Regardless of your university background, it is important to dedicate time to extracurricular activities to improve and enrich your curriculum . If you are still undecided, find out below which skills you can build by dedicating yourself to what you are most passionate about in your free time and how these activities can enhance you in the eyes of an employer.
What do non-professional interests mean and what are they?
If you believe your extra-professional interests or extracurricular activities have nothing to do with the job and your application, be prepared to change your mind. It is also important for a recruiter to understand what kind of person you are and if you are suitable for that position . That’s why it’s important to include a section on your resume with hobbies, passions and all those extra-professional interests that can make you the perfect candidate.
So, what are they non-professional interests ? They are nothing more than hobbies and passions that do not strictly concern the professional and educational life of the candidate but which may be relevant to the application. Here are some examples of non-professional interests:
- Being a member of a band
- Being a coach in a sports club
- Being part of a non-profit association
- Being a member of some cultural associations
Is it mandatory to include them in the CV?
It is absolutely not mandatory to include non-professional interests in your resume. Today it is a recommended practice, starting in particular from the English model, as it allows the recruiter and the employer to get to know the person who is applying better, evaluating them not only for their work and academic requirements , but also for his interests and his way of being .
By inserting extracurricular activities in the CV you will have the opportunity to tell who you are and make a good impression on the selector . Furthermore, we must remember that recruiters are human beings: if you have common interests, they could be positively impressed by your application and remember you in the next phase of the selection process.
In some cases it is better not to mention them
To understand if it makes sense to include your extra-professional interests and extracurricular activities in your CV, answer this question: are they consistent with the position I’m applying for? In some cases, the answer is no. For example, if you are applying to be a nurse, why should you write that your hobby is knitting and board games ? The recruiter will not be able to derive any kind of added value from this information, it is completely superfluous information and not interesting for work purposes.
Then there are some hobbies that it is good not to mention regardless of the job position for which you are applying for. For example:
- Gambling, betting
- Video games
- Dangerous sports
- Activities that may have some illegal implications or immoral
How to insert extracurricular activities in the CV
If your hobbies and non-professional interests are among those activities that it makes sense to mention on your CV, follow these steps to include this information consistently in your resume:
- As we already have that said, enter only interests that are consistent with the position you are applying for
- Do not make a shopping list: by entering too many non-professional interests you risk making people believe that these are more important to you than work experience
- Don’t get lost in long descriptions: a short bulleted list or short sentences is enough
What extracurricular activities to do during university
Become a representative of students
Are you engaged in social work and do you like being in contact with people? Becoming a student representative is a great way to strengthen your network and acquire different skills (communication skills, public speaking, organization, etc.) that you can certainly reuse in the work and include in your CV.
Practicing a sport
Dedicating yourself to a sporting activity consistently is a great way to demonstrate perseverance , competitiveness and team spirit . Both team and individual sports can enhance you in different ways. Team sports will improve your ability to cooperate and can show that you can relate and work with other people to achieve a common goal. Individual sports will allow you to learn how to manage stress, develop excellent organizational skills and demonstrate a strong goal orientation.
Volunteering is the ideal training ground for the learning of more or less implicit competencies. Regardless of the sector, any voluntary activity carried out on a regular basis will certainly put you in a good light and convey the idea that you are a person available and attentive to the needs of others. Empathy, listening skills, cooperation and proactivity will be just some of the skills you can learn during your volunteer activity.
If you have a brilliant university career, offering tuition or tutoring hours is a great way to start adding an interesting experience to your resume and take the first steps towards financial independence. You will thus be able to demonstrate that you have strong skills in a specific subject, exhibition and organizational skills . Plus, it’s a great way to practice public speaking .
Photography, painting, acting and other arts
The watchword is creativity . Whether it’s studying a musical instrument, acting or painting, these hobbies show that you are a creative person who loves to challenge yourself. In addition, performing these activities in public or displaying your work will help you develop self-esteem, critical sense and get involved : it takes a lot of courage to go up on stage and perform! You will then develop various qualities coveted by employers, such as creativity and resourcefulness.