Fraternities & Sororities on Resume?

In college I belonged to a Greek organization. It was a great experince, and I am proud of my association with it. I also held office in the organization, and for that reason I am thinking about listing it on my resume (in an activites/interests area that also contains information about my association in other business groups). However, I realize that fraternities and sororities spark a lot of negative stereotypes, and just because I think mine deviated from the stereotype doesn’t mean Joe Human Resources would agree.
My question is two-part. If you were a member of a fraternity/sorority, would you list it on your resume? Second, if you were looking at someone’s resume, and the applicant listed “President of Blah Blah Blah 1990-1992” what would be your reaction?

Take my advice for what it’s worth, since I’m still just a junior in college. I had to take “Technical and Professional Communications” for my major (all majors here have to take it). When we got to the section on writing resumes, the professor strongly discouraged it, not only for the negative stereotypes, but consider: what if the person doing the hiring was from another fraternity/sorority and didn’t like the one you belonged to? I’m not saying that someone should be hired (or not hired) because of organisations they belonged to, but it seemed like something that could happen.

(and forgive me if this multiple-posts. Damn slashdot linkage)

Don’t do it, it can be a turn off for some people and you don’t know who those people are. Most often it can only hurt you and rarely help you.

I’ve posted my opinion twice, but hamsters keep chewing it up.

Basically, being the president of your fraternity, in and of itself, is not valuable on a resume. Most employers won’t consider it that impressive and some might consider it a waste of time. You never know what biases an interviewer might have against the Greek system or your fraternity specifically.

On the other hand, if in your capacity as president you acheived something notable - say, organized a drive to raise $50,000 for cancer research or something like that – you could include it. I would still not mention the name of your fraternity, however, lest your interviewer come from a rival gang, er, house.

I’m with Skammer on this one. I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes as a hiring manager. The first pass through, especially in this job market, you’re looking for reasons not to go any further. Fair or not, I have a mild bias against fraternities/sororities. I don’t think I’d kick a candidate out of contention solely on that basis, but combined with other factors it might be enough to tip my visceral reaction (which is what I go by) to the negative side.

Your resume doesn’t have to include everything you’ve done. You’re trying to give the prospective employer just enough information to make him/her want to find out more about you by interviewing you. In my case, you do that by demonstrating that you understand the nature of the position you’re applying for and by providing me with evidence that you’re more capable than the average bear of doing the work successfully. That means, as Skammer suggests, that if there were specific accomplishments connected with your fraternity experience that demonstrate your capabilities, then by all means describe that – again, give enough information to make me want to know more, and no more.

The other case where club or association activities can be worth including is if you’re a recent grad without much experience, but you’ve been involved in a student association in the field, or if you’re currently a member of a professional association in the field; that tells me that you’re likely to be willing and able to go outside formal educational processes to learn from others about your field.

If your resume is focused tightly on how your skills and experiences demonstrate your ability to do the job I’m hiring for, you’ll immediately jump to the interview pile. Anything that’s not working to accomplish that goal just gives the reviewer another potential reason to pitch your resume.

My brother’s a fraternity member, and he swears up and down about how good it is to put on resume. He said 1) that most fraternities do many community projects and 2) people in fraternities have a better chance to be in high positions and would likely appreciate another frat boy. He told me about all sorts of CEO’s and politicians who were in frats.
That having been said, I think my brother’s full of shit. He only used these arguments with me cause I told him I wasn’t joining a sorority. If I were hiring (I’m still a college student) I probably wouldn’t think either way about it. I definately wouldn’t give anyone an advantage because they were in a club (especially southern frats which are VERY racist).

OH, if this adds bearing to what my brother said, I showed him this thread demonstrating that frats aren’t always good for resumees… he told me that Skammer and Rackensack must be hiring for McDonalds. He’s fun to argue with.

And he’s my OLDER brother!!!

That’s pretty much what I thought. It didn’t even occur to me to put it on there, except I kept seeing similar entires on sample resumes in those “how to write a great resume” books.

mandielise Tell your brother that I hire entry level engineers. I could care less if someone was in a frat or sorority but if they put that fact on their resume, I would count it as a strike against them. To me it looks like some asshole who is looking for a tricky way in rather than using their own merits. By the way, CEOs generally don’t ever see resumes for entry level positions. They have way more important things to do.


You could always mention how your Greek organization discovered the largest amount of rohypnol one can use on a human being along with an accompanying and very handy weight chart.

I think if you hold an office and feel you gained from the experiance of being in the organization, by all means list it. The Greek systems do have many redeeming qualities, such as community service, promoting leadership skills yada yada yada. There is always the rare chance that some asshole Beta will not like your house and toss your resume, but the more likely scenario is that he will recognize someone who held office is probably got a little more on the ball than the average schlub. Hell, maybe the guy doing the hiring is a brother from another chapter! Score! (that happened to me once!)

In my twisted opinion, the only people who have strong negative bias towards houses are those who didn’t go to college or didn’t make it in to a house. The types of employment that require a strong resume typically require a college degree, and fraternities are part of the college experiance. I tend to believe that the positives of listing important contributions and offices held outweigh the potential negatives. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Too early to break the streak. :wink:

I still hear your sea winds blowin’, I still see her dark eyes glowin’…

Oh yeah, everyone who goes to college wants to be part of the Greek culture. They all go to join up to pay people to be their friends for as long as they can afford the dues but get turned away in droves because there’s no room at the inn. Those bitter naysayers are just pissed they were rejected for not being able to swim across Lake Michigan after five shots of Jagermeister with a candle in their ass. NEEERRRDS!!!
Plus the Freemasons have better parties and cooler handshakes.
P.S. It’s “experience” not “experiance”. Okay thanks.

I’m with Raisinbread. As forementioned, I’m still in college (a sr, thank-you-very-much), and I chose NOT to get into a sorority. I have a few friends who are greek, so I’m not 100% against frats. However, they seem slightly unrealistic when compared to my non-greek friends. I’m not saying that only greeks drink and have promiscuous sex in college - it just seems to rule their lives more than the non-greeks I know.

It should also be noted that my first semester at LSU I had just come from NY and didn’t know anyone on campus but my brother. I spent my whole first semester tagging along with my brother’s frat - lemme tell you, the stereotypes certainly do them justice.

Then again, not all greek systems work the way LSU does, I’m sure - and not all LSU frats are like my brothers. In fact, they just got kicked off campus for hazing!

I held various offices in my (professional) fraternity AND was (or, I suppose, still technically am) a member of two honor fraternities, all of which I put on my resume. Never did me a damn bit of good.

Stick to specific achievements rather than titles, say I. If you haven’t done anything particularly noteworthy, leave it out.

Survey Says…!


In my experience handling hundreds of resumes and teaching resume workshops, the only people who associate frats with community service are other frat members. To the average person, many other things come to mind before leadership skills and civic responsibility. Fair? Maybe not completely, but I know if I saw some Greek experience (without specific accomplishments) on a resume, I’d assume the applicant was hoping for an Easy-In from some brother somewhere (I never ran into sisters who cared about putting it on theirs).

Twisted is right–unless you went to a school where Greek Culture = University culture, any large college campus will have a strong contingency of people who, fairly or not, have negative feelings toward the Greeks, oftentimes due to personal experience (whereas non-collegians only have the stereotype off of Animal House).

You just go right on thinking that all us non-Greeks are dying of envy of you, gato, and we’ll go on having fun without you, either ignoring your existence or laughing at you, like we did in college.

Re the OP: Another thing to consider is how long it’s been since you were in college. It’s OK (though IMHO not a great idea) for a new grad to mention a fraternity on a resume. I think it’d look funny if you’ve been out of college for a few years.

Absolutely. Fraternities and sororities make leaders. I always mention the two sororities I was in and the coed fraternity I’m currently in. Most important the offices I filled. My employers seemed to be impressed by it rather than repelled.

People have to realized that even if your new boss would be impressed by the frat info, they may never see it. Often, some lower flunky, maybe one who didn’t even go to college, does the initial rejections. A boss gets 50 resumes, he tells his secretary to give him the ten best, and if the secretary has a grudge against your frat, your oughta luck. People who think that puting something like that on a resume are almost without exception people who have not been in the real world, or at least very long.

And I don’t work for Mcdonalds.

It would make zero positive points in evaluating your potential worth. Would you put down that you were an Eagle Scout?

What employers generally want to see is what you can do for the organization, and very few rely on bake sales or car washes. Fill out that blank spot left by removal of the frat stuff with grown-up accomplishments.

What a bunch of bullshit. I knew a few frat rats but the overwhelming number of people that I knew didn’t even apply to the Greek system. I don’t think I knew anyone who tried out and didn’t make it.

Part of the college experience? I pity you.