Youth Ministry Résumé
You need a résumé or you need a job, but not both.
A résumé is a case for why you should have what you don’t have. If you want a youth ministry job you need a résumé that demonstrates why you should have it. If a church wants a particular kind of youth minister they need a résumé and job description that is attractive to that kind of person.
Advice for Youth Ministers
- Don’t float your résumé unless you are looking for a job. Your résumé can help you find the job you want and lose the job you have. If you have a ministry job and some other church asks you to submit a résumé, tell them ‘no’. If they are wanting to fill a position, they can send a job description and church résumé to you. They can evaluate your online material (church website, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo) and talk to people in your congregation without putting your current job at risk.
- Craft Online Content- Blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo are places to build your résumé. You can teach or preach to an empty room, record it and put it on your Vimeo channel. Recording and posting accessible material is good whether you are looking for a job or not.
- Tell a Story with Your Résumé- The résumé should point toward the position you want. Do not clutter the story with a dozen superfluous part-time jobs and lists of responsibilities. DON’T WASTE TIME ON A LONG, THEOLOGICAL, PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT. Keep it down to 20 words or less. (i.e. Make disciples of students)
- Be Honest- 44% of résumés contain lies. Honesty will make your résumé distinct.
Advice for Churches
- Create a resume for your open position- In the job description specify your goals as opposed to a list of programs and tasks. List your values. Be aware of inconsistencies (i.e. Don’t ask for expert pedigree and leadership qualities if the position is going to be micromanaged). Include references from former position holders.
- Do the Work- Headhunting is a sport. Go after the person you want instead of posting an open position and waiting for good people to come knocking at your door. If you want to hire someone who has a job, don’t ask them to risk their job so you can add a résumé to your stack. An internet search and a few phone calls can narrow down your top prospects.
- Don’t Underestimate Recent Graduates- A well-trained ministry graduate may be a better option for your position than someone with 3+ years of experience. Experience can make a youth minister less teachable and more expensive.
- Be Objective- Every church is “special”. Get feedback about your job description and congregation from outsiders. You may have a great position that people are turning down because of a bad website. Invite outside criticism of your job description especially from those who refuse to decline your invitations. I turned down a job many years ago because the preacher spent the whole interview weekend talking about himself. I received an excellent follow-up phone call from one of the search committee members allowing them to correct the problem for the next round of interviews. Few committees do this.
Churches, what advice would you give youth ministers who are looking?
Youth ministers, what advice would you give churches who are looking?
Related Links and Posts
Originally posted March 2012.