Home > Resources > Career > How to Write a Resume

Coaching
& Other Resources
Evaluating
Job Offers
Interviewing
Skills & Etiquette
Job Searching
& Networking
Resumes
& Cover Letters
Show More

Writing a resume takes time & thoughtful consideration. The best resumes are written with a specific job in mind & incorporate information gleaned from the job posting. Below are the required basics for any resume.

Contact Information

Keep in mind that this "heading" will become your letterhead for cover letters, reference lists, and any other type of written documentation an employer may request. Here's what to include:

  • Your name: This should be typed in a large font, usually 14 pt. or higher, as you want the reader easily to identify this as your resume.

  • Email address: Be sure to use your personal email (not work), which should be more professional than creative.

  • Phone number: Use your personal phone number (not work).

  • Address: Employers want to know whether you live out of state or if you live locally, and how far you will commute to their location. At the minimum, include city and state.

  • LinkedIn: If you are on LinkedIn, be sure to include your LinkedIn address, which is located in your profile under your name.

Summary

You can either title this section "Summary" or "Professional Summary," or you can elect not to use a title. This summary information provides an overview of your skills. It is recommended that you include no more than nine areas of expertise. Often these areas of expertise will be referenced in the job posting where the employer is requesting specific experience. You should be able to think of at least two accomplishments relating to these skills to confirm they are areas of expertise. (Keep in mind that traits such as being hardworking, compassionate, or a team player are not areas of expertise.)

What Goes Next?

Always lead with your strongest qualification for the open position. The remainder of your resume will provide the following information:

  • Education

  • Professional Experience

  • Volunteer Experience/Community Affiliations

Education

List your most recent degree first, for example:

M.Div., Leadership Emphasis, Denver Seminary, Denver, CO 2017–2020

  • If this is your first job in your field, you can provide your GPA if it is over 3.0.

  • If requested on the job posting and/or if relevant, list any certifications you have earned.

  • If relevant, provide titles for significant research and/or publications.

Professional Experience

List your present and/or past professional experience, beginning with the most recent position and working backward. Include 2–5 accomplishments under each listing. Your goal is to show the employer that your past experience fulfills the job requirements of the position for which you are applying. Keep in mind that accomplishments are not job descriptions and that employers want to know what impact you made while performing the job tasks.

Accomplishments are:

  • Professional, not personal

  • An attained goal and/or successful completion of an assigned task or project

  • Quantifiable, if possible

  • Something for which you were acknowledged or praised

  • High marks on a performance review 

For example:

  • Job description: Provide pastoral oversight for the Men's Ministry team and marriage ministries.

  • Accomplishment: Increased the Men's Ministry participation by 50% in six months through ongoing, consistent communication, creative event planning, and one-day workshops on requested topics.

Volunteering, Community Affiliations, Related, Ministry &/or Counseling Experience

Unpaid or volunteer positions are valued by employers and are definitely considered as quantifiable experience. Therefore, when listing these volunteer positions, treat them just like your professional accomplishments. These unpaid positions are valuable because they can show that you have relevant or required experience that doesn't show up in your professional background. If you've had several relevant experiences, you can provide bullet point summaries.