Top Extracurricular Activities for College Valued by Employers

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Jobs

Are you a college student looking to make yourself stand out to potential employers? Extracurricular activities are a great way to do just that. From volunteering to internships, there are plenty of activities that employers value highly.

Let’s discuss some of the top extracurricular activities for college students that employers value the most and how they can help you stand out in the job market.

Work Experience from Internships

Nowadays, even entry-level positions require candidates to have some relevant work experience. Getting internships while in college is great way to start building your professional experience. You get to work and learn from experts in field, which will give you an edge when it comes to job applications.

Employers value the knowledge and skills gained through internships. That’s because internships demonstrate that you have the ability to work in a team and apply the concepts you have learned in the classroom in a professional setting. Internships can also help you to develop your communication and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, internships have a positive impact on your entry-level earnings. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), university graduates with at least one paid internship made $15,000 to $20,000 more in their starting salary than those without internship experience.

Volunteering and Community Service

Volunteering is one of the best extracurricular activities for college students. Not only does it look  great on a resume but it also demonstrates that you have the drive and commitment to make a difference in the world. As a bonus, it’s also a fulfilling experience.

In a Deloitte survey, 81% of human resources executives were of the opinion that volunteering should be considered in making hiring decisions. Furthermore, 76% 76% said that volunteering made a candidate more desirable.

In addition, having volunteer experience can make your job search considerably easier. According to a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, applicants with volunteering experience have a 27% better chance of finding employment than those without it.

Examples of volunteer opportunities you can explore while in college abroad include:

  • Mentoring at-risk youth
  • Working in a soup kitchen
  • Helping out at a local animal shelter

Volunteering will also help you gain valuable skills and build your professional network. To get the most out of your volunteer experience, challenge yourself by taking up leadership responsibilities. Make sure to network effectively with your connections.

Joining the Student Government

Student government is a great extracurricular activity that helps you build valuable leadership experience and skills that are in high demand in the job marketplace. In student government, students are responsible for:

  • Organizing events
  • Managing budgets
  • Negotiating with the administration
  • Working with other students to create a positive campus environment

Involvement in student government shows employers that you have the ability to take initiative, manage people, and problem-solve.

Being a student leader can also demonstrate that you have the ability to think on your feet and handle difficult situations. In addition, it’s a great way to network with other students and faculty members – who could be potential references.

Learning Foreign Languages

Learning a foreign language is another example of great extracurricular activities in college abroad. Being bilingual or multilingual shows employers that you are willing to learn and take initiative. It also demonstrates that you are open to different cultures and can communicate with people from different cultures.

It’s a skill that can be used in many different industries, from customer service to translation. For jobs that require frequent international travel, proficiency in other languages is likely to be a key job requirement.

The best foreign languages to learn in college abroad include:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Mandarin

Learning a foreign language can help you expand your network, open up new job opportunities.

Taking Parts in Sports

Sports are an excellent way to demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and dedication to potential employers. Participating in a team sport can show that you are able to collaborate with others and work together to achieve a common goal. It can also demonstrate your commitment to a goal and your willingness to put in the effort to succeed.

Participating in sports can also help you stay physically fit, which can improve your overall health and productivity.

Examples of sports that are often valued by employers include:

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Martial arts

No matter what sport you choose, employers will be impressed by your dedication and commitment to the activity.

Performing Arts

Performing arts activities provide an excellent opportunity for college students to demonstrate their creativity and develop their communication and collaboration skills.

Whether you are performing in a play, singing in a choir, or playing an instrument in a band, employers value the discipline, teamwork, and dedication needed to succeed in the performing arts.

Not only do performing arts require dedication and hard work to master, but they also provide an opportunity to showcase public speaking and presentation skills. Additionally, performing arts can demonstrate to employers that you are comfortable and confident in front of an audience.

Working for the School Newspaper

Writing for a school newspaper is an excellent extracurricular activity for college students. Not only does it give you the opportunity to hone your writing skills, but it also shows employers that you are capable of researching and composing thoughtful pieces.

Writing for the school newspaper allows you to stay informed on current events, while also developing your ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences. Additionally, employers will value the experience you gain in working with a team and managing deadlines. All of these skills are valuable in the workplace and can help you stand out in the job market.

Part-Time Jobs

Part-time jobs are an awesome way to gain valuable experience that employers look for when hiring. Not only does a part-time job provide a source of income, but it also helps you learn important skills such as communication, problem solving, and time management.

Working part-time while in college will also help you to start building your professional network, which can be invaluable when applying for jobs after graduation.

What if you can only find jobs in a field that isn’t related to your degree? Don’t worry about it. Any job will teach you key transferable skills that all employers look for.

Whether you work in retail, hospitality, or another field, you can gain the experience and skills.

Political Activism

Political activism is a great way to show employers that you are engaged in the world around you. Participating in activities such as registering people to vote, canvassing for a political candidate, or joining a protest demonstrates that you are passionate about making a difference.

Additionally, most employers will appreciate the fact that you are willing to take a stand on important issues.

Overall, extracurricular activities can be a great way to gain valuable skills and experiences. From leadership roles to creative projects, there are a variety of activities to choose from.

It’s important to choose activities that align with your interests and passions, and that you can commit to for the long-term. With the right extracurricular activities, you can set yourself up for success both in college and in your future career.


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