4 Activities Your Resume Should Include By Your Senior Year Of College

By Danielle Wirsansky on January 28, 2018

College has long been known as a time for development, for self-reflection and discovery, and for growth. It is where a teenager goes to become an adult, where they learn responsibility, and where they find themselves and figure out what exactly it is that they want to do with their lives. However, the real world outside of college requires more than just an idea or projected career path. You can’t just know what you want to do and expect it to occur. The job market only becomes more competitive with each year. You simply need more than passion to get started in your career field.

So, while you should do things to help you discover what your passions are while in college, you also need to engage in activities that will bulk up your resume so that you can actually get hired once you graduate. This does not mean that you have to decide on a career path your freshman year of college and stick to it no matter what for fear of falling behind or not having the experience you need to get hired if you switch.

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There are certain categories of activities that many employers look for in a college student’s resume. If you can participate in these particular areas of engagement during your college career, it will certainly help you to get hired. Trying out different activities can help you narrow down what you want to do and help you to fill out your resume in the recommended areas. An undergraduate degree usually takes four years to attain—four years is a lot of time, and there is no way you could (or would want to) spend that entire span of time only attending classes and studying without any outside activities. Read on to learn about six activities your resume should include by your senior year of college!

Honor Societies

Belonging to an honor society (or a few) is a great activity to have on your resume. Most honor societies have requirements a student must fulfill to be eligible for membership, most particularly a high grade point average. Having been invited to be a member of an honor society will show employers that you are a good student, making good grades. Membership in these honor societies can bring you much prestige as many of these organizations have been around for a long time and have built up reputations.

Continuing on in this vein, aside from name recognition and reputation, belonging to an honor society can also help you to take advantage of its network of members. For example, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is recognized as the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences and the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity. And it was founded in 1776! This honor society is as old as the United States of America and so is a whopping 242 years old. Phi Beta Kappa reportedly has more than 500,000+ members at this point. When you belong to a well-respected and long-established honor society such as Phi Beta Kappa, chances are that you can meet interviewers and potential employers who were also members of the same or similar honor societies. Have you heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together?” Many times, an employer will be more open to hiring a candidate who has a shared network or institution between them—like an honor society.

Honor Society membership also brings with it other perks, like access to scholarships open to members only or to specialized job banks only members can search. Belonging to honor societies is a surefire way to boost your resume and is a key activity to have listed on your resume before you graduate.

It is also important to note that while employers do look to see what honor societies a college student belongs to, they will far and away be more impressed by a candidate who not only belongs to a society but is also an active member. Going a little bit further and taking your involvement in the honor society shows your commitment and support to and for such institutions. Many students get accepted into an honor society and then do nothing with their membership, using it only as something to take up a line on your resume. Getting involved in the society will not only make you more likely to earn scholarship from the organization, present you ways to earn service hours, and supply you a network of fellow students to depend on both while in college and once you have graduated and one into the workforce—it also becomes an extracurricular activity, which leads us to…

Infographic by Danielle Wirsansky

Extracurriculars

Other activities that are necessary on your resume by your senior year are extracurriculars. It is great to be a part of organizations that have to do with your career path, but at the surface level, employers are just looking to see if you get involved. When you are a student, studying is your job. By doing more than simply studying and taking classes, you are showing that you are enthusiastic, passionate, and driven to name a few. You do more than the bare minimum. By participating, it shows that you make an effort to truly engage with your experience which is something that employers hope that you will do when (and if) you are employed by them.

Joining clubs or groups that are related to your career field of interest can definitely help you to get ahead in the job market. Do you want to be a lawyer? Join the debate team and hone those argumentation skills. Do you want to be a marketer? Join the advertising club and stay up to date on the latest trends. Do you want to be an actor? Join the comedy troupe and develop those improv skills.

Extracurricular activities can also be used as stepping stones to helping you figure out what you want to do with your life. Maybe you are not sure whether you want to be a lawyer or in marketing or an actor. As mentioned before, it is great to use extracurriculars to figure that out. Not sure what you want to do, but do know that you love to sing? Join an acapella group. This could lead you to becoming an officer, say the Communications Officer. You learn that you really enjoy social media marketing and, more than that, you actually enjoy it. This could lead you to decide on a career in arts marketing. What seemed like an innocuous extracurricular that you enjoyed could help you find yourself and learn what you wanted to do with your life. It helped you to develop skills that will get you hired in that field. I mean, we have all got to start somewhere, right?

There are so many options of organizations and activities that you can get involved in that can somehow help you to enhance your skills for your future career. Most universities have hundreds of active student organizations on their campuses for you to choose from and participate in. And if for some reason your university is lacking in the kinds of organizations you want to get involved in, your community may offer them too. And if there seems to be no options for you, you can always start your own organization, which leads us to…

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Leadership Roles

Leadership roles are incredibly important to have on your resume by your senior year. Employers are looking for employees that are hungry for work, ambitious, and willing to work towards their goals. It is great to be active in extracurriculars. But leadership positions within those organizations show that you can get passionate behind an organization and have loyalty to it. It shows that you take initiative and are a go-getter, important qualities in a top-notch employee.

And employers are also eager to work with people who have leadership experience because of what the leadership role did to shape them. Most leadership roles inspire confidence in those leaders. They become more capable and confident, unflappable, cool, calm, and collected in the face of emergencies. They are better at multi-tasking, they are good at delegating, they are good at communicating. Leaders have negotiation skills, they have a network of contacts and know how to build those networks up.

Founding an organization can also show the depth and breadth of your leadership skills as well. Perhaps you are in the position mentioned earlier, where there is no suitable organization for what you are interested in. So go out and found that organization yourself!

Building an organization from scratch can be a lot of long hours and hard work. But if it is something that you are passionate about, then the experience is incomparable. You have a lot of responsibility riding on your shoulders when establish your own organization, but it teaches you so many important skills, especially if you plan to work in the same career field that the organization is related to. It will really teach you the ins and outs of that field and help you make great strides in management in that field. You will have a much better idea what the real world will be like and of what demands having a similar job in that career field will be like. It can be so much work to found your own organization, but is a great line to have on your resume and give you something to talk about during your interview when you go in for a real job. Founding and leading an organization can often feel like an actual job, and so will help you to get hired in other, paid jobs, which leads us to…

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Employment/Work Experience

Sometimes the best way to get a job in your preferred career field is to have a job—sometimes any job at all. Having work experience listed on your resume shows that, no matter what field it was in or what position it was, someone found you hireable. Someone found you to have skills. Someone found you to have a respectable manner. Someone had confidence and faith in you that you could get a job done.

A job in the same career field is an awesome line to have on your resume. It shows that you have familiarity with the field and the inner workings of the industry. You are up to date on industry trends and you just know how the business works. It will not be hard for you to integrate into this new position with this new company because you have already done it before. You will be able to fit in and take on your role seamlessly (or without too many hitches, at least). Previous work experience in the same field can help to inspire confidence in your new employers that they are making the right choice in hiring you.

And if you do not have work experience in the same career field that you want to enter after your senior year of college, do not fret! Having any work experience is still a plus for you in the eyes of your future and potential employers. The fact that you were able to get hired and hold on to a steady job can say a lot about your character and the kind of worker you are. It shows that you may have skills that are transferrable to your new, potential job in the industry you actually want to be a part of. By having a job or work experience on your resume by your senior year and before you graduate also shows what a go-getter you are and that you have drive. You wanted a job, so you went out, you got it, and you kept it. You were able to manage school and a job at the same time, which is a lot to ask of any student, but does show hard working a student is.

Senior year of college can be one of the toughest years of college, simply because of the uncertainty the future holds. Allay your fears by working on making your resume as strong as it can be as soon as you start college, letting it progress and grow as you find yourself during your college experience.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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