While it’s definitely a good idea to choose the university activities you participate in according to your interests, it’s also worth thinking about what will look good on your resume. Certain extracurriculars will prepare you for the world of work and teach you valuable life skills. These are exactly what you want to have on your resume if your work experience is lacking (or nonexistent), as it can help you to compete even with candidates who have been working in the field for some time. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
1. Volunteer Roles
As a volunteer, you may have many of the same responsibilities you would with a paid position. The only difference, in fact, is that you don’t receive payment for your work. This is actually a selling point, since it shows that you’re willing to dedicate time to a cause that matters to you without requiring compensation. Depending on what the role involves, you may be able to gather a wide range of skills that you can put on your resume.
2. Fundraising for a Cause
A particular type of volunteering you may like to try is fundraising, although you can also fundraise to help a for-profit business get started. In any case, fundraising is much more difficult than it looks — and employers know this. You need excellent business, marketing, writing, and project management skills, all of which are transferable to virtually any graduate job.
Proficiency in another language is often a requirement for jobs, particularly at international companies. Plus, positions that ask for knowledge of foreign languages tend to pay higher. Just the fact that you’ve learned another language can be beneficial, as this indicates you have great communication skills, an understanding of other cultures, and a good work ethic.
4. Study Abroad Programs
Even better than just learning a language is putting it into use. By studying abroad, you’ll show employers that you’re able to adapt to unfamiliar situations and that you have a deeper understanding of another culture than what you can acquire from academics alone. Participation in a study abroad program also suggests that you’re able to work well independently, you’re resilient, and you have good interpersonal skills.
5. College Sports
Participation in sports shows more than just physical fitness: it’s also a sign of dedication and commitment to self-improvement. Plus, if being a college athlete takes up a large amount of your time but you’re still able to gain good grades, it will be clear that you have great time management skills.
Team sports are a particularly strong option to consider, since they mean you must possess teamwork skills.
Anyone who wants to enter a career in teaching, training, or leadership should seek tutoring opportunities at university. You’ll need to be patient, find creative ways to explain concepts, and have an in-depth knowledge of your subject matter.
7. Clubs and Societies
A large number of activities available at university are clubs and societies. You can include any of these on your resume — what matters is you show their relevance. Make sure you explain what kinds of skills you learned, whether those are softer skills (such as interpersonal skills) or specific hard skills.
8. Student Union
A student organization that will look particularly impressive on your resume is your university’s student union. You could be an active member (such as by holding an elected position, sitting on a committee, or starting your own club) or you may prefer to volunteer just occasionally. Whatever you choose, this will show great leadership qualities, the ability to make (often tough) decisions, active listening skills, and much more.
There’s no need to live on campus to participate in university activities, but it helps to live nearby. An OTU residence alternative is Foundry 1805. Our student housing is just minutes from Ontario Tech and has free WiFi throughout the building, which will allow you to continue contributing to activities when you’re back at home. Apply for a lease now before all the units are filled up.