20

I am an Eagle Scout, and felt pretty good about including 'Eagle Scout' on my college applications.

After college, I felt good about including 'Eagle Scout' at the bottom of my resume when looking applying jobs.

Recently, I've stopped feeling like it helps.

(When) Should I stop listing Eagle Scout on my resume?

18

Does your resume have a section called "accomplishments?" If you have any more recent patents, prizes, or publications to put with your "Eagle Scout" accomplishment it might be appropriate to continue to list Eagle Scout after you turn 28 or so.

Are you active in scouting as an adult? If so, you can list that: "2011-present Assistant Scoutmaster. 2003 Eagle Scout. For example.

The point is this: people what to know who you are now. An item like Eagle Scout on a resume should catch an interviewer's attention. It should give an opening in an interview to talk about issues of character and leadership.

So, it will be most effective on your resume in a context that shows you've continued with the dedication and service it takes to make Eagle.

  • 2
    I also think it should be under "accomplishments", as something to talk about or a personal touch (unless it is relevant for the job search). I include awards, memberships and scholarships but only the ones I feel make me look better (like a volunteering award from a previous employer). Should be at the bottom of the CV :-) – Sigal Shaharabani May 27 '14 at 15:36
10

Once you are out of college, being an Eagle Scout will have less weight, mainly because you're getting older and what you are doing now with respect to building up your skills set and your work experience is of greater immediate impact to your prospective employers. Unless you are applying for a job with the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America.

Being an Eagle Scout might give you an edge if you are applying for a position where some trust in your character is involved such as accountant or nurse or teacher or a law enforcement person - I am referring here to the Boy Scouts Oath, and I presume that everybody in the Boy Scouts organization takes it seriously, especially the Eagle Scouts.

And if course, if you are dealing with interviewers who know and appreciate what it takes to be an Eagle Scout, that one line in your resume where you mention that you are an Eagle Scout might just motivate someone to call you in for an interview given your other qualifications.

Comment from @Dopeybob435 to OP "I treat my Eagle Scout the same way I treat certifications. It will depend on the field you are trying to get a position in however it will not hurt, on a recent job interview the employer just about overlooked the resume and started asking about what I did for my Eagle Project and what his kids did for theirs (I am in my mid 20s and have an impressive resume by most accounts)."

Boy Scouts Oath

Gates: Scouting Instills Principles, Integrity, Honor

Requirements for being an Eagle Scout - only 4% of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts. If it were easy to be an Eagle Scout, everyone would be an Eagle Scout.

List of Eagle Scouts

7

Quite simply, when the space that listing it takes up could better be used by other accomplishments or information.

Having the accomplishment on your resume is only hurting you when it causes you to leave off something more relevant or important so that you can include it. It could provide something to talk about in an interview: the accomplishment is rare, and many in management regard the achievement as an indicator of future performance and potential.

Another time I would consider removing it would be if I had not been active in scouting in 5 or more years. It is perceived differently if you remain active in scouting than if you are just listing it as "something I did way back when". If you remain active then it is something that is important and helps to guide your life. If you have stopped being active it is no longer as relevant, at least in the eyes of others. If it is still important to you but you have been unable to stay involved, be prepared to talk about that and why you have not been involved, if you choose to leave it on your resume.

5

Recently, I've stopped feeling like it helps.

I think this is key.

First, anything on your resume is ordered from top to bottom; important to not so important. And if you have been placing it at the bottom of your resume—I hate to say this—but it is definitely not a major factor in anyone accepting or rejecting your resume. Anything at the bottom of your resume instantly has less weight.

So that said it has never really hurt or helped anything. Pretty confident of that. So perhaps you can continue to list it, but your call.

4

You should keep it on your resume. Eagle Scout is not an award or an achievement, it is a testament to your character. The lessons you learned in Scouting are (or should have been) important events that shaped who you are as a person. Considering that "fit" plays an important role in hiring decisions, mentioning that you are an Eagle Scout seems relevant and appropriate.

However, be prepared to demonstrate your own awareness of why being an Eagle Scout is such a major asset. I have heard of Eagle Scouts who left a poor impression in interviews because they seemed unable to articulate why they felt being an Eagle Scout was so important to them.

As an Eagle Scout myself, I plan on keeping it on my resume until the day I retire. In my own experience, it has almost always been perceived positively. I might be a little bit biased here, but an employer who would dismiss it as irrelevant or laugh at it doesn't have a clue.

3

The consensus of resume readers I have known is that after graduating college it is time to drop awards that are only given to high school students. Listing common awards from your high-school days may give the impression that you are unsophisticated, still expecting praise for achievements that are rather commonplace. So after graduating college, most people won't be impressed that you were an Eagle Scout, or high school valedictorian, or won the annual scholarship from the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo. Interviewers want to know what you have done recently.

If you have adult accomplishments, keep them on the resume for a while. For example, if you had employment relevant to the work you are seeking, or started a successful business that grew to provide substantial income, say so.

  • 1
    *comments removed* Thanks to everyone who helped clarify and improve this post. The comments have been removed since they don't apply to the current revision. Thanks for the collaboration by the community to improve our site! – jmac May 27 '14 at 23:47
2

Honestly, I would stop listing it once you've had one fulltime (non-seasonal job) unless you're specifically applying for a position where it may matter (camp councilor, teacher, perhaps some outdoorsy sort of shop). It's similar to being in the debate team or making the varsity football team in high school - you certainly learned a bit but it doesn't do much for an actual job except provide a shared experience to your interviewer(s).

And that shared experience goes both ways. People who shared that experience may look at you favorably. People who picked on boy scouts when they were younger may view you with disdain. And people who have issue with the scouts' political stances that landed them in the news may not look very favorably on you (even though you had nothing to do with the organization's politics).

It's useful to fill a resume when you're young, and it can be useful to show experience with the outdoors for some jobs. Otherwise it's tangential at best.

0

So my answer is going to be short, without citations, and I'm sorry about that. Are you employed now? If so, ask them. Go to your HR department, to whomever interviewed you, and ask if they considered your accomplishment at all, and if so, how.

If they disregarded it, or if they found themselves wondering why it was there, perhaps it's time now to take it out. If, however, it started some conversation during interview, then unless it could be replaced with more pertinent job related information, it's find as an accomplishment. as long as it is relevant to today. Are you still Scouting? Are you a leader?

  • 1
    This is an interesting idea (ask HR) but its only a sample of one. Who knows if including "Eagle Scout" for next offer is the small touch that keeps the CV in the hiring manager eye for the extra few second needed before deciding to ring the guy up – Brandin Aug 22 '14 at 6:23
  • @BRandin, I would more likely think it would hurt more that it would help. Managers get annoyed with people who waste their time with irrelevant information and high school accomplishments after you are 20 years old or so are irrelevant when reviewing resumes. The people most likely to be impressed are Eagle Scouts themselves, but that is such a small subset of the population that it is not worth considering. – HLGEM Aug 22 '14 at 15:41
  • @HLGEM waste time with two words?? come on, I can't take that seriously. If you're the type that thinks reading two words which appear at the very bottom in appropriate section like "accomplishments" is too much "wasting valuable time" then probably its better off that you don't call, better not to work for such a person! – Brandin Aug 22 '14 at 18:07
  • @Brandin, resumes shoudl be professional and only professional and if you don't understand that you wasted my time reading the whole thing. When I have to go through 1000 resumes, yes extra words are a waste of time. It certainly will not make me feel interested in hiring you. It will make me irritated which is generally not a good thing to amek someone reviewing your resume feel. – HLGEM Aug 22 '14 at 18:10
  • @HLGEM ok if you feel this way i await your answer submission where you guide the OP on how best not to waste your valuable time. Most of the other answers here are a lot more positive than your outlook! Entitled to your opinion but like i said if including these two words means i can filter out bad-tempered HR then thats actually a bonus probably!? – Brandin Aug 22 '14 at 18:13
-1

I have absolutely no idea what an "Eagle Scout" is - I don't think we have them in the UK. So my advice is simple:

Can you explain what the qualification is in such a way that a potential employer would see the benefit in employing you?

If not, leave it off.

Never assume that the person reading your CV will understand your qualifications. Even if you've completed a basic "First Aid" course, explain briefly what you did and why you consider it important to the role.

  • The British equivalent of an "Eagle Scout" is a "Queen's Scout." The words "Queen's Scout" are never going to appear on my resume. – emory Aug 23 '14 at 19:57
  • Would be interested in comments justifying downvotes. – Terence Eden Aug 25 '14 at 10:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.