I have read over 100 resumes in the last two weeks. New Union is in the process of pursuing an Associate Pastor of Youth Ministry and posted the job opportunity on February 29, 2016. After listening to the team of church members who are a part of the search process I put these thoughts together for the benefit of those looking for an opportunity:
- No more than two pages if possible, and include references on your resume.
- Leave out High School accomplishments and awards. Clubs, organizations, and GPA don’t have a bearing on whether or not you can do the job.
- Provide at least one reference to someone you have worked for in ministry; it is a red-flag when you don’t have anyone who has supervised you to speak on your behalf.
- Provide a reference from churches where you have served. If no one will speak on your behalf from a previous place of ministry, it causes concern. Most search teams and pastors are going to contact your previous places of ministry, so give them a contact you trust.
- If you are seeking a ministry position but are not currently serving in a paid position, volunteer in ministry until the Lord opens the door and give that information on your resume.
- Use a pdf that can be opened by any person on any computer. Avoid using google docs; it consistently replaces your name with the name of the person you sent it to at the top of the page. As of right now I have applied three times for the position at New Union!
- Provide a picture of yourself or your family; our team has gravitated to the resumes that have pictures.
- Refrain from giving your entire life story, people want to hear it, but in the initial stages of a search process, churches are looking for qualifications, experience, and a proven track record of faithful ministry.
- Stay somewhere in ministry longer than eighteen months. Our team doesn’t want to bring a person who consistently leaves for another opportunity over and over again. I can’t imagine any church wanting a short time youth pastor involved in their kids lives.
- Be patient and assume the church will let you know if you are being considered for the opportunity.
You may have your ideas and tips for resume writing that conflict with these, feel free to stick to your convictions. But I recommend considering these thoughts if you send a resume to New Union!