Peter Decaprio explains Why Extracurricular Activities Matter On Your Resume and How to Highlight Them
I’ve always thought of myself as a strong candidate when applying for jobs, but I didn’t want to be too cocky says Peter Decaprio. With that in mind, I decided to seek advice from someone who’s had experience hiring people (and managing them once they’re on board) before asking if my recruiter-friend was right when she said I’m perfect for the job opening. Once the phone call started, I was told something along the lines of this: “You were one of 300 applicants and one of 30 interviewees. You may feel pretty confident now, but you should know that it wasn’t easy to select you.”
I believe there is no absolute formula in recruiting—not all professions are like sales where your numbers matter most—but do you, dear reader, believe that your CV is prepared for interviews?
I think many people see their resumes as a sheet of paper with the most important facts about them clearly written on it—it contains their experience, education and contact information. What they forget is that hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume. That means that if you haven’t crafted your CV to peak interest in those first six seconds, you’ve lost out entirely. The truth is your resume should be a marketing document because a recruiter’s job is to sell your candidacy even though they’re working for an employer and not for you.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to market yourself through your resume, but first let’s start with the basics.
What Is A Resume?
A resume is a marketing tool for yourself—it contains information that makes you stand out among other applicants; it helps you get an interview and eventually get hired for a job. It’s not supposed to be all about your professional experience (more on that in the upcoming sections), but it needs to list said experience under headings like “Work Experience”, “Education” or “Honors & Awards”. Before we discuss each of these sections, I’d like to stress one rule. Your resume should always be up-to-date because new experiences help boost your candidacy. Even if they aren’t related to the job at hand says Peter Decaprio.
- Extracurricular activities are a great way for you to set yourself apart from the other applicants. They show your dedication, time management skills, and drive.
- You can include any activities that help highlight your personality or passion in life. For example, if you love helping children then list “varsity soccer coach” under extracurricular activities.
- However, it’s important to not include too many extracurricular activities on your resume. As this will take away from the main purpose of your job search which is getting a job!
- Include ONLY those that highlight your abilities and skills.
- When you’re applying for a job, keep these tips in mind. List them under their respective sections such as “Community Service” or “Leadership Roles”. Highlight the top 3-5 experiences that you feel best represent who you are as a person. And what you can bring to a company. Keep them short and sweet so employers can quickly determine if they wish to learn more about your accomplishments. Make sure they have a positive tone with phrases like ‘integrity’, ‘collaborative’, and ‘effective’.
- If you want to be a superstar, include specific examples from those experiences that highlight what you have accomplished. Highlight the impact it has had on your past employers or clients. As this shows your ability to excel in difficult situations. The additional bonus is doing so will help others see how interested you are in the company!
Remember: Think about why you’re applying for this job & how your extracurricular activities can benefit them. Don’t just list everything you have done without any thought of its relevancy to the employer explains Peter Decaprio.
Employers are always looking to hire people with raw talent—those who can be molded into contributing members of the company. That’s why you need to market yourself through your resume by highlighting your abilities, skills and knowledge. That will allow you to excel in the position you is applying for.
Now that we know what a resume is all about, let’s look at how it should be organized.