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Staff Health

You're Reading Candidate Resumes All Wrong

While resumes are undoubtedly important, they may not tell you the whole story about a candidate's suitability for a role at your church.

Reading Resumes

When it comes to hiring new staff members for your church, a candidate's resume is often the first thing you'll review. While resumes are undoubtedly important, they may not tell you the whole story about a candidate's suitability for a role at your church. Over the years of looking at (literally), thousands of church staff resumes, let’s look at the top ten reasons I commonly see why resumes sometimes are just not a fair gauge of whether or not a candidate might be a great fit at your church.


Spiritual and moral qualities

Resumes generally focus on professional qualifications and experience, but church positions often require something deeper: a strong spiritual foundation and ethical conduct. Assessing a candidate's spirituality and moral compass requires more than just a glance at their resume.


Interpersonal skills

Connecting with congregation members, volunteers, and staff is an essential part of many church roles. A resume may not fully showcase a candidate's ability to communicate and build relationships effectively.


Cultural fit

Ensuring a candidate is compatible with your church's culture, values, and mission is vital. A resume alone won't provide enough insight into whether a candidate will fit seamlessly into your church community.


Leadership style

Church roles often require specific leadership styles that align with your church's vision and culture. A resume may not provide a complete picture of a candidate's leadership approach, making it difficult to assess their suitability.



Church staff members need to adapt to changing circumstances and handle various responsibilities. A candidate's adaptability and flexibility are hard to evaluate based solely on their resume.


Emotional intelligence

Church positions require a high degree of emotional intelligence, as staff members need to connect with, support, and guide congregation members. A resume may not fully convey a candidate's ability to empathize and respond effectively to others' emotions.


Teaching and preaching abilities

For pastoral roles, effective teaching and preaching are crucial. While a resume might list relevant experience, it cannot provide a true sense of a candidate's abilities in these areas.


Passion and commitment

A resume may not capture a candidate's passion for ministry and dedication to your church's mission. Understanding their commitment to serving the congregation requires a more in-depth evaluation.


Personal testimony

A candidate's personal testimony of faith and spiritual journey is an important factor when considering them for a church role. Resumes typically do not include this information, leaving a gap in your understanding of the candidate.


Recommendations and references

While resumes may include references, they don't offer the detailed feedback and insights that reference checks or letters of recommendation can provide. These additional evaluations are essential for understanding a candidate's character, work ethic, and suitability for a church role.


How Chemistry Staffing Can Help


At Chemistry Staffing, we understand that hiring for a church role requires more than just reviewing resumes. Our team is dedicated to helping you find candidates who align with your church's theology, culture, and personality, while also having the experience and gifting to do the job you need them to do.


We do this by...

  • Starting with a series of assessments for each candidate to help us (and you) dig deeper to see if a candidate might really be a good fit.
  • Conducting in-depth interviews to assess candidates' spiritual, emotional, and leadership qualities
  • Verifying references and recommendations to ensure a candidate's character and work ethic align with your church's needs
  • Helping you assess a candidate's preaching and teaching abilities, when applicable
  • Providing personalized support throughout the hiring process

With Chemistry Staffing, you'll find candidates who are not only qualified on paper but who truly fit your church community. Don't let the really great candidates slip through the cracks because their resume doesn't tell the whole story. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right person for your church role.  


And if there’s ever any way I can help your church, please don’t hesitate to reach out!


Have a great week!




Todd Rhoades

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

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