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How to Write Phi Beta Kappa on a Resume (with Examples)

At nearly 250 years old, Phi Beta Kappa is known as the nation’s oldest academic honors society. Only a small percentage of college students are part of this elite group, a recognition shared by famous individuals like Eleanor Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.

If you’re talented enough to be invited to join your local Phi Beta Kappa chapter, add this honor to your resume and show off your skills.

Not sure how to list it on your resume? No worries! Read on to learn why should include Phi Beta Kappa on your resume and where you should put it.

Why You Should List Phi Beta Kappa

When you apply for a job, you want your resume to stand out from others. You can bet that your Phi Beta Kappa membership will do just that. Only about 10% of students at 10% of colleges and universities are offered a spot in this society. The selectivity of the group means it’s unlikely many other job applicants will be able to claim this honor on their own resumes.

In short, listing Phi Beta Kappa can improve your chances of landing a job.

How?

Your membership highlights your academic success.

This honor is a sign of intelligence. It shows you can complete academic tasks at a high level of proficiency. This looks great to employers because it means you’re more likely to excel in the workplace. You’re able to understand an assignment and develop a plan for accomplishing it. Not only do you complete the work, but you finish it with extraordinary results.

You’ve demonstrated you have an eye for detail.

If you’re a member of Phi Beta Kappa, you’ve likely proven you pay attention to the fine details of a task. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have made such high scores in your courses. Any company will benefit from hiring an attentive employee, but this trait is especially useful in the tech industry.

From piecing together coding as a software application developer to analyzing social media trends as a marketing manager, paying attention to minute details can help you catch mistakes or identify patterns to inform a company’s business strategy.

You’re knowledgeable about many fields.

To qualify for Phi Beta Kappa membership, you have to have taken courses in several liberal arts and sciences. You’ll also need to have taken several foreign language courses. Having a wide range of experience in several fields is a perk on your resume.

Your background shows you’ll make a versatile employee whose knowledge isn’t limited to just one field. If you’re bilingual, you have an extra advantage. For instance, if you work for an international firm, you may be able to gain a position that works with an overseas department.

You have good character.

Academic success is great, but your performance on the job will also be influenced by your personal character. No employer wants to hire someone that’s going to clash with their coworkers or get involved in criminal activity. Holding Phi Beta Kappa membership means you’ve passed the society’s “character test.” List this honor to show a potential employer that you aren’t all about books and numbers. You want to show off those social skills as well.

Where to List Phi Beta Kappa on Your Resume

Be strategic when choosing which section of your resume you mention your Phi Beta Kappa membership. For most people, it’s better to put it under Education. However, if you have a few other honors or hold membership in other organizations, you may choose to put it under the Honors/Awards or Membership sections.

Education

You have a few options for listing Phi Beta Kappa in the education section. Most people’s membership ends up in this section because virtually everyone lists their education on their resume.

1)

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science in Architecture

University of Iowa, May 2022

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

2)

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

BA in Geosciences, New York University

2019-2022

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude

3)

EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI — Columbia, MO

BA in Mathematics, 2021

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Honors

If you’ve received multiple honors, you may choose to create a separate Honors section on your resume. Some people name this section “Awards” or “Recognitions.” You can put your Phi Beta Kappa membership here. This section works best if you have a few other prestigious honors such as scholarships, community awards, etc.

1)

HONORS

  • Dean’s List: All semesters 2018-2022
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fulbright Scholarship

2)

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

  • Winner of the 2022 “Technology Leadership” Award, presented to just three of 10,594 nominees
  • Awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue my PhD in Technology Management
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa, a national society that honors high academic achievement

3)

HONORS

Class President                                 2021

Don Lavoie Fellowship                   2020

Phi Beta Kappa                                  2021

Memberships

Are you a member of multiple academic or professional organizations? You may wish to create a separate Membership section to call attention to your affiliation with these groups. If so, you can include your Phi Beta Kappa membership here.

1)

MEMBERSHIPS

Women in STEM

Enrolled in my university’s chapter and raised $30,000 for a science scholarship for female high school students

Phi Beta Kappa

Accepted an invitation to join this academic society in 2020; was one of 5 students invited within my university

Technology for Change

Student board member for the nonprofit Technology for Change; organized an end-of-the-year donation drive to supply local students with home computers

2)

MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS

  • Community Lead for Habitat for Humanity (2016-2020)
  • Peace Corps Volunteer (2021-2022)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2020)

Conclusion

Including Phi Beta Kappa on your resume can demonstrate your academic achievement to a future employer. This honor also shows employers that you have a strong personal character and are knowledgeable in several fields. List your affiliation under the Education, Honors, or Membership section of your resume to emphasize this recognition.

By Taylor Thompson

Taylor is a co-founder at Purpose Built Ventures, where he helps launch mission-driven companies. Before Purpose Built, Taylor led growth at Almanac, strategy for Curious Learning, and product at PharmaSecure. His work helps 100,000s of people collaborate at work, 4 million children learn to read, and protects billions of medicines from counterfeiting. He has hired dozens of people, helped raise more than $50 million, and contributed to HBR.org as a researcher with Clay Christensen. Taylor is an Echoing Green Fellow, and he has degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School.

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