Earning the Scouting rank of Eagle Scout and not listing it on your entry-level resume is like graduating from university and then not including that you’ve earned your degree! If you’re an Eagle Scout, or close to it, you’ve likely dedicated many years to learning all you can about Scouting. What is the best way to translate those accomplishments onto your resume?
As an Eagle Scout myself, I decided to find out…
What is the best way to list Eagle Scout on your resume? ‘Eagle Scout’ should be listed at the top of your extracurricular achievements. Below the award, you should include one bullet point about your Eagle Scout project, one bullet point about your troop leadership responsibilities, and one bullet point that you can cater to whatever type of role that you’re applying.
Should you ever not include ‘Eagle Scout’ on your resume? Find out what listing your Eagle rank does for your resume, and when not to include it, in my article here.
If you’re writing about your experience in Scouting, often what you say is will not be as important as how you say it. I’ve tested countless ways of including my Eagle Scout rank in my resume, and these are the best ways, I’ve found, of standing out from the competition and getting job offers.
Keep reading for the key techniques you can use to highlight your own Scouting background, plus, an exclusive, step-by-step example based on my own Eagle Scout resume!
Effectively Frame Your Journey in Scouting
When reading your resume, not every employer will care that you were involved in Scouting. Some may not even recognize the significance of being an Eagle Scout. But every employer cares about two things:
- Your skills
- Your accomplishments
From your resume, they are looking to find out things that you have done and can do that indicate that you would be a good fit for their company.
Your journey in Scouting is the perfect opportunity to highlight both of these attributes! The key is effectively framing what you have done so that they know you’ll succeed if they hire you. Think of it like trying to tell a story through your resume.
You’ll need to use each line effectively to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best applicant they have. By determining what you want to communicate, before writing each bullet point, you can decide precisely which of your experiences to include that indicate you’re the best candidate for the job.
Especially if you’re looking for an entry-level position, you likely won’t have work experience that directly translates to the role you’re applying for. However, many of your Scouting achievements can make up for this. Here’s an example from my resume. (Note: ‘Boy Scout Troop’ has been changed to ‘BSA Scout Troop’ on my actual resume)
On it, I highlight 3 main things:
- My Eagle Project
- Leadership Experience
- Public Communication
Below, we’ll break each point down, individually.
Listing Your Eagle Project on a Resume
Creating, organizing, and managing a community service effort will be very similar to many of the projects you’ll likely encounter later on in your career. By detailing what you’ve accomplished in your Eagle project, you’re demonstrating to your employer that you’re able to plan and complete ambitious undertakings!
Let’s break down what I’ve written, and then apply it to your own resume:
“Conceptualized personal community service project, fundraised from local business, and lead 100+ volunteers over the course of 3 months in the renovation and beautification of an elementary school.”
Breaking this bullet point down, there are five main points that I highlight for prospective employers in this one section
- Project Planning: “Conceptualized personal community service project”
- Fundraising/Sales: “fundraised from local business”
- Leadership/Communication: “lead 100+ volunteers”
- Persistence: “over the course of 3 months”
- Community Service: “ renovation and beautification of an elementary school”
The points you write about your Eagle project might be very different from the point I’ve written about mine. That’s fine! The only thing you should keep in mind are the skills you’re trying to express to employers.
Here are a few more examples:
- Demonstrated initiative by planning and leading a week-long community service project. Successfully managed deadlines and communicated with volunteers to accomplish our goal.
- Managed and raised over $500 in goods for a fundraising initiative to support needy families. Conceptualized and managed each aspect of the event, even putting in place contingencies for unexpected challenges.
Got it? These are just a few ways you can frame your Scouting experience to craft the perfect resume. By reviewing the job descriptions of positions that you’re applying to, you can determine which parts of your Eagle project to highlight in this section. (More on how to do this later on!)
Highlight Your Leadership Abilities on a Resume
When applying to most positions, having leadership experience will set you apart from the competition. I’m sure you know this already, but Scouting is one of the best places for a young person to gain leadership experience! Your resume should reflect this experience by touching on your achievements as a leader within your troop.
While your first bullet point on your Eagle Project represented a specific example, this point highlighting your leadership abilities should cover a more general scope of what you’ve done. Try to avoid talking about your term as patrol leader or senior patrol leader, and instead, cover some of the responsibilities you’ve handled throughout your Scouting career.
A good way to think about this is to ask yourself, “what is the employer most looking for from a candidate applying for this position?” In my case, I wanted to highlight how I was detail-oriented and responsible. This is how I highlighted my leadership experience while also expressing those qualities:
“Oversaw risk management practices when organizing, coordinating, and leading troop activities.”
‘Risk management’ is one of those buzzwords that employers love. It’s often taken as meaning that you’re cautious and responsible. In Scouting, you’re always in the business of risk management. By being prepared, you’re managing risk and planning for the unexpected! Use this to your advantage when writing your resume.
To tailor this to your own resume, here are some other examples to get your creative juices flowing:
- Lead over 20 individuals in various Scouting team competitions requiring organization, coordination, and communication. Ultimately achieved first place, beating out hundreds of other competitors.
- Consistently elected to lead and manage Scouting activities. Demonstrated strong communication skills, tenacity, and resourcefulness by restructuring troop processes to operate more efficiently.
Simply put, anything done as a leader that demonstrates other skills your employers may be looking for is perfect for this bullet point. Highlighting your leadership experience shows that, if hired, you’re looking to be promoted. This means you’ll ultimately be taking on more responsibility and earning a higher paycheck!
Tailor Your Scouting Experience to Fit Any Job
Your last bullet point can and should be changed to perfectly suit every job you’re applying to. This point should be your silver bullet — your main talking point to bring up in every interview. All you need to do is put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes, then, ask yourself, “what is most important to me?”
For instance, a few of the roles that I had been applying to required strong communication skills. I currently speak with hundreds of customers on a daily basis, so being able to convey information effectively and build rapport with others was key for getting the job. When thinking back on my Scouting experience, one of the things I often did was help to lead and publicize community outreach events.
Once a year, all of the troops in my area would get together and host a giant Scouting fair for the community. We’d fundraise by selling tickets a few weeks beforehand, then, on the day of the event, we set up booths and taught the people who came by some sort of Scouting skill. While it was mainly a lot of fun back then, when job hunting, it became a great example of a useful skill I could bring to employers.
I’d imagine you also do a few things in your troop that may just seem fun, but could actually be a great asset to your resume. Take a second to think of all of the big events that your troop participates in. If you sell something, that’s an opportunity to showcase your results using data! Going back to my previous example, this is what I wrote on my resume to demonstrate strong public speaking and communication skills:
“Communicated troop initiatives and accomplishments to the community during local events; publicly speaking to a large crowd, and leading to the recruitment of new members as well as additional donations.”
It doesn’t need to be too complex. Really, what other entry-level applicants will have some sort of experience like that? I know that if you’ve been in Scouting for a few years, you’ll have some accomplishments like that too. I’ve prepared a few more examples of other types of jobs that you may be looking at.
- Retail: What they’re looking for here is integrity and attention to detail. If you’ve been involved in training younger scouts, this will be the sort of experience that would look great on your resume:
“Structured and lead a course aimed to educate younger scouts on how to operate with integrity and attention to detail. Catered my communication style to each individual and successfully prepared each member for Scouting”
- Culinary: They’ll want you to be a hard worker who is good with people and honest. It really depends on whether you’re trying to be a cook, cashier, or a server, but either way, your Scouting experience will help.
“Planned and cooked meals during campouts, ensuring that the dishes were sanitized properly and that the food was prepared safely. Taught fire safety skills to other scouts, and often took on the responsibilities of scouts who were unable to.”
I’m sure you see that it’s much easier to write your point based on your own Scouting experience than to try to make up examples. Just review some of the things you’ve done as a scout, and see if they’ll match the job you’re applying to. This experience will also be great to bring up as a short story during an interview.
For tips on how to use your Scouting experience to ace an interview, check out my full article here.
Scouting is a way to not only gain valuable real-world experience but also useful credentials that’ll make you a strong candidate for any job. By correctly framing your Scouting experience, you’ll be able to write a stronger resume and have more opportunities to interview for your dream job!
To recap, I would recommend you list 3 bullet points in the Scouting portion of your resume: your Eagle/service projects, leadership experience, and one more point specifically relevant to the job. This will give you the best method of showcasing your experiences and possibly transitioning into a story describing these points in more detail during your interview.
Keep in mind, a solid resume will only get your foot through the door. It’ll take a great interview and constant effort to eventually win your dream job. That’s why, after you’ve finished upgrading your resume using the advice from this guide, be sure to check out my article on how to use your Scouting background to crush your next interview!