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Guest blog post: 4 extra-curricular activities that employers value

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Guest blog post by Seb Atkinson

From Selesti, Creative Digital Agency http://www.selesti.com/

“Whether you’re approaching the end of your degree or starting a new academic year in September, adding extra-curricular activities to your CV is a great way to stand out when applying for jobs, and give you some great new experiences to talk about in your interview. Below are four examples of some skills that really add value to your CV and can really make a difference to your job applications!

Web skills

Did you know there’s a shortage of web skills in the UK? As more and more industries are embracing web-based software for their operations, as well as an increasing focus on digital marketing rather than traditional marketing and sales channels, it’s becoming more and more important for graduates to be up to speed on how to use these tools.

A great way to start is to learn the basics of coding with a free online course such as Codecademy. This teaches you the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which are used to create and update websites, and is essential for anyone who’s looking to work in marketing, PR and journalism, which are roles that can involve adding and updating online content.

First aid volunteering

While there’s a wide range of volunteering activities you can take part in to enhance your CV, first aid volunteering is one that can give you a number of additional benefits. Not only are there countless opportunities to volunteer as a first aider across the UK, for example at events, for charities, or to help your local community, it’s also a great life skill to have, with training that teaches you to effectively deal with emergencies. On top of this, you can help your future employer by helping them to fulfil their first aid obligation!

If you’ve already completed a first aid course, check your certificate is in date – if it isn’t you won’t be allowed to volunteer as a first aider, due to a recent rule change. If you’re all up to date, you’re ready to start volunteering!

Performing arts and public speaking

Confidence is important for a lot of roles, especially those involving public speaking, leading meetings or delivering presentations. Understandably, these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the truth is they are vital skills that you’ll need to learn sooner or later.

A great way to start building your confidence is to take part in performing arts, such as drama, or music. It takes a lot of guts to get in front of a crowd of people and perform, whether it’s a role in a theatre production or playing in a band, and can really make a difference to even the shyest of people. Get started by joining the Drama Society, or if music is your thing, there are countless forums and Facebook groups dedicated to matchmaking musicians.

Another way to build confidence is by taking part in the Debating Society, and is a great move for anyone looking to enter a role where good people skills are essential, such as sales, managing clients, people and projects.

Sports

Many roles involve team skills, and what better way to develop these than by joining a sports team.  Not only will this give you a chance to talk about how you’ve worked as a team in your interview, taking part in sports is a great way to get some exercise, which acts as a great antidepressant for you to let off some steam between university projects.

There’s also the opportunity to represent your university in the BUCS league, pitting the UK’s universities against one another. Find out more about which teams at City University you can join here.”

Employer Engagement Team

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