Being a college student exists hand-in-hand with obsessing over grades. I’m sure one way or another all of us have been tormented by the nagging image of our GPA, and have once or twice (or a hundred times) cried over our marks. Although it is great that we place a lot of value in our studies, it is also important to note that the figures in our class cards aren’t the only factors that will shape our future.
Whether the thought is comforting or worrisome, there are other things such as our extracurricular activities that will also matter when applying for jobs. But with the wide array of extracurricular activities available nowadays, how do you know which ones to include in your CV?
Not to worry because we've got you covered. Here is a rundown of the top 8 extracurricular activities employers most actively consider when hiring.
1. Student Government
The student government is a place of politics, constructive debate, and positive action. It is where students can go to voice opinions and push for real change in their universities. Being part of the student government shows employers that you have solid opinions on political and practical issues, and aren't afraid to voice them and work for them. Not only can you be identified as having leadership skills, but also possessing the ability to collaborate with people. It implies you not only speak your mind well, but also that you know how to listen to (or at least respect) other people’s points of view even when they contradict with your own.
Depending on your school’s policies, you may also need to get elected into these positions requiring you to network amongst your classmates and schoolmates. This displays your excellent communication skills as well as your ability to assert yourself in public.
2. Clubs or Organizations
Student clubs and organizations show your ability to be a team member and work with a group towards common goals and objectives. At the basic level, you can be a member who demonstrates your capacity to meet new people and learn about the areas of interest your club is focused on. It also shows your ability to commit and develop skills related to a specific interest, something future employers appreciate.
On another level, you can also apply to be an executive committee member. Execom members are the people that get the team running. Since executive boards are made up of more than one person, being in one teaches you how to delegate and work well with others so that events and initiatives go smoothly.
3. Foreign Languages
Languages have many advantages in the workplace, especially in an increasingly borderless world. Listing interests, experiences, and activities developing a certain proficiency in foreign languages tells a prospective employer how fast you can think, translating one idea to another. It also indicates an acceptance of other cultures and a desire to connect with different people which are both qualities of a good team player. It also brings up the fact that you can work on international assignments and interact with various nationalities which is an extremely valuable asset to companies looking to go global.
Volunteering not only highlights your selflessness, but also reveals that you take initiative to look for opportunities that can help your community, instead of waiting for other people to make a difference. It can also help you grow a lot as a person and will teach you values that you would not have had the chance to learn any other way. Employers see people with a heart for volunteering a great asset to the work environment.
5. Media and Tech Savvy
Nowadays, jobs require basic knowledge in audiovisual editing softwares, mastery in word and excel, even go as far as basic coding skills. Although area of study is more optional, it is important to note that these technical skills impress employers and can make landing a job for you easier.
6. Experience in the Arts
The main skill or quality developed in the arts department is confidence. It takes a lot of guts to get on stage in front of a crowd or to get your work out there for people to criticize. People that also delve in the arts develop key skills like creativity, attention to detail, and a great work ethic that taken altogether equate to passion. Whether you are involved in music, visual art, dance, or theater, being a creative requires a lot of time and effort spent honing your craft. Employers appreciate job hunters that have had creative endeavors.
7. Experience in Sports
Being a member of a sports team help you develop skills such as courage, teamwork, accountability and strict discipline. When you’re an athlete in a team, you are accountable for your own performance -- the whole team counts on your discipline You also evolve, with an affinity for healthy competitions, that will make you that professional with a drive to succeed and rise through the ranks.
If your extracurricular activities include writing experience and especially if you have published works, add it to your resume. It is a skill that all companies value, even if you’re applying for a job that seems unrelated to writing, i A literary or journalistic bent, demonstrates more than your command of language and your proficiency in communicating, it points to certain virtues like curiosity and reflection, being circumspect, even diplomacy, and generally the ability to understand many different audiences such as consumers, employees, business partners and other specific sectors.
So what should you leave off your resume?
Resumes with dozens of extracurricular activities that show different passing interests say little about you. It also makes you appear unfocused or dispassionate, jumping from one interest to another quickly.
It is important that you show employers that you have long-term dedication.
If there’s a particular extracurricular activity you’ve worked at for a long time, even if it doesn’t fit the job description, briefly mention it anyway. A constant and sustained commitment to a passion shows focus and persistence that are very impressive on a resume.