The stigma of a fraternity understandably leaves students or post-graduates with a debate: ‘Do I bring it up or not?”
When portrayed by movies or TV shows, fraternities are seen as not-so-nice with actors playing to unprofessional stereotypes like wild partying or heavy drinking.
However, in reality, being a part of a fraternity means you gain valuable skills like teamwork and leadership and that you can adapt to a group setting.
You can also achieve great accomplishments and bring awareness to important issues, solidifying your good effort.
With this in mind, let’s see if you should include it in your resume and where it should go!
Should a fraternity be included in a resume?
It is better to include professional or academic fraternities, rather than social ones, but regardless, a fraternity should be included in a resume if you have had notable roles such as President. Apart from leadership roles, add it if you have philanthropic achievements or transferrable skills that help support your membership. Do your research! If you notice that the hiring manager is affiliated with your particular chapter, definitely add it. It will help you network, break the ice during the interview and even increase your chances of getting hired.
Where to put a fraternity in a resume?
There are three ways of adding a fraternity in a resume. The first one is in the ‘Work Experience’ section. A fraternity is an organization and many parts of being a member translate into corporate culture. The second way is in the ‘Extracurricular Activities/Volunteering’ section. Make sure to include any awards won and important achievements. The third way is in the ‘Affiliations’ section. Add it here if you did not hold any significant positions or receive awards but would still like the recruiter to know you were a member.
Now let’s move on to the most important part: the 3 best ways to include a fraternity in a resume.
How to include a fraternity in a resume – Top 3 ways
1. List important achievements from your time at a fraternity
Be sure to include any accomplishments from your time at a fraternity.
If you have philanthropic experiences such as volunteering at a charity event or hosting a fundraiser, make sure to add that involvement with the amount raised, especially if the subject of the event is in line with your target company’s values.
Most organizations have a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) page on their website where they mention their selected charity or other ways that they give back to the community and why that resonates with their corporate values.
If your fundraising experiences contributed to something similar, they will see you as a good fit for their company as values play an important part in the recruitment process.
Another achievement you can put is event coordination. If you have organized social events for networking or sports events as fundraisers, it is great to add it to your resume.
Event organization requires teamwork, time management and preparation- qualities that employers look for in a candidate.
An additional accomplishment could be situating and mentoring new members.
If within your fraternity, you were tasked with welcoming and showing new members the ropes, list it. This shows good leadership ability.
All these achievements reflect experiences similar to professional work experiences and will be appreciated by a hiring official.
Pi Kappa Alpha
University of Virginia | 2015 – 2018
- Organized fundraiser that raised $23,000 towards cancer research.
- Assisted fraternity in receiving Philanthropy of the Year campus award (2018).
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
University of Alabama | 2017 – 2020
Secretary (2017 – 2018)
- Provided mentorship to 25 new members.
- Planned all networking events with collaborating organizations.
2. Mention transferrable skills gained and use examples to demonstrate results
The most important thing that recruiters are looking for when reading extracurricular activities or volunteering experience on your resume is what transferrable skills you gained that are relevant to the job position and organization.
Most fraternities help build teamwork, leadership and interpersonal communication skillsets, along with other useful skills like training and recruitment.
Mention these by using examples.
Just listing skills is not enough on a resume.
Recruiters want to see how you acquired them and what resulted from these skills. Otherwise, it is simply a list and is not impressive.
Cornell University | 2019 – Present
- Directed a fundraiser that raised $35,000, the highest amount in its history.
Beta Theta Pi
Miami University | 2019 – Present
- Conducted study tables that improved members’ GPA.
- Worked with faculty to provide members with outlets to different tutors.
3. Use proper titles and terms to list fraternity on your resume
A resume should always be professional, and you should always keep in mind that you do not know who will be going through it.
Not everyone knows fraternity lingo and it is not a good reflection on the candidate if they are using informal titles or terms.
If you were President but your fraternity called it Consul, you should list it as President.
Instead of using common fraternity terms such as ‘brotherhood’, use teamwork.
Not only will it look more professional, but it will also help you surpass the Applicant Tracking System by catering your resume to specific words it may be looking for.
Examples: How to put fraternity president on resume
Tau Kappa Epsilon
Illinois Wesleyan University, 2018 – Present
President, 2020 – Present
- Advised Tau Kappa Epsilon Vice President about teamwork development events.
- Led the executive board members of the chapter on all operations.
Always tailor your resume to your audience which are the hiring officials of your desired company.
It can never backfire to include a fraternity on your resume and even looks good that you were involved in your university life.
You should just research what will impress the recruiter more and tailor the resume accordingly.
Make sure to list the fraternity as you would any other professional organization and include the activities that resulted in notable accomplishments for the fraternity and collaborating organizations.
How to put a business fraternity on a resume
Include the most relevant and transferable skills you gained from being in a business fraternity. These skills may be included in the skills, volunteer, or extra-curricular sections on a resume. If an employer has connections to a specific business fraternity, this information may be highlighted in the summary.
The first thing you should do when including business fraternity experience on a resume is to break down what experiences and skills you nurtured by participating in one.
Potential employers in the business field may be particularly interested in these experiences, so be sure to include anything related to finances, budgets, planning, leadership, or team activities.
Running finances for the fraternity, drawing up project and budget proposals for projects and volunteer projects, or maintaining a good GPA throughout can be relevant things to include on a business student’s resume.
If you held a leadership position in a business fraternity, this can be included in the leadership skills section of a resume.
How to put Greek life on a resume
Greek life can be included in the experience section, the extra-curricular section, or the volunteer section. Greek life achievements, awards, or accomplishments should be highlighted on the resume, but the term ‘Greek life’ should not be used.
Any group volunteer efforts and accomplishments may be listed in the volunteering or experience sections. Including volunteering on a resume is a great way to stand out as someone new to the job market!
Holding a position such as president or vice-president may be listed as an extra-curricular.
Fraternity experiences, Greek life experiences, and sorority experiences on a resume should all be formatted the same way.
Greek life includes fraternities (traditionally male-only) and sororities (traditionally female-only) on college campuses.
Greek life is a general term used for the participation in either of these societies, and is very commonly used by university students.
Although Greek life experiences can be very beneficial to a growing student, this term carries the connotations of partying and drinking as well.
Rather than listing the term “Greek life” in your resume, highlight the valuable skills or experiences you learned while participating in Greek life instead.
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