At some point, we’ve all wondered if our time in Scouting would help us in landing a job. If you’ve earned the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, you should know whether or not it’s worthwhile to list this award on your resume. I decided to find out.
Does Eagle Scout look good on a resume? Having Eagle Scout on your resume will improve your job prospects and help you stand out from the competition, especially as a young person applying to an entry-level role. The Eagle award demonstrates leadership skills, persistence and character to potential employers, which will raise your chances of being hired. However, for older candidates applying to more senior roles, listing ‘Eagle Scout’ on a resume will likely be less beneficial.
If you’re an Eagle Scout and plan to include the award on your resume, after reading this article be sure to check out my complete guide to listing Eagle Scout on your resume. This will teach you the absolute best way of highlighting your Eagle Scout accomplishments.
In this article, we’ll be covering the career benefits of becoming an Eagle Scout, when you should not include an Eagle award on your resume, and the most common mistake to avoid when presenting your Scouting experience in a job application. Keep reading!
Career Benefits Of Being An Eagle Scout
While many employers were likely not Boy Scouts themselves, most know the amount of work and dedication it takes to earn the rank of Eagle. As an Eagle Scout myself, during almost every job interview I’ve had there has been a question about my Eagle Scout award. My response never failed to impress these interviewers, as I was able to highlight the leadership experience and skills that I developed during my time in Scouting.
Many Eagle Scouts find they have an easier time getting into colleges. As one of the most prestigious awards someone under 18 can earn, many universities give a high preference to Eagle Scouts. Additionally, there are many opportunities to talk about your experience in Scouting when writing personal statements.
Being an Eagle Scout can even benefit you if you’re seeking a career in the military. Eagle Scouts are able to join the military several ranks higher than a regular recruit. In addition to a higher base pay, they are often more quickly promoted and given positions of leadership. Fun fact: Navy war veteran and 38th US president Gerald Ford was also an Eagle Scout!
Employers often consider Eagle Scouts as more trustworthy and reliable than other applicants, especially in industries centered around civil service. I’ve even heard of cases where employers have created jobs just to have a position available for an Eagle Scout. Noting that you were an Eagle Scout on your resume will never hurt your career prospects, and can actually be a great benefit when trying to land a job.
When Not To List Eagle Scout On Your Resume
Although listing Eagle Scout on your resume will never hurt your chances of landing a job, there are some instances where it may be better not to include all of your Scouting experience. These situations include:
- Very Senior roles
- Full resume
- Technical positions
I’ll go into detail on each one of these in the paragraphs below.
Very senior roles: If you are well into your career and applying for a senior role, it may be unwise to include a section dedicated to your Eagle Scout award on your resume. This space would likely be better filled with relevant job qualifications. However, it may still be beneficial to list your Eagle Award as a part of your awards category, rather than giving it its own section.
Full resume: if you have so much relevant experience that your resume is full, you should determine whether highlighting your Eagle award will be more useful than covering a different qualification. While being an Eagle Scout covers many soft skills you may have, most employers place greater importance on hard technical skills which will be directly relevant to the job. Be aware of this trade-off when crafting your resume.
Technical positions: Your Eagle award will be most helpful when applying for entry-level positions that involve leadership, communication, or civil service. It may not be very helpful when applying for a technical role that relies on specific qualifications and expertise. These types of roles are fairly rare, but if you find yourself applying, focus more on your technical abilities and academic qualifications.
In most cases, you’ll know whether it’s appropriate to highlight your Eagle Scout award on your resume. A good rule of thumb is to try to see your resume from the perspective of a hiring manager. Would telling them about your Scouting experience makes them more likely to think you’re a good fit for the role? Oftentimes the answer is yes, and in those cases, it would be a good idea to include the full extent of your Scouting background in your resume.
The Biggest Mistake People Make When Presenting Their Scouting Experience In Their Resume
You may be wondering how to include ‘Eagle Scout’ in your resume. The biggest mistake that most people make is not going into enough detail about what they achieved during their Scouting career. Are you simply writing the term ‘Eagle Scout’ under your achievements section? If you are, you’re missing a great opportunity to highlight many of your soft skills which will set you apart from the other candidates.
The biggest mistake that most people make is not going into enough detail about what they achieved during their Scouting career.
By creating an entire section for your Eagle Scout award, you’ll be able to talk about your Eagle project, leadership experience, and other soft skills you developed during your time in Scouting. If you’re a young candidate applying for an entry-level position, this sort of experience is invaluable in helping build up your resume.
Below is an example from my own resume. In it, I detail my own Scouting experience as its own section and highlight relevant scouting accomplishments and soft skills.
As you can see, I use my Eagle award as a jumping-off point to highlight many other soft skills that would be useful to an employer. If you’d like to do this too, I’ve written you a guide to highlighting your Scouting experience on a resume. A key benefit to going into detail about your Eagle Scout award is that you give employers, even those without any knowledge of Scouting, an overview of your accomplishments.
As I’ve said before, if you’re applying for a senior role requiring a ton of experience and have been out of Scouting for a long time, I would suggest not putting as much importance on your Eagle Scout award. However, if you’re like me when I was trying to get my first job, creating a section around your Eagle Scout background will be critical in helping you to stand out from the competition and get hired.
If you’re an Eagle Scout and have not properly included it on your resume, you’re likely missing out big-time. The Eagle award can help you to highlight important skills to potential employers and will vastly improve most young people’s chances of being hired. While going into detail about your Eagle award is appropriate in most situations, there are a few instances where it may not be as valuable. However, being an Eagle Scout will never hurt your chances when applying for a job.
Believe it or not, there is a right way to highlight your Eagle Scout experience on a resume. If you’re an Eagle Scout or close to it, and are already confident with your resume, check out my guide to using scouting to ace your next interview. It’ll teach you the best way to deconstruct the skills you’ve learned in your Scouting career, and use them during your next interview to land your dream job.
If you do have the Eagle award, congratulations! If properly included in your resume, this award will communicate to employers that you’re dependable and the type of person that they should hire. If you keep the tips that I shared with you in mind when applying for your next job, I can guarantee that you’ll have an easier time getting call-backs and eventually being hired!