They are also more successful in their jobs and progress quicker in their careers, the study of 500 UK companies found.
Around 70% of SME employers said that extracurricular activities – like volunteering, educational trips and expeditions, sports and musical pursuits – helped school leavers and graduates stand out among job applicants.
This is because it teaches them important key skills – like communication, leadership and teamwork – to help them thrive in the world of work.
Just one in three employers placed more importance on academic record in job applications than the ability to demonstrate life experience.
Matt Eastlake, Group Managing Director of World Challenge, says: “The research demonstrates that at a time when 16-24 year olds are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed, and when there is a fight for jobs for those making their first step onto the career ladder, businesses want to see the person behind the CV.
“Extracurricular activities allow young people to let their personalities shine through in an extremely competitive environment and also provide them with the skills they need to thrive in the workplace and progress quickly.”
Check out our article about employability skills to see how you can use extracurricular activities to demonstrate your key skills and impress employers when looking for jobs.