Often at school, there are clubs, organizations and recreational activities. Students are encouraged to get involved in these extra-curricular activities for the social aspect, but many don’t realize how beneficial it can be for future employment opportunities.
Whether it is student council or diversity awareness groups, the skills you learn by participating in these activities will provide you with tangible competencies employers expect in a new employee.
Studies reveal leadership, conflict resolution, advocacy, networking, communication, interpersonal and computer skills are the most sought-after attributes. By joining school clubs, you can gain the experience and skills you need to succeed in the job market. Plus, you will have fun and meet new people.
For example, if you decide to join student council and one of your duties is to host an event during orientation week. This event requires you to meet and greet new students, host a bingo game and offer prizes. Completing these tasks requires extensive planning and preparation. After a successful event, the skills you have used and developed can now be captured on your resumé like this:
• Created, planned and executed educational and recreational activities across the campus.
• Effectively managed operational budgets.
• Developed and created promotional material.
• Worked closely in a team environment.
• Selected to act as a school representative and accurately answered new student questions.
There are many skills you can develop from school groups; some groups even offer students access to free training, networking events or conferences. Below are additional statements you may be able to add to your resumé:
• Participated in specialized workshops on professionalism, conflict resolution and advocacy.
• Demonstrated multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity by professionally interacting with a diverse population.
• Trained and co-ordinated a team of student leaders in school specific policies and procedures.
Some schools offer a formal document that captures the skills you develop by participating in activities outside of the classroom. This document is designed to recognize the leadership experiences and campus involvement you have attained during your academic career.
In order to capture the attention of future employers, you need to show you have already developed workforce skills and abilities. Do not wait until after graduation to focus on obtaining important hands-on skills; start now.
– Tracy Rogers is the Career Services Co-ordinator for Seneca College, Seneca@York Campus.
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