In this very competitive job market, job applicants need to do what they can to make their resumes shine. One of the best ways to grab the attention of managers is to offer include relevant information about your activities and interests outside of work. There is a very fine line to walk when it comes to adding this information, so here is how to include you activities and interests in your resume in the most productive way.
How Activities In Your Resume Help
Many hiring managers, as a way to differentiate between job applicants, will notice what an applicant puts down as their interests, activities, or hobbies. If used right, this information can help set you apart. Any number interests and activities can be professionally relevant, and showcase your potential for leadership, teamwork, and experience. Indeed, a LinkedIn study found that 41% of hiring managers find information on an applicant's interests and volunteer opportunities to be as equally important as the applicant's work experience.
What Activities and Interests Should You Include?
It might depend on what stage of your career and life you’re in. If you are a student sending out resumes for the first time, the activities in your resume can include the college clubs you were a member of, community involvement activities, athletics, or participation in events. If you are an older worker, include activities and interests that will only benefit the particular job you are applying for. For example, if you want a marketing or public relations job and you have fund-raising experience with a non-profit, discuss how that activity equips you to communicate the business' brand to others.
Mention any memberships in professional societies. Any organization that licensed or certified you for a specific occupation can count under activities since you may be active within that professional field. Other memberships could include board memberships to non-profits, like a local Chamber of Commerce or a branch of a national organization. Those memberships can show your interests in the business and civic atmosphere within a community.
What to Avoid
Some activities are either not appropriate or are not suitable for resumes. For example, explicitly partisan activities should not be on activities list unless the occupation is explicitly political. Unusual or irreverent activities should be avoided. For example, no one should put down that they like reading or watching movies or that they like studying esoteric subjects like the occult. Finally, very personal activities, like activities at your religious organization only good at a minimum. If a majority of the activities in your resume are religious, that might not work out well with hiring managers.
If you want to remain competitive in this job market, you need to carefully add pertinent activities and interests to your resume. These activities and interests will help make your resume stand out and show managers what you know in addition to your professional skills. Be sure to check out LiveCareer’s Resume Builder for advice on crafting your resume, and more tips about what you should and shouldn’t include.