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YOUR RESUME: a “Picture” of Your Ministry on a Page or Two. Source: BOB DALE. Why Do a Resume? Focusing the Picture. To get yourself a face-to-face conversation with the search team! To think through your life story and faith journey clearly…for yourself.

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why do a resume focusing the picture
Why Do a Resume?Focusing the Picture
  • To get yourself a face-to-face conversation with the search team!
  • To think through your life story and faith journey clearly…for yourself.
  • To present the highlights of your ministry pilgrimage selectively…for others.
a snapshot of you
A Snapshot of You
  • Who you are & how to contact you easily
  • What you’ve concretely accomplished & experienced
  • Where you’ve ministered & in what role[s]
  • How you’re educated/gifted for your craft
  • What you feel called to do next
  • What you’ve done as a volunteer or a hobbyist
framing your resume picture
Framing Your Resume Picture
  • Tailor your presentation for a specific role
  • Show how you’ve moved churches forward in specific terms
  • Highlight your core gifts, skills, & craftsmanship
  • Leave detailed theological points of view or “killer” personal facts for face-to-face conversation
  • In general, less is more
getting the picture in focus
Getting the Picture in Focus

Organizing Your Resume

  • Chronologically…with your most current information & accomplishments first


  • Functionally…with your accomplishments grouped around primary gifts…from most recent

[Make it true, short, & error-free.]

vivid snapshots
Vivid Snapshots
  • Use strong verbs [muscle words]

[Created, built, directed,

coordinated, designed, operated]

  • Edit out weak verbs [flabby words]

[Helped, assisted, served]

Spotlight distinct accomplishments

in robust language!

what to leave out of the picture
What to Leave Out of the Picture

In resumes, it’s generally inappropriate

for ministers to comment on…






viewers of your picture
Viewers of Your Picture
  • Write for your reader…from your readers’ perspective…in your readers’ language…for the position your readers are focused on
  • Put “hooks” in your material---things to attract & attach to a variety of readers
  • “Testify” to our common faith…briefly
who s in their album
Who’s in Their Album?

What are churches looking for?

  • Someone who matches their membership
  • Someone who will care for them
  • Someone who will lead them
  • Someone who understands their culture
  • Someone who will stay
say cheese
Say “Cheese”






Both on paper… & in person.

resume do s
Resume “Do’s”
  • Do create a professional quality resume
  • Do customize your resume to fit a specific ministry post
  • Do be scrupulously honest
  • Do be creative without going “Hollywood”
  • Do have your resume reviewed by an objective, critical eye
  • Do offer a variety of personal references
  • Do expect financial & criminal checks
resume don ts
Resume “Don’ts”
  • Don’t oversell yourself
  • Don’t skimp on quality presentation
  • Don’t assume you’ll be interviewed…or not
  • Don’t present controversial issues on paper…wait for direct dialog
  • Don’t give an “any job will do” impression
  • Don’t include a picture
  • Don’t hide things
friendly faces in your album
Friendly Faces in Your Album

Who are the folks

who will “put a face” on your resume…&

…hand it off to others?

…speak well of you to others?

…make follow-up calls to others?

How do you

cultivate your network?

on line resumes
On-Line Resumes
  • If you circulate resumes electronically, use only common word processing programs. Otherwise, you run the risk that they reformat & print in jumbles that are unreadable
  • If you use an on-line service, take advantage of the extra room for descriptive materials. [Some services charge, and others don’t.]
when the picture becomes a talkie
When the Picture Becomes a “Talkie”

Your phone rings…

& it’s a search committee…the first impression

  • Engage them…show a little life & interest
  • Focus on them---use a good a quiet room…& listen, listen, listen
  • Let them know you’re willing to talk more with them…or not
your 2 minute commercial
Your 2-Minute Commercial

Many face-to-face interviews begin with

“Tell us a little about yourself…”

Tell them what you’re called to do,

what you’ve done, &

how a normal day goes…

clearly, interestingly, smoothly,

sparklingly, directly, & concisely!

interview do s
Interview “Do’s”
  • Do rehearse expected questions
  • Do dress & act appropriately
  • Do make eye contact & use names
  • Do speak conversationally & distinctly
  • Do mind your mannerisms & body language
  • Do ask questions when you don’t understand or need a moment to shape a response
  • Do mention your strengths
  • Do focus on their interests & needs
interview don ts
Interview “Don’ts”
  • Don’t focus on you, you, you
  • Don’t apologize for things you can’t change
  • Don’t exaggerate, evade, or lie
  • Don’t be late, unprepared, or underdressed
  • Don’t criticize, complain, or beg
  • Don’t ask about days off or vacation time yet
  • Don’t forget to say thanks
  • Don’t…after all of these warnings…be tense
spend some time in the darkroom
Spend Some Time in the Darkroom

Before your first face-to-face conversation with the search team…research & ponder…

  • Learn about the church & community
  • Be ready to show---if asked---how you deal with your weaknesses
  • Craft 4-6 questions for them in advance…
    • “If you could change one thing about the church…?”
    • “In 3-5 years, where do you want your church to be?”
    • “Can you describe the best leader for your church?”
how long will it take for this film to develop
How Long Will It Take for This Film to Develop?

In the secular work world,

finding a new job

takes 1 month of searching for every

$10,000 you want in salary

…& that’s if the economy is good.

Double…or triple…that time for churches!

Lots of folks want

to come to [or stay in] Virginia’s churches.

when it s a family photo op
When It’s a Family Photo Op

Like it or not,

your spouse & family

will be visible during the search process.

You may say,

“You’re not calling my spouse,”

but a congregational call is family-to-family.

Your spouse’s presence provides

a vital set of eyes and intuitions.

taming the terrible too s
Taming the Terrible “Too’s”
  • Too “old”---show energy & growth, don’t talk about the past, demonstrate that you understand younger generations
  • Too “young”---show flexibility & your willingness to grow, indicate connections with older generations
  • Too “female”---dress conservatively, appeal to family care issues
  • Too “damaged”---be open, show recovery
when the camera doesn t smile back
When the Camera Doesn’t Smile Back

Handling “rejection shock”

when they choose someone else…

…Dealing with the emotions

  • Denial  This isn’t happening to me, is it?
  • Anger  Churches are full of the spawn of Satan!
  • Depression  I’ll never find a decent church…
  • Acceptance  OK, I’ll just keep on trying.

…Learning from the experience

when the picture doesn t come out
When the Picture Doesn’t “Come Out”

Not every photo taking attempt

develops or “comes out”

As soon as you know

this search process

isn’t a match for you,

tell them…

kindly, firmly.

when the camera does smile back
When the Camera Does Smile Back

Accept a call graciously.

  • Show appreciation for God’s call & for the matching process
  • Be sure details are understood
  • Begin connecting to the congregational community before you arrive
picking the best picture
Picking the Best Picture

The average National Geographic

article features only 5 or 6 photos

…from 1200-1400 exposures!

The lesson?

Keep circulating your resume widely,

keep networking broadly, &

keep growing deeply!!!