As you begin looking for internships and jobs, you will want to start thinking about how to include your sorority experience and leadership on your resume in a way that employers will understand. It can be hard to narrow down your experiences into the useful skills that employers are looking for, so we have some suggestions.
Skills to Add to Your Resume
Depending on the roles you have held during your time as a sorority woman, you will have different experiences to incorporate on your resume. Below are a few go-to words that you can incorporate into your resume that will better articulate what your experience as a sorority woman has provided you.
Are you responsible for collaboration between different groups of people? Do you work with chapter members, advisors, the university, alumni and/or others? This would make you responsible for stakeholder management. All of these different audiences are stakeholders for the work you do as a leader in your sorority.
Defined by Wikipedia as “a critical component to the successful delivery of any project, program or activity. A stakeholder is any individual, group, or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a program.” This is a skill employers will be looking for if you will be overseeing other employees. This skill teaches you clear communication with people who have different needs and wants. This is also a good skill to show delegate and collaboration.
Do you provide a good or service, such as matching bigs and littles, chapter finances or designing apparel? You are offering chapter members customer service. This skill is defined by Wikipedia as “ the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest.” Customer service skills allow you to adapt to others’ needs, be respectful and understanding when others are upset and create the best outcome for all. Your skills with others will demonstrate your ability to be the face of their company. Working in customer service teaches you how to solve problems and create solutions to make everyone happy.
Do you write training for the chapter? Have you created a PowerPoint on study skills? Taught your chapter to use a system or process? Lead a chapter meeting on a skill or activity to develop stronger skills? If you have, then you created and provided leadership training. This means you can train your peers, lead by example and engage with them on an educational level. Wikipedia defines it as “the process that helps expand the capacity of individuals to perform in leadership roles within organizations. Leadership roles are those that facilitate the execution of an organization’s strategy through building alignment, winning mindshare and growing the capabilities of others.” So, training others in officer transitions well, helping younger members and passing on skills to others means you have leadership training skills.
Have you lead a committee? Created goals for members of the chapter and lead them to success? Ensured chapter, officers or members achieve their goals? If you have, then you are responsible for operational success. Wikipedia defines it as “Operational excellence of an organization is the execution of its operations in an excellent way. Given two commercial companies with the same strategy, the operationally more excellent company will, in general, have better operational results, creating value for customers and shareholders.” Though you may need to explain how and what you achieved, you can define your work in terms those unfamiliar with the fraternal community can understand.
Though not many will understand the nuances of formal recruitment or the rules we follow, the conversations sorority women have and the ability to find quality candidates and showcase why people should join the sorority community, are priceless skills. Sorority women gain so many skills through the recruitment process. These skills to talk to anyone and engage in purposeful dialogue are needed in this day and age. Wikipedia defines recruitment as “the overall process of identifying, attracting, screening, shortlisting and interviewing, suitable candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization.” Though you may not have thought you were doing this, you unknowingly did all of those things for your sorority and could continue to do that as an employee of a company. Knowing you have these personable skills will be very helpful for future employers to know you have.
Skill like the ones above and the soft skills you learned throughout your sorority membership make you an ideal candidate for many roles. Soft skills are skills like interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management and empathy and many more.
Many of these soft skills are the ones employers look for because they make someone more successful in their work and can be applied in many different scenarios. It is your responsibility in each tailored resume to showcase all these skills and show how your schooling makes you their dream employee.
Details to Include
Additionally, here are some recommendations on what to include in your cover letter and resume to really make you stand out. Elaborate on the soft skills and include specific details if you ran a program such as recruitment, educational training or a fundraiser. Share who came, how many people and the data or outcome such as funds raised or the number of members recruited.
Think of your organization as a business; you explain the goals and the skills you have to achieve them. An employer wants someone who is a self-starter, capable and hard-working, flexible and can adapt to many different situations. You can do that because your sorority experience and being a leader have prepped you to handle anything with grace and poise.
So get out there and get them, tiger!