Whether you’re looking to get a full-time job after your studies come to an end or you want part-time work to earn extra cash while you’re studying, having an impactful CV is essential.
One of the best ways to stand out among the competition is through extracurricular activities, which not only showcase your personality and interests but also help you develop skills that you can use in employment.
There are certain activities you can choose to gain to really improve your skillset and boost your CV – here are 6 suggestions.
1: Language learning
Learning a foreign language is a rewarding and fulfilling thing to do, but it’s also something that is in demand in the job market, and it could set you apart from your competition when it comes to applying for a job. Having a hard skill such as being fluent in another language can even boost the salary you could hope to receive from a job.
By learning a second language, you’ll be able to demonstrate to employers that you are dedicated, have an interest in self-development and you’re culturally aware. But it also offers you the personal benefit of making travel easier and boosting your communication skills.
Tutoring is a rewarding way to use your spare time and in addition to being a great supplement to your CV, it also helps out others to learn. You can join a formal school tutoring programme to help others in your year or share your knowledge with younger children to help them develop core skills in reading, writing or mathematics by volunteering at a school once a week.
Tutoring shows that you have great communication skills, that you enjoy working with other people and that you have specific expertise in a certain area. But it also shows a willingness to help others and to share your knowledge, which is a skill that hiring companies will really value.
Volunteering is similar to tutoring in that it shows your willingness to use your time to help others, but it’s often related to a specific cause such as for a charity. Adding a volunteer position to your CV showcases your passion for the cause and shows you’re dedicated to your responsibilities. Recruiters like candidates who have carried out volunteering positions because it shows commitment, organisational skills and motivation, as well as a strong work ethic.
Young people are often naturally interested in sports, so why not put that interest to use and join a club or a team? Many sports rely on teamwork, so it’s a great way to make friends and meet new people, plus it helps you to stay fit and healthy.
Playing sports requires dedication and motivation, something that employers love to see in their employees, and it also shows great time management skills in order for you to make practice sessions and events. If you happen to be a team captain for your sport, this extracurricular activity also demonstrates leadership and communication skills which are valuable to businesses.
5: Student Council
Many schools and colleges have a student council to represent the students and it can help you develop a broad range of skills that can transfer to the workplace. From leadership skills and public speaking to collaboration and organisational skills, being a member of the student council is a great way to boost your CV and make friends in the process.
When you join the student council, you develop problem solving skills and boost your ability to make decisions, as well as developing your active listening skills. You learn how to work well with other people, take on board different opinions and react rationally, and often learn event planning or fundraising experience.
Art is a hobby that may seem like it won’t add anything valuable to your CV, unless you’re striving for a career focused on it, but that’s not actually true. Creative thinking is a top skill that employers look for and spending your leisure time practicing art is the perfect way to develop creative thinking skills that you can take with you into the workplace.
It’s a great hobby to spark innovation and seeing things from a different perspective, which are excellent skills to bring to a business. Whether you join a club, run workshops for other aspiring artists or simply work on your own projects, art can help you develop key creative skills.
You may be planning ahead in readiness for joining the job market or you may be edging closer to applying for jobs and want to upgrade your CV to stand out – whatever your reasons, there’s never a bad time to consider ways you can make yourself a more employable individual. While many hobbies and extracurricular activities may seem, on the surface, to be just for fun, you might be surprised by the skills you’ll learn through these activities that employers are looking for.
Written by Gemma Hart, Education / Careers Specialist
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