As a sorority woman, your experience has helped shape you as a professional.
Whether you held a leadership position or contributed as an active member within your organization, you gained key skills that are often forgotten about. Too often we are hesitant to share our sorority experience during an interview solely due to the image that stereotypes bring. However, the more we highlight the key skills gained and the positive contribution our organizations provide to our members long after they graduate, the door continues to be open to speak freely about our experience. Much like how we once highlighted our extracurriculars on our college applications, your sorority experience deserves some light, too. Your experience matters.
So, how do you take your experiences and turn them into something you can talk about in an interview or put on your resume? Here are some simple ideas to help you craft the story of your sorority experience in your next interview:
One of the key elements of our organizations is to prepare our members for their future paths. Being a member of a Greek-lettered organization provides many skills we don’t usually think of off the top of our heads. Conflict resolution, goal setting, holding others and yourself accountable, are a few examples of the many that are on the list. If you’re stumped, think about a time that pushed you to grow within your organization and identify the elements that made it hard. If you were confronted with the problem again, think about what you would do differently to navigate the situation. Focus on the differences and how you’ve grown from these experiences. For some, these fine-tuned skills may look like being comfortable speaking in front of a large group of people or organizing an event for the first time.
Whether your chapter is a group of ten or five-hundred members, being a member of an organization is important and shows dedication. Chances are you have been on a committee that assisted with decisions for your chapter that pertained to important topics or you assisted with a successful fundraising event that raised over $1,000.
If you currently hold or held a position, break down your responsibilities and focus on the key numbers such as fundraising dollars raised, recruitment numbers, or perhaps the committee members overseen. These numbers matter as they are unique to you and your experience. Being a leader looks different to everyone, your numbers coupled with your experience will make you stand out in an interview.
Leadership & Training
Don’t forget to talk about any training or conferences you had the chance to attend! These conferences and leadership training courses might be within your chapter, an organization-wide scale, or through your university’s Panhellenic council, but take a moment to think about the knowledge you’ve gained. Think about the exercises you participated in, the “ah-ha” moments you’ve had, and the long-term effect this has had on your personal and professional life. Did you learn about your leadership style? Even in my personal life, employers have been impressed with my knowledge and understanding of my personal leadership style during an interview. It’s important to actively talk about and express how your leadership training & knowledge can assist with the job you’re applying for and reach your career goals beyond.
No matter the size, your organization was a group of strong, diverse women that you built relationships with over the course of your undergraduate experience. Sororities provide the chance to work with others who may work & think differently, but all are contributing to the common goal – the future of our organizations. You worked to create genuine relationships with your sisters, which is a reflection of what it’s like to work on a team or in a community workplace. Being a coworker who can work with many people who differ in ideas and strategies will be second-nature as you have experience cultivating relationships with groups of people. Additionally, talk about working with other leaders within your fraternity and sorority community, your organization & university advisors, and university administration if applicable. Building relationships doesn’t have to be limited to those of your own age group.
Don’t forget to also include your identified skills and achievements on your resume! Being a member of an organization throughout college can often be a commitment we forget about when we think of professional & personal growth. Your time within your organization was valuable, make sure to outline your achievements professionally during an interview, on your resume, and on LinkedIn.