GUEST BLOG: Four extra-curricular activities that employers value

UoY Careers Balloon illy Guest blog written by Seb Atkinson, first aider and writer for Safety First Aid Blog.

Whether you’re approaching the end of your degree or the end of another academic year, now’s a great time to reflect on the experiences you’ve gained outside of your course and consider what to add to your CV. What are the activities that employers value the most? What experiences can make a difference to getting the interview or not making the cut? And what should you aim to add to your CV over the summer? Read on to discover four great extra-curricular activities that employers love.

Take part in volunteering activities

Taking part in voluntary work is a great way to show employers that you’re a well-rounded person, dedicated to a cause with an interest in helping others. If you’re juggling a voluntary role alongside your degree, it’s also a good idea to highlight on your CV that the experience has taught you time-management skills, which are transferrable to almost all roles.

Volunteering is also a great way of kick starting your career if you’re a recent graduate without a full-time graduate role, or if you’re underemployed. Shop around for a local charity who could use your skills and approach them for a volunteering position, giving you a new experience that can really add value to your CV and get you the graduate role of your dreams!

Become a first aider

First aid is one of the most valuable skills you can learn, helping you to become a resource to your community as well as building your own confidence when dealing with an emergency. But did you also know that businesses have an obligation to ensure enough members of staff have first aid skills?

If you already have a first aid certificate, you can become a valuable resource to your future employer, as well as being able to demonstrate how you’ve gone out of your way to learn a useful skill. Be sure to check your certificate is in date before you put it on your CV though – thanks to a change in the rules, you now cannot call yourself a first aider if your certificate is out of date!

Take a leading role in a club or society

An extra-curricular activity that can really set you apart from other graduate job candidates is to take a leading role managing a club or society, and with hundreds at your doorstep, University is the best time and place!

Becoming a team captain, president, secretary or other role in a club teaches you skills that are highly valuable in the workplace, for example managing people, debating ideas, financial skills and delegating tasks.

Find a part time internship

Many students typically only look for internship roles for the summer, but the truth is many businesses could do with an extra pair of hands all year round. As a result, if you’re limiting your search for an internship for the spring, you’re putting yourself in direct competition with a large number of other students, limiting your chances for a role.

Instead, why not approach local companies for a part-time role during term time? This way, you’re more likely to avoid the competition as well as leaving your summers free for other experiences such as travelling, or taking on a paid seasonal role such as a gardener or summer camp team member.