Dozens of Free Copies of My Audiobook: Don’t Just Send a Resume

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I had no idea how difficult it would be to produce an audiobook. But then I tried.

It’s really, really difficult to read with excellence, even if you’re super familiar with the words because you wrote them!

I tried to narrate the audiobook for my “struggle” book that was recently published. After wasting a dozen hours of work and a thousand bucks, I abandoned the project and hired a pro. I hired David K. Martin to narrate the book for me. I hired David because he did such a great job on Don’t Just Send a Resume, my book to help pastors find the right job in a local church. Throughout the audiobook production process he’s been a consummate professional. For example, when I listened to an early, completed draft of the audiobook, I only found one error—one error in over six hours of audio! (By the way, David’s narration of my Struggle Against Porn book should be out later this summer.)

Just last week the audiobook of Don’t Just Send a Resume hit Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. But if you want a copy, you don’t have to buy one. I have a few dozen to give away. The only thing you have to do is send me a message (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email: so I can give you the code to download it.

The portion of the book we used for the audiobook’s sample comes from a section that I draw the title from. I’ve included that section below if you want to listen and read.

Again, if you’d like a copy, please send me a message. And if you know a pastor or someone in full-time ministry who might like a free copy, please send him or her this way!

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Always Include a Short, Custom Cover Letter

It’s common to hear people talk of sending their resume to an employer. Never do this. Or I should say, never just send a resume.

Why? Because the cover letter, not the resume, is the leading edge of your job search. Merely sending a resume (at least in ministry) accomplishes little more than spamming a search committee. It’s lazy and rarely stands out from the stack. Sending a custom cover letter, however, shows you care. And pastors should care.

Many job search guides in the business world will tell you the primary focus is on the resume. I’ve been told that for many huge companies (think: Procter & Gamble and IBM), resumes are usually read before cover letters. Additionally, a resume might remain in large resume “banks” for recall. In these situations, some of the standard advice about resumes (like including key word optimization for enhanced searchability) makes sense.

But in ministry, things are different. The vast majority of churches will open a hiring process, complete a hiring process, and then throw everything away or save it for a year, then throw it away. This makes the process far more personal. Furthermore, churches don’t have a full-time HR person who spends his or her day scanning resumes. So when a church conducts a search, it will likely read or at least skim your cover letter first. So make it count.

Having said that, much of your cover letter can be boilerplate, meaning you can use most (but not all) of the verbiage with little to no modification. It should include the following descriptions:

  • this (briefly) is who I am;

  • this (briefly) is where I worked;

  • this is where I went to school;

  • this is where you can listen to my sermons (or watch videos of me leading worship);

  • this is what I’m passionate about and why you should hire me.

I won’t tell you exactly what to write, but stuff like this is expected and appropriate.

More than anything else, don’t make it generic. If everything in your cover letter could be sent to every church in America, then your cover letter will be underwhelming and most likely overlooked. Like a good sermon, letters have a particular audience in mind. Therefore, tailor at least one paragraph to demonstrate the following three things to the church.

First, demonstrate you actually read the job description. No job is exactly the same, even if they both share the title “youth pastor.” Someone, or likely several people, spent significant time wording the job description, and it will serve you well to show them you cared enough to read it closely. . .