Fraternity Membership--On a Resume or Not?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by JLibourel, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    My stepson finally graduated from college last week. I say "finally" because the woes of the Cal State system tend to make completion of a degree in a protracted process. A minimum of five years has been the norm for quite awhile, and six is fast becoming the new five because of budget cuts and such.

    His one significant extra-curricular achievement during this time was helping to reorganize a chapter of his fraternity that had been suspended for hazing and getting it restored to good standing with the university and the "National." The hazing business took place some time before he became involved.

    My question is, should he mention his fraternity involvement on his resume? I realize some people are very anti-"Greek." One the other hand, I wonder if it might help boost his stock with some potential employers. The fraternity in question is the largest in the nation, if that makes a difference. His degree is in economics and he hopes to enter the world of business in some capacity.

    Anyway, on balance, do you think mention of helping re-organize a fraternity chapter (the hazing part could be left out) would be beneficial or counter-productive in finding employment?
     


  2. nootje

    nootje Senior member

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    I did. But thats not of too much help due to The difference between us and eu style frats.
     


  3. Nereis

    Nereis Senior member

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    Put it on there. It gives him some real things to talk about. Instigating a turnaround isn't the easiest thing in the world and it says good things about his interpersonal skills.
     


  4. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Don't put it in. No one cares about your frat. You'd be better off putting general interest (i.e sports and travel) than that crap.
     


  5. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    I would not unless you know that the person(s) interviewing you were also members of the same or closely affiliated fraternal organization.
     


  6. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    Put it in and its impressive he reorganized his fraternity. That should be put in too
     


  7. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    was he an officer? i would assume so. should put that under leadership, ie: "President of the x chapter of x fraternity."
     


  8. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    I would put that in. I wouldn't put plain old membership, but in this case, it's significant leadership experience and shows real world management. Make sure you include something about the reorganization in there, the explanation turns it into a mark in his favor even for those dubious of fraternities.

    ex:

    President, Phi Kappa Sigma, Cal State LA Chapter, 2010-12. Reorganized previously suspended chapter and restored to good standing with university and national organization.
     


  9. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    +1
     


  10. otc

    otc Senior member

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    +2

    hate on frat boys all you want...being in a frat is not at all impressive...but resurrecting one and leading it back into good standing should be impressive to everyone.
     


  11. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Why so much greek hate? I've gotten interviews and offers based on my greek affiliation multiple times. Sure I had other ecs that I listed (fraternity was only listed in interests) but even in interviews I did not have any greek affiliation, 2/3 of the time interviewers would ask about my house and anything I did in the house.
     


  12. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    I hosted a career event for alumni of my alma mater last year, featuring a prominent writer and speaker on career development. One of his success stories was about someone who parlayed his experience as a fraternity president into the entry-level job that he wanted in real estate management. He highlighted his experience dealing with vendors, reconciling the fraternities books, etc., focusing on packaging his experience in a way that would make sense to someone in real estate.

    So, his advice would be "thumbs up" to mentioning it on the resume, as long as it's not just "member, XXX fraternity", although I often see fraternity membership noted on LinkedIn pages, which makes more sense to me than on the resume.
     


  13. kasper007

    kasper007 Senior member

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    i've done a lot of off-campus recruiting and found that a large proportion of folks who listed greek affiliations on their resume put WAY too much importance on their frat experiences, especially those without leadership experience (ie. just members). i found the name dropping of fellow frat members who succeeded combined with a certain sense of entitlement to be particularly annoying (success of others in no way, share or form does guarantee you own success). i also found that a shockingly large proportion of frat boys actually ended up perfectly fitting the frat boy stereotype (you often couldn't tell candidate apart from looking at their resume as they were all extremely similar). very unscientific, but i also found that frat boys tended to have lower gpa (very important in my field).

    that being said, i did have a few colleagues that were in frats and they had was a clear, undeniable bias towards candidates that were in the same frat so as other as said, it can be a significant plus as well.
     


  14. ballmouse

    ballmouse Senior member

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    It depends if the industry he's applying to likes fraternity members (i.e. banking) or if the resume screener/interviewer/hiring manager was also a fraternity member.

    But because he sounds like a has a unique story regarding it that could probably be seen as good in most jobs, writing it down on the resume would be a good idea (sending a different resume to different applications would also be a good idea).

    However, if I were him and in an interview, I wouldn't talk too much about the fraternity unless asked to (or if the interviewer asks about leadership experience, etc.) If you talk too much about it, interviewers will label you as the 'fraternity brother' and see you as someone that is still a college kid rather than a capable employee.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012


  15. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Yeah this is a good point, most jobs I interviewed for had a lot of social / greek aspects in banking / consulting and the like


    This is very true in terms of members think frat meant they were better/superior plus name dropping. I was in charge of philanthropy and my house won quite a bit of stuff as well, but that wasn't even listed on my resume as I had other stuff. I guess it helps if you have other stuff on resume as well and I would say I was less concerned with being fratty and more focused on doing other activities. I'd say 2/3 of my brothers (120 or so in house) did not do any real extra curriculars. I did find being greek helped explain my slightly lower GPA (still good, but really not as good as it should have been for the jobs I was interviewing for). Networking wise it helped but I also made an effort to stay connected with older brothers who seemed more "serious" for a lack of a better word. I also kept connections in many other houses, which I feel most greeks fail to do as there tends to be too much competitiveness between houses.

    Although one thing I would say is that greek GPA overall is usually higher than average all school GPA as you need to keep minimum grades (at least in my house) or else get study tables and a bunch of other bs.
     


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