Congratulations! You’ve completed all of the college applications, waited those suspenseful months, and accepted an invitation to the school of your choice. You’re officially a college student. Ready to party? Before you get too excited, college is a time to be on your own and have fun, but it’s also a time to expand your education and start on your path to your future career.
Some of you may have realized this during college applications themselves, but it’s a very competitive world out there. There are plenty of people who will graduate from your school with the same degree and roughly the same background as you. So what makes you stand out when it comes to landing that job you want? Start now. Start building your resume now. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to only focus on making yourself every company’s dream intern, but be conscious of what you have to offer and make choices to help yourself stand out early on.
One of the ways to stand apart from the rest of the recent college graduates is to have a solid resume. Now that doesn’t mean you have to work in a lab on campus every day for four years, but if you want to, by all means, go ahead! For those of us who prefer to have a traditional college experience, complete with early classes and full social calendars, doing something as simple as joining the right clubs your freshman year can help you stand out. According to Profession Gal, here are a few clubs that employers like to see on resumes:
1. Tour Guide
This one isn’t really a club as much as it is a job. Being a tour guide shows that you’re helpful and gives you fantastic public speaking experience. It also allows you to work closely with administration and deal with all different kinds of people. You can even get letters of recommendation from administrators you work closely with, which can really put your resume on the top of the pile.
2. Debate Club
Similar to tour guides, debate club gives you fantastic public speaking experience and helps you learn to formulate and present ideas clearly, concisely, and swiftly. Companies will appreciate this skill because it gives them insight into how you will handle yourself during business meetings or under pressure. It shows them you can still be eloquent and poised, even when under pressure.
3. Philanthropy Club
This one is kind of a given, but a philanthropy club always looks good on resumes. People like to see that you are willing to give your time and energy to other people that may be less fortunate than you. It helps expose you to other ways of life you may not experience otherwise. Even if it doesn’t help your resume, philanthropy clubs are always good clubs to be a part of because of the personal experience. Helping the community may not only help you, but your help can also change someone’s life for the better.
4. Pre-Major Club
If I’m pre-med (which I actually am at this point), then I should join a pre-med club. Joining a pre-major club not only shows future employers that you were dedicated to studying that field, it can also help you network. When all of you have graduated, your study buddy in the pre-med club might go on to be a successful doctor at Mass General Hospital and might be able to write you a recommendation or call a personal favor in on your behalf. You never know now, but someone in your pre-major group might be your ticket into the job you always wanted.
5. Student Government Club
One thing most companies look for is leadership experience. What says leadership more than student government? Not only do you have to represent a bunch of people, but you also learn how to implement things you wish to do. Sometimes, getting something done isn’t as simple as just asking for it. Sometimes, the school will say no and you might have to work hard to convince them it’s in their best interest. The leadership experience and skills you will gain are very important to your success in the corporate world and therefore great for your resume.
6. Club of Your Own Making
If you can’t find a club involving something you’re really interested in, then make one! Most colleges make it very easy to create a new club if another like it doesn’t exist. Creating your own not only gets you what you want, but it shows businesses that you are an independent, driven student, moving your resume to the top of the pile.
7. Pre-Internship Clubs
Some schools have clubs to help prepare students for internships and everything involved in preparing for taking a job. Clubs like these can instruct you how to dress, act, and speak when interviewing for internships and can even help you craft your resume beforehand. Help from people who’ve gone through the job search before and a second opinion can be really beneficial in making your resume the best it can be.
Regardless of the path you choose in life, a good resume will be essential in getting you there the fast way. You don’t have to completely devote your college career to building the perfect resume, but be conscious when choosing clubs of what can help you. College is supposed to be a time to expand your mind and study the things you’re interested in. It’s also a time to prepare for a specific job. So be aware, but don’t forget that it is college and you won’t remember the nights you decided to stay in bed and study. You’ll remember the nights you spend out with you friends and classmates.