My primary work and ministry is with young adults who are about to embark on vocational ministry for the first time. They have sensed the call of God on their lives and are studying to prepare themselves for real-life ministry in churches and ministry organizations.
For that reason, I get lots of questions about the creation of a ministry resume and how the whole placement process works.
What should you do before you send that ministry resume out? Before you hit send on that email or drop the resume off in the mail, what should you be thinking about and making sure is in proper order. So here are…
5 Things to Do BEFORE You Send Out Your Ministry Resume
1. Notify all of your references. You probably asked several key mentors in your life to serve as one of your references. You’ve gathered their contact information, titles, current place of service, etc. Now that the ministry resume is put together and ready to go, send your references a finalized copy and notify them that you are officially on the search. I also suggest that you notify them if and when you receive a position, thanking them for whatever help they provided and informing them that the search is done.
2. Clean up every aspect of your social media life. Take down any inappropriate pictures, delete tweets, remove comments that your friends have made on a pic, toss out any controversial status updates, inflammatory remarks about a denomination, a particular pastor, an author, or a church. Even Cosmo magazine supports this spring cleaning approach to your social media.
It might sound extreme, as if you are removing a portion of yourself from your online existence, but your digital presence presence is highly evaluated in determining whether you get a first call or not. Make it G-rated all around. The more sanitized and clean, the better.
3. Contact your home church pastor or youth minister. Your home church leaders are going to be huge advocates for you and the ministry God has called you to. They will probably have more experience seeing your spiritual gifts and talents on display in the service of the King. Send them a final ministry resume and share with them what you sense God is calling you to do. You may find that they are your greatest asset in being placed.
It’s often not what you know, but who knows you.
4. See if you know anyone on the inside of that particular ministry. Think long and hard about who leads this ministry, who attends this church, who already serves on that team, and see if you can work through an inside connection rather than sending a cold email.
Again, the internal relationships and networks are far more effective in building trust and establishing a connection than flatly sending a standard email with resume and cover letter attached. Do some investigative work. You might be surprise how small the ministry world really is.
5. Lastly, study the website thoroughly. Read every page of content. Read every document uploaded. Read every blog post. Like them on Facebook and be a follower on Twitter. Look at previous newsletters, organizational documents, anything that will tell you what this ministry is all about.
You need to be more than casually informed about their vision and mission, you need to be able to articulate if that vision coincides with your own. This is what captures attention and moves the process along.
Overall, you might believe this type of intentionality and diligence removes the hand of God or lessens the work of the Holy Spirit in placing His servants in His kingdom’s work. I would disagree. I believe taking these steps simply makes you more involved in the process and gives God more room to work in you and in the ministry you are seeking to find.
Blessings on your journey and may God use you greatly for His great name.