3 Steps to Making Your Small Group Experience Boost Your Resume
My sweet friend Meg, creator of A Sunny State of Mind, texted me the other day and asked a fantastic question:
“How can I put my small group experience on my resume?”
In her words, “There are so many badass, career-driven women who are also chasing Christ and deserve to highlight that to their future employers”—and she’s darn right!
But how to translate Bible study and deep chats into marketable skills can be tricky. Small groups are often such a regular part of your church or college life that they can seem “too routine” to include alongside internships and job experience. But if you’ve been dedicating 3-4 hours a week to your small group for multiple years, then it’s important enough to consider.
Here’s how I made my small group experience a huge asset on my resume, step-by-step:
Write down everything you do regularly for your small group
You do a lot to make your small group function. Here’s what my list looks like:
Listens to sermons and reads Bible passage
Prays for group
Writes discussion questions
Keeps up with group members regularly throughout the week
Spends frequent one-on-one time with group members
Opens up my home for group members
Asks questions and walks the group through discussion weekly
Learns about leading a small group from other leaders and mentor figures
Distill down each of those tasks to one action verb
Everything on that list has a desirable equivalent for the workforce, get creative and honest with what you’re really doing in group and with your prep time.
Authored curriculum for weekly leadership development meetings
Mentored women in personal and leadership development
Fostered strong group and interpersonal relationships with group members
Facilitates group growth through active listening
I highly recommend pulling up a list of “resume buzzwords” that HR teams look for. Those can give you the career language you need to make your experience translate well. Check out my Pinterest board of resume tips.
Own your soft skills
The #1 must-have workplace skill in 2019? Empathy. #5? Active listening. Never have emotional intelligence and soft skills matter more in the workforce, and there aren’t too many opportunities centered on developing those skills: your small group is one of them. I’m confident that if you compare your list from Step #2 to any list of desirable skills in 2019, you’ll find a whole lotta overlap. Own those skills, and own where they came from!
Discern if this resume needs this skillset
Read the room of where you’re applying. As important as soft skills are, it’s OK if that experience loses out to an internship or job that lists the specific and relevant skills your job is looking for.
But don’t count out the importance of this extracurricular to your future vocation! What you’re learning—leadership, community development, mentorship, patience, active listening—cannot be more valuable in life and in the workforce.