Your Competitive Advantage
Sherri Dickie, National Recruiting Manager | Vector Marketing Canada
As a recruiter for more than a decade, I can tell you that resumes can look very similar, especially when you are young and newly embarking on your journey into the workplace. There are three common types of jobs that students typically get: retail, construction/landscaping, or food service. And while all three of these industries have the ability to teach you certain skills such as dependability, work ethic, or teamwork, they aren’t memorable. Having this type of experience on a resume doesn’t usually help a candidate stand out from the crowd.
However, your competitive advantage is your involvement in DECA! If I meet a candidate who has been involved in DECA, and, even better, took a leadership role in their chapter or competed at the State or International level, I feel confident that this is a person I want to get to know.
If you’re involved in DECA, I know that you’re someone who puts yourself out there—someone who is willing to move past their comfort zone, and that is a powerful thing. Defending your paper in front of an industry professional or role-playing a case that you just saw for the first time only minutes earlier takes a special kind of person. It takes someone who is willing to be critiqued and pushed through their fears and do it anyhow. There are skills that can be taught to a new employee or a candidate vying for a specialized post-secondary program; however, those who have participated in activities which develop their mental toughness are the individuals that stand out in a crowd.
DECA students are also competitive. Life isn’t just about winning or collecting trophies; however, to succeed in your future career and even your personal life, it helps greatly if you have a fire within you—if you are passionate and have a willingness to do whatever it takes. The end result doesn’t matter so much as working with someone who demonstrates a hunger to make things happen. Those of you that compete in DECA don’t give in easily, and you know that competing with your peers brings out the best in all of you.
Finally, DECA competitors have a willingness to learn. Your education doesn’t stop in the classroom. Even most CEOs and executives read 4-5 books/month. Learning is key to your future growth and success, and a student involved in DECA already understands that at an early age and is participating in an activity that requires learning on their own time.
So, make the most out of your DECA experience! I am fully confident that it will be rewarding for both your current and future self!