4 Simple Tips For Beginning Your Church Job Search


I share this story often: A few months ago, a family friend came into the office to interview for a position that Vanderbloemen was representing. Before the meeting, we sat down for a friendly catch-up conversation, and I asked the question, “What has this process been like for you?” He replied honestly, “Caroline, this is the most vulnerable place I’ve ever been. I have never needed to submit my resume to places. I’ve always known someone who knew someone, etc., and got my job that way. It’s a scary place for me.”

Does my friend’s story resonate with you today?

I love my job because where else would I get to walk alongside someone, at what is generally a very vulnerable state, and offer compassion?

We understand. All of us here at Vanderbloemen have at some point felt the sting of an email saying, “You’re no longer being considered for this position.” Know that not being the “best fit” does not take away from your calling and gifting to lead and serve. It simply means that it was a competitive process, and someone was a better fit for this position. Not all positions, just this one. God has a place for you in your next season. 

If you have never had to put a resume together or even apply for a church job, this article is for you. We see you and want you to succeed. Thank you for your years of service. Jesus has something amazing for you in this next season.

1. What is your first step?

When you’re looking for a new job, the first step isn’t to write or update your resume. I believe the first step is to take a day with the Lord and assess where you’ve been and where you are headed. This will shape how you write your resume, apply for jobs, and receive feedback. When we have a clear vision, we can take the open and closed doors in stride.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you start this journey:

What was I like when I started this position?
How have I grown?
How do I still need to grow?
What are my top three successes?
What are my top three flops?
Where do I see my skills being best implemented in the work place/ministry?
Where is the best place for my spouse (and kids) in this next season (if applicable)?

2. What should your resume contain or look like?

In creating or updating your resume, it can look however you prefer. There is not one way, one look, one resume that’s going to get you that next position. There are many great examples and templates that you can find in a Google search. What we emphasize is that it should be a clear, honest reflection of your accomplishments and the type of work you bring to the table.

To put it simply: Your resume should reflect where you’ve been and where you’re going. Take what you glean from your day of reflection with the Lord and allow it to shape how you write your resume. You can read more here about resume creation.

3. After you submit your resume, what next?

Be a continuous learner! What is something you could actively do in this season to grow and improve with the calling of where you’re headed next in mind?  If you’re currently unemployed, check out our thoughts on how to use that time wisely. We also encourage you to continue strategically applying and reaching out to connections. Submitting your resume to us here at Vanderbloemen Search Group is one drop in the bucket. Your connections sphere is limitless. Seek networking and skill-sharpening opportunities.

4. Decide what type of candidate you want to be.

When I started brainstorming for this article, I wrote down a list of adjectives that describe the different types of candidates I’ve encountered during my time here at Vanderbloemen:

      • Kind
      • Refreshing
      • Hostile
      • Scared
      • Defensive
      • Trusting
      • Inflated
      • Gracious

The list could go on. On a daily basis, I encounter almost every one of the above types of candidates in my many interactions. Even in some of the difficult interactions, I’m reminded of these passages from the Gospels:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34).

Here at Vanderbloemen, we are full of compassion for you in this season. We get it, and we believe that God has a purpose and future for you.

What are other steps or questions that are helpful for those starting their job search process, even if for the first time?

If you like this, then you’ll also like How To Leave Your Job Well: 9 Questions For Pastors To Answer.

8 Steps To A Successful Church Job Search