Now that you’re out of the school grind and having fun in college, a question that presents itself pertinently is how to improve your CV. You need to understand that there is no ‘set of rules’ to follow to add weight to those two papers of CV. What we, at Careermarshal, can do is provide a broad guideline on how to tackle the bull by its horn and get a respectable CV.
What you do in your free time is what defines who you are and defines your individuality and interests. Interestingly, it can also demonstrate to a hiring manager the plethora of skills that you possess in your arsenal.
Here are some activities that you can list in your CV that can brighten up your prospects:
A person who is active in sports gives a good account of themselves in terms of team work and dedication. It could also be a great addition to the CV. Whether you are plying your trade for the school’s cricket team, the college’s volleyball or you are the winger in the football team – make sure to highlight your skills, interests and achievements.
One thing to be very cautious about is to link this all with the role you are applying for, otherwise you might be defeating the whole purpose of adding a sport in your CV in the first place.
Skills it demonstrates: team work, dedication, fitness, competitiveness, reliability.
How to get in in the first place: Most universities, schools and colleges have teams for various sports. And you don’t have to be Ronaldo-like (football) or have a stance like Kohli to get in. Just persevere and practice hard regularly to maintain your place.
Music, drama & theatre
A lot of people are genuinely scared of speaking in front of the crowd and that’s why they really appreciate others who can hold their own on stage. Even recruiters love that confidence, especially when the profile requires interactions with a large number of people (e.g. leadership, sales, or customer service roles).
There is plenty to choose from in music, drama and theatre. Anything from being a singer, showcasing your acting chops to direction, instrument could be your thing. The key is to find something and persevere in that
Skills it demonstrates: confidence, self-presentation, collaboration, attention to detail, creativity.
How to get in: These particular sets of activities require natural talent, skill and hard work in equal measure. Want to form a band, learn how to play an instrument like guitar, drums or keyboard. You could try out for various societies in your college who will teach you the nuances of dramatics, dancing and whatnot if you’re selected.
Being fluent in a foreign language can open you up to jobs in teaching, translating, tourism, and more. It can also be a big boost for your CV.
The dedication and time you invest in learning a foreign language really makes you attractive to a lot of recruited as potential part of operations. Most MNCs are looking for people who not only know their primary skillset well but also have a grasp in a foreign languages for operations in other countries.
Skills it demonstrates: lateral thinking, dedication, willingness to learn, problem solving, patience.
How to get in: If you are really lucky your university could be offering courses in foreign languages (DU does). But if not, you could look for private tutors, free apps, audiobooks and online courses.
Volunteering & fundraising
Most recruiters want earnest citizens who are making a difference at whatever small level they are capable of. Devote your time to teaching underprivileged students at a nearby NGO, organize book donation drives, cleanliness drives and other charitable endeavours. It displays your resourcefulness and willingness to work for things that really matter.
Skills it demonstrates: leadership, ingenuity, commitment, entrepreneurship, proactivity.
How to get in: Most NGOs have a contact option on their homepage through which you directly offer your services. Take time to research about such organizations in your neighbourhood. You could also participate in various societal wings like NSS, Enactus etc in your college.
Your hobbies could pave your way to a career although it might be hard to visualize it right now. Keep developing such industry specific hobbies to get ahead in the race. This is because hobbies that relate to a certain industry (e.g. media, IT, copywriting) often teach you the practical skills and experience you need to be considered for a job. So whether you write articles for a website, are a food blogger, photograph your way through college or something else; you are showcasing how industry-wide you already are and you willingness to explore.
Skills it demonstrates: writing, creativity, ability to take criticism, IT & other technical skills.
Getting in these activities is purely initiative centric. The more you go out there in search of your first break, the more likely you are to get it. Go out there, face some rejections but don’t give up.
We repeat, DON’T GIVE UP!