Whether you are a freshman or a senior, your involvement in on campus organizations is imperative to your success. But how do employers really know your level of involvement or impact you have had throughout your time? A great way to spin your clubs or orgs is as real work experience, especially if you haven’t had a formal internship. This not only gives you added credibility but also holds more weight to your resume. Moreover, it can give a great impression to employers and be an interesting point of conversation during any interview. Here are some ideas on how to communicate your clubs as work experience:
Give detail about your projects/events
Clubs are often centered around different projects and/or events. If you were particularly involved in one or two, it is advantageous to mention these in detail. Highlight what it was and how you added value to it. Illustrating to an employer a successful project or event will give them a better picture of what you do in the organization and how this has shaped you into an ideal candidate.
Quantify your accomplishments
This is particularly applicable to those finance orgs. For instance, if you are a part of the Bentley Microfinance group (like myself) or Bentley Investment Group, give your statistics and numbers to the employers through charts or graphs. This will not only impress the employer; it will give them a greater visual of what you have accomplished. This is also great for students who are involved in nonprofit clubs like Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity, stating the numbers on how much you raised for a particular event it a great point to highlight.
Emphasize your leadership
Throughout your participation in a club it is likely that you have held some leadership position at any given point. Whether it is as big as being the president or as little as heading a small group, leadership is always favorable. Rather than just stating your title, mention how you got there, why you wanted that position, and what you contributed to the org under your leadership. PS. This is a great time to quantify your accomplishments!
Highlight the skills you developed
Undoubtedly your involvement has led you to develop skills you didn’t even know you had! When you are trying to pinpoint the best skills to highlight, think of yourself as a freshman and now what you are today and how you have developed since then. Pull specific skills from certain projects so when you are asked to elaborate on that strength you can have evidence to back it up.
When explaining your club, it is important to relate it back to the job you are applying for. Say phrases like “similar to this work environment, at my org…”, “my experience through this org has prepared me to be a [job title] because…” or “this [project in org] is comparable to [aspect of company] in the sense that….”. Integrating phrases like these that emphasize similarities will make the employer understand how you can add value to their company through your involvement with your org.