Joining a college fraternity or university sorority is a significant aspect of many college careers. Especially if you participated in volunteer work or held an office within your group, it can also be a treasure trove of skills you can leverage on your resume.
You may wonder, “How should I include my experience in my fraternity or sorority within my resume? Where does it go? Are there any times when I shouldn’t include it?” We’ll explore these questions below.
When To Include A Sorority Or Fraternity
When you’re a new college graduate, you may feel like your resume looks a little slim. Perhaps you have minimal actual work experience or none at all.
Sometimes, adding a fraternity or a sorority is an excellent way to flesh out your resume while highlighting a few relevant skills. These skills include teamwork, leadership, communication, organization, problem-solving, and time management.
Greek life affiliations can also be a means of networking at a time when your professional network is still tiny. Your hiring manager or someone in the HR department could be an alumnus of your fraternity or sorority, and this could give you a slight leg up above the competition.
Remember that academic and professional frats and sororities will always look better on your resume than social sororities or fraternities.
When Not To Include Greek Life On Your Resume
You should de-emphasize your sorority or fraternity information as your career progresses, even removing it entirely. Why?
As discussed above, when you’re a fresh college graduate and short on experience, community involvement in Greek life can bolster your perceived skillset. But later in your career, it will become irrelevant as you bank career-specific experiences and expand your network. Continuing to include it could be viewed by some as immature, much like including an irrelevant hobby.
At times, there is also negative publicity surrounding sororities and fraternities, as when injuries resulting from illegal hazing activities make the news. Including the name of a sorority or fraternity currently involved in a scandal could call to the hiring manager’s mind negative rather than positive traits.
Avoid listing any Greek groups that might represent a conflict of interest or potential discrimination by the employer. For example, some fraternities or sororities are closely associated with specific religious or ethnic groups.
Another reason to omit Greek life from your resume is if it is full of more relevant experiences. Allow the focus to remain on these highly relevant experiences. Refrain from crowding your resume so that it becomes easier to read.
How to Include Greek Life on Your Resume
You can place your sorority or fraternity involvement in a dedicated resume section titled “Extracurricular Activities,” “Community Involvement,” or something similar. Optionally, you can place it in your work experience section, mainly if you played a significant, time-consuming, and vital role within the group. Even though it is not a paid position, event planning within or managing the sorority or the fraternity can feel like a full-time job!
Start by listing the name of your sorority and your title therein, such as “Member,” “President,” “Treasurer,” “Recruitment Chair,” etc. Below this, list the university name, location, and the years you were an active member. Then include a brief bullet point list describing the skills you learned and showing them in action via tasks or accomplishments.
Your Greek life entry should look something like this:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Alumna
Howard University | Washington, D.C. | 2022-2026
- Sharpened motivational and public speaking skills via recruiting events
- Led a group of 6 in on-campus planning events for up to 500 students
- Mentored incoming freshmen
Think about the skills for the job you are applying for, and be as specific as possible. Don’t put “communication skills” as one of the bullet points. Instead, show how you used your communication skills to recruit 15 new members, raise money via a telephone support drive, or resolve a conflict. Include hard, quantifiable facts wherever possible.
Optionally, you may mention Greek life experiences in the resume objective or summary. Just as you would highlight impressive skills and accomplishments from a previous job, do so with your fraternity or sorority experience.
Greek life involvement can be a great way to include communication, teamwork, leadership, and other skills on your resume when you are a recent college graduate. You can create a dedicated section and describe your experience much as you would a work experience. Remember that there are times when fraternities and sororities should not be excluded from a resume, and emphasis on this phase of your life should lessen as you gain more career experience.