By: Michael freeman - Associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines
Earning the Eagle Scout Award is an awesome accomplishment, one any Scout would be proud to proclaim. For Eagle Scouts applying for college admission or their first job, it feels natural to highlight their Scouting accolades.
But how long should “Eagle Scout” remain on your resume? When you’re applying for your second job? Third? 10th?
A quick Google search reveals many forums where some Scouts are wondering if they should list their Scouting accomplishments on their resumes. Some commenters and career advice blogs even suggest removing it after awhile, likening it to one’s SAT scores or grade point average — great to mention after high school, but not relevant when you’re 30 or 40 years old.
We say to proudly leave it on; we have heard countless stories of employers who say Scouting alumni stand out to them when interviewing applicants. It doesn’t matter whether you earned the award last year or 60 years ago — the feat is impressive and speaks volumes about you. Don’t think the business world doesn’t value it; in fact, the opposite is often true.
Take E. Philip Saunders, for example. Mr. Saunders, who founded TravelCenters of America, one of the largest truck stop companies in the country, earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1953. He has his Eagle Scout Award and merit badge sash hanging in his office.
“People come into my office, and they see my sash properly displayed in this frame, and they say, ‘Wow, you’re an Eagle Scout,'” Saunders says. “I think it’s an impressive thing to a lot of people, and a lot of people understand that it’s a pretty great thing for a young individual to earn. It might even add more value today than it did back then.”
What about other Scouting experiences?
What if you didn’t earn Eagle? What if you were never involved in Scouting as a youth, but you’re a volunteer now?
By all means, list those on your resume, too.
Scouting prepares people for life, whether you’re in the movement for a few weeks or for decades. You can learn values and skills that any employer would love to see on his or her team. Leadership, empathy, problem-solving, creativity and teamwork are just a few of the attributes Scouting instills. Any Scouting experience listed on your resume could tell employers who you are as a person and as a potential worker.
While simply mentioning you are an Eagle Scout or are involved in Scouting doesn’t automatically translate into a job offer, it could open doors for other opportunities or extend the conversation with a potential employer. Who knows, your interviewer could be involved in Scouting as well.
What do you do?
How do you share your Scouting experience on your resume? Is it under an “Awards and Accomplishments” section? Your “Volunteerism” section? “About Me?”
Do you put it near the top of your resume or down at the bottom? Is there a reason why you wouldn’t want to list it?