Get That Dream Job!
3 ways to use your Phi Sig membership to gain a competitive edge in today’s job market
May 15, 2010
SO YOU'RE AN ACTIVE, CONTRIBUTING MEMBER of a successful Phi Sigma Sigma chapter - and, of course, everyone on campus knows that's a BIG DEAL and that your membership speaks volumes about your soaring potential. Good for you!
Will that be just as true when you leave college behind? Will potential employers be impressed by your Phi Sig affiliation or what you achieved for your chapter?
Here are three tips to maximize the value of your alumna status as a lifelong member of Phi Sig, especially when you first enter the workforce or transition from being an undergrad to pursuing an advanced degree.
1. Take a new view
First, take a new view of your Phi Sig experience in college – and reframe it as one where, in addition to enjoying the company of your sisters and doing all kinds of cool activities together, you were also contributing to the long-term success of a small business.
What “small business,” you ask? Your chapter, of course. Think about it: All the key leaders for a small business are there – and they strategically plan a range of projects and manage a wide array of job duties that absolutely equate to real-world experience. Plus, these leaders are accountable to their members and to our international Headquarters for the chapter’s overall performance (which, as in the workplace, is quantifiably measured through our
Chapter Excellence program – so you can tell what areas of improvement your leaders contributed to during any given year).
Once you’ve got this business mindset in place, think about all you personally accomplished. Were you on the executive board? Did you advance from one e-board position to another? Did you act as a liaison between your chapter and Headquarters? Did you serve as a committee chair? Did you help plan a large event in tandem with local philanthropic organizations or other Greek groups that raised funds or awareness?
These are the sorts of things you should note on your resume, because they demonstrate invaluable leadership and project-management skills. When your chapter accomplishments relate directly to your future profession, they can be even more impressive to a potential new employer. For example, if you’re going to be an accountant, and you were the bursar, you can note the volume of funds you helped budget and manage – or your proficiency working with an online, state-of-the-art financial-management system (i.e., Billhighway).
Additionally, if you served on the e-board, you may be able to incorporate specific language into your resume that highlights your contributions and makes you even more attractive to employers. Click here to read more. (This is a sisters-only BONUS feature, as a thank-you to our incredible leaders - so you must sign into My Phi Sig first. Interested in serving in key leadership roles within your chapter? Speak to that leader, your Chapter Key Advisor or your Membership Manager for details.)
2. Prepare to impress
Next, be prepared to explain to an employer why your affiliation with Phi Sig is an asset, so your sorority accomplishments sound as impressive as they truly are.
For example, if you attended Leadership Conference (click here for language you can incorporate into your resume), you could say, “As the president of the Hunter College chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma, I was specially invited to participate at a 2-day conference for outstanding young leaders, where I received extensive training in interpersonal communication, risk management, conflict resolution and other key skills of value to the workplace.”
You could also say, “Phi Sigma Sigma is an international philanthropic and social women’s organization, and being an active member/leader of the Hunter College chapter has prepared me to excel in the job I’m applying for in three specific ways (and then, explain what you’ve accomplished that would directly relate to that employer/job).
3. Network like crazy
Finally, to be most successful, you need to think beyond “local chapter” and start viewing your alumna status as a “global” one. With 65,000-plus sisters worldwide, there’s no end to the networking you can do.
It’s understandable if the idea of connecting with sisters you haven’t met before feels a little uncomfortable at first, because most of your Phi Sig experience to date involves women on your campus whom you know personally. But trust us: Once you’ve started reaching out to sisters who work in your profession or live nearby, you will quickly learn that Phi Sigma Sigmas truly support and encourage their sisters’ success – and it will become something you do very naturally. (It’s not uncommon for Phi Sig alumnae to have an average of 100-150 additional Facebook connections beyond their own friends, family and chapter sisters – and, in some cases, upwards of 300-400.)
Some specific ways you can begin connecting with sisters right now:
Good luck landing your dream job, and remember: When it comes to career success, “Once a Phi Sigma Sigma, Always a Phi Sigma Sigma” is a motto that has even greater significance and impact if you use any of these ideas to put sorority experience to work for you!
- Explore the “sisters only” social-networking section of our Web site. (Once you log in, it’s pretty self-explanatory.) There, you can create a profile, research local sisters who share your professional aspirations and interests, even introduce yourself to sisters you’ve never met before by sending e-mails directly to them. Need help? Check out these great tips or contact us.
- Sign up for the Phi Sigma Sigma group on LinkedIn. (If you haven’t yet created a profile there, we recommend it – as LinkedIn is one of the No. 1 professional networking sites.) Joining the Phi Sig group there is yet another way sisters can identify your affiliation even faster.
- Connect with sisters on the Phi Sig social-networking site, Facebook and LinkedIn. Tip: Remember when posting online status updates that you’ll want to represent the best of who you are, because that can impact newly-met sisters’ long-term impressions of you.
- Meet sisters face to face – and join an alumnae chapter or club! There’s probably one near you – and, if not, we can help you start a group. Contact our Alumnae Relations Coordinator for details.
Share your stories!
Got a professional success story associated with your Phi Sig membership? Have you benefited from a sisters’ help, or mentored a sister to success? Contact us. We might share your story here!