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 definitely 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. The many benefits of joining a college fraternity include acquiring activities, experiences and skills that can lead to a stronger resume during and after your college years.
This guide from the Greek life pros at Greek Gear offers insight how joining a fraternity can enhance your future career prospects.
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A Brief History of Greek Life
Greek life began with the founding of Phi Beta Kappa in 1776 at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. The fraternity got its name from the Greek alphabet.
As the years passed, the communities of the different fraternities and sororities, also known as brothers and sisters, have come to be known as Greek life. Greek life on campus gives you an opportunity to meet other students from similar as well as different backgrounds. There's a sense of camaraderie when you join a fraternity or a sorority at your university.
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 more than 9 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.
Time Management Skills
Every fraternity is different, but most take up a significant amount of time. When balancing classwork, study time, fraternity activities and other jobs or activities, it's not an easy challenge.
Time management is one of those important skills that makes you a desirable candidate for any job. While it's difficult to show on a resume, your fraternity membership takes care of that for you. Most people who were in Greek life, or who knew someone who was in Greek life, already recognize that membership involves time management skills.
To make sure the point gets across, though, feel free to elaborate on your responsibilities and tasks within your fraternity.
Philanthropy is one of those aspects of Greek life that is rarely reported. The reality is that philanthropy is a longstanding part of Greek organizations. As a result, men who are in fraternities tend to spend more time than other students on community service activities. Make sure to specify this on your resume.
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.
As you begin searching for a job, you'll notice that some interviewers tend to ask more about your social skills 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 such questions as, "Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone you didn't get along with."
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 then 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.
Related post: Leadership Opportunities within Greek Life
Advance Job Experience
The greatest potential barrier that keeps new graduates from getting a job is that they don't have 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. This same principle holds true for internships and part-time jobs. Did you know that 85% of Fortune 500 executives are fraternity members? Chances are that you don't know any of those executives. 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 might 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.
Deciding Your Future
Are frats worth it? Deciding whether to join a fraternity is all about balancing the pros and cons. Not everyone can manage the time commitment. 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.