Give your resume a boost with a co-curricular record

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As university degrees and college diplomas become more common, it is often a student or recent grad’s on- and off-campus volunteer or work experience that can make the difference when employers have to choose between candidates.

In an effort to further emphasize the importance of these experiences, many colleges and universities have in recent years started offering something called a co-curricular record.

The co-curricular record (sometimes called a record of student development) is an official record of student participation and achievement outside the classroom. It is designed to increase job search success by recording students’ extracurricular involvement in the same way grades are recorded to help strike a balance between academic and extracurricular activities.

The co-curricular transcript allows employers and grad schools to see a validated record of what the student has done on campus,” said Lindsay Gore, the co-curricular transcript coordinator at the University of Windsor.

Leanne Holland Brown, the Manager at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Student Leadership Centre, said it’s often extracurricular involvement  that distinguishes students in the same academic program. “The co-curricular record is also a brilliant tool for beginning a conversation with potential employers about meaningful involvement and its impact on a student’s academic and career choices.”

Alyssa Higginson, a student who has taken advantage of the co-curricular record offered by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said she believes the co-curricular record is valuable because “it has provided me with a full list of all of the different clubs, events and activities that I have been involved in. It also states the learning outcomes of the activity and the skills that were learned during that activity.”

Learning outcomes are the transferable skills that a student should have learned while participating in each activity. (Source: Carleton University's co-curricular record on-campus activity directory)

“I will be able to look at this document years from now and recall everything that I was a part of during my four years at university. The co-curricular record could assist in making a strong, competitive resumé as well,” Higginson said.

The following universities and colleges currently offer a co-curricular record:

These schools are developing a co-curricular record: Concordia University, Mount Allison University, Dalhousie University, Memorial University, Grant MacEwan University

Photo credit: Jan 22nd Community Eats by theeeeta on Flickr
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About the author

Nicole Wray is a Toronto, Canada-based online editor and freelance writer. She is a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.