Traditionally, after completing the undergraduate program, students have three options – to join their family business, go for higher studies or take employment. Whether it is for getting a job or admission in a higher education institution, the students have to go through a selection process. After clearing the initial elimination rounds of written tests and group discussions a student moves into space wherein the individual has to sell themselves.
It is also a well-acknowledged fact selection panels of education institutions or reputed corporates traditionally recruit incumbents who have great communication skills, technical skills and a good attitude (meaning qualities like being proactive, having a positive attitude, solution providers rather than problem creator, people management skills and similar skills ). While the students’ qualification, classroom-based or MOOC Certifications shows what technical learnings they have acquired, it is the application of the same and demonstration of life skills that interests and are normally being evaluated by the selection panels.
I am detailing a few activities which can be used to add depth to the students’ resumes as well as help them learn skills that selectors are normally seeking and move them closer to achieving their career goals.
Organizing a community activity/event – Most of us live in residential communities. Organizing a social/ cultural event for the benefit of the other members of our community helps us showcase our initiative, our organizing ability and our ability to influence people and get their support. The community activities that can be chosen by students could include
o Organizing a free health checkup for residents of a locality by connecting with a reputed hospital and your local resident welfare organization / Blood Donation Camp ( Red Cross),
o Organizing Diwali Mela / Christmas Gala / An Entertainment night / Children’s Day Activity / Children Painting competition to encourage art and
o Coordinating with Municipality or local governing bodies ( residential welfare association)for providing better facilities at your residential area – installing Garden Gyms / Better club facilities / Water Harvesting Initiatives/creating a volunteering group to provide support to the elderly population in the vicinity
Volunteering for a cause – For a student, it is critical to identify a social cause one is passionate about. Whether it is saving the environment, or educating the children or caring for animals, it is important to have the conviction to improve the plight of another. Connecting with an NGO related to the cause and participating in their multiple activities, allows the incumbent to highlight her willingness to contribute towards society’s wellbeing. Showcasing the same in one’s resume and interview exhibits empathy, ability to work for a team/cause, enthusiasm for one’s belief, which is qualities well appreciated by any selection panel. Additionally, the content ( photographs and videos) from these add value to the digital footprint for a lifetime. For example, if a student chooses to become a member of IILM University NGO-Club – Yuva Goonj , and helps in teaching the children in the nearby slums, it demonstrates that the student is a responsible member of the society, believes in contributing towards the development of others and is willing to take extra responsibility. These are laudable qualities that are appreciated in any institution.
Internships on a part-time and full-time basis – Internships and other experiential learning opportunities are the final keys to maximizing the value of students’ college degrees. It is a well-accepted fact that securing employment after one’s degree is dependent on how well one has built experience during the period of education. Employers expect students to have experience before applying to minimize training needs. On another hand, to get admissions into good educations institutions for further studies, it is critical the student has a good understanding of the concepts taught, which is again dependent on application.
In view of the above, in addition to doing mandatory internships to earn credits, it is always advisable for students to take on short projects on a part-time basis through the terms of their courses. These projects need not be with big brands, but with be start-ups who are hungry for hardworking and enthusiastic manpower and are willing to teach. Some of these projects could be in space of
– Content creation
– Market research
– Sales promotion
– Book Keep
– Updating records
– Lead generation
– And many more
Each of these activities teaches generic skillset as well as function-specific skillsets that always impress the interviewer.
Needless to add, all the above avenues are in addition to the certifications the student has earned, and the extra-curriculum activities a student has participated in. So adding such new experiences can help the student fulfill their career aspirations!
Do share your feedback on :
What are the other relevant initiatives one can undertake to make one’s resume more impactful?
Do such initiatives add to your life skills and also help you understand your interests better?