With hundreds of CVs to review, recruiters will only spend a few moments scanning each one for the first time. They are most likely to focus on your experience and possibly your education sections before evaluating your worth as a candidate.
In this article, we will look at whether you should include extracurricular activities on your CV and, if so, what you should focus on.
We’re taking extracurricular activities to mean any activities you have taken part in, outside work or academic life, for purposes other than personal enjoyment or development.
Examples include regular volunteering in the community, specific volunteer projects, coaching, supporting non-profit organisations.
It can be useful to include extracurricular activities for several reasons:
Recruiters typically value evidence of volunteer activities, so if you have some to list, here’s how to select the ones that will make a difference.
First, carry out a quick review of all the extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in, in the last 5-7 years, and make a list. Now consider all the skills you used or developed in each one.
Some examples include:
If you’ve taken part in a specific project outside your own country, maybe during a gap year, you’ll have had a chance to increase your cross-cultural awareness and a sensibility as a ‘global citizen.’ You’ll most likely have to show that you are adaptable to changing circumstances, a team-player, a problem-solver, etc.
Next, go back to the job posting. Which soft skills are highlighted? Look for the keywords.
Consider how your extra-curricular activities can add to the evidence that you possess the skills the recruiter is looking for.
Typically, you will place them at the end of your CV. However, if you do not have much work experience yet, you could include them in your ‘Work Experience’ section.
Be brief, for instance:
When you’re invited for an interview, you may have the opportunity to discuss it in more detail.
It is probably not a good idea to include: