I’ve looked at close to 100 resumes hunting for just the right person. Here are some things that I’ve found that resulted in the resume making its way to the trash can or the applicant not making it past a phone interview. I want you to succeed. So please seriously consider these deal breakers:
1. Don’t use a selfie for your picture on your resume.
2. Especially don’t use a selfie of your family in pajamas in front of the Christmas tree.
3. If you don’t capitalize “God” it tends to stick out like a sore thumb on a ministry resume.
4. Have someone proof your resume and cover letter. In fact, have about five people proof it. One spelling mistake I can overlook. . .two. . . tells me you don’t care.
5. Under interests. . . maybe cleaning isn’t the best one to put for ministry. Janitorial, yes. But maybe not ministry.
6. When asked what you read. . . comic books are fine but don’t lead with that and then try to entertain me for five minutes about your 1000 comic books. Maybe start with someone like Francis Chan or C.S. Lewis and throw in the comic books at the end just for fun.
7. Don’t put a 2.65 GPA on your resume for a degree in children’s ministry. Just don’t. I know you might have worked hard for it and if you tell me that I will honor that work. But let’s not put that on the resume without explanation.
8. When asked what you do best . . . don’t write “hit the snooze button.” Please don’t ever do that. Even if you are kidding.
9. Don’t even think about doing a phone interview without at least looking at the church website. Show you care enough to take a few moments to learn something about us.
10. Don’t try to put every job you ever had on your resume. Clean, crisp, visually pleasing resumes stick out. Show me that even if you don’t know graphic design you can find someone who does. Get them to help you. In ministry it is important to know how to find someone to do the skills you don’t have.
Children and student pastors. . . you are professionals. Give me a resume that shows your professionalism. Hire someone to write and design it for you if you need help. Practice phone interviews. Take this process seriously. I promise we are and we want to give you an opportunity. Make it easy for us to choose you.