What Not To Put On Your Ministry Resume


You’ve spent countless hours polishing your ministry resume—tweaking the wording, tightening sentences, and proofreading it obsessively for errors. (What? You haven’t? See our post The Most Important Part of Your Resume.)

But just as important as your list of accomplishments and experiences are thethings you don’t include. Here are ten mistakes to avoid.


      1. An overreaching objective. Ground your objective in reality. Someday you may be the next Billy Graham or Bill Hybels, but making it your current “goal” only makes you look foolish.Vision is good, arrogance is not.
      2. Your summer job at the ice cream stand. It may have taught you a good work ethic, but there are more recent and more significant positions to list. On a ministry resume, every inch is precious—be sure you’re including only the most relevant information.
      3. Non-achievements. Did the experience involve leadership, professional development, community service? Leave it in. Did it involve eating more than the people around you or joining a fraternity? Skip it.
      4. How much you can benchpress. You think we’re kidding. Unless you’re starting a ministry to models, no one needs to know how much you can lift, how little you weigh, or other facts about your physique.
      5. Odd interests. You enjoy running marathons or traveling? Great—you might even be able to tie those back to your professional expertise. But no one needs to know you paint watercolors of your pet hamster. Not sure if it’s a strange hobby? It probably is—leave it out.
      6. Your privacy. If it’s against the law for a future employer to ask it during an interview, there’s no need to offer it in a resume. Your boss doesn’t need to know if you’re married or who you voted for in the last election. If he thinks he does, maybe it’s not the right job for you.
      7. Other personal info. You don’t need to include a social security number or your driver’s license information—it definitely doesn’t belong on a resume which will be passed around and probably left on someone’s desk.
      8. Typos. They’re supposed to trust you with a six-figure budget and a ministry team, but you can’t make one document error-free? Proofread this document until your eyes cross, and then ask someone else for a second look.
      9. An embarrassing email. You know email addresses are free, right? There’s no need for the interviewer know you’re SlappyMcGee@hotmail or DVader@gmail. Get a professional emailaddy to use on resumes.
      10. Glitter. Or crazy fonts, a rainbow of colored inks, stickers……just say no and stick with the basics.

What other mistakes have you made on a ministry resume that you wish someone had reminded you of before you submitted it?