Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Heather Yush, PTK’s Associate Director of College and Transfer Relations.
Whether you plan to transfer or enter the workforce immediately after completing a credential, Phi Theta Kappa may help you land your dream job. Participation in PTK provides a leadership laboratory where you can strengthen your soft skills and build your resume, making you more competitive for scholarships, transfer, and careers.
Here are seven ways membership in Phi Theta Kappa can boost your resume.
1. Find a Leadership Role that Suits You
PTK is an inclusive organization. Whether you’re shy or outgoing, there is a place for you and a leadership role you can take on.
If you don’t feel comfortable standing up in class or approaching strangers, it’s a sure bet that your chapter also has fundraising/marketing/social media needs that are more “behind the scenes.” Just don’t miss your opportunity to get involved, whether it’s as a chapter/regional officer, team leader, or active member.
When putting together a resume, don’t forget to list the membership itself in addition to your other PTK accomplishments, including serving as an officer, participating in Honors in Action/College Projects, and attending international meetings.
2. Use Your Competitive Edge
As a PTK member, you have access to a powerful tool for the job market — Five Star Competitive Edge. This online, self-paced professional development program will enhance your soft skills, including interview prep, public speaking, proper etiquette, and academic research. It’s a sure-fire way to enhance your resume.
3. Your College Application/Scholarship Resume Counts Too
Tabitha-Anne Bloodsaw, an alumna of Passaic County Community College in New Jersey, added a copy of her Five Star Competitive Edge certificate to college applications, along with a program description in the personal essay section.
“In several of my acceptance letters, it was noted that due to certain professional and leadership training I had received through Phi Theta Kappa, I was given additional scholarships/funds,” she said. “For example, one college gave me an additional $1,000 on top of the regular PTK scholarship.”
4. Take the Credit
Ask someone who knows about your PTK involvement (such as your advisor) to critique your resume. Some students inadvertently shortchange themselves, not realizing what a sizable impact they’ve made. For example, skilled graphic designers may not realize the marketing campaign they created was impressive because in their eyes it was just another project.
5. Avoid PTK Speak
Then, seek out someone who is NOT as familiar with PTK to read your resume to make sure there’s not too much jargon that could cause a resume reviewer to pass over your application. If the reviewer is distracted by trying to figure out the meaning of unique phrases and words, your chances of being called in for an interview are slim.
6. Wear Your Pin
Madeline Adams, an alumna of College of the Mainland in Texas, decided to wear her Phi Theta Kappa pin to a job interview and it really paid off.
“The interviewer asked me how my grades were, and I showed her the pin,” Madeline said. “She turned around, got the employee packet and said, ‘You’re hired. I’m a PTK graduate too.’ ”
Read more of Madeline’s story.
7. Leverage Your Membership
You’ve heard the expression “you get out what you put in” — this perfectly summarizes participation in Phi Theta Kappa. Technically there are no minimum requirements beyond maintaining your GPA to retain your status as a member. Yet, at the other end of the spectrum, you could maximize and leverage your membership in a way that can change your life.
Running meetings, facilitating an orientation session, organizing a recruiting event, building a social media account or website for your chapter — all of these are transferable, marketable, and valuable skills.
Start thinking now about how you will leverage your PTK membership and use your experiences and skills developed through Phi Theta Kappa to tell your story.