Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Will Greek Life Help or Hinder Your Job Search?

Greek life is commonly disputed as an experience for students to put on their resumes. Some organizations boast their large alumni networks and the countless resume-boosting activities such as community service, leadership, and communication. On the other hand, the Greek life stereotype still exists and some employers might have a predisposition towards fraternity or sorority members. Including your experience in Greek life on your resume is up to your own discretion, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons.

  1. There are many great skills fraternity and sorority members develop. If you hold an executive board position, you most likely learned a plethora of leadership, communication, and professional skills that will help you in your future careers.
  2. It is a great conversation starter if your interviewer participated in Greek life or if the company has had a history of success with fraternity or sorority alumni. This provides a great opportunity to relate your experience as part of a Greek organization to your eligibility as a candidate for a job or internship.

  1. Stereotypes undoubtedly exist and employers may associate Greek life with movies like Animal House, House Bunny, and Neighbors as opposed to the close-knit, service-oriented organization you were a part of. Greek life is different everywhere but there can always be a negative connotation for some people.
  2. Putting a fraternity or sorority on your resume with no explanation of your role and successes is less likely to help your job search. If you cannot list any skills underneath your involvement that apply to your professional endeavors, it may be a better idea to leave it out.

Overall, Greek life can help your resume and increase your chance of standing out in a pool of candidates if you emphasize professional skills such as leadership, philanthropy, and communication. Being part of a fraternity or sorority has also probably given you experience with public speaking and presenting yourself, so that in itself may be enough to make you stand out to a potential employer. By being professional and making a good first impression, it will be easier for employers to look past any pre-conceived notions and focus on the positive experiences that have helped you develop professionally through your participation in a Greek organization.

Sharlys Leszczuk, Marketing Assistant

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