Selling your confidence is the key to the job search

What sets us apart besides marks?

With all the stressful desperation for students to excel academically, it’s easy for them to question the relevance of their grades in terms of acquiring a career.

The equation has been embedded in our understanding through every grade, essay and final examination: good marks equal good jobs, and good jobs equal good money.

It’s the simplest system we know — the North American doorway to a future of prosperous success and happiness.But how much of this is true?

Unfortunately, there are more factors that complicate the simplicity of this widely recognized equation. When it comes down to interviews and networking, your grades will only take you so far.

Experience is perhaps the most important selling point that will separate the best student from the best job candidate.

Carrying communication skills, demonstrating leadership ability, exemplifying ambition with strong work ethic and collaboration capability are all traits employers look for when hiring.

Your transcript may be considered, but your résumé will be meticulously analyzed for position compatibility.

As important as it may be for us to perform to our greatest potential academically, a dedication to lecture content will not give you the hands-on experience to set you apart from a tall pile of other job applicants. But a repertoire of extra-curricular involvement, work experience, social engagement and community volunteering certainly will.

While some students sit down with eyes glued to textbooks, they will never stand out. Beyond a firm handshake, how you present yourself all comes down to what you have to present.

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