5 Things You Can’t Determine From A Resume


Resumes are necessary when you’re hiring—they’re your first glimpse into a candidate’s skills and experience, and can give you an overall picture of whether they may be on a career and ministry trajectory that positions them well for the open role at your church. But resumes have their limitations. Here are 5 things that a resume can’t tell you about a candidate. 

1. Personality

Is a candidate introverted or extroverted? A Martha or a Mary? Class clown or everyone’s go-to counselor? Although a good resume may give you a glimpse into who the candidate is, even the most creative, unique resume can’t convey the totality of a candidate’s personality. This is something that you have to learn through conversations over the phone and in person.

2. Culture Fit

Beyond skills and experience, this is one of the main factors we consider here at Vanderbloemen when we’re working on each search. Your church has its own personality and culture, and someone who is not a good match—no matter how skilled and experienced—will struggle to succeed in the role you hired them for. Is your staff highly analytical? Relational? Self-aware? What’s the culture of the church as a whole, and what will they expect of this new staff person?

A resume alone will not tell you if a candidate will be a good match for your church culture. Tweet: A resume alone will not tell you if a candidate will be a good match for your church culture. https://bit.ly/1P9tkKm via @VanderbloemenSG

3. Relational Skills

My conversations with candidates are always very illuminating, but especially in regard to how relational they are. Not all roles require someone highly relational, but whichever end of the spectrum your role falls on, it’s almost impossible to know how relational a candidate is from a static document like a resume.

4. Gifted Communicator

A resume may show that a candidate has extensive teaching experience, maybe even in impressive settings. But you won’t be able to determine how gifted they are as a communicator by a resume alone. This requires full observation or immersion into their method of speaking. Only by personally experiencing the candidate's teaching will you be able to fully assess their value as a communicator.  

5. Confidence

When you’re on a ministry path that you know God has called you to, you have a holy confidence that is quickly evident to people around you. It inspires authority in the people you’re leading and serving, and makes them excited to join you in ministry. I have seen (or rather, heard) this in so many conversations with candidates in the past 9 months of working at Vanderbloemen. But confidence can either not show through a resume, or come across as arrogance. Figuring out which one it is requires at least a conversation over the phone.

Resumes are a great starting point, but their usefulness is mostly in stimulating curiosity about candidates you want to engage with more. The subsequent conversations are where you’ll learn about those intangible things that separate the capable candidates from the right candidate.

How will you use this to engage more with your candidates?