Yes, you can and should include extracurricular activities on your LinkedIn profile. Including extracurriculars shows that you are well-rounded, have diverse interests outside of academics and work, and highlights skills you’ve gained from those activities. List any leadership roles, awards, or major accomplishments related to extracurriculars.
Why Include Extracurricular Activities on LinkedIn?
Including extracurricular activities on LinkedIn serves several purposes:
- Shows you are well-rounded with diverse interests, not just academic and professional.
- Highlights soft skills gained from extracurriculars like teamwork, communication, leadership, etc.
- Demonstrates passions and personal brand outside of work.
- Gives connections and recruiters a better sense of who you are.
- Fills out your profile if you lack extensive work experience.
- Opens up conversations about shared interests and experiences.
In short, extracurriculars make your profile stand out and showcase skills that aren’t reflected in your academic and professional experiences. Recruiters look for well-rounded candidates who demonstrate soft skills, interests, and personality outside of work.
What Types of Extracurriculars Should You Include?
Here are some examples of impactful extracurricular activities to include on LinkedIn:
- Sports – Especially if you held a leadership position like captain or earned major awards/honors.
- Clubs/Organizations – Highlight any leadership roles or projects.
- Volunteering – Causes you care about and contributions you made.
- Internships – Even if unpaid or informal.
- Research – Projects outside of coursework and papers.
- Performing Arts – noteworthy roles, productions, honors.
- Hobbies – If relevant to your field or show useful skills.
The key is including details that reflect well on you, not just a general list of activities. Quantify your accomplishments and impact when possible.
How to Add Extracurriculars to LinkedIn
Extracurricular activities should be added to the Experience or Accomplishments sections of your profile:
You can create an experience entry for each significant extracurricular, just like a job or internship. Include:
- Organization name
- Your position/role
- Duration of involvement
- Location (city, state)
- Short description emphasizing accomplishments and skills gained.
Debate Club Member
Springfield High School – Springfield, IL
August 2014 – May 2018
– Competed in over 20 regional & state debate competitions.
– Placed in the top 3 teams in the 2016 and 2018 State Championship.
– Developed critical thinking and public speaking skills.
You can highlight awards, projects, leadership roles, and other accomplishments related to extracurriculars here.
Springfield High School Debate Club
– Captain (2017-2018) – Led a team of 10 members.
– State Championship Semifinalist (2018)
Make sure to provide context – organization, dates, and level of accomplishment.
Tips for Featuring Extracurriculars
- Focus on 1-2 sentence descriptions emphasizing skills and achievements.
- Quantify results when possible – events led, money raised, people managed.
- Showcase transferable skills vs. just activities.
- Put your best extras first – leadership, honors, advanced roles.
- Keep it concise – no more than 3-5 extracurriculars.
- Make sure they fit your personal brand and career goals.
Here are some examples of how to effectively highlight extracurricular activities on a LinkedIn profile:
Habitat for Humanity Volunteer
– Participated in 5 home builds for low-income families in the Cleveland area.
– Contributed over 150 volunteer hours during high school.
– Developed construction skills including framing, roofing, painting.
– Collaborated with groups of up to 15 fellow volunteers per project.
Future Business Leaders of America – Vice President
Oakwood High School, Oakwood OH
– Elected by peers to VP role for a 50-member chapter.
– Led meetings and planned agendas.
– Organized fundraising events raising over $2,000.
– Expanded leadership, event planning and teamwork skills.
Varsity Soccer – Team Captain
Lakeside High School, Maryland
– Led defensive unit of varsity team to a 15-5 season.
– Received All-Conference Honorable Mention.
– Developed discipline, teamwork, commitment and coaching skills.
Undergraduate Chemistry Researcher
University of Michigan
– Conducted independent laboratory research on polymer-nanoparticle composites.
– Co-authored 2 papers published in peer-reviewed journals.
– Presented research at American Chemical Society conference.
– Strengthened research, analytical and scientific writing skills.
Should You Include High School Extracurriculars?
It’s fine to include relevant high school extracurricular activities, especially if you’re a current student or recent graduate with limited work experience.
The key is focusing on accomplishments vs. just listing activities. For example, being part of an organization isn’t that noteworthy, but leading a major initiative or earning an award as part of it is.
High school extras are less important for experienced professionals, except for significant achievements worth highlighting like Eagle Scout, all-state sports, or major scholarships.
Here are guidelines on including high school extracurriculars:
- Customize which to include based on experience level.
- Recent grads – Include achievements up to 3-4 years back.
- Early career – List selectively if highly relevant.
- Experienced professionals – Focus just on standout HS honors.
- Emphasize transferable skills gained vs. just participation.
- Quantify accomplishments and impact when possible.
Should Extracurriculars Have a Visible End Date?
Ongoing extracurricular activities don’t need an end date. You can leave the end date blank if you are still participating.
However, you should provide start and end dates for past extracurricular involvements you are highlighting. This gives context on when and for how long you were involved.
Spanish Club Member
Jackson High School
September 2019 – May 2022
The end dates help show these were high school activities vs. ongoing college ones.
How Many Extracurricular Activities Should You Include?
Quality matters more than quantity when listing extracurriculars on LinkedIn. We recommend highlighting your top 3-5 most relevant extracurricular experiences.
Including a long, unfiltered list of hobbies and minor activities can dilute your profile. Be selective and focus on extras that show desirable skills, achievements, or personality strengths.
If you have extensive extracurricular involvement, you may need to be selective at first but can rotate in new ones over time. LinkedIn lets you display up to 10 position entries without expanding your profile.
Should You Include Hobbies and Interests?
You generally only want to include hobbies on LinkedIn if they involve accomplishments relevant to your career goals.
For example, if you’re pursuing jobs in sports management, highlighting that you are an accomplished amateur golfer makes sense. But listing chess as a hobby does little for most profiles.
Some interests are worth including not for direct relevance but because they reflect desirable personality traits – for example adventurousness, competitiveness, artistic skills. But be selective – simple lists of general interests don’t add much value in most cases.
How to Choose Your Best Extracurriculars for LinkedIn
Follow these tips for picking the strongest extracurriculars for your LinkedIn profile:
- Pick activities that reflect skills needed for your target job/industry.
- Highlight leadership roles when possible.
- Include unique interests that showcase your personality.
- Focus on recent and ongoing extracurriculars.
- Choose activities where you made a significant impact.
- Select extras related to causes important to you.
- Think outside the box for some – research, blogs, projects.
Avoid listing extracurriculars just for the sake of it – make sure they each strengthen your professional story and personal brand.
Here are some key tips to remember about including extracurricular activities on your LinkedIn profile:
- Definitely include relevant extracurriculars – they showcase soft skills and a well-rounded profile.
- Add extracurricular entries under Experience or Accomplishments.
- Focus on showcasing achievements, skills gained, and impact.
- Be selective – highlight your top 3-5 most relevant extras.
- Include high school activities selectively, emphasizing accomplishments.
- Ongoing activities don’t need an end date.
- Hobbies should relate to your professional goals or personality strengths.
- Choose extras strategically based on your target job and brand.
Including extracurricular activities thoughtfully on LinkedIn will take your profile to the next level and provide a fuller picture of who you are!
Highlighting extracurricular activities and interests beyond academics and work experience is an excellent way to build out your LinkedIn profile. It shows you are well-rounded with diverse passions and skills.
Be selective in choosing the right extracurriculars to showcase achievements, transferable skills, leadership experience, unique personality traits and strengths aligned with your professional goals. Follow the tips outlined here on how and where to add extracurriculars to put your best foot forward on LinkedIn.