So many leaders from across the country from politicians to journalists have Greek life in common. Sometimes Greek life has a negative connotation so some people don't like to add it to their résumé. First off, please add your sorority and fraternity experience to your résumé. Second, I am going to show you how to create a sorority experience that looks good on a résumé.
1. set some career goals
The first thing you need to do if you want to create a sorority experience that you can use on your résumé is to set some career goals. I know, asking you to have your career figured out during your freshman year of college is a big undertaking, but so is getting involved with a sorority time commitment wise. There are so many different routes you can go in when it comes to sorority involvement, so the first thing you need to know is what steps make sense for you.
Set yourself up some career goals. If you know somewhat the direction you want to go it will make it easier for you to pick a place you want to be involved. This way you can make sure that you cut out other experiences that may be helpful to the sorority, but not so much to your career goals. It is important to do a mixture of both, but if your goal is to transfer sorority experience to résumé and career experience you may want to be more specific with your career goals and sorority involvement.
2. be open to the experience
Sorority life is filled with a lot of amazing opportunities to step up and be a leader. If you want to create a sorority experience that looks good on a résumé, don't be afraid to take a role of it is given to you. I was never sure about holding a leadership position within my sorority, but then one day I was given a call from a sister asking me to consider a position as the sorority's correspondence chair. While at the time I wasn't sure I would be able to do well in the role, I took it because my sisters had faith in me. While this was a small role within the sorority, it eventually lead to some amazing experiences. That was the start of my involvement in my sorority and what eventually lead be to become the housing chair for my sorority and then lead me to win an award at our annual Tri Sigma Arkansas State Day (an award that is still sitting above my bed.) This one time that I was open to being involved has lead to me being a National Officer for my sorority, going to a convention that was mostly paid for by my sorority, and so much more. It's amazing how one phone call can change your life.
to receive much, you must give much.
What I have learned more than anything thanks to Tri Sigma is that: To receive much, you must give much. When you open yourself up to new experiences, give your time and energy to the sorority, and work on creating a great membership experience for yourself and those around you––you will always win. You will always create those experiences that look great on a résumé. Sorority life is filled with experiences, you just have to take them.
3. find your sorority mentor
Finding your sorority mentor is definitely a must. Collegiates and alumna in your sorority can do amazing things for you. Get to know some of the older women in your sorority, get to know some of the alumna in your sorority (a lot of them probably want to get to know you anyway!) I promise you won't regret finding those people to look up to. My sorority mentors have been great at giving me encouragement, looking over applications I wrote for Tri Sigma things, being there for me when I needed a shoulder, and just being inspirational women.
You have a unique opportunity within your sorority that a lot of women don't have: a network of connections to pretty much anything you can think of. You have the sort of connections that women would kill for, honestly. Using that network of sisters wisely is definitely important. You can start using those connections as soon as you become a new member. Get to know people that are older than you, ask your new member educator about the sorts of alumna and upperclassmen members they have. Ask about the ones that interest you specifically when it comes to your major or what you would like to do when you finish college. Find mentors who have similar personalities, similar goals, etc.
Your big will be a great mentor for you, but don't think it has to stop there. There are so many amazing relationships to be formed during Greek life.
4. hold leadership positions that matter
There are so many leadership positions within a sorority. Depending on the career field you want to go in, some leadership positions may be better than others. Here are a couple of chair position ideas based on major:
- Art: Recruitment Director, Banner Chair, Social Media Chair, Social Chair, Event Planning
- Athletics: Intramural Chair, Dance Chair, Event Planning
- Business/Communications: Treasurer, Recruitment Director, VP of New Member Education, Panhellenic Delegate, Fundraising Chair, Correspondence Chair; Social Chair, Sisterhood Chair, Risk Management Chair, Tailgate Chair, Standards Chair, Event Planning
- Education/Higher Education: VP of New Member Education, Education Director, Panhellenic Delegate, Alumnae Relations Chair, Housing Chair, Sisterhood Chair, Risk Management Chair, Ritual Chair, Scholarship Chair
- Science/Technology: Treasurer, Education Director, Social Media Chair, Scholarship Chair, Standards Chair
- Social Science: Secretary, Education Director, Correspondence Chair, Ritual Chair, Standards Chair, Sisterhood Chair
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Just because I listed something under one major/area doesn't mean someone else couldn't do that job with the right resources. You do you, boo!
5. track and get results
Résumés work better when you have numbers. What did you accomplish during your time as recruitment director? How many sisters joined, how did recruitment flow, what budget did you work with, etc? Be specific, make statements, and back those statements up with hard data. Data is very important when it comes to making résumés look amazing.
When you get a new chair position set some measurable goals. Figure out what you can track. Here are some ideas on what you can track for different chair and executive positions:
- Treasurer: How many people paid their bills on time, how big your budget was, what software you worked on to bill people, etc.
- Education Director: The GPA for your sorority while you were the director, what educational programs and initiatives you started, etc.
- VP of New Members: Retention rate for your new members in the new member classes you were in charge of, the length of the new member education program you did, etc
- Sisterhood Chair: How many sisterhoods you put on, what was the attendance rate of your sisterhoods, if you have ratings from each sisterhood you could include those numbers as well, etc.
- Alumna Relations Chair: How many alumna you kept up with, how much you grew your alumna database, how many alumna showed up to your alumna events, etc.
Those are just a couple of ideas on somethings you could track. With ANY executive or chair position you can easily find things that you can track to showcase on your résumé. How have you helped your sorority since you became a part of it?
I hope that the information I shared today has been helpful for you as you begin to start your sorority experience, or even if you have been a member of a sorority for a while. We all join sororities for different reasons, and if you can find a way to showcase your experience positively on your résumé you might as well do it.
Have you discussed sorority involvement on your résumé? How did you do it?