Imagine you are in an interview with an organization you really want to work for. The following questions is asked: “Can you describe how you have made a difference on campus.” How would you respond? Or what about this question: “Can you describe your most significant leadership experience during your time in college?” Again how would you respond?
Employers want to hire graduates who have demonstrated some leadership abilities. If you have nothing to say to questions like those above, your chances of being selected for a job are minimal.
What are employers looking for when they ask about your leadership? Here are some things that qualify as demonstrations of leadership abilities:
- You were the President of a significant student organization and can speak to a number of activities undertaken by the organization.
- You can point to some initiative you undertook and led that made a difference.
- You made a significant contribution as a volunteer.
In all of these, employers are looking for genuine commitment to the activity rather than just doing something to fill out a resume. Employers are very astute at separating those who made a real commitment from those who are just pretending in order to impress others.
Leadership opportunities are unlimited but you need to start your leadership development program in the second semester of your freshman year. In the topics that follow, you will learn how to develop your leadership program. Think of your leadership program is one of the returns you will get from your college investment.