Over the years I have read hundreds of résumés. Actually, it is probably more than that. In any case, between interviewing many people on radio and TV, I have also given input to some churches on pastoral searches. I have evaluated dozens of résumés for a pastoral position. Here are a few things which you may want to share with a friend who is applying for a pastoral position:
*First impressions are huge. I was amazed by how poorly several of the résumés looked. The lack of any attention to aesthetics was shocking. I am not advocating lots of fancy stuff. I am saying that using Courier font and inconsistent borders is not quite passing muster.
*The lack of good writing was painful to see. Poor writing for someone going into a preaching ministry is troubling.
*The word passion is way overused. When I see someone has a “passion” for this or that, I grow impatient. I beg pastors to use some other word.
*Family is listed as hobby and many times not even the first one! Some put family under a category called “interests,” but the same problem remains. I have seen too many put gardening and golf or reading and travel on the same list as family.
*No reason is given for leaving a particular church. One candidate who was candid about the reason for leaving his previous position was put at the top of my pile.
*Stop using trivialities, sloganeering, platitudes, and playing to the crowd. Since this last church I helped leans toward dispensationalism it was painful to read the pandering descriptions of how committed some candidates are to this particular system of theology.
*No references given from previous church.
*Stop saying the predictable “my wife is the most beautiful and my children are simply amazing.”
*Dates of experience have gaps and these are not explained.