When you’re nearing the end of your high school or college career, you start to feel the pressure of the real world coming down on you. At this stage in the game, you’ve probably heard that a perfect GPA score isn’t enough to impress the judges – you also need to be well-rounded. It does look good to have extracurricular activities on your resume, but they only look outstanding if you’re truly passionate about them. This way you get to have fun developing new skills and resources that you can use for your chosen career one day.
If you have an idea of what career you want to pursue, you should try to stick to extracurricular activities that are in that field. But if you don’t know what you want to do, just play around with your interests. Who knows – they might turn into your job one day.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this list of activities and see which resonates with you:
1. Attend a STEM camp.
Her Campus explained that if you’re at all interested in science, technology, engineering or math, you should attend a STEM camp or organization. These experiences give you more access to tools and technology than your average after school chemistry or math club might, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
2. Study abroad.
This is less of an activity and more of a full-fledged experience, but study abroad really does look good on a resume and there’s not experience quite like it. You’ll show future employers that you’re not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, and you can probably weave in a story about how you got lost or couldn’t communicate with a local to demonstrate problem-solving skills. This is an important strength too, because according to a recent study from CareerBuilder 48 percent of employers are finding that their new hires lack adequate problem-solving skills – show them how you do!
3. Work for a school newspaper, magazine or newsroom.
Magazines and newspapers have tons of different positions that you could take advantage of even if you don’t necessarily consider yourself a writer. Don’t forget that someone has to edit the content, take the corresponding pictures or design the layout. On the same note, you don’t have to avoid the school’s news team because you’re camera shy. Work behind the scenes and learn the ins and outs of video production.
4. Take time to volunteer.
What’s your favorite thing to do? There’s probably an opportunity to volunteer with that. You can coach a sport, tutor a foreign language – that you learned while studying abroad perhaps – work at a food bank or help walk dogs at your local animal shelter. It’s always better when you can give back to the community when you’re doing something you’re passionate about.
5. Rise the ranks to become captain of your sports team.
Tons of kids are involved in some type of organized sports team – but it’s those who stand out to coaches and teammates and are voted captain who will also stand out to employers. Leadership skills ranked at 42 percent on CareerBuilder’s survey of skills employers wished their new hires possessed.
6. Start your own club or business.
If you’re still having trouble finding a club that seems like a good fit for you, then why not delve into your own interests and make your own club? If you have a knack for a particular hobby or craft, why not start a business from it? People make good money selling their handcrafted jewelry on Etsy – mix and match your designs to accent a Baby-G blue series watch – or if you’re tech savvy, why not try creating a new app?
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