One study found that ninety-five percent of job hunters make mistakes that significantly delay the time it takes to find church jobs and ministry openings! These mistakes fall into two categories: (1) unproductive methods of finding job openings and (2) ineffective interviewing skills. On average, people change jobs eight to ten times (or more!) in their lifetimes, so it makes sense to learn how to use the very best job search strategies that can substantially reduce the time it takes you to find church jobs and ministry openings.
Finding Church Jobs
There are two different job markets: the advertised (or organized) job market and the hidden (or disorganized) job market. Understanding and utilizing both of these job markets will allow you to find job openings much more expediently and efficiently.
The advertised job market is the one that is most familiar. It includes jobs that are found on the Internet like ChurchJobsOnline.com ChristianCareerCenter.com and through employment and recruiting agencies. The jobs are organized and readily accessible. It is the most popular job market because it is the easiest to access.
While 95% of job hunters seeking church jobs rely on the advertised job market to find employment, only 15-20% of the available jobs are represented. As you can imagine, only using the advertised job market makes the job search process slower and more frustrating. Not only is there only a small percentage of actual church job openings listed, but applicants will find more intense competition because of the large number of job hunters who use church job boards and other sources. Some job hunters even give up on their search for a church/ministry job because they either see no openings on job boards for that type of work, or they get no responses to the resumes they have sent.
The high percentage of church ministry jobs that are available at any given time are found in the so-called hidden job market. The jobs are "hidden" because they are filled without churches advertising them on the Internet. Finding these jobs involves a more proactive and strategic approach. Job seekers find out about job openings through developing personal contacts and contacting employers directly (whether or not a church is advertising job openings). Phone calls, referrals, and interviews are the keys. This market is more difficult to access but tends to yield much more fulfilling and rewarding work.
Are you wondering why many church job openings are found in the hidden job market? It is because many churches have found that advertising a position is not always the best way to find qualified candidates. Besides the expense of advertising a position, a job posting online can bring in hundreds of resumes from unqualified people. It takes a lot of church staff time to go through these resumes and, even then, the hiring manager knows very little about the candidates who are brought in for an interview. One study found that 85% of all employers don't advertise job openings at all!
Instead of sifting through resumes and spending hours interviewing unqualified candidates, church staffing committees and recruiters more typically hire people they already know, or those who find out about the job openings and contact the organization. Therefore, if you contact a church that has an unadvertised opening, you could end up being the only candidate they interview for the position. The odds are certainly more in your favor than if yours is one resume among hundreds that is received in response to a job posting.
Does this mean you should avoid using church job boards? Of course not! The advertised job market does contain approximately 15-20% of available job openings, and they are organized so that it is easier to find positions for which you qualify. What it does mean, however, is that you should organize your job search work so that you are investing no more than 40% of your job search time in pursuing possibilities in church job boards, and 60% of your time using strategies to tap into the hidden job market. By thus dividing your job search time, you will greatly increase your chances of finding employment quickly.
Getting the Support You Need For Finding Church Jobs
Using these techniques to find job openings and interview effectively can maximize your efforts in finding a church job in less time. But remember--knowing this information is not enough; you also need to be persistent in implementing what you have learned. Finding a new job is not easy; most people need support, encouragement, and accountability as they search. Create your own support network of friends, family, and if desired, a professional career coach. For many people, a career coach has given them the winning edge in finding work that isn't just a job, but a calling.
© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, www.ChurchJobsOnline.com, www.PastorJobs.net, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com, www.ChristianJobFair.com, and www.LiveYourCalling.com