Student CV tips: your hobby could be a ticket to your dream job
Be it a YouTube blog, running your own event or working in part-time capacity, The Guardian run through why it is so important to include your hobbies in your CV!
According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, over two million students are currently studying for a degree. Two million. This should mean one thing to students: competition.
With such a high volume of students it’s no longer just enough to gain your degree and have a divine right to a job. So, what else can you do to stand out?
Extracurricular activities used to be a bullet point tucked away at the bottom of your CV. A quick mention of a Duke of Edinburgh award or that afternoon spent volunteering and it’s a gold star for you. But with the job market being ever competitive, the things you do outside of your degree could become the driving argument behind why you will be the best person for a job.
Madeleine Young studied classics at the University of Cambridge, but it was the success of her blog, Dinner With Maddie, and her Youtube channel that sparked interest in her interview for her dream job at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, an advertising agency.
She says: “In my interview for my current role as a strategic planner, I was asked about blogging and Youtube a fair amount because it’s closely related to the advertising industry.
“Showing that you are a proactive person is important. A guy who got a job at my agency at the same time as me runs his own club nights, which you might think wouldn’t be hugely appealing to employers. But the fact that he produces all his own promotional materials and books all the acts shows a level of organisation and discipline that a lot of people don’t have.
“People who are self-starters appeal to employers. For me, having a blog showed I could motivate myself.”
Zachary Whyte, a law student at Nottingham Trent University, shares this view. He says his work experience and demonstration of interest in the field helped secure his placement role.
“I did two weeks of work experience with the legal services department at the police,” says Whyte. “They dealt with both civil and criminal law so it was a good insight into how certain pieces of legislation operated in practice. During university I also started taking part in legal arguments in a mock court room.
“In my interview for my placement I had a lot to talk about. I think the extracurricular activities demonstrated I was willing to go above and beyond what was expected of me in my degree.”
Whyte says his long-term commitment to law outside his studies has recently helped him to land a new legal role – at Nottingham City Council as an information officer.
According to a spokesperson for the centre for employability at the University of Northampton, extracurricular activities are vital within today’s employability climate.
“Work experience also builds up contacts in the field and demonstrates to an employer a student is motivated, proactive and has gone above and beyond what is expected of them – all of which will reflect positively when applying for work,” they said.
Whether you’ve just started College, a university level course, or coming to the end of your studies, it’s not too late to get some extracurricular CV points. If you want to demonstrate a genuine interest in the field, you have to become an active part of it. The best way to crack an industry is from the inside out.
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