How To List Your Extracurricular Activities For Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 September 2022

Published 17 August 2021

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.

In addition to attending lectures and preparing for exams, many students have the opportunity to devote time and resources to extracurricular activities. Students can participate in a number of sports, clubs and organisations at most educational institutions. If you engage in extracurricular activities during your study, you can mention them on your professional resume. In this article, we go over what are extracurricular activities, their importance, the various types of activities available and how to list extracurricular activities for a resume.

What are extracurricular activities and why are they important?

Extracurricular activities entail all school-based activities that take place outside the normal academic curriculum but typically complement it. Extracurricular activities may be as essential as academic studies. They both work together to make you a well-rounded learner who is prepared for work life. Extracurricular activities provide concrete evidence of job-related abilities and maturity, and they may be quite beneficial especially if you lack professional employment experience. You can incorporate these activities on your resume appropriately to compete and stand out from more experienced applicants.

Related: How To Write a Resume for Students in 6 Steps (Plus Tips)

Should you include extracurricular activities on a resume?

Especially if you don't possess any relevant work experience, you may want to include extracurricular activities on a resume. Updating your resume with extracurricular activities is an excellent approach to indicate that you're competent, highlighting your strengths rather than reflecting possible inexperience. In the section, you can incorporate your job title, a short explanation of your duties and accomplishments and the position's start and finish dates.

Related: How to Write a Resume If You Are a Fresh Graduate

When to include extracurricular activities in your resume?

Incorporating extracurricular activities on your resume can aid you to market yourself as a well-rounded and capable person. There are situations in which listing your extracurricular hobbies may be advantageous. These are some examples:

When you demonstrate your leadership abilities

Hiring managers frequently seek evidence of leadership experience in resumes from students or recent graduates. Leadership is arguably one of the most valuable and adaptable talents a professional can have. Hiring managers understand that your expertise as a leader in school is frequently transferable to the job. If you had the chance to lead a team or supervise a project, you might most likely be able to do the same in your work life.

When you showcase your technical abilities

You can also include extracurricular activities in your resume if you're displaying certain abilities. Participating in a club or becoming a member of an on-campus group can provide you with practical training, technical experience and industry knowledge in various subjects. For instance, if you want to work in software development, you may join a computer programming club in high school or university. It may be helpful to include these activities on your resume since it tells hiring managers that you possess some technical skills and that you've actively sourced opportunities to grow professionally.

When you lack professional employment experience

Extracurricular activities may help to complete a resume that's short on professional experience. If you didn't work while pursuing your studies in high school or university, you may not have any work experience to mention on your first post-graduation resume. Consequently, you can highlight extracurricular activities instead to help cover white space and demonstrate your career potential. If you have room, utilise bullet points to explain the precise abilities you learned from participating in each extracurricular activity. If you obtained any honours from the activities' leadership, you can state them in your bullet points.

8 types of extracurricular activities

You can consider participating in a wide range of extracurricular activities while still pursuing your studies. Outlined below are eight of the most prevalent extracurricular activities:

1. Sports

Participating in your school's sports team may be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Sports teach you the value of cooperation, leadership and effort to attain your goals. It also usually includes an opportunity to travel, compete and establish connections with other athletes. When incorporating sports extracurricular activity on your resume, remember to make a list of the professional abilities you learned from the experience such as persistence, cooperation, resilience, leadership and communication.

2. Student leadership

Some of the most useful and value-adding groups to join while in school are student body governance associations. Students that participate in the student bodies are often mature, responsible, dependable and competent. Student leaders are generally elected by their peers and are excellent communicators. They frequently serve as liaisons between students, teachers and school officials, making choices that influence the entire cohort. Including your own engagement and participation in student body governance associations on your resume indicates that you're passionate about pursuing leadership positions and that you can manage a substantial level of responsibility.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Arts

Joining a theatrical production, art organisation, film club or music group at school is another way to participate in creative endeavours. Participating in these creative activities demonstrates that you're creative, committed and capable of critical thinking. Most creative groups also demand members to attend rehearsals, public performances and professional showcases. Adding creative clubs to your resume demonstrates that you're committed to enhancing your skills and making good use of your talents.

Related: 10 Art Degree Careers You Can Explore (Plus Salary and Skills)

4. Study abroad

Many educational institutions provide students with the opportunity to study abroad. These programmes can continue for several weeks, months or even a full academic year. Studying abroad allows you to enhance your understanding of the world and encounter different cultures. Studying abroad frequently helps students become more conscious of the value of cross-cultural communication and collaboration. If you had the opportunity to pursue your study overseas, incorporating it into your resume can substantially attract and capture the attention of hiring managers.

5. Community service

A lot of educational institutions provide students with frequent chances to give back to the community. Some schools may even make it mandatory as a graduation requirement. These activities can take many forms, such as providing food at homeless shelters, engaging in environmental cleaning initiatives and mentoring school kids. Adding community service and volunteer work to your resume demonstrates your willingness and dedication to serving your community and your desire to learn new skills.

Related: How To List Volunteer Work on a Resume (With Examples)

6. Tutoring and mentoring

Some schools include programmes that allow students to assist or mentor their classmates or younger pupils academically. This chance is typically given to students who excel in a specific topic or class. Teaching others can assist you in solidifying your grasp of the topic. It may also provide you with the opportunity to make a long-term difference in the lives of other kids. Listing tutoring experience on your resume demonstrates to hiring managers that you're bright, capable of educating, helpful, competent and committed to excellence.

Related: How To Become a Tutor in Singapore: Job Duties and Skills

7. Professional societies

Many high-achieving students participate in professional groups at the collegiate level. These are generally national or international organisations that look for members who are knowledgeable in a specific subject. Professional organisations exist for subjects such as English, economics, mathematics, finance, engineering, art and computer science. Joining one of these societies demonstrates your dedication to your chosen area and your professional development.

8. Foreign language

A considerable number of educational institutions offer foreign language clubs encompassing various languages such as French, Spanish, Japanese and Italian. Having proficiency in foreign languages can help you interact with more customers and stakeholders, as well as establish valuable relationships with international partners. Joining these clubs as an extracurricular activity can help you enhance your critical thinking, work ethic, adaptability, communication and interpersonal skills.

Read more: How To Include a Language On a Resume (With 5 Examples)

How to include extracurricular activities in your resume

You can determine where you want to showcase your extracurricular activities on your resume based on how much emphasis you want to place on them and how relevant they're to the job you desire. Even if you don't go into great detail about the activities on your resume, it can pique the recruiter's interest and may even serve as discussion materials during the interview. Listed below are some examples for your consideration:

  • If your extracurricular activities are very relevant to the job you're applying for, you can include them under the work experience section.

  • If your extracurricular activities are loosely connected to your field of study, you can include them under the education section.

  • If your extracurricular activities involve specific achievements, you can include them under the accomplishment section.

  • If your extracurricular activities showcase your personality but are rather irrelevant to the role you're applying for, you can include them under the interest section.

Related: Student Resume Examples (What to Include and Tips)

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