Students and recent graduates without extensive professional work experience can utilize extracurricular activities on their resumes to fill gaps, though selecting which ones to include can be challenging.
Student government roles provide the perfect opportunity to develop leadership, fundraising, organizational, communication and interpersonal skills. Peer tutoring shows your mentorship skills while building interpersonal relationships.
Organize Your Activities in Chronological Order
Organization is of utmost importance when writing about extracurricular activities for college applications, whether for Stanford, Bryn Mawr, Vanderbilt or Rice supplemental essay prompts or for your Common App activities section.
Your resume should easily reflect which activities were more recent, those which occurred nearer to the start or finish of your high school career, and any accomplishments achieved during each activity (for instance if you designed banners for a local community theater through one of your clubs – this will show admissions officers that you can take initiative and thrive under pressure.) Also include details on activities you were involved with such as their names, titles (like “member” or “volunteer”) and duration; highlight any notable accomplishments such as graphic design abilities gained while participating. For instance if designing banners as part of one club activity – such as by developing graphic design skills as well as communication and leadership abilities (this will show them). Admissions officers want to see evidence that prove they can take initiative while excelling under pressure situations!
Highlight Relevant Skills
Extracurricular activities offer high school students a way to pursue something that sparks their interest with passion and dedication, while learning time management, teamwork skills and creative problem-solving approaches to challenges in an enjoyable manner. Extracurriculars also serve as an invaluable opportunity for leadership training, communication skills development and problem-solving opportunities.
Students who engage in extracurricular activities tend to be better prepared for college and the workplace than students who don’t. It is therefore essential that students maximize the benefits of these experiences if they wish their college applications to stand out.
College admissions officers look for applicants with diverse sets of skills when considering applicants, and extracurriculars can help demonstrate them. Student government can demonstrate leadership and communication abilities while club leadership/fundraising shows organizational/managerial abilities; musical pursuits (dance, theater) may demonstrate creativity as well as thinking outside of the box while volunteering demonstrates community engagement/cooperation skills.
An ideal extracurricular activity list for college applicants should highlight a range of activities and lengths of involvement, while emphasizing only those that demonstrate relevant skills and accomplishments for their application profile.
As an example, a high school senior responsible for organizing their school’s homecoming dance will face numerous responsibilities and challenges during this process. She must successfully manage her time, prioritize tasks efficiently while working closely with team members on managing an event that will be seen by many – an experience like this can add weight to their application by showing their dedication and perseverance when faced with obstacles.
Internships or part-time jobs can also provide an ideal platform to demonstrate professional abilities that could prove essential in one’s future career. Some colleges ask applicants for evidence of these capabilities as part of the application process for admissions.
Include a Summary of Your Activities
Many college applications feature an extracurricular activities section, providing you with a chance to show what you have learned and how your experiences have shaped your ambitions and character. Colleges want to see that you were an all-around student during high school; their aim is for this section of your application to demonstrate this fact.
When listing your activities, it’s essential that you highlight those which have been most meaningful and have involved you for an extended period. Employers want to see that you have taken on leadership responsibilities or made significant contributions (for instance by founding an improv comedy club in school).
Your high school activities may not seem “extracurricular”, but this doesn’t have to be the case if they have made an impactful mark in your life and should still be included on your application.
Extracurricular activities may play an integral part of your application and should be discussed thoroughly; for instance, membership of the Student Government Association requires more in-depth explanation than other aspects. It is therefore crucial that this experience be included and how it has impacted on both you and your goals for the future.
Consider how participating in extracurricular activities has taught you new skills and abilities, such as teamwork or communication. Perhaps being on a newspaper staff taught you to pay close attention to detail while learning how to be an excellent editor.
At times, you will need to create an essay describing your extracurricular activities more in-depth. When this occurs, it’s essential that your writing be clear and thorough – this gives you an excellent chance to demonstrate that participating in extracurricular activities has helped develop both writing and communication skills.