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Extracurricular Activities on a Resume

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Employers are looking for candidates with transferable skills and experience. Your job titles, education and credentials may not provide employers with enough evidence of your skill set. Listing your extracurricular activities on a resume can round out your qualifications and distinguish you among the other applicants, giving you an edge in the hiring process.

Volunteer Activities

When you participate or organize fundraisers and other community events, you develop your leadership and teamwork skills. You also demonstrate your interest in and passion for a specific cause. If you have devoted considerable time and effort to these activities, create a separate section -- called Volunteer Experience or Community Service -- on your resume. List the organizations and provide detailed descriptions of your activities. Recent graduates and anyone with limited work experience can include volunteer activities in the Work Experience section of the resume. When describing your position, add a special notation, such as "Assistant Director -- Volunteer."

Teams and Clubs

Hiring officers are looking for candidates who have well-developed interpersonal skills and can easily fit into the company culture. Mention any participation in community clubs and sports teams. Include any leadership positions held.

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Writing and Technical Training

Almost every job requires writing and technical skills. List in bibliographic format any published articles that are relevant to the position. If the list is lengthy, include the most recent articles under the heading Selected Publications. Create a Technical Summary section that highlights your computer expertise. This section can include computer languages and platforms, operating systems, hardware, database and web applications.

Foreign Languages

Fluency in a second language is a valuable asset in many workplaces. If you have participated in any foreign language programs or studied abroad, include this in your resume. In her book "30-Minute Resume Makeover," Louise Kursmark suggests creating a section titled Global Languages and Culture followed by a description such as: "Proficient in Arabic and French. Widely traveled and conversant with business cultures in Asia, Middle East and Europe."

Additional Activities

Omit any references to old hobbies or passing interests, such as two years of piano lessons. These activities say very little about you and may indicate a lack of focus and commitment. Instead, list a few activities that show the employer you can balance your work and personal lives. Participation in tennis, golf, skiing and other sports demonstrates an interest in maintaining health and social connections. Do not pad your resume with too many extracurricular activities.

About the Author

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio opened a wordsmith business. She has been published in the "Guelph Daily Mercury," "Waterloo Record" and "Winnipeg Free Press". A retired school teacher, Guidoccio has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and psychology from Laurentian University, a Bachelor of education from the University of Western Ontario and a Career Development Practitioner Diploma from Conestoga College.

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