Yes-Your-Extracurriculars-Could-Get-You-Hired

Be it playing for your college soccer team, being part of the university’s engineering club or sharing time with a local non-profit organisation, your experience with extracurricular activities could actually land you your dream job from the get-go.

Extracurricular activities might not seem as crucial to you as professional work experience, but they’re a big plus for employers, especially when starting out.

No wonder there’s an additional HR Round after a technical interview. 

What are Extracurricular Activities?

What-are-Extracurricular-Activities

Extracurriculars include any project or activity taken up outside your regular curriculum, be it art and cultural clubs, sports, volunteer work or intense debate competitions. They are a great form of self-expression in a fun and relaxed environment and allow you to cultivate your current interests and discover subjects and activities you previously weren’t exposed to. Here’s how.

Make them work for you

Extracurriculars remain an essential aspect of presenting yourself to a potential employer. If relevant and valuable activities are tactfully listed, they hold the potential to display your holistic approach towards life.

For example, starting an online community or a blog on a topic that genuinely interests you could be a great differentiator. It shows your value and interests creatively and can be very appealing and unique extracurriculars to pursue.

Similarly, managing events and organisations in college helps you learn how to plan ahead and think on your feet, exhibiting that you’re capable of taking up challenges head-on later in the professional world.

Your experience with being part of the debate club or editor of your college magazine can show your communication skills, a necessity in any given professional field.

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Your participation in foreign exchange programs shows the employer you can quickly adapt to different situations and that you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone. Adding your athletics and sports accomplishments is a great way to convey that you’re someone with a competitive spirit and a seasoned team player, and working towards a shared goal comes naturally to you.

Community volunteering highlights selflessness and your ability to take on the initiative to create an impact on the world. A sense of purpose towards your community not only makes you feel content but also shows your potential recruiter that you’re a person of character.

Find out what gets you going

Volunteering and internships are also great ways to preview what it’s really like working in different professions or industries and understand what a great fit for you is and what isn’t. This kind of experimentation gets way more complicated the older you get, so experimenting with your volunteering and internship experiences early in your career can pay off in the long run.

Weave your experiences to your narrative. For example, perhaps your internship program was a great access point to exclusive events and gave you the platform to work with pros and execs working the job at companies you want to work in.

Know what to expect

Even with your top-notch degree or your ability to code away to glory, your technical expertise is not the sure shot way or enough to get through the company of your dreams. When hiring, recruiters look for more than just a degree, expecting a potential candidate to grow and eventually lead. Therefore, adding extracurricular activities to your resume becomes more critical when you don’t have any prior work experience.

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Apart from showcasing your interests and hobbies, your extracurriculars help develop emotional intelligence, teaching you soft skills that are very much transferable to your career.

It’s important to remember, employers hire you not only for your current skills and expertise but, more importantly, your potential to learn new ones if given the opportunity. In addition, your accomplishments outside the classroom demonstrate your passion and highlight qualities valued by employers.

The Takeaway

The things we do in our free time reveal a lot about us in ways that grades and degrees don’t. These accomplishments outside the classroom showcase passion and drive, qualities incredibly valued by employers.

Remember, employers, recruit for culture fit as much as they do for qualifications. You could be the best science grad in the market, but if your personality and values don’t fit with the company’s, your hiring chances may remain bleak. When hiring potential candidates, employers look for well-rounded individuals who share their values.

Extracurricular activities are an excellent way to demonstrate these qualities and stand out from other applicants. So, when building your resume, be sure to highlight your achievements outside of academia. Remind yourself that your personality and a growth-oriented approach are major contributing factors in securing a job. So don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and clutch onto your unique life experiences confidently, for they are truly the differentiating factors in the long run.

Good Luck!


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