Activities and Interests

Activities in which you had a leadership role are always worth promoting. Noteworthy athletic accomplishments or responsible student positions merit inclusion. Mere membership in organizations is not always noteworthy, so be selective about the memberships you list. Keep asking yourself: What am I trying to convey to a prospective employer? Do the activities in any way stress my strength in relation to my job target?

Dates often aren't as vital in this section as they are under the experience heading. Don't clutter up your resume with an abundance of irrelevant numbers. Also, don't feel obligated to go into lengthy explanations about each activity. If elaboration will help an employer understand the depth of your involvement, then by all means provide necessary details but also consider whether it belongs in your experience section. Lastly, chronological order is not as important.

What about a Background and Interests section on your resume?

This is an optional category on your resume. It is your chance to introduce a human element into your resume. Often employers will skip down to this section to ferret out conversation starters for the interview. From this hodge-podge of fragment information, a picture should emerge which will show other qualities about you.

If you have not found a convenient place to convey your love for backpacking or maybe your many trips abroad, this would be the place to do so. Try to be specific, instead of listing reading or music, consider putting down "reading fantasy novels" or "landscape digital photography."

Do not include birth date, health information and marital status. They are not appropriate on a resume.