How extracurricular activities help a resume stand out

By Amanda Zacharias
October 30, 2019

Internship application season is upon us! As students are planning out their next semester courses, internships play a big role in decision making. To ensure that your resume makes it to the top of the pile it is suggested that you get involved in extracurricular activities. 

Being involved both on and off-campus builds skills that can make a resume pop, as well as provide you with much-needed experience and skill training. Specifically, career readiness skills are important to pay attention to when being involved as they are keywords that should be added to your resume and talked about during an interview. For a full list and examples of career readiness skills, visit the NACE website. 

“It tells me that if you were involved in college with activities there’s a good chance as an employer you are going to be involved with us as well,” said career services specialist Deb Kelly. Kelly wants Cabrini students to understand the importance of showing initiative by getting involved and gaining an abundance of new skills that cannot be learned from sitting in a classroom. 

A variety of skills that can be gained through clubs and activities. Photo by Pixabay.

By getting involved you can also better learn what you like and what you dislike. You don’t want to spend all this time and money on an education for a job field that you don’t like. By the time you get to the job, it’s already too late because you spent all the effort on something you didn’t like. So by getting involved early on you can hone in on what it is you are truly passionate about and make a career out of it.

“Colleges are great testing grounds to make sure that what you are studying is what you want to do,” Kelly said.

There are so many benefits to getting involved in the community, both on and off-campus. What employers want to see are examples.

“For every point you have on your resume you should be able to back it up by an example,” Kelly said. These activities will give students more chances to practice problem solving so that when it comes up in an interview there is proof you can do it and that carries much more weight than just your words.

“Employers want to know how you specifically assisted, and it’s more of a show me, don’t tell me,” Kelly said. 

Resumes that stand out are more likely to be noticed by employers. Photo by Pixabay.

Junior, biological science major, Viola Maya Varfley is using her resume to land an internship. Varfley is involved in three very diverse clubs on campus. She takes part in the iCAVS Step Team, Black Student Union and NEXTSTEP Ameri Corp. Serving on the executive board as the community service coordinator for iCAVS Step Team and as a mentor to a freshman for the Ameri Corp, Varfley has gained different skills from each organization.

“I’ve gained time management, great communication, being an outstanding team leader, creativity and more,” Varfley said. These skills have already helped her get a job while in college and she hopes to continue to develop her skills further through internships. 

Be the one that stands out from everyone else. When applying for internships and jobs there can be 50 or 100 other applicants, make sure that your resume will make it to the top of that pile. A great way to do that is with these extra activities that show your dedication to being involved and life long learning.

Be that one who stands out. Photo by Pixabay.

For students who may not have a club directly related to their major to gain field specific experience it is still important to get involved in any way possible.

“Get involved in community work, it doesn’t have to be related to your major but there is always something,” Kelly said. On that same note, don’t join just to join, do it because you want to get something out of it. There are so many benefits to being involved that go beyond resume building. 

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Amanda Zacharias

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