Greek Connections Trump Career Services in Post-College Job Hunt

Finding a job in this tough economy is not always about what you know — it is who you know. 

Youth are hit hardest by the recession, with unemployment rates at 17.3%. That is why using all available resources and connections, specifically fraternity or sorority alumni, for job networking can be a great way for young professionals to find employment (or to get their foot in the door).

College students across the country have a love/hate relationship with their campus career service departments. While the department offers students a set of tools to create a résumé, search for jobs, and succeed in an interview, it is at this point that the help stops. The remainder of the employment process is up to the individual. It is up to young professionals to decipher how to use the tips successfully in order to snag their dream job. Realistically, it is impossible for career services to hold the hands of all students, and many slip through the cracks of the department. These “forgotten” students often find themselves lost and confused in their job search.

After failed attempts at utilizing campus resources, many students seeking employment are realizing they must look beyond career services for assistance. Those who are Greek are finding it increasingly useful to network with fraternity and sorority alumni. The brotherly and sisterly bonds established between Greeks throughout four years of college may be the secret weapon of job-hunting and getting a foot in the door. It is not just the alumni of one chapter that are available as resources, but also alumni from different universities and older graduates. These individuals have the experience and connections that make all the difference in finding employment, and often they are more than willing to help their fellow Greek.

Greek affiliations offer a network of alumni who are available to give the insider information and job leads, which are essential in the present job market. These connections far surpass the resume clinics and online job searches of campus career service departments. According to a study by the Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Missouri, Greeks are more successful after college than their non-Greek counterparts. Greek alumni run 30% of Fortune 500 companies, along with 43 of the nation’s 50 largest corporations.

No young professional wants his or her résumé to be at the bottom of an employer's endless stack. The best way to make it to the top of that pile is to use the Greek alumni resources available to you. It seems as though it pays to be Greek when trying to find that perfect job in a market where who you know matters.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons