How Extra Curricular Activities Will Boost Your CV

boost your CV

The perfect CV should do one thing: make a potential employer sit up and take notice. But it’s not all about selling yourself in terms of your academic qualifications or work experience.

Instead, managing directors – in almost every industry – will want to learn a little about you, too: what makes you tick and what doesn’t?

You can get this across in all sorts of ways, with your personal statement being a vital section of your CV. Use this space wisely and choose each word carefully; often, employers won’t get much further than the first few lines of a CV before they decide that a particular candidate just isn’t a good fit for their company.

If it’s an application form, however, or if you have room on your CV, make sure you add a section for interests – and think about how some of these might be relevant to your chosen career, too. Here’s how extra-curricular activities will stand you in good stead when it comes to bagging an interview, and eventually landing the job…

It Shows You Have a Get-up-and-go Attitude

Think about it; would it be wise to add ‘watching TV and eating takeaways’ to your CV? In a word, ‘no’. A prospective employer will instead be looking to see how motivated you are, even outside of work. The candidate that says they enjoy catching up on their favourite soap operas, or going on nights out with friends, certainly isn’t going to impress.

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True, we all enjoy a spot of relaxation every now and then – and it’s often essential if we want to feel bright and perky ready for a day of work, but is it really the image you want to present? Instead, think about the extra-curricular activities which add a little bit of something to your CV. Go to the gym? Add that in instead. It shows you care about keeping fit, which displays a general can-do attitude. Think about the activities that’ll complement your CV, rather than undo all the time and effort you put into creating it.

It Demonstrates That You Like to Get Involved

Part of a football or netball team? Pop that on your CV! Not only does it show that you have the get-up-and-go we talked about above, it also displays a level of team spirit. Employees that are part of a group or club will generally be better team players at work, too. It stands to reason really, doesn’t it?

It Can Complement Your Career

In some cases, extra-curricular activities can directly complement a role you’re applying for. If, for example, you’d like to be considered for a mid to senior-level position, being part of a local debating society will show that you’re comfortable asserting yourself – a valuable skill if your new role requires that you delegate work to a junior colleague. With that in mind, consider the things you do in your spare time – this could be anything from watching inspirational TED Talks on YouTube to reading the books of high-flying business people like Alan Sugar, Michelle Mone and Peter Jones – that give off the right impression.

When putting your CV together, don’t neglect the bit where you’d list your interests. Instead, a well-thought-out extra-curricular activities section could be the difference to cinching that interview to receiving an email with the words: ‘unfortunately, your application was unsuccessful.’

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