You've studied hard throughout your high school and college career, and your grades present an accurate reflection of your dedication, hard work, and ability to follow directions. You know how to listen, read, study, and apply the lessons you've learned in the classroom.
But in addition to your academic track record, you also have a collection of extracurricular activities in your personal portfolio. You haven't just been grinding away—you've also been actively living and exploring the full range of opportunities that your learning institutions have offered. So here are a few ways to make the most of those opportunities while you search for work.
You may be a gifted, dedicated musician who actually intends to make a living (or a side living) by performing throughout your adult life. But even if you play simply to express yourself and you have no plans to turn your instrument into a career, your ear for music can make a few things clear to your potential employers:
- You know how to accept a challenge and stick with it over the long term.
- You know how to apply yourself in order to learn something new.
- You have an ear for melody, rhythm and style, D) and you have complex interests outside of work.
Sports are fun, but they're also microcosms for some of the more complex aspects of adult life, specifically life in the workplace. Your sports background can tell your employers several things about you, for example:
- You know how to accept your role as a member of a team and thrive in your assigned position, no matter where it may fall the hierarchy.
- You know what it's like to care about and invest in something larger than yourself.
- You know that sportsmanship—behavior and intention—matter just as much as winning or losing.
3. Debate & Public Speaking
Your debate team participation and public speaking experience can have a powerful impact on your job search and the long-term success of your career. Describing your speaking experience can let employers know that:
- You recognize that words have meaning and power, and the way things are said matters as much as the feeling and intention behind them.
- You know how to conduct research and use your findings to make an articulate and convincing argument.
- You aren't afraid to stand up in front of others in order to share your research or explain your convictions.
4. Community Service
All those hours you spent raising money for cancer research, cleaning up local streams, setting up blood drives for the red cross, or handing over your services as a volunteer were valuable—there's no doubt about this. But your unpaid community service can also pay off in a big way during your job search, since it lets employers know that:
- You recognize a world outside of yourself and your own interests.
- You're willing to work hard in exchange for personal reward, not just money.
- You have enough energy, intelligence, and efficiency to take care of the needs of others after your own needs have been met.
Use Your Resume to Share Your Strengths
You have more to offer to potential employers than a dry list of technical skill sets. You're a complex person with a winning combination of experience and personality, and you're an asset to anyone who chooses to hire you. So use your resume to make this clear. Visit MyPerfectResume for tips and tools that can help you showcase your most important qualities.