Develop your leadership, not your resume

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February 9, 2018
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February 9, 2018

Develop your leadership, not your resume

Junior and senior year means it’s time to get your life together. For most of us the first step toward that goal is finding a job.

So like many others, I’m putting my best foot forward and writing my first real resume. With some advice from the helpful people in Career Services, I now have a working resume.

But despite the advice and the effort at fine-tuning, I don’t feel like my resume completely describes me. Fitting 21 years of life experience into a one-page document is a hard task.

My campus leadership experience was especially hard to capture on a resume. For example, being editor of The Collegian was hard to condense into four bullet points.

Somehow “Led a team of 23 students to produce a weekly newspaper” didn’t fully capture all that went into preparing this issue for publication.

But I’m hardly the only student who works hard in a campus position. The student body presidents and many society and organizational leaders give their time to provide a valuable service to the campus community.

Some who hold campus positions, however, are leaders in name only. The fact is we all know people who seek out positions only for what they can get instead of how they can serve.

They’ll put the title on their resume but won’t live up to the responsibility. If they were being truthful, these “leaders” would have no trouble fitting their experience into four bullet points let alone a full page.

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, says that 80 percent of the work will be done by 20 percent of the people.

Many businesses have used the rule to describe the labor inequality among their employees. Could this rule also be used to describe student leadership at BJU?

To illustrate this point, imagine an event from last semester like student-led worship, Homecoming or Turkey Bowl.

Now, imagine all the work that must go into planning those events. The Student Leadership Council puts hours into those events and to other initiatives around campus.

Yet last semester one SLC member told The Collegian they work around one hour a week for SLC. One hour.

Now think about how many societies or other campus organizations are almost entirely run by the president and vice president despite having seven or more officers?

The fact that these students’ titles will look just as good on their resumes as true campus leaders is frustrating.

But I don’t mean to attack titles altogether because they’re not bad. They’re actually useful in communicating responsibility.

But by assuming a title, you promise that you will also assume the responsibilities that go with it.

I haven’t been in youth group in over four years, yet I still remember my youth group leader telling me that community service isn’t about your feeding hungry people: it’s about hungry people being fed. That distinction makes all the difference.

The same principle applies to campus leadership. It’s not about basking in your own influence, but using your influence to serve others here on campus.

This is my call to all campus leaders, including myself: assume your responsibilities and live up to your title because we have a campus to serve this semester.

Let’s focus less on ourselves and more on others.

As a campus, let’s learn from the example of Christ who “came not be served, but to serve.”

The question is not what’s on your resume, but what are you doing.

—Ian Dyke, Editor