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Asked by Madeline on August 25, 2017

How much do employers look at extra curricular activity in college? Are there some organizations to avoid?

Answered by Phil, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on August 29, 2017

Good morning! I don't think that there are any types of organizations to "avoid" - when I review resumes and profiles, I look less at the individual organizations and activities and focus more on what students have gotten out of those activities. I suggest to students that rather than become superficially involved in lots of different activities, spend some time gathering some leadership experience in one or two organizations. I value those types of experiences much more, especially when candidates can speak to how those experiences helped them to grow or gain knowledge that comes from outside of the classroom. 

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Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on August 29, 2017

Hi,
Besides internships and grades, extra curricular activities are a great way to help you stand out.
As far as extra curricular activities to avoid, don't worry about that, find the organization that interests you. If you were not to get hired for being in that organization, would you want to work for them?   
It is not as important for the what it is, but rather what did you do. Pick an organization that interests you, supports a cause important to you, or supports a community. Simply being a member is good, but being an active participant and/or in a leadership role is most beneficial for you as well as the organization. Employers look for someone who will roll us their sleeves and make a difference whether it is in their field of study or giving back to society. So serve on that committee and run for that office!
Best of Luck!
Dean

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Answered by Tony, Hiring Expert at Hill-Rom, on August 30, 2017

Hello and great question! Employers value anything you do in college that can show you took initiative and became an active member of an organization or that activity. If you are involved in these types of extracurricular activities on top of a full school schedule this shows a ton of responsibility, drive, and ambition. I wouldn’t worry about organizations to avoid and seek out groups that interest you and that you can make the most impact in. Being involved in these type of activities and organizations while in college will go a long way in terms of gaining valuable life experience as well as making you more marketable upon graduation. Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Answered by James, Hiring Expert at Broadridge, on August 31, 2017

Employers value not only relevant course work and work experience, but extra curricular actives as well. Extra curricular activities can help fill the blank spaces on your resume, if you have a limited amount of work experience. You could include any roles in clubs, organizations or sports on campus. Volunteer work is another huge attribute to your resume. Think about roles that you have/had a leadership role in and demonstrate the key parts you partook in the role.

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