In this competitive world, to stand out from other applicants and exponentially increase your chances of getting the job in a dream organisation your resume should not just showcase your educational achievements and prior job experiences, rather it should equally highlight your extracurriculars.
Now, you must be wondering how these extracurricular activities you participate in can help your resume to outshine.
According to the World Economic Forum, critical thinking and problem-solving will be the most important skills required in the economy in 2030.
As the corporations have realized the significance of soft skills, they are looked at par with the technical and practical skills that the job roles require.
Additionally, skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility are becoming increasingly important in the fast-paced world we live in. Extracurricular activities are a great way to show future employers what you are passionate about. It gives a glimpse into your interests outside of your grades and test scores.
They are additions to your resume that serve as tangible proof of job-related skills. Even though they may look unrelated to your target job at first glance, they have the power to bolster your resume and make you an even more compelling candidate. The key is to include the right ones.
So, next let’s explore some interesting extracurricular options you can consider to nurture 21st-century skills:
Positions of responsibility (POR) – Being a part of college societies not only provides you an ample amount of exposure, but it also gives you numerous opportunities for student leadership. Leading and managing teams, organising events, recruiting new members and volunteering for areas of social interest are certain tasks students perform while heading positions of responsibilities. These activities showcase various skills such as team work, leadership skills, team management, confidence, integrity, accountability, compassion and trust.
Apart from this, professional societies such as Economics society, Commerce society, Marketing societies,Community Legal Care society etc. are very helpful in highlighting both theoretical and practical knowledge with the associated profession that adds more credibility.
Research Papers/Articles and publications- You’d be surprised to know where all a good writing skill set is used- from drafting mails to legal petitions and from policy and financial proposals to good influential messages. Whether you write for a publication on campus, or have your own personal blog, or have published in academic journals, you could highlight your writing skills in your resume and add a point in an interview. Also, getting your research paper or an article published through a renowned publication has the ability to turn tables around and get you that dream job. This is because it represents your research and writing skills, widened knowledge horizons and inquisitiveness to learn and explore different realms.
Internships/ Part time/ Work-study jobs- Internships give you the much needed corporate exposure. They show future employers that you not only have work experience but that you’ve also “tried and tested” out what your future career may be. You’ll most likely develop the majority of your practical, hard and soft skills before entering the workforce in these positions. And you don’t have to wait until senior year to get an internship. Incorporating your work study experience in your resume will impress the hiring manager, because it highlights your ability to multitask and work hard.
Foreign languages: Knowing multiple languages can help your resume set itself apart from others. For example, there often may be multiple candidates for a particular job but an additional point here may increase your chances on the first attempt. Foreign language demonstrates communication skills, hard work, cultural awareness, and interest in self-interest – qualities that all attract the recruiter
Sports: This is an activity that serves multiple benefits, most importantly being fitness. It’s an amalgamation of collaboration, creativity, communication, and worth ethic. A sportsman knows the way to turn the tide in his favor. He plays the ball right no matter how tough the ground. These qualities add a plus to the Resume!
Volunteering – Through community service, students develop a better understanding of mankind. It fuels their desire to have a positive social impact. Volunteering, in other words, fosters empathy. Empathy is also a critical component of a diverse and inclusive organizational culture's success. The impact of these volunteering communities is clearly evident during the covid pandemic. During these difficult times, a lot of student communities came together to help the society through providing verified leads for medical resources, organising fundraisers and many more. Such activities give a practical exposure to the ground level program where you can use your skill set and solve the problem and give back to the community.
Blogging – With the era of digitalization preponed a few years due to the pandemic, all of us are sitting in front of our laptop screens for hours. And here's the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and explore what excites people, what is trending, and what can be brought back to the ramp. This can turn the odds in your favour because the understanding of consumer behaviour is a valued trait. Also, it highlights your creative mind-set, a skill that has proven to be important in the post-pandemic world.
Arts- Whether you were involved in music, visual art, dance, or theater, being creative requires a lot of time and effort spent on honing your craft. Through your creative endeavors, you’ve also had to dig in and collaborate to put on successful shows or productions and achieve your artistic vision. Your ability to come together and work hard to reach your mutual goals is a treasured quality in an employee, which is a strong reason to include the arts in your resume.
Coding- The policymakers have understood the importance of coding and thus the National Education Policy (NEP), has introduced Coding at a young age to enhance the exposure to technology and create a path to a new world of innovation and creativity. Tech thinkers and educators believe that coding is a game-changer and a new generation will use analytical thinking to solve the problem. It will help in developing skills to deal with problems whether it is maths, science, or humanities, and will be ready for the future job. Not only does coding teach students how to approach a problem with logic but it also teaches them patience and persistence.
Stock Trading- Trading and investing is a great way to gain insight and experience into the world of finance. Researching stocks, beating the market, or trading derivatives helps you gain a practical knowledge of smart financial decision-making. Also, participating in stock trading simulations gives a similar exposure. These skills are very much demanded and appreciated while looking for career opportunities in finance. Even if you are not planning for finance as a career, still trading can help you sharpen analytical skills, persistence and discipline which are crucial in the job market.
Blockchain Technology- Blockchain is a booming sector, there are ample opportunities waiting for you in the market. If you think you have the right skill sets to work in the Blockchain domain and wish to get adapted to this trending wave, then you will be able to swim in the sea of jobs and enjoy the power of this revolutionary platform. From crypto startups to established companies, the job market looks good for blockchain enthusiasts and it is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.