The purpose of any resume (Pastoral, Ministry, or Secular) is to get the job seeker interviews.

If your resume isn’t getting you noticed, it is time to polish it and make it POP!

When writing your document, do not use the mindset that your resume is about your past, but rather, breakthrough and write toward your future.

Focus on your qualifications that match the employer’s needs and enhance your document with words, phrases, and verses that show your passion. (For the non-ministry worker, use past accomplishments and always quantify results to set yourself apart.)


Here are 5 ways you can improve your Pastor resume:

1.  POP that Resume – Put your Passion On Paper. Use words and phrases that convey your dedication, commitment, and love for serving the Lord.

Keep your action-oriented statements brief and demonstrate to the reader the value you offer and the impact you have made within your congregation and community. Don’t get bogged down with extreme details Example: Pastoral Candidate with 10+ years’ experience preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ, leading small groups’ ministries, and spearheading diverse outreach events.

Possess a servant’s heart and focused on providing pastoral care and reaching others with the life-changing message of salvation.

2. Write Toward Your Future – Emphasize your qualities and experiences that match the needs of the employer. What is the employer looking for in a candidate and what experience do you have that allows you to fulfill their needs?

Example ad: able to guide the congregation and outreach to the community.

Example Response: Collaborated with staff members and community leaders to spearhead age-appropriate activities and events that cultivate faith in Christ.

3.  Add a Proclamation / Vision Statement – What key verse is your ministry based upon? Briefly explain your ministry focus and your core beliefs. (If you are a non-ministry job seeker, use a profile section to highlight your key skills/attributes and add recommendations throughout your document to further demonstrate the value you offer an employer!)

4.  Make Your Resume Uniquely Yours – Microsoft offers great products but make your resume uniquely yours by not using one of their templates. After you have created a visually appealing layout, add adjectives that describe your personality and breathe life into your document. Sample resumes and the examples above are just that. Samples and examples. Try to use them as a guide and not as a wording template.

5.  Give a Personal Portrait and List References – Allow the committee to get to know you as an individual by giving them a glimpse of your personal life.

  • Are you single or married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Are you in good health?
  • What are your hobbies?

Selection committees also want to see the names of three to five individuals who can attest to your abilities within a ministry setting.

(If you are a non-ministry job seeker, you can use recommendations throughout your resume but do not include references.)

When an employer is seeking candidates, multiple applicants apply. The Pastoral Candidate and Ministry Worker need to be armed with an honest, fact-filled document that gives a basic portrait but yet shows their passion for serving the Lord. These 5 strategies will help express your passion (on paper) and give you the right edge to stand out from the competition.

Remember to place your plans before the Lord, stay faithful in prayer, and trust in Him.

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” 1 Chronicles 28:21 (NLT)

Thanks for stopping by!



Tammy Shoup, CPRW is a Christian Resume Writer dedicated to helping Pastoral Candidates, Ministry Workers, and Christian Job Seekers launch a successful job search campaign. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and National Résumé Writer’s Association. She is also a past member of the Christian Writer’s Guild.