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When you write a resume, studying sample resumes and seeking out expert advice gives you a head start. To help you out, we took a Pastor resume sample and let expert resume builders point out frequent errors to prevent you from making them. Look over the issues identified below, and think about the straightforward methods to fix the problems. Doing so helps ensure your resume stands out and impresses hiring managers.
Include a summary
One of the first things, perhaps even the first thing, you notice about this resume is the half page of gaping white space. Don’t make this mistake. Always include a section titled something like Summary or Career Overview. It’s akin to a 30-second elevator pitch you might make in person. Write four, five or six lines for it, and provide an overview of your experience, top two or three major skill sets, and a few valuable personality traits and soft skills. Write in paragraph formno bullet points! If you include your years of experience, list it as years of experience or years’ experience. Avoid the grammatically incorrect years experience. Writing in sentence fragments is acceptable, but avoid using third person. Approach the writing like you’re in first person, only with the pronoun removed. A summary section might seem superfluous but is actually a way to hook hiring managers. Make them want to read further.
List your experience starting with the most recent jobs
This resume sample lists the pastor’s job experience beginning with his first jobs. Instead, you want hiring managers to see up front what you’re up to now. Start with your current or most recent position and go backward from there. In most cases, avoid listing employment more than 15 to 20 years ago. Exceptions to this rule include if you’ve spent your entire career with the same company or if you want relevant information to stand out. In this sample resume, the applicant was a fireman and first responder from 1972 to 1979. It’s possible that the applicant sees these skills as relevant for a pastor, but again, he should list this job at the bottom of his work experience. It takes valuable space higher up that he could use to impress hiring managers with more relevant experience.
Mind your tenses and formatting
Write in present tense for your responsibilities at your current job. Opt for past tense to describe what you did in past positions, and use bullet points to list all of these responsibilities. List job titles succinctly, and check for spelling errors. With the preceding information in mind, here’s how the Work History section could be improved. However, one important thing to point out is that each job listing should have five to eight bullet points. Because only this applicant knows exactly what he did, placeholders suffice for now. BETTER 06/2009 to Current Associate Pastor First Baptist Church Cullman, AL
08/1972 to 07/2006 Strategy Coordinator International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention Richmond, VA
07/1972 to 08/1979 Pastor First Baptist Church DeWitt Dewitt, MI
11/1972 to 08/1979 Fireman DeWitt City Fire Department Dewitt, MI
If you want a resume to effectively showcase your skills, like a few changes to this Pastor resume sample would, look to the experts for help. Check out QuintCareer’s Resume Builder to give you the best chance of getting an interview.