The Best Extracurricular Activities To Include on Your CV
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 29 January 2023
Published 30 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.
Extracurricular activities are endeavours a person pursues outside of school and work. Job candidates can include these activities on their CVs to show their relevant skills and interesting personality traits. Extracurricular activities can also help you add substance to your CV if you lack extensive work experience. In this article, we discuss the best hobbies to include on your CV, explain how to present them in a professional, effective way and provide some great examples to aid you in your job-seeking process.
Extracurricular activities to include on your CV
The best extracurricular activities to include on your CV are those that most clearly reflect the abilities your potential employer is seeking. These can differ between roles, so be sure to study the job description to note the role's requirements. Frame your activities as examples of how you've used your skills to achieve actual results and explain how these activities make you an excellent candidate for the role.
Extracurricular activities mean any activities you took part in outside of your main study or work time. When you're in school or college, this might mean sports clubs, societies and plays. When you have a full-time job, this could mean hobbies and interests and events, clubs and evening classes. Here are some examples of the best extracurricular activities to include on your CV:
Playing on a sports team, either currently or previously at university, can demonstrate a lot of favourable traits and skills to employers, including teamwork, self-motivation, reliability and physical fitness. You can even use examples of challenges you faced while playing on a sports team to answer interview questions. If you're still at school, you could look into joining a school sports team to build your skills. Amateur sports clubs in your local area could also be a great option to expand your experience and form friendships.
Clubs and societies
Consider including clubs and societies, like academic clubs, interest clubs, professional societies or similar groups, on your CV. Be sure to mention if you held any leadership positions in which you helped operate the club or society, like treasurer, secretary or society founder. Emphasising these roles can demonstrate your commitment, reliability and organisation skills. It may also express your time-management skills, particularly if you took part in leadership while handling other duties, such as full-time work or study.
It's often easy to get involved with clubs and societies at university, as there are typically many available there. If you can't find a group you're passionate about at your university, consider starting your own. This can be an excellent way to demonstrate initiative, practise organisational skills, meet new people and impress potential employers.
If you're spending your free time learning a foreign language, whether at home or in private classes, this is a superb extracurricular activity to include on your CV. In some sectors, having even basic competence in a language outside of your own might be useful. In all career paths, this extracurricular activity can help you to demonstrate patience and a willingness to learn.
It's never too late to learn another language. You might use private language tutoring to do so. You could also use audiobooks and apps to learn a new language at home if your schedule or budget is limited. Choose a language that you have an interest in or a connection with to keep yourself invested in it over time.
Volunteering and fundraising are great ways to demonstrate skills like self-discipline, leadership, proactivity, compassion and empathy. Explain why you chose to volunteer for the specific cause or event. This can show your passions and personality and help potential employers get to know you. To get involved in volunteering and fundraising, contact charities you want to work with, check your university programmes or organise your own sponsored event.
Theatre and arts
Taking part in theatre and arts groups could mean joining a school theatre club, acting in a local stage production, helping with the lighting at events or even playing in a band. Like sports, taking part in music and theatre shows skills in teamwork, confidence, creativity and self-discipline.
Most schools and universities have drama departments that are looking for actors and props, lighting and production crew members. Outside of academia, many towns and cities have local amateur dramatics groups in which you can get involved. Search online to find theatre groups near you and contact them to learn how to join.
Where to list extracurricular activities on your CV
The location of your extracurricular activities on your CV depends on the amount of work experience you have. If you have years of work and internship experience, emphasise this to potential employers. Place your extracurricular towards the bottom of your CV, underneath your education section. In contrast, if you have little to no work or internship experience, your extracurriculars can be the primary focus of your CV. Treat them like work experience by featuring them in the body of your CV and listing them in bullet points, describing your accomplishments in each activity.
Related: Writing a CV with No Experience
How to include extracurricular activities on your CV
If you're relying on your extracurricular activities to show the capabilities your potential employer wants to see, it's important to format them clearly and succinctly. You can do this by using bullet-pointed lists and formatting them like you would work experience. Here's how:
1. Choose a section in which to list them
Depending on your experience level, you can list your extracurricular activities in different CV sections. If you're new to job-seeking and lack extensive work experience, you can have an extracurricular activities section and go into detail when discussing them. If you have internship and work experience, it may be better to mention your extracurricular activities briefly near your education section. If you won any awards due to your extracurricular activities, you could highlight them in a separate awards section.
2. List and describe each position
List your extracurricular activities by your position title, the organisation name, the location and the dates you took part in the activity. Then, highlight one to five accomplishments from this position. Emphasise any notable achievements, such as winning a trophy in sports or passing a graded exam in music.
3. Highlight the skills you used
When you describe your activities, highlight the technical or soft skills you developed during each activity. If you can, use the skills required in the job description. This can show the potential employer that you're qualified for the role.
Examples of extracurricular activities on a CV
With the proper format, your extracurricular activities can help you convey your impressive skills. Below are some examples of extracurricular activities on a CV:
Captain | Broadgate High School Football Team | Broadgate, London 2016-2018
Assisted the coach in leading our school football team to victory in our final year inter-school championship.
Boosted team morale, supported other players with advice and guidance and acted as a role model for younger teammates and students.
Kept myself physically fit and attended regular training sessions to keep my football skills to the high standard required of a team captain.
Demonstrated self-discipline, motivation, physical fitness, time-management and leadership abilities.
Lighting Assistant | Broadgate High School Drama Department | Broadgate, London 2016-2018
Assisted the director and other crew members with lighting the stage in the school production of 'Grease.'
Responsible for operating lighting equipment during rehearsals and sell-out live shows.
Contributed creative ideas in crew meetings about how to achieve desired mood and effects through lighting.
Demonstrated technical competence with lighting and other stage equipment, along with teamwork and creativity.
FilmSoc President | The University of Dartmouth | Dartmouth, Devon 2018-2019
Elected president of the university's Film Society.
Selected films to show to represent the broad range of tastes and interests of our members and organised all aspects of film night events, including guest speakers and catering.
Organised events to attract new members, including a booth at the 2018 Freshers' Fair in which we attracted a record-breaking number of new members.
Worked closely with other FilmSoc team members, including the treasurer and the secretary, to manage the budget and schedule.
Demonstrated organisation, time-management and teamwork skills.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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