Students often tell me that they leave out certain organizations on their resume because they are interested in a career that is different from the club they joined. Little do these students know that these “fun” organizations can help them in the interview process!
Campus clubs and organizations are a great way to show off leadership skills and showcase one’s ability to be well-rounded. These skills are quite appealing to employers. The leadership opportunities provided in these groups are priceless, regardless of the club’s focus. You may not have a 3.5 GPA, but serving in an active role in a campus organization can go a long way in the interview process. Some examples of the skills to highlight from being active in an organization are:
Founder – Vision, strategic planning, organizational skills, public relations
President – Ability to lead a body of students, planning skills
Vice President – demonstrates that one can lead when needed, organizing committees
Treasurer – the responsibility of handling other’s money, balancing and maintaining a budget
Secretary – organizational skills, communicating with others, analyzing data
Committee Chair – shows how one can work with a diverse group of people to get a task accomplished
ACTIVE member – dependability, hard work “in the background”
Don’t be afraid to talk about the struggles you might have had while serving in the organization, whether it was problems collecting money as a treasurer, or convincing members to show up to committee meetings. How you handled those difficulties could be a great talking point in the interview.
I do want to note that is better to be a leader in a few clubs than to be a marginal member in a large number of clubs. If you can’t think of anything to talk to an employer about should he/she bring up your membership in the interview, don’t include it on your resume. You never know if an employer was a member of that organization while they were in college – it could lead to an embarrassing situation.
Active membership in campus organizations can be a great way to gain leadership skills and can help you get your foot in the door.