How many leadership positions should I list?

I am currently president of eleven clubs: STEM, DECA, FBLA, NHS, NEHS, NSHS, mental health, ASU, MUN, chess, creative writing
Ironically I’ve done the most for STEM despite there being a lot more prestigious stuff here. How many and which ones should I list?
Note: if you are going to say which clubs I dedicated the most time to, besides STEM everything else I feel the same way about. So which ones should I choose to list and how many? I’ve done about the same for everything else. But for other schools I’m thinking some are more impressive than others.

The ones where you contributed meaningfully. Your titles don’t matter; what you did does.

1 Like

I contributed to all of them in the same amount.

Agreed that you should prioritize the activities that were most meaningful and improtant to you. You can also lump some of them together. For example, you can put all the honor societies together.

Yep I was thinking about doing that but I can only dedicate max 2 spaces to the president positions besides STEM club.
And again, the rest of them are all of similar importance to me.

unrelated, but how in the world do you have time for 11 clubs let alone being president of all of them?


Read @skieurope note again.

It is not what are of importance to you. That you spent “similar” time does not mean you’ve contributed extensively or impactfully.

Your question is fair - you have 10 slots for ECs - but your concern likely is - will they believe me? My guess is likely not - but I have a hard time believing that you lead 11 groups and are making a serious impact at all 11 - with a fair amount of time devoted (because you are asked that on common app). So rank and put your best foot forward - i’d focus on a few and the contributions.

You can list all - some may believe you - some may take the entire thing with a grain of salt and that diminishes you. I agree with @skieurope in the sense that you care about them equally does not mean you spent extensive time and made extensive impact. My guess is, you could not possibly have done so. Sounds like STEM is the one you contributed mostly too - so that sounds like it should lead. It’s about what you do - not the impressiveness of the club name. If you organize weekly chess tournaments, and brought in 30 members who learned to play, that’s impactful - even if it’s just a fun thing and not a service oriented thing. They want to learn about your passions, the real you.

Also, Honors Societies should not be listed, again, unless you made impact and can describe this impact. Colleges know the NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, etc. are fluff…so that’s a red flag right there. If you can say, conducted monthly visits with 6 elementary schools to teach math and I created the overall schedule, etc…that means something. Saying I was President of our Mu Alpha Theta chapter or NHS chapter means nothing.

If you have made impact to all 11, it sounds like a great essay though - you must have the best time management skills ever and you can talk about how that defines you…and what led you to developing these strong habits.


What activities will you list in the other seven slots?
To show depth in activities, you may want to use these two remaining for those that complement the others.

What might be helpful is to make a list of all the clubs and write down a few bullet points about what their mission is and what they accomplished over the past 2 years. Be brutally honest with yourself and weed out the fluff. A good EC list shows passion and dedication, it’s not a laundry list of meaningless accomplishments. It should express to the AO insights into what makes you you and how you may become a contributing member of the school community


If besides stem they all hold the same importance then… How important are they actually?

The ones that stand out to me our chess and creative writing. Does your school have a chess team that competes or just a club. These with stem show diversity. But chess is also mathematical while creative writing is showing you can use both sides of your brain. I would honestly be more impressed with being a peer to peer tutor if that’s in your bag of tricks. I know someone that had your resume and we had to have her hone down what was truly important instead of like “everything is important” mentality.

Also which ones have you done the longest like 2-4 years. Doing it for one year then moving on doesn’t show commitment and just shows your trying to gather points.

1 Like

well said

Internships, work, summer camps, projects, and other awards.

Sometimes it’s hard managing the time and meeting dates, but besides that I’m pretty efficient with stuff and plan aheard.

I’ve done them all for 1-2 years. For chess I only hold casual meetings where members play chess. Similar for creative writing. I do the same for all clubs, prestigious or not.

So 1-2 years is not impressive to an AO. Your time management skills might be. Causal meetings don’t really count but internships, projects and working look better. Schools like commitment. Think with those and some of the clubs your resume will look good. 11 clubs that your the president doesn’t bode well. But yes, could make an interesting time management essay.

So the way you describe Chess and Creative writing tells me these are interests more than clubs? How does your roll as president differ from the rest of the members participating?

I still don’t have a clear idea of your other activities, but from what you’ve said, I would put all of your honor societies in additional information. Unless you have launched at least one major project from each, the AOs know that few people accomplish much in school honoraries.

You obviously like to be involved and want to lead. This is important information that your internships, jobs and camp attendance may not show. Use your last two slots to most clearly link your clubs/leadership to your interests.

On the other hand, as @Novacat9191 suggests, I am also intrigued by the chess and creative writing combination. These activities bring another dimension to you as a person. This strategy can be dangerous, though, if you don’t present enough focus in your application—you risk portraying yourself as someone who moves from project to project with no commitment or depth.

Another option is to put all of them in additional information so that the focus is on those activities that mean something to you and in which you’ve achieved a significant level of depth.

1 Like

nothing except I organize everything - like create all the brackets, forms, documents, write reports, etc

Thank you. I’ll take your advice!

1 Like

It sounds like maybe you prefer the aspect of managing these clubs and are involved in them more for that than as an actual participant. Perhaps you can emphasize that aspect of your involvement across the board instead of focusing on each individual club.