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Soft Skills: Non-Major Jobs, Club Activities, and Volunteering Student Success

Soft Skills Learned from Non-Major Jobs, Club Activities, and Volunteering

Learn how your extracurricular activities can assist you in your job/internship search and interview process.

I’m part of a school club.

What this shows: Alongside my studies, I also dedicate time to being a member of [Insert your school club]. I [insert what you do in the club], which demonstrates my commitment and dependability.

I coach others in playing sports (e.g. football, coach, captain).

What this shows: The fact that I coach other people in sports shows I’m trustworthy and personable. Helping others improve under my guidance is not only personally satisfying, but also requires a lot of commitment and planning.

I play team sports (e.g. football, volleyball, basketball, hockey).

What this shows: I regularly play [insert sport you play], which has given me invaluable experience of working as part of a team. I’ve learned how to get along with a wide range of people and how to listen to and understand instructions. My communication skills have also vastly improved, as it’s essential to be in constant contact with team members during matches and games.

I exercise alone (e.g. swimming, running).

What this shows: I regularly [insert exercise], which requires vast amounts of dedication and commitment. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to exercise when it’s just you, but I’ve learned it’s worth making the effort to reach your goals.

I’ve babysat.

What this shows: I regularly babysit children for parents in my community, which shows I’m trustworthy, responsible, and reliable. Looking after children gives you great problem-solving skills; I have to use my initiative to ensure they are safe, happy, and entertained, as well as offer reassurance and comfort when they are distressed.

I’ve worked as a cleaner (e.g. washing dishes, maid).

What this shows: I’ve worked as a [insert] for [insert how long] and I’m a committed and trusted employee. Cleaning requires a lot of planning skills, especially if you’ve got a lot of space to cover in a short period of time. I’ve learned how to organize myself to maximize my efficiency.

I’ve worked in a retail store.

What this shows: I’ve been working at [insert store] for [insert how long], which has given me excellent people skills and experience working in a team environment. Working with the public also requires me to use my problem solving skills on a regular basis.

I’ve worked as a waiter/waitress.

What this shows: I’ve been working at [insert restaurant] for [insert how long], which has given me excellent people skills and experience working in a team environment. Working with the public also requires me to use my initiative, such as dealing appropriately with a difficult customer, or a problem with the kitchen. I have to think on my feet to keep everyone happy. I’m confident I can transfer and build on these skills in a new working environment.

I took a gap year to go traveling.

What this shows: I took a year away from studying to travel around [insert where you traveled]. I found traveling was a positive experience that contributed hugely to my personal growth, maturity and confidence. It also equipped me with many transferable skills, such as planning and budgeting, as well as enhancing my communication skills.

I’m in a band/orchestra/choir.

What this shows: I’ve acquired strong teamwork skills by playing [insert what you do] in [insert where you play]. Playing music in a tight-knit group like this has really built my interpersonal skills too; I’ve learned to get on with and communicate with a wide range of people. Keeping up with practice and rehearsals also demonstrates my dedication and commitment.

I know how to code.

What this shows: I am highly adept at coding, which is quickly becoming an essential skill in today’s modern world. From tweaking websites to mending online bugs, my coding skills would be very useful to any business.

I use social media networks (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, etc.).

What this shows: I’m a digital native and therefore very comfortable using social networking sites such as [insert sites you use]. I adapt to emerging platforms very quickly and know how to use them appropriately to build and maintain my own personal brand. I feel these skills would translate well into the workplace, especially in an increasingly digital world.