The National Association of Colleges and Employers released a list in 2018 ranking the top qualities institutions look for in students and employees. Number one, problem-solving skills. Number two, the ability to work in a team. Number three, communication skills (written and verbal). Number four, leadership and number five, strong work ethic.
In this series, Braathe Enterprises will identify and analyze how a student can improve their skills in the classroom and prepare for life after university.
Getting Involved: The Benefits of Extracurriculars
A senior year student has nightmares of extracurriculars. How outside of the classroom have they proven themselves to be a qualified, well-rounded student? Research has shown that students involved in sports or clubs, academically outperform their peers who are not. It’s true, the outside experience is important. Some employers choose to evaluate a potential hire by their involvement rather than their GPA or SAT scores. Extracurriculars provide skills that are inaccessible during school hours.
If you’re fresh out of college and are lacking in work experience, a recruiter may turn to your extracurriculars to find out how you work with others, your passions, and your leadership capabilities.
What are employers looking for?
- Positions: A student that has held a presidential or executive position in a larger organization, student-run or other, is an immediately more attractive candidate. Holding a position of importance shows discipline, interpersonal skills, but most of all leadership. Student-body president, a board member, and organizer show employers that you have effective management skills.
- Relevance: When sorting through which extracurriculars to include in your resume prioritize the ones most relevant to your major/ degree. If you’re applying for an internship at a large corporation, it would beneficial to mention that you were the president of your school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. Looking for a job as a substitute teacher? It would be helpful to mention that you tutor students after school. Without official experience, extracurriculars can validate your talents.
- Networking: Employers recognize that the people they hire come with their own networks and connections. If you spend time working for another company/ organization you bring experience and some business contacts. Leverage yourself: explain why you are the perfect candidate for this position, why they need you.
- Something Different: College admission and employers read through a ton of resumes. Having a unique experience of extracurricular could catch their eye. Students who started an organization at their school appear interesting to employers. Have you ever had an odd job? Something small but uncommon could get your foot in the door.
Get involved! It makes you a more attractive candidate and gives you a taste of your future career. Extracurriculars give you hands-on-experience-skills that will prepare you for your first job, and every position after that.