Extra-Curricular Activities – Why Are They Important on a Resume?

Why is it important to include extra-curricular activities on a resume? For recent graduates with little or no work experience, extra-curricular activities can demonstrate important transferable skills that are highly valuable in the work place. They also illustrate an individual’s ability to manage their time and often show a well-developed soft skill set in regard to leadership, training, community involvement or team playing capabilities.

Extra-curricular activities that are included on a resume should be somewhat relevant to your profession. If there is a close relationship between an extra-curricular activity that you are involved in and your chosen career path, you should definitely include it in your resume. For example, do you enjoy creating apps or diagnosing technical computer problems? If you have a specific ability and apply it by incorporating it into your daily life as an extra-curricular activity, be sure to mention it on your resume as this is clearly an important transferable skill to demonstrate.

Of course, sometimes, extra-curricular activities and the transferable skills they exhibit won’t be as obvious. For example, activities such as sports/club involvement, volunteering, undertaking on-going training or learning another language.

1. Leadership

Have you acted as a leader in any of your extra-curricular activities? Have you been a captain of your cricket/soccer/basketball team? Getting involved in sports or clubs shows employers you have a competitive side. Captaining a team demonstrates your ability to lead and your ability to work with and organise a team.

2. Community Service and Volunteering

No volunteer assignment is too small to mention. Community service and volunteering demonstrates that you care about the community, that you’re selfless and that you aren’t just motivated by money.

It’s important to describe the work you accomplished on your resume, whether it was volunteering at an orphanage in Africa, serving food at a homeless shelter or donating blood. Did you manage projects, perform treasury tasks or train staff during this time? This could also be valuable to add to your resume.

3. On-going Training

Are you undertaking any on-going training? Even if the training may seem unrelated, these skills are useful in nearly all workplaces. Demonstrating an ability for self-learning and on-going training shows an employer your attitude and commitment to personal and/or professional development.

4. Long-Term Dedication

Have you committed to an extra-curricular activity for a long period of time? If you’ve been involved in an extra-curricular activity for a long period of time, mention it on your resume even if it doesn’t relate to the job you’re applying for. The ability to commit to a specific task for an extended period of time is an admirable and attractive aspect.

5. Foreign Languages

Are you studying another language? Being proficient in a second language is important and can be a valuable asset in many workplaces – particularly within global businesses. If you’re fluent or have basic conversational skills in another language, state that on your resume. Just be sure not to exaggerate your proficiency level.

Of course, listing dozens of unrelated extra-curricular activities say little about you and can make you seem unfocused. Listing relevant and admirable extra-curricular activities shows employers what kind of work ethic you have and what valuable transferable skills you can bring to the position.

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