Have you ever heard of padding your resumé? It’s a term used when people exaggerate their experience on their resumés.
These are the types of people who get involved in school activities just to fill up the white space in their resumés.
My opinion is this never works to impress employers. As someone who’s recently assisted my current employer with university recruitment, I had the opportunity to look through about 60 resumés of students on my campus to fill one position.
For me, it’s easy to tell which students have really been involved and which students are merely embellishing. The students who were genuinely involved tend to have better experiences and skills listed, and can talk passionately about the work they do in an interview.
Who would you rather hire? The student who worked in a team to co-ordinate an event for over 500 students, or the student who simply attended?
My advice to job seekers is to only put something on your resumé if it is something that really exemplifies your personality and accomplishments. Make sure you put down things that you can talk about with zeal.
For example, stating that you are an “active member” of your local business students’ association is a bit of a stretch when your only involvement included attending a seminar and all you did at that one seminar was sit and listen.
Instead, you should include activities where you actually did something to develop your skills, such as participating in a networking workshop, or even planning one! These are the types of meaningful experiences employers look for.
Also, don’t worry about the size of the club or organization you are involved with. Often times, heavy involvement in a small club is far more valuable than occasionally attending events by a larger organization. Employers look for quality in resumés, not quantity.
The bottom line is you should focus on things you enjoy and if it happens to be something great for your resumé, then so be it. If not, then so what? You had fun and learned a thing or two along the way – that’s all that matters.