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How to Put Phi Beta Kappa on a Resume: Guide & Examples

How to Put Phi Beta Kappa on a Resume: Guide & Examples

Phi Beta Kappa on a resume can be the golden key to unlocking your application’s full potential. But where should you mention your membership?

As seen in:

First of all—

 

Congratulations! 

 

You’ve made it into the most exclusive honor society in the U.S.! You could hardly hope for better recognition of your academic accomplishments than an invitation to join Phi Beta Kappa. 

 

Whether you’re looking for a job or applying for scholarships, an achievement like this definitely belongs on your resume. 

 

The only question is, where? 

 

This guide will show you: 

 

  • A Phi Beta Kappa resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • Where and how to list Phi Beta Kappa on a resume to make it stand out.
  • Tips and examples of how to create the perfect resume education section. 

 

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sample resume example
sample resume example

Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Check out these guides for more advice on student and graduate resumes: 

 

 

Here’s a sample Phi Beta Kappa member resume to use as a reference: 

 

Phi Beta Kappa on a Resume [Sample]

 

Rose Smith

Research biologist

703-300-4150

rose.a.smith@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/rose.a.smith

 

Summary

 

Results-driven research biologist with 3+ years of experience and excellent analytical skills. Designed and led a quantitative study worth over $40,000 in funding, with results later published in the IJB and presented at the International Environmental Research Convention. Eager to join the CDC to develop accurate models of the potentially negative impact of environmental factors on humans in urban environments. 

 

Experience

 

Research biologist

SapienLab

May 2018–May 2021

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Combined biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and computer modeling to conduct primary research for 13 environmental research projects. 
  • Produced and submitted 3 manuscripts per year, featuring experimental results to be assessed in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Presented findings of 10+ studies during conferences and cross-functional and interdisciplinary meetings.
  • Coordinated field research during 5 projects, complete with conducting training for 5 field technicians. 
  • Collated, organized, and reviewed qualitative and quantitative field data from 8 projects.

Key Achievement:

  • Conceived, led, and published a quantitative study on the effects of landfill methane emissions on urban populations of foxes, securing $40,000 in research funding. The results were published in the IJB and presented during the 2020 International Environmental Research Convention. 

 

Education

 

BA in Biology, John Hopkins University

2014–2018

  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude
  • Relevant coursework: Organic Chemistry II with Applications in Biochemistry and Medicine, Biochemistry Project Lab, Molecular Biology
  • Extracurriculars: Chair of the Biological Research Peer-Review Society, treasurer of the Biological & Environmental Sciences Club. 

 

Skills

  • Independent research
  • Interdisciplinary collaborative studies
  • Electron microscopy
  • Cell fractionation
  • Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Investigative skills
  • Computer skills
  • Communication skills

 

Publications

  • “The Effects of Landfill Gas Emissions on Urban Wildlife”, International Journal of Biology 12.3 (2020): 23–26. 
  • “A Comparative Review of Automotive CO2 Emissions in Rural vs Urban Environments”, BioScience Journal 45.5 (2018): 115–121.

 

How do you describe Phi Beta Kappa on a resume?

 

Add Phi Beta Kappa to the education section of your resume. Under your degree, college name, and dates of attendance, add a bullet point to highlight your honors. If you graduated recently and don’t have much work experience, you can also mention relevant coursework, academic projects, and your best extracurricular activities

 

Like so: 

RIGHT

BA in Biology, John Hopkins University

2014–2018

  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude
  • Relevant coursework: Organic Chemistry II with Applications in Biochemistry and Medicine, Biochemistry Project Lab, Molecular Biology
  • Extracurriculars: Chair of the Biological Research Peer-Review Society, treasurer of the Biological & Environmental Sciences Club.

If you’re applying for a job that has nothing to do with academics, you may want to add your GPA to your education section, too. Even though Phi Beta Kappa is the most prestigious U.S. honor society, it may be unfamiliar to recruiters from outside the academic circles. 

Read more: How to Create the Perfect Education Section to Show Your Achievements

...is that all? 

 

Not quite:

 

Candidates who don’t have much work experience can also share their Phi Beta Kappa membership in their career objective

 

Sometimes called a resume introduction, the career objective is a one-paragraph summary of your best accomplishments, perfect for graduate and entry-level resumes

 

When you have no professional achievements, your Phi Beta Kappa membership matters even more—it’s your best chance to stand out from the competition. 

 

So—

 

Here’s how you can weave your PBK membership into a resume objective: 

RIGHT

Recent wildlife biology graduate with proven research and analytical skills. Phi Beta Kappa member, 4.0 GPA. My thesis on the limitations of avian use surveys was published in the BioScience Journal, receiving 95% positive reviews. Eager to apply my skills and knowledge to conducting research for the US Geological Survey in order to discover innovative solutions to environmental issues in the Midwest. 

If you mention your Phi Beta Kappa membership in your resume introduction, make sure to also include it in your education section for consistency. 

 

Oh—

 

Last but not least, you can share details of your PBK membership in your graduate cover letter

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

That’s it! 

 

Your Phi Beta Kappa membership now has a place of honor on your resume. 

 

Thanks for reading! Still not sure where to put Phi Beta Kappa on a resume? Drop us a line in the comments, we’d love to chat!

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Hanna Wołoszyn
Hanna is a career expert dedicated to providing actionable, effective job hunting advice for a broad range of professions. In her guides, she shares job-winning resume and cover letter techniques to give readers the tools and confidence to unlock their full professional potential.

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