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Job search success depends a lot on how effectively you sell yourself and your skills. For college graduates without sufficient work experience, that can be hard to do. You probably feel as if you haven’t done much outside the classroom.
What about extracurricular activities? No, not the keg parties or beer pong tournaments, but stuff you’ve done and leadership roles you filled for student activities or clubs on campus. Maybe you organized an event that required a lot of attention to detail? Maybe you worked with others to produce parts of the event, reserved time and space, and reached out to potential speakers and service providers, such as a caterer.
Or, if you’re like me, maybe you spent just about all your college years focused on one activity in which you started with a little responsibility and picked up more with each passing year. Employers like to hire people with passion, and it was my passion for journalism, exercised through four years on my college newspaper (two-and-a-half on the editorial board), that helped me land a job as a reporter on a daily newspaper just days before I graduated. In the middle of a bad economy, to boot.
Yes, I felt lucky. But I was also thankful that I walked into the college newspaper on my first day as a freshman, introduced myself, and asked to be assigned a story. It was all part of a long-term plan.
If you just graduated from college, are still in college, or about to enter college, don’t discount the potential good that extracurricular activities can do in shaping your career goals and helping you get hired.
Here are three examples of how you can express some of that work on your resume:
- For a student who played a leadership role in a fraternity or sorority, or other service organization:
Planned, organized, and executed on-campus fund-raising campaigns that raised $20,000 for two charitable organizations.
- For a student government representative:
Successfully lobbied administration for policy changes that led to a 20% increase in enrollment in online courses.
- For a student who served in a club or group tied to his or her academic major:
Developed and organized conference for 150 high school seniors interested in nursing program that led to 20% increase in declared majors for the following academic year.
Yes, paid work and internships can speak volumes about your dedication and work ethic, but many hiring managers give credit to a job applicant who was involved in school-based organizations or activities. So, don’t forget to include them on your resume!
Are you a new college graduate facing the daunting reality of your first big job search? Check out Pongo Resume’s video contest, Graduation 2010: Now What? Submit a short video about your efforts to find a job and win up to $500 in prize money!
Thanks to Pongo Resume for their guest post on our blog!