There's no doubt that Greek life has gotten bad press in recent years. It's easy to find one media story after another about hazing and partying. Unfortunately, these incidences make for more successful news stories than the benefits of fraternities
The reality is that there are plenty of benefits to joining a fraternity.
The immediate benefits are clear. You get to become part of a group and you get a great opportunity to develop close friendships. There's a benefit to being part of a supportive group as a freshman in an unfamiliar environment.
However, joining a fraternity can also help your future. Learn more about why it's a great addition to your resume while in college.
How a Fraternity Can Help You Build Your Resume While in College
Starting your career after college is never an easy transition. Having a fraternity membership on your resume, however, can offer you a smoother path to success. Here's why:
Helps Build Connections with Potential Employers
As its name suggests, a fraternity is a family.
If a future employer sees his same fraternity on your resume, it's like recognizing a long lost cousin. You've developed an immediate bond, and that's one of the few ways to make your resume stand out from the stack.
You might say, "What are the chances a hiring manager will be in the same fraternity as me?" Depending on your fraternity, that could be a small chance. However, anyone with a background in Greek life will recognize you as a kindred spirit.
There are over nine million
student and alumni members of Greek organizations nationwide. This number makes it likely that you'll run into a hiring manager who now knows he has something in common with you. This alone can be enough to make your resume stand out.
Shows Time Management Skills
Every fraternity is different, but most of them take up a significant amount of time. Between balancing classwork, studying and projects, fraternity activities, and other jobs or activities, it's not an easy challenge.
Time management is one of the most crucial skills that makes you a desirable candidate for any job. While it's notoriously difficult to show on a resume, your fraternity membership takes care of that for you.
Most people who were in Greek life or knew someone who was in Greek life already know what a time commitment it is. To make sure the point gets across, though, feel free to elaborate on your responsibilities and tasks within your fraternity.
Adds Community Service
Philanthropy is one of those aspects of Greek life that is rarely reported.
The reality is that philanthropy is a long-standing part of Greek organizations. As a result, men who are in fraternities tend to spend more time doing community service than other college students.
Make sure to specify this on your resume. Community service shows compassion and it's a rare asset for employers to see. Explain the types of service you've performed.
As an added bonus, this could build a connection with the hiring manager if they've worked for a similar cause.
Shows Your Social Skills
As you start looking for a job
, you'll notice that interviewers tend to ask about your social skills more than about your job skills. After all, they can teach you how to do the basic functions of your job. It's much harder to teach someone how to be respectful of their co-workers.
When you're in a fraternity, you need to use teamwork and social skills to coordinate with a large group of people. You're also in close quarters with people you're bound to argue with from time to time.
This teaches you how to handle conflict appropriately and maturely. Employers know this, and it sends a message when you have a fraternity on your resume.
Plus, these social skills can prepare you for your interview. Your conflicts and teamwork opportunities with your fraternity brothers can also give you great answers when employers ask questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone you didn't get along with."
Paves the Way for Leadership Roles
Employers typically want an employee who will stay with them for the long haul. They want someone who can get into an organization, garner respect, and move up to leadership roles.
Membership in a fraternity alone may not convey that you have this ability. However, being in a fraternity gives you the opportunity to rise to leadership roles, and these are great to add to your resume.
For instance, if you served as your fraternity's treasurer or vice president, give this a prominent place on your resume.
Easier Access to Internships and Experiences
Potentially the greatest barrier that keeps new graduates from getting a job is that they don't have any experience. That's why internships and relevant part-time jobs are becoming more common. Unfortunately, since more students are trying to get these experiences, they're becoming more competitive and harder to find.
We've already discussed how a fraternity can help you build connections with employers. However, this same principle holds true for internships and part-time jobs. Did you know that 85 percent
of Fortune 500 executives are fraternity members?
Chances are that you don't know anyone in that 85% percent. Still, having a fraternity on your resume gives you an edge when you're applying for internships and part-time jobs. Better yet, someone in your fraternity may know someone who is hiring for a position that gives you relevant experience.
Getting that internship or part-time job puts you in the fast lane for your full-time career when you graduate.
Set Up Your Future by Joining a Fraternity
Deciding whether to join a fraternity is all about balancing the pros and cons.
Not everyone can manage the time commitment it requires. However, if you can get through and even thrive in your four years in a fraternity, it will give you a badge of honor that makes your resume more competitive.
For more tips about building your resume while in college and how to make the most of your fraternity experience, check out our Greek life blog