The words “Kappa Delta Sorority (2013-Present)” on my resume don’t quite do themselves justice. For most of us, being in a sorority or fraternity is about more than just partying. For some, it’s the promise of lasting friendships and for others it’s philanthropy. Whatever the reason, sometimes non-Greeks don’t get it—Greek life is often shrouded in a culture of binge drinking and hazing. This has caused many Greek students to question whether it’s appropriate to include Greek life on a resume.
Being a member of Kappa Delta is something I’m proud of, and it has helped me excel in school as well as to challenge myself every day. My sorority sisters push me to set goals, accomplish them and work hard. Since joining KD, my GPA has only gone up, I’ve become more involved and I’ve grown as a person. So, why wouldn’t I put it on my resume?
Many non-Greeks don’t have the opportunity to see this side of sorority life. They see movies about air-headed girls obsessing over boys, media coverage of hazing scandals and an emphasis on partying. They don’t see my KD sisters and I pulling all-nighters during test weeks, raising money for our philanthropies or presenting awards to the hardest working sisters. I put Kappa Delta on my resume because it’s part of who I am. Yet, I still urge caution in doing this.
It’s possible for you to use Greek life to your advantage on your resume and in a job interview, but it’s important to know your audience.“When I applied for jobs, I edited my resume for every interview. For some, I included Greek Life, for others I took it off my resume if it wasn’t important. Some interviewers are weird about sororities—they’re not trying to hire a party animal or someone who can craft for her Little. Negative stereotypes make it a case by case type of decision,” said 2015 University of Maryland graduate Sasha Leikin.
If you know who will be reading your resume or who will be interviewing you, do your homework and look them up. This is so easy and something you should be doing before every interview, anyway. Find out if they were involved in Greek life or an organization that you could relate your Greek membership to. If they were, this could be a relatable talking point. If they weren’t, consider placing less emphasis on that part of your resume.
Don’t make Greek life the center of attention on your resume. No matter how proud you are, it’s important to show versatility—join another club and get involved in different organizations. “As a recruiter, I don’t have an issue with seeing Greek involvement on a resume—some of our best hires are Greek. If it’s the only thing on your resume, that’s an issue, but if it’s among a variety of organizations you’re involved with, I consider it a positive,” said Leigh Sexton, director of global recruiting at Greenwich Associates.
Finally, it’s all about relevance. If you’re submitting your resume for a job that relates to a position you held in your fraternity or sorority, go for it. “For me it was a no-brainer. I’m a finance major, and I was treasurer of my sorority. Last summer, I applied for an internship at JP Morgan. I don’t think it’s necessary to hide Greek life, especially when it relates to positions you’re applying for,” said University of Maryland senior Rhea Kitei.
Find a way to put something on your resume other than just the name of your frat. Even if you don’t have a ton of time on your hands, find a small role you can play. If someone is looking at your resume and they see “Alpha Phi,” they might not think much of it, but if you’re vice president, it’s a different story altogether.
If you’re still hesitant and your resume is already jam-packed with amazing positions and organizations, painting a well-rounded picture of you, leave Greek life out of the equation. This could save you the trouble of a condescending interviewer questioning your Greek involvement. It all comes down to what you’re comfortable with and if your organization adds or subtracts from who you are.