Marketing Greek Life on Your Resume
When I first began submitting job applications and interviewing for summer internships, I was worried about how I could positively market my leadership experiences in Kappa Delta and separate myself from the stereotypes that accompany an affiliation with Greek life. I knew that I had gained valuable skills from my involvement in the chapter but struggled at first to articulate how being Chapter President made me the perfect candidate for employment.
It took some time for me to become more confident in my experiences in Kappa Delta and use them to my advantage in job searches. I knew that many of the skills I acquired as a member and officer would help me throughout my career, but struggled to express this in a professional way. After breaking this task into three simple steps, it was much easier for me to talk about my experiences in Kappa Delta and sell my strengths to employers. If you are struggling to make your Greek experience sound professional and valuable on paper, keep reading!
Part I: Think about all your duties as a member or officer. Even if you are not an executive officer, you likely have responsibilities in your sorority. Start by thinking about these responsibilities and asking yourself questions such as:
What are the requirements of membership in your chapter? Do you attend weekly meetings, participate in philanthropy events, or serve on any committees?
Have you held any leadership positions? What were your responsibilities as a leader? What skills did you gain from that experience?
What values or skills have you gained from being a member of Greek life? Do you work better in teams now? Are you more confident speaking in front of groups? Can you manage your time better?
You do not have to be an officer in your chapter to include Greek life on your resume. Whether you were Chapter President or an active member, you have undoubtedly gained valuable skills from your Greek involvement in leadership, communication, service, time-management, etc. I personally started by listing all my duties as Chapter President and then back-tracked to when I was VP-operations and an active member at large. Reflecting on my different roles and recording all of my responsibilities gave me a long list that I could tailor to different jobs and employers. For positions that clearly required public speaking, I could talk about leading chapter meetings of 260 women as Chapter President. For other positions that required organizational or technical skills, I could talk about maintaining the database of member information as VP-operations.
In KD, members also have the opportunity to hold several leadership positions that require varying levels of commitment. Any chapter member can apply to be an appointed officer – a position that serves to help executive officers with their jobs. Social media, artwork chair, and health & fitness are a few of the positions that members can run for.
Part II: Turn Part I into a resume bullet. Now that you have listed all your duties as a member of a Greek organization, it’s time to turn these duties into the “one-liners” you will put on your resume.
Tips for Writing Resume Bullets
Use a variety of strong action verbs at the beginning of your bullets. Try not to repeat the same action verbs throughout your resume. Some verbs that I use when describing my Greek experience on my resume are: managed, consulted, maintained, planned and coordinated.
Be as specific as you can. For example, saying “lead weekly chapter meetings” does not sound as impressive as “lead weekly chapter meetings of 260 women and coordinated workshops to support personal and professional development of members.” Try to quantify your experiences by talking about how many people you managed, how much money you raised or how many members you recruited.
I talked about this a little in part one, but include skills that are relevant to the job you are seeking. If you know that the role requires teamwork, event planning or public speaking, pull transferable skills and strengths from your Greek experiences instead of always including the same bullet points.
Part III: Where to Include Greek Life on Your Resume
Now that you have come up with strong bullet points that are applicable to your desired job, you just need to find the right place to add these bullet points. If your resume has a Leadership section and you held a position of some sort, include your experience there to emphasize that you were a leader. Otherwise, you can list your membership responsibilities under an Activities section. Don’t stress too much about where to include Greek life on your resume, as the headings don’t matter as much as the duties you had and skills you gained.
Whether you are applying for an internship or simply updating your resume, you can and should use Greek life to stand out. Employers will be impressed with your involvement if you show them that being a member required time-management, communication, leadership, etc. Furthermore, if you are thinking about running for a position in your Greek organization or even just going through the recruitment process, you can rest assured that being a leader in your sorority is a legitimate experience that will make you ready to enter the work force. I have learned so much as a leader of Kappa Delta, and I encourage you to challenge yourself by taking on a bigger role!
This post originally appeared on Sigma Epsilon’s blog.