Discovering your career

3 New Year’s Resolutions That Can Make You a Better Candidate

These resolutions can have a big impact on your resume and help you in the job hunt.

The beginning of a new year is a magical feeling. Even if it’s just another day on the calendar, there’s something invigorating about a clean slate; the new year is a logical time to finally implement any little life changes you’ve been toying with. If you’re considering adopting a New Year’s resolution or two for 2021, there are many habits that will not only improve your life—they’ll also make you a more desirable candidate for jobs and internships! Ahead, check out a few common New Year’s resolutions that can have a big impact on your resume as a college student or recent grad

Learn a new language 

Becoming fluent in another language is an excellent way to connect with people who are different than you, becoming more of a global citizen and broadening your perspective. It can also serve you well in the professional world! On top of all the personal benefits of expanding your linguistic horizons, you’ll be equipped to liaise with a wider variety of business partners, patients, clients, students, or audiences, depending on which field you pursue in your career. A conversational proficiency in more than one language is an excellent addition to your resume, particularly if you’re able to show a state seal of biliteracy (like this Handshake success story) or another professional language certification.

Volunteer more

The start of the year might have you reflecting on ways to better serve your community. Resolving to volunteer more in 2021 is not only beneficial to the world around you, but also to your job prospects! Including volunteer work on your resume and Handshake profile showcases a real-world application of various skills while also demonstrating your civic-mindedness to prospective employers. Time spent in service of at-risk communities, protecting the planet, or impacting whatever cause is nearest to your heart is definitely time well-spent—for both your community and your career. 

Pick up a new hobby

If finding new, stimulating ways to occupy your free time is a focus for 2021, there are many new hobbies that can actually help you build skills worthy of your resume! For example, if you decide to teach yourself to code, update your skill level in the new programming language to your Handshake profile. If you decide to get into jewelry design or throwing pottery, you might decide to start selling your work; you’ll gain valuable experience by marketing your wares on social media and navigating customer relationships on marketplaces like Etsy. Perhaps you’re interested in gardening? Use it as a chance to improve your Microsoft Excel proficiency with a sheet dedicated to your feeding and watering schedule, climate zones, and growth progress tracking. (Some dedicated gardeners even create Gantt charts for their planters!) Whichever hobby you choose, try to find ways that it could help you hone skills relevant to your future career. 

Not every New Year’s resolution has to revolve around your career path. However, it’s a definite benefit if one of your positive lifestyle changes also helps your chances in the job hunt! However you decide to kick off 2021, we wish you a wonderful year.