5 Quick Resume Tips For Your Church Job Search



Here at Vanderbloemen Search Group, we often are asked if we review resumes or offer a resume writing service. The answer is we do not, since that could be a conflict of interest for us as we serve our clients. However, we strive to use our blog posts to provide our clients, our candidates, and church staffs everywhere with as many resources as we can, so I’m honored to share some tips on resume creation here.

I know that for many in ministry, this might be your first time (or first time in a long while) to create a resume. If you’re just starting out, hop on over here to my blog from last month that covers more of an overview on where to begin.

In this post, I want to focus on last minute touches before you send out your resume. While this certainly isn’t “secret sauce” to getting hired, there are a few things I see on a daily basis that could be improved. Disclaimer: None of these tips directly apply to getting hired, and they will not improve your chances of getting hired. They’ll simply make life easier for anyone evaluating your resume and improve your reputation as a job-seeker. Win-win.

Here are 5 quick things to double (and triple) check before submitting your resume anywhere.

1. Proofread every single word and date.  

Seriously! I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve reviewed that say something like, “Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church, September 1999 – August 4015.” See the error? It’s such an easy one to fix. Like it or not, what you send out reflects you and the quality of work that you produce.

2. Combine when possible.

If you’re going to send a cover letter, include it in the same file as your resume. I suggest not sending two separate files if at all possible, unless a hiring agency requests them separately. This certainly isn’t a make it or break it tip, just a nice thing to streamline.

3. PDFs are always better.

Save your now combined Cover Letter & Resume as a PDF file. Especially if you have fancy formatting, pictures, or logos – save it as a PDF! For some reason, word documents almost always shift things around when opened in a new computer. Keep your polished look locked in with a PDF.

4. Watch out for file sizes.

Want to add the latest professional picture of your family? Great! Hop on over to Facebook and download the Facebook version of this picture. Facebook automatically downsizes your pictures to a great size that still retains the quality of photo without the megabytes. It will keep a nice resolution, without sending your resume file size skyrocketing. Trust me: Betty Sue and Jonny Bean will still look just as great at 5kb as they do at 25MB.

5. Ready to submit your info? Double-check the title of your resume file.

This might sound silly, but hiring entities can see what you name your resume file if it’s an attachment. “Draft FINAL 1234 GET ME THE JOB” isn’t the best option. I suggest something like this:  “Resume – Your Last Name – First Name 2015.”  This makes it clear what the file contains and an indication of where it should go. So if I saw “Resume – Carthey – Caroline 2015” on my desktop, I’d know exactly what it is and where it should go.

I hope these quick tips are useful for you. We’re honored to walk alongside our candidates and clients as they journey through job-seeking or staffing.

If you liked this, then you’ll also like The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Job Seekers.

8 Steps To A Successful Church Job Search