The Importance of Extracurricular Activities
The job market is very competitive and you need to stand out to be noticed. Gone are the days when having a good degree result can help you get hired, today’s recruiters and human resources personnel look for something more than a degree. Most job recruiters look for skills (hard and soft skills). Extracurricular activities help you to acquire soft skills that are in high demand in the job market. These activities market you as job applicants and employers will always take note of you if you add these activities to your resume. Although extracurricular activities are beneficial to employees this article will focus on the importance of Extracurricular Activities to job applicants.
What are Extracurricular Activities?
They are those activities outside general studies that you are passionate about. They are also those activities outside the normal curriculum of an educational establishment. Most job applicants while at the University were exposed to extracurricular activities like mentorship and leadership training. In relation to jobs, extracurricular activities are those activities outside the normal duties of a job profession.
Examples of extracurricular activities
- Mentorship Scheme
- Show/ Performance
- Leadership Awards
The Importance of Extracurricular Activities to Job Applicants
The Importance of extracurricular activities in relation to job search is as follows:
- It helps you get hired
- Job Experience
- Team Spirit/ Cohabitation
- Demonstrate Leadership Skills
- Demonstrate Technical Skills
- Entrepreneurship Skills
- Entertainment Skills
It helps you get hired
In an interview, the scene can be very hot but if you include extracurricular skills in your resume, employers will be impressed by your resume. For example, if you have been a tutor to your peers or mentored them while in school; this will show employers that you are highly intelligent and competent for the job you are applying for. In addition, indulging in professional mentorship training will also be an added advantage and wow interviewers.
There is no doubt that extracurricular activities help job applicants to acquire new skills that will be highly beneficial to them in the job market. Employers are looking for job candidates that are resourceful and will be of utmost value to the organization. For example, while at the University you engage in charities to help your community. You can be very resourceful to an organization that wants to raise funds to help the less privileged in society in order to be socially responsible to society.
One of the core benefits of extracurricular activities is the level of experience it exposes you to. Many job recruiters don’t want to hire a novice but someone that is experienced. Volunteering for community service gives you experience and also volunteering for organizations as an intern gives you experience. Volunteering is an extracurricular activity that helps you to have the professional experience that employers are looking for.
Team Spirit/ Cohabitation
In an organization, you will surely have coworkers. Relationship with coworkers in an organization is very crucial and extracurricular activities help you to develop team spirit. Extracurricular activities like sports and societies help job applicants to cohabit with others. In an organization, there may be a task that requires teamwork and so if you have developed this skill by indulging in extracurricular activities; you will be a hot cake. Make sure you add this experience to your resume to get hired.
Demonstrate Leadership Skills
Leadership Skill is one of the most sought-after and versatile skills that professionals can have. Participating in extracurricular activities at school helps you to harness this particular skill. For example, if you are applying for the post of Marketing Manager and while at school you were the Assistant President of a Society, this particular leadership responsibility you handled at school will increase your chances to get the job. In addition, leadership awards are presented to students at school and if you are a recipient of such an award; feel free to add it to your resume.
Demonstrate Technical Skills
Technical skills are in high demand in this global age. Through extracurricular activities, you can get to learn technical skills that can make you stand out in the job market. For example, if you go for industrial training you can learn technical skills like computer programming which will make your resume awesome. You can also learn communication skills along with technical skills.
An entrepreneur is someone that organizes a business venture and takes risks. Extracurricular activities can help you to acquire this particular skill. Entrepreneurial extracurricular activities can be seen as informal education, non-accredited student activities like games, competitions, clubs and societies, summer schools, exchanges, mentoring, job shadowing, internships, workshops, financial support, incubation, and business support. You can organize competitions while at school and also solicit funds to sponsor such activities; through this, you can get entrepreneurship skills. This skill is in high demand in the labor market and extracurricular activities help you to demonstrate this skill.
Although this skill is not really sought out by job recruiters it has its own advantage. Organizing events like show biz and award night will expose you to the entertainment industry. If you get hired in an organization and they want to organize a show or award night; you will be of immense value to them with this skill you possess. You can manage the welfare department of a particular organization.
How to Harness Your The Power of Extracurricular Activities
You can include your extracurricular activities on your resume as this will enhance your employability especially when you don’t have any formal work experience yet. This will also be useful during an interview. You can do this by writing down the skills you have gotten through extracurricular activities using the STAR format. Below is a sample:
Student Union Government President
As a Student Union Government President, I represent the interest of the entire students in the University. This is the key method for the University management to understand what students are in need of and the role the University management can play.
I listened to students’ complaints about inadequate learning tools in the University and presented them to the school management. I gave the students information on the overall feedback of the University management.
I discussed with the Student Union Government EXCOS and we came up with the list of learning tools the University needed based on students’ opinions and presented it to the management.
As a result, the University management decided to provide the necessary learning tools
In conclusion, there are different resumes sent to organizations on daily basis, adding extracurricular activities to yours will boost your chances of getting the job. Therefore, engaging in extracurricular activities is very crucial to job applicants.