Which College Activities Translate into a Work Environment

As a recent graduate or current college student, the work experience section of your resume might be a little light. Although you should try to get as much work experience as you can, employers are aware that doing so might be difficult as a fulltime student. As a result, employers often turn to activities or groups you have been involved in to gauge how ready you are for the workplace.  So don’t fret! Below are some popular college activities, and how you can translate them into a strong skill set to land entry-level jobs.

1.       Athletics

Without a doubt, being on a sports team is a strong indicator of a good candidate. As an athlete, time management skills are crucial to keep up with assignments and other responsibilities besides to their team. Division I, II, and III athletes are commonly hired due to their hard work and the dedication necessary to compete on a high-intensity team.  For employers, this experience should exhibit time management skills and commitment–qualities that are highly desired for any position. Additionally, it shows you know how to work with other people as part of a team and have well-formed communication skills  Even playing a club or intramural sport shows passion and energy, qualities that hiring companies often seek in a new employee.

2.       Greek Life

Stigmas are sometimes attached to the famed fraternities and sororities that can dominate a college campus. Whether positive or negative, these stigmas are just that: stigmas. Greek life involvement has the potential to be a very helpful component of your resume. There are two reasons to highlight your fraternity or sorority while applying: (1) if you hold a leadership position or (2) if you devote most of your extracurricular time to being an active member. Holding an official position within your Greek house suggests that members trust you with important tasks. Anything from being President to House Manager demonstrates planning, communication and leadership skills. Additionally, if you devote more hours than the average member to attending events that your house puts on or volunteering for all the philanthropic missions, highlight those areas to show your devotion and commitment to being a unique and irreplaceable member to your fellow brothers or sisters.

3.       Clubs

Certain clubs are not worth mentioning on your resume. Fun extracurricular activities are wonderful to have, but for your own enjoyment. Something like being President of the Cupcake Club will not resonate appropriately nearly as much as being a member of an academic club. That being said, clubs like student government, academic groups, the school newspaper, etc. all can be impressive on a resume. Being a member of student government indicates that you are in touch with your fellow peers and have to face daily problems reported by the student population. Academic-related groups demonstrate your interest in learning new things beyond the required hours in the classroom, showing employers that you are dedicated.  If you are involved extensively in a group, don’t be afraid to write it down and share it proudly.

4.       A Position or Job with the School

If your college or university trusts you with a position, other employers will too. Activities through the administration are even more impressive. Titles like School Ambassador, or Tour Guide, are easily translatable on your resume. As an ambassador or tour guide, you are the face of your school. You are in charge of selling the product.  Many jobs in the finance world will have a sales component. Handling unexpected questions in a diplomatic and strategic fashion is also a unique quality that these positions require. Whether it’s responding to a prospective student or board of investors, being quick on your feet is a necessity.

The key to all of these positions is to mix and match. The more activities you are deeply involved in, the easier it is to prove your time management skills. That being said, a low GPA as a result of being overextending yourself is not impressive. So pick and choose what you devote your time to, and when asked about your unique skill set, don’t be afraid to point to those activities to highlight your qualities.

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