Now, let’s analyze an imaginary situation. You just completed a compulsory service-learning class with your classmates, and you are currently searching for your job. Your friends and family keep complimenting you on the changes you are exhibiting and how the experience has reshaped you. You feel it, too, because the experience has developed some employability skills you never thought of. Therefore, let’s discuss the benefits of service-learning on your resume.
Will the experience gained during your time out on the service-learning project add value to your resume? Have you drafted out your resume but still not sure you have the right content? Will it make your resume stand out and give you an upper edge among other applicants? Sometimes, we find out these skills can be hard to communicate to potential employers. The key to upgrading your resume with service learning experiences is to remember critically what every moment taught you. Nevertheless, for clarification, we will be looking at the following points;
- The benefits of service-learning on your resume
- Relevance of these skills for employability
- Importance of these skills on your resume
What are The Benefits of Service-Learning on Your Resume?
According to research, potential job recruiters only spend about seven seconds skimming through a candidate’s resume before making a decision. Now, the goal is to get the employer glued to your resume longer than seven seconds. Below are ways that service-learning skills can make your resume stand out.
Communication and Teamwork
It’s no news that participating in a service-learning class is a stepping stone to learning how to communicate and work with others. Let’s see what that looks like. Let’s say your service-learning project was in India, and you had to work with your mates and locals. You were able to work with a diverse team of personalities which means there were different opinions. However, that didn’t stop the project from happening, as everyone learned to understand each other and work collectively.
On the above note, your interaction with your team and community members and how you worked together is very crucial. I mean, that just proved that the famous phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” is correct. The plan is to have your achievement as a team player on your resume for potential employers to see. Having this achievement on your resume will tell employers that you can work both as a team player and independently.
Another skill you learn while participating in a service-learning class that will make your resume stand out is flexibility. So, it’s Monday, and you are ready to start hitting the goals for the day, but then you have to step in and teach a class. You are, however, not prepared, but you still have to go on with the class. Are you flexible enough to quickly think of something that won’t get the kids bored? Are you flexible enough to take your boss’s position for a day since he/she is not around?
Participating in service-learning projects helps build students’ flexibility when creating modifications or adapting to a new environment. Including that you can be very flexible means that you are open to new ideas, innovations, or changes. This flexibility means that you can work independently or with a team to get the task done effectively. Flexibility is a sought-after skill as it proves that a person can adapt to changes and customer necessities.
Ever heard the saying “curiosity kills the cat”? Well, it’s not always true. Curiosity is a skill you get to learn and develop when you participate in the service-learning class. Let’s say, during your time on a project, in a location you’ve never been to; you become fascinated by the culture. Maybe, you got excited about the environment, and you just decided to dig more and learn more about the location.
That curiosity is a drive that many potential recruiters always look out for when they go through resumes or interviews. You wouldn’t even learn about that if you didn’t participate in the service-learning class. The next time you wonder about the benefits of service-learning on your resume, remember how curious you are now. This skill keeps people motivated while on the job hunt or academic pursuit, and most recruiters find that attractive.
Another skill that service-learning helps develop is leadership skills. You probably found yourself giving everyone you were working with responsibilities or tasks. Or maybe, you learned how to take charge of situations when the boss is not around. This taking charge is a skill that you must learn when participating in service-learning as a student. This skill is vital to step up your resume irrespective of the goals you are trying to achieve. Adding this skill to your resume presents you to a potential employer as being capable of working independently or leading a team.
Reflection is a skill that is a benefit of having service-learning on your resume and will get you through life. While on your project, you take time to reflect on your experiences and ask yourself a series of questions. You try to figure out what lessons you’ve learned and how you are impacting the community. You try to grade your personal growth, goals, achievement, and probably future ambitions. Now, indicating this skill in your resume will get you the interview for the job you applied for immediately. The skills portray you as one who takes time to think things through, which will always benefit the organization.
Relevance of These Skills for Employability
Communication and Teamwork
During your time with your team and community members, you learned how to communicate effectively and collect multiple ideas. You listened to other perspectives and proffered solutions that worked best for the team and not you alone. You have no doubt learned the benefit of effective teamwork, which is very important in any workplace. The relevance of this skill you have learned from service-learning is that you will communicate skillfully among colleagues.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to further your education or get employed; you need to develop this skill. The best way to succeed is to continue to think with the team’s purpose in mind in any organization. No employer would go for anyone who doesn’t get along with their colleagues. They wouldn’t want to bring in someone who might end up rocking the boat.
While you participated in your service-learning project, irrespective of the location, flexibility became a necessity. As an individual on a project, you want to make sure you impact the community, become flexible, and adapt quickly. The relevance of this skill is that you tell the employer that you can adapt to change. In essence, this is an excellent benefit of having service-learning on your resume making it stand out while on a job hunt or academic pursuit.
How do you apply the curiosity skill on a job hunt or seeking education advancement? Well, the fact is being successful means you follow directions but are bold enough to accept them. Now, recruiters look out for curious enough applicants to go through tasks not necessarily on their list. Having curiosity added to your resume gives the recruiter the impression that you are passionate about moving forward. Someone hungry for knowledge and new ideas is someone worth working with.
How does learning a thing or two about leadership during my service-learning classes benefit my resume and make it stand out? Well, the fact is your leadership skills get sharpened, and you are now able to lead effectively. You also train to recognize other people’s talents and work with them to execute a task successfully. You have also learned through working with community members how to communicate and bring together your ideas. These are what potential job recruiters look out for when they review your resume, which is a plus for you. Employers want applicants who can communicate well, motivate other people, listen and be flexible as well.
It is not always about getting the job done; it’s also about progressing within your role or position. Being able to relax and reflect on your performance constructively is a rocket that will make your resume stand out anytime, anywhere. This skill is a vital component for your professional and your personal ability to switch or change within your role. Reflection helps you identify the loopholes, utilized skills, unattended ideas, and many more.
Benefits of Service-Learning Gained Skills on your Resume
Communication and Teamwork
The importance of learning communication skills and including them in your resume cannot be over-emphasized. As you already know, no company will progress without its staff members coming together and working as one. Every company’s mission and values continue to have staff unity to get tasks done when necessary. Therefore, your resume’s communication and teamwork skills will make your application stand out among others. Strong communication among colleagues will create understanding and will eventually build a good relationship within a team. This communication is what participating in such a class teaches you, and this will undoubtedly be a great benefit of having service-learning on your resume.
Having service-learning on your resume makes it stand out because it portrays how open-minded you are to new ideas. The employer always looks out for staff willing to step up and complete tasks even under pressure in any organization. This means that you have to be ready to go outside the box, switch, focus without complaint. Developing your flexibility skills during service learning means, you can prompt changes and implement changes at any time. This skill is vital if you want to upgrade your resume and get called for an interview.
One of the importance of being curious about the right thing is that you don’t get scared to go outside the box. Employers or educationists are all about applicants who want to learn something new and are not afraid to get into action. Employers usually lookout for applicants who are always curious, always anticipating new ideas. With curiosity, ideas don’t just miss you because your mind is always prepared to identify them. Employers are attracted to people who can see possibilities that are not visible to other people.
Are you looking to see how this is one of the benefits of service-learning on your resume? Look at how your time with the community members and teammates has restructured your leadership skills. The importance of adding leadership skills to your resume is to prepare a solid breeding ground before you go for an interview. Employers employ candidates because they believe that you, according to your resume, are capable of the role. This capability could come from the list of experiences you have lined up in your resume, or they see the potential within you. However, the best way to leave such an impression is to include instances where your leadership skills helped save the day. Good leadership skills are essential if you want to succeed regardless of the goals or field you sit in.
The importance of this skill is that it gets you the attention you want, either educationally or professionally. Any employer would love to recruit someone who will continuously ask themselves how they can perform better, reflect on their past achievements and mistakes within their role and make solid action plans to do better.
These are just a few skills that participating in a service-learning class helps develop and sharpen. If you are looking forward to stepping up your resume for a job or education pursuit, you should consider service learning. It helps give you the experience and develops your hidden skills more practically. Since service-learning is a practical aspect of theoretical classes, you are sure to get your resume updated with unique skills and experiences.