories. If you see something you’re interested in that your school doesn’t offer, try joining a community group or even a national or online group to explore the interest further! Many of these topics are available as summer camp activities, as well.
You can also consider starting a club at your school if you are looking for a way to get involved in something you are interested in while also showing leadership and initiative.
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How To Build Your Honors And Activities Section
It is best to brainstorm a list of all your honors and activities before you write the honors section of the résumé. Then you can choose the most relevant and recent honors and activities from your list. Remember that this section is supposed to help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your qualifications for a position consequently, you may not need or want to include all of the honors and activities from you list on the résumé.
Account For Your Volunteering Efforts
Not everyone volunteers for social, environmental, health, and other causes. Many people take it as an unpaid and unappreciated job, so if you have been a volunteer, it will make the employers perceive you in a certain way. Being humane, considerate and an empath is something an employer would commend in a candidate. Dont share stories of how you rescued a suicidal cat be short, sweet, and relevant.
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Extracurricular Activities To Do At College That’ll Look Great On Your Cv
Getting a job when you finish college isnt the easiest thing to do. In fact, youll probably find that most graduate jobs will expect a certain amount of experience before youre even considered for the role, which might seem a bit contradictory but thats the way it is these days.
Fortunately, there are numerous activities that you can do to make your CV stand out and demonstrate that you have the skills that employers are looking for. Weve put together a list of our favourites so that you can pick which ones suit you best you never know, you might find one or two that you even enjoy.
Where To List Your Extracurriculars On A Resume
Where your extracurriculars go on your resume depends on what your role and scope of responsibility was in the organization, how relevant it is to the job you want, and whether you have other work experience to include on your resume, Smith says.
These are three common options:
- Your experience section: An extracurricular belongs in your experience section when you either had responsibilities and a time commitment similar to that of a part- or full-time job, or when your achievements showcase skills and experience that are directly relevant to the role youre applying to. A stage manager for a drama ensemble play might spend 20+ hours a week coordinating multiple teams and making sure everything needed is ready by opening night. Or perhaps a video editor for a film club edited multiple student films using the same or similar software and technical skills to the ones that the content creation role theyre applying for uses.
- Your education section: Smith suggests including an extracurricular within your education section when you had minor responsibilities but its related to the industry you want to work in. For example, maybe you were a member of a business honor society and want to work in finance.
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Add Activities That Fit The Job Role
Be strategic in deciding what kind of activities best fit the job role you are applying for. For example, it can be noticeable for an employer to know if you have involved with any engineering club if you are applying for an engineering role. You can also add the skills you developed during your participation in such extracurricular activities. Employers also prefer graduates who showcase leadership skills during their college. Share if you organized a forum that helped other students to discuss a key issue.
How To Make Your Resume Stand Out With No Experience
Impress your future employer with a fantastic extracurricular activities resume. Including extracurricular activities on a resume is exactly how you can make your resume stand out among the crowd of prospects.
Heres a list of 11 extracurricular activities thatll help highlight your strengths, and make your resume stand out.
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See Which Extracurriculars Fit Your Interests
Look through the list below and see if any of the activities match your interests. You may see some ways that you hadn’t thought of before to pursue an interest! Keep in mind that there can be a lot of different outlets for each interest you have. For example, if you want to play an instrument, you can take private classes, play in your school’s marching band, play in a community concert band, or work as part of the orchestra for your school’s next musical.
Do Employers Care About Extracurriculars
According to a UK study involving 21 million job adverts, soft skills and non-academic achievements were considered essential for getting through the first stage of the job interview process The report states that:
Our analysis suggests that formal academic credentials play a relatively minor differentiating role in the UK labour market, as the majority of employers place greater emphasis on job readiness.
Whats more, your activities show a lot more about your personality than your degree and give employers a better picture of who you are and what youre passionate about. With millions of resumes being sent out every year, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. A unique hobby or experience can help catch your employers eye and provide multiple talking points for job interviews.
Find out more about how to write a CV with no experience.
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