Extracurriculars To Build Your Resume

It’s probably the most common piece of advice to incoming students – join a club on campus. There is the obvious benefit of making friends and getting involved in the community. Did you ever think about how participating in an extracurricular activity can also look great on your resume?

Besides listing what activities you are involved in, you should be prepared to explain why you chose that club and what skills you learned from it. Here are some ideas for clubs to get involved in, and what they can demonstrate to potential employers.

An Honor Society

Membership in an honor society shows that you are a high achiever and strive for excellence in your field. Most majors and areas of study have their own honor societies. You will usually be invited to membership after demonstrating consistent academic performance. It might not be until your sophomore or junior year until you are eligible, but Etown has its own first-year honor society called Alpha Lambda Delta that you can join by earning a 3.5 or higher GPA for your first semester of college.

Most honor societies hold regular meetings for members, as well as participate in service projects. Some require you to maintain a certain GPA for continued membership, but acceptance to Alpha Lambda Delta makes you a member for life.

A Club Sport

Playing a club or intramural sport teaches you how to work well as part of a team, strategize for success, and accept losses gracefully. In short, it teaches excellent sportsmanship. You can take that same graceful attitude to your career. It also gives you an opportunity to exercise, which is great for your physical and mental health.

A Culture Club

Joining a club that teaches you about other cultures – like Intellectual Film Club or Chinese Food and Culture – builds appreciation for diversity, and gives you the ability to empathize with those who are different from you. It also broadens your knowledge of the world, a useful skill to have in our increasingly global culture. Chances are you will meet an international student on campus, work with someone from a different background than you, or even do business in another country. You will have a great competitive edge in the job market if you already know how to relate to people from different cultures.

A Community Service Club

Joining a community service club shows that you care about the world around you and take action to improve it. This shows potential employers that you will likely care about the company as a whole and strive to improve your work environment. Serving others also gives you a healthy dose of humility to take to your next job. Need a suggestion of where to start? Circle K participates in a wide variety of service projects around the area.

A Public Speaking Club

Join a club that gets you up in front of people, like Mock Trial or Mad Cow Improv. Public speaking is the age-old skill that people dread mastering, but it is important in every career. Pretty much everyone has to give a presentation, lead a meeting, or do something that involves getting up in front of clients or coworkers at some point. Make sure you’re prepared by pushing yourself to get up and speak, and you’ll be ahead of the game. This will also help you in the interview process itself, a nice bonus that will make you initially stand out!

Student Senate

Joining your Student Senate shows that you are willing and able to take on responsibility, form opinions, and advocate for causes you believe in. Choosing to take on such responsibility shows that you are mature. It also demonstrates that you can make logical decisions after listening to debates. Employers love to see all these traits in an applicant.

This is just a list of ideas to get you thinking about what clubs appeal to you. Any extracurricular activity you participate in has valuable skills that can be applied to your resume. We encourage you to explore different options and try out different clubs to see what you like!

Elizabethtown College