I should be honest first. I never hire from a resume. I don’t know of any successful leaders that do.
Anytime I hire some one, however, I ask for a resume.
Resumes are a like an expanded business card. It helps me connect with people I may want to hire.
More than that, a resume—and what people place within one—tells me a lot about the candidate for the position.
So, for those reasons, there are some things to consider when writing an effective resume. My hope is this will help some of my pastor friends who are seeking another position or being considered by another church or ministry.
Here are 8 resume essentials for pastors:
- Honesty – Make no mistake about it—anything you put on your resume is subject to verification. And if you’ve exaggerated, you’ll likely be disqualified.
- Social Media – Your name will be Googled. Make it easy on people and share where you’ll be found online. It saves time and shows you have nothing to hide.
- Success – Tell us what you did well. Use numbers if possible. Again, be honest. We know you’re putting your best foot forward, but we need to know the standard you’ve set.
- Neatness – I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve seen that looked unkempt. They were hard to read because they weren’t organized in an efficient way. They used poor grammar or had misspellings. What do you think this communicates about the personal work style of the person applying for the job?
- Formatted – Make sure your resume is formatted to display easily online. Most likely it will be viewed on a smart phone. You want it to read just as winsomely about your qualifications.
- Buzz words – It sounds like marketing, but you only get one look sometimes. Use words that capture attention. Words like “small groups” or “Sunday school” acclimate you to a certain audience or style of church. Know your audience and use appropriate words that appeal to them.
- Spell-check – Don’t have misspelled words. I repeat, don’t have misspelled words (Do you get it?). Your resume (unlike this post) should be flawless and error-free for the closest reader.
- Updated – Make sure your resume reflects where you are today and how things are progressing. I can’t tell you how many times that is not the case.
Those are just a few suggestions.
I’d be curious. Do you keep a resume updated even when you are satisfied with your position?