Listing Greek experience on your resume can show leadership skills and important accomplishments to a potential employer.
For those who choose to participate, Greek life offers students opportunities for campus and community involvement, leadership, relationship building and more. More than 9 million students today participate in fraternities and sororities, creating a huge network of alumni around the world. As such, current students should consider the many ways in which their Greek involvement can be maximized in preparation for careers and life after college.
Participate in events.
Active participation in events associated with your fraternity or sorority will allow you to build relationships with faculty, staff, administrators and other student organizations. Help out your own chapter by taking on an active role in programs and events and support other organizations by collaborating and participating in their events as well. Your ready participation will demonstrate your enthusiasm and dedication, and will give you the chance to develop highly marketable leadership skills. The more active you are, the larger and more effective your network will become.
Once affiliated, you gain an instant connection with a large group of people who share your experience. Homecoming weekend and other special events are an ideal time to build relationships with alumni of your chapter, connecting with men and women who believe strongly in your organization and who are happy to help its current members. Introduce yourself to alumni at these events, ask about their careers, share your own story and exchange contact information. After events, follow up with the alumni that you meet. These relationships are rich with opportunity and should be carefully maintained.
In addition to events on campus, most Greek organizations have newsletters, websites, social media accounts and other ways to connect with alumni virtually. Use resources such as your chapter’s alumni database or LinkedIn to seek alumni in your field and reach out. Ask these new connections for virtual or in-person informational interviews to learn more about their career paths. Most alumni are happy to connect with current students, especially if you share an affiliation. Alumni can be an incredible resource to help with resumes, job opportunities, networking and settling into a new city after graduation.
Capitalize on leadership opportunities.
The recent 2013 job outlook report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers ranked leadership experience as the highest-influencing attribute among new college graduate candidates. Further, communication and an ability to work within a team are the two most sought skills.
Greek organizations have many opportunities for students to gain leadership experience and to develop and hone skills in communication, teamwork and more. Titled positions (president, treasurer, recruitment chair, etc.) come with responsibilities and the chance to participate in skill-developing trainings, workshops and other events.
Greek students do not need to hold an elected leadership position to actively contribute to their organizations. Students who are interested in a career in marketing can serve on a public relations committee or volunteer to create advertisements for upcoming events, for example. Consider your interests and seek related opportunities to contribute and volunteer as part of your fraternity or sorority. Ask to shadow the student with the official leadership position, or find ways to contribute your skills in other ways.
Many affiliated students are uncertain about whether they should include Greek life on their resumes. The answer is yes!
Even without a formal leadership position in your organization, Greek involvement can demonstrate campus integration, commitment and experience working with a group. Track each of your contributions to your organization and when it comes time to apply for jobs or graduate schools, you can refresh yourself with the various accomplishments you helped achieve throughout your time in college. Refer to these experiences in writing materials and interviews to provide specific examples of your skills and experiences.
In many instances, Greek involvement can be listed similarly to a job or internship on a resume. Be sure to include leadership positions and significant accomplishments and awards (e.g. co-chaired annual campus-wide fundraising event with over 200 participants, raising more than $5,000 for local charity) to highlight your contributions to the campus and community and any new skills that may accompany your responsibilities and achievements.
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