I, myself have given lots of interviews in my life to get into a good college or for my summer internships and student jobs or my final job with a finance company. I feel these days, having only subject knowledge is not enough. That's a must. The question is what else?
You have excelled in your studies or career that thousands of people standing at the door have also done. What else have you done? What differentiates you? What defines you? What is that X-factor? What are your passions?
Unfortunately, In India, most of the parents force or make their kids just to focus on studies. Youngsters pass School, High-School, College all in the hope of a bright future on the basis of slogging day and night of. I am not hating on anyone. It makes sense also. We are so many. And jobs are scarce. Good Jobs are scarcer. Education is costly. And the system prefers the one who also plays by the rules. Failure is not a choice. It is looked down upon in our society. So, it makes all the economic sense to study our ass off and get a decent paying job.
We generally forget the importance of a well-rounded CV. With everyone focusing on educational credentials and superiority, our profiles are becoming same. Talking in RATIONAL terms, to get an edge over others, we need to focus more on doing different things. We need to gather experiences not degrees. Our passport should be our CVs. The miles you have travelled should tell about your experiences. The startups which eventually failed or the languages which you are trying to excel, tell more about your personality rather than a single page of paper.
Apart from brighter career prospects, venturing into different activities broaden our intellect and creative horizons. It's about tasting the various flavours which this life has given us. I realised this long back in my life. And I am practising what I am preaching in this blog post.
People have excuses. But excuses are called excuses for a reason. You need to manage your life well an take out the time to do the things which you actually love. This blog post might help you.
A Small Disclaimer:
I did my MBA from a decent institute in India. We were around 350. And all the jobs and committee positions were based on our one paged CVs. I also know a lot of people desperately trying to fill their CVs with generic stuff. Especially in the hobbies section.
The point I am trying to make here is, do not put generic things on your CV. They Suck. Everybody in India plays Cricket and Read Newspaper. Instead be specific. Show your excellence or expertise in that subject.
This was the reason why I thought to write this post. I have written ample things below that you can do to enhance your resume and personality. But before zeroing on anyone, make sure you really like it and want to excel in that field or subject. Don’t be generic AF. No-one likes it.
Going further, most of the skills below can be learnt online. Using Youtube, Podcasts or buying some books. It is easy, I tell ya. You just need some dedication mixed with discipline.
Also, this is the list I made solely keeping in mind the current trends and key skills which are in a high requirement in the industry. I have also put some links to explore them further.
- How about learning a new foreign Language?
- How about trying a new sport (Anything apart from cricket)?
- How about starting an online blog in a niche?
- How about volunteering with an NGO of your choice?
- How about starting a niche Instagram/Facebook page (Here is mine)?
- How about learning how to code & develop apps?
- How about developing websites for a side hustle?
- How about developing Games?
- How about doing online Certification on websites like CoursEra, Edx?
- How about getting paid from small summer jobs?
- How about after college jobs in small firms?
- How about learning video & photo editing software?
- How about appreciating Poetry and Literature?
- How about becoming a local guide for tourists in your city?
- How about freelancing on the sites like E.lance, Freelancer.com?
- How about teaching unprivileged students?
- How about giving tuitions to kids in primary or secondary school?
- How about backpacking all over India?
- How about playing a new musical instrument?
- How about riding for 2,000 kilometers on your motorbike? (How we did it!)
- How about joining the nearby gym and getting into Fitness?
- How about travelling abroad to broaden your perspective?
- How about standing for the School/College student bodies?
- How about learning how to sing or dance or act?
- How about starting your own side-business/Startup?
- How about learning how to bake or cook?
- How about learning pottery, painting, origami or gardening?
- How about working for the street-animals?
- How about enrolling for certifications like CFA, NCFM, Marketing and Operation?
- How about winning Science Olympiads and similar competitions?
- How about reading books and developing your expertise?
- How about photography with a theme?
- How about running, hiking, cycling, driving or even driving?
- How about becoming a Coffee, Vine, Beer etc. connoisseur?
- How about learning Ethical Hacking?
- How about opening a small online Merchandise store?
- How about interning in some totally different country?
- How about volunteering abroad?
- How about doing an internship abroad?
- How about finding a research assistantship in a foreign university?
- How about enrolling for a Student-Exchange Program?
- How about getting involved in Politics (I mean good Politics)?
- How about starting a small new publishing or community radio?
- How about volunteering for Old-Age homes or Orphanages?
- How about writing a Novel and self-publishing it on Amazon?
- How about following my Instagram lifestyle channel?
- How about helping your parents in running their Businesses or Jobs?
- How about learning Yoga and Meditation?
- How about becoming a freelance writer or guest contributor?
- How about enrolling for Personality Development Classes?
- How about running marathons and other competitive sports?
- How about acquiring a taste in Historical, Scientific, Artistic or Economic Domain?
- How about helping local business & organisations with Social Media & Internet?
- How about becoming proficient in Excel, VBA, MATLAB or Big Data Analytics?
- How about opening your own small theme-based Café or eatery?
- How about applying for Government Youth Delegations for different nations?
- How about making your own motorbike or cycle from Scratch?
- How about doing something related to Cricket that is madness in India?
- How about giving Event-Management & Planning a shot?
- How about becoming a part of local Nature or Environment Groups?
- How about learning Carpentry or becoming a DIY Expert?
- How about teaching English to unprivileged kids?
- How about career counselling youngsters for a better future?
- How about self-taught graphic designing?
- How about reviving and developing the hobbies you always wanted to?
- How about becoming a money-management expert?
- How about investing in Stock Markets?
- How about becoming an expert in International Geopolitics & Relations?
- How about spending 3 months in village-side with minimal means?
- How about learning organic farming?
- How about joining a local chapter of Toastmasters and learning public speaking?
- How about studying Robotics & Artificial Intelligence?
- How about becoming a food blogger or tech- reviewer?
- How about becoming a movie expert & a critic?
- How about not doing any of above things and try something totally new?