– Turn Your Club Into A Job –
How to earn an employer’s respect and get a job
through your hobbies, clubs and extracurriculars
& use them in your student resume format.
Originally Published in Next Step Magazine
Have you paid your dues, attended off-season team practices, supported fund-raisers or given up precious Saturdays to be part of a club or group? If so, then it’s time to turn your sacrifice into the ticket for job success.
Many of you have heard that you should include “personal interests” on your résumé or job application. But activities are only valuable if they reveal character traits that employers seek. The key is to turn your activities and involvement into language that attracts an employer’s attention.
At the risk of overt self-promotion, I have been a professional career coach since 1991, written four career books and personally mentored over 5,000 professionals. One thing I know is what employers are interested in learning about potential hires!
Student resume format – show how clubs have shaped you
As much as I want to tell you that your four-year football varsity letter, lead roles in school plays or even something as altruistic as raising funds to support a homeless shelter entitle you to a job offer, the truth is, these activities are only part of the equation.
Your involvement in high school helps employers see your true character, personality, and the moral traits that make you a good prospect. After all, an employer is looking for intangible qualities that are generally termed “cultural fit.” In this case, that means the qualities a company feels best defines the character of the existing staff.
Resume format for student athletes
In sports-crazed America, athletics is considered a very important area of character building. What “jocks” want to communicate in their résumé, job application or interview is the following:
- Number of years you participated in the sport
- Position played
- Individual or team accolades won
- Any leadership roles (such as team captain)
- Designations such as “most improved player,” “most inspirational member,” etc.
- Communicate during an interview how athletics improved your discipline, tenacity, integrity, teamwork and competitiveness.
Be ready to answer the following type of questions: “How did being the second-string quarterback shape your integrity?” Or, “Being on the varsity baseball team taught you discipline in what way?”
Student club members
Other student involvements include the drama club, band, debate team, chess club and more.
Use your involvement in those activities to communicate the value of collaborative teamwork, cultural enrichment and lessons learned through field trips, special projects and research.
Compare these two ways to communicate your participation in a play
- I held leading roles in three school plays.
- I landed leading roles in “Moby Dick,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof”; spent more than 100 hours coaching classmates; supported three fund-raisers to buy costumes; and re-enacted the role at a local nursing home.
- It is perfectly acceptable to mention during an interview or on your résumé how many hours you participated in a sport or club each week. This demonstrates the characteristics of loyalty, dedication and perseverance in your craft.
You must show an employer that your high school experience shaped you in more positive ways than just your GPA.
Coloring the story to reveal more than just the bare facts of your involvement will heighten the potential employer’s appreciation for the value of your involvement. So go break a leg and prove you are the obvious choice for the job!